Bricklaying and Work Capacity

Hello my friend;

I seem to recall many years ago, your mentioning of a summer you once spent working for some bricklayers.

Knowing what you know now, what methods would you employ to approach such a lifestyle? I.E. Training, Nutrition, Supplementsion, Recovery.

I am genuinely interested to hear what you might have done differently (or the same) to maintain physical and mental work capacity from day to day, with your current base of knowledge and resources.


Not 100% accurate. I worked at RONA (equivalent of Home Depot) and my job was to load concrete plates, brisk and bags of fertilizers in trucks all day.

But close enough. Good memory.

Well I did lose a shit ton of weight in 3 months. I went from 215 down to 175 and that was while eating at A&W 3x a day!

On the upside ité,s the first time I got lean in my life and it did wonders for my grip and core strength. I was an idiot, I made a workout out of it and tried to see how many patio stones (45lbs each) I could load in a truck at the same time (my record was 11 for 495lbs) or how fast I could load an order of 100 stones.

My friend worked at the lumber yard and we during our down time we would meat and invent some competitions, for example who could pull 500lbs of concrete the fastest. His father was a former National record holder in the clean & Jerk (192.5kg at 82.5kg) and he himself eventually became a strongman competitor and is now a pretty solid strength coach.

My training quickly became minimalist because of all the hardwork I did. I went from 6 to 3 training days per week and used an approach what was similar in principle to 5/3/1 (that’s also when I began olympic lifting).

Another funny story is that my friend (the one I mentioned above) had a supplement store with his father and he hooked me up with dirty cheap HMB… I used up to 1 BOTTLE a day and it didn’t do anything.

What would I do differently? The one thing I would invest in is PLAZMA. Yeah I know, this is a Biotest website so I must talk about PLAZMA, right? WRONG! I would use it not only because it has the best source of carbs and protein, sources that can be absorbed even while being active without taking you out of the sympathetic state or making you slugish, but it also has a ton of electrolytes and dehydration was the main problem I suffered from working there.

Yes it’s expensive but it would bethe ONE thing I would invest in and likely have 3-4 servings thoughout the day.

Training-wise what I did worked. My strength on the deadlift,squat and power clean went up significantly. But that was likely because of all the grip and core work I did during work.

In retrospect focusing on heavy work on the big basics likely contributed to having to drop down to 3 sessions per week. With all the physical work I was doing, it might have fatigued the CNS. But then again many strongmen trained on the big basics 3x a week after long days of physical labour (Bob People and Paul Anderson come to mind).

My friend’s father (former record holder on the clean & jerk) used to work 9-5 in a paper mill THEN tend to his gym from 6 to 10 and finally train 3x a week when the gym closed. And one of the best lifters from Quebec worked on his farm all day and lifted in the evening. So maybe thge nervous system is more resilient then we give it credit for.

Of course back then my priorty was to get strong. I didn’t care about looking like a bodybuilder and did very little, if any hypertrophy work. But someone in that situation might benefit from a program like my recent “best damn strenght plan for natural lifters” or the hypertrophy versions. Maybedoing 4 weekly sessions instead of 6.

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