T Nation

Construction Worker, Diet Help


Hey everyone,

I'm new here. I did quite a bit of searching for my own answer but I came up with nothing. I am looking for an article, or advice, on what a diet of a construction worker should look like. I think I MAY be dieting right but I would like to read something about the correct way for a construction worker to diet. I'm a lean guy that is bulking and I just started in the family construction biz. Hopefully I will only be doing manual labor for a year.

I am giving myself a 3 year time limit (is this too long?) to reach a goal of a clean, low body fat, mass muscle, weight of 220 lbs.

I am currently 169 lbs at a height of 6'2". Skinny I know. I am making steady gains in my weight and on the weights.

I am doing full a body workout. I work each of the muscle groups twice a week. Last set is always to failure, unless the workout requires a spotter and I don't have one. I'm testing out a new routine for mostly every workout. I am seeing if I like it or not. I am doing a 10x8x8x6 on each workout. I do the weight accordingly of course. I am wondering if a 10x8x6x4 would be more appropriate for bulking though.

I can not tell you my precise calorie and protein intake at the moment because I lost my nutrients book that gave all the info. I'm heading out to get a new one today. I eat alot. I eat alot of clean foods. No JUNK in my diet brah. I eat 5-6 meals of clean foods a day. A quick rundown of the types of food I eat during the week- eggs, chicken (LOTS OF CHICKEN!), potatoes(mmmmm!),steak, salads, pasta, bananas, apples, blueberry's, mixed nuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seed, fish, tuna fish, edamami(sp?), swiss cheese, lactose free milk, pork in da crock pot, and Italian subs.

For my shake(2-3 a day, depending on how I feel) I have 2 cups of lactose free milk, cup of blueberry's, half a cup of cottage cheese,2 scoops of organic peanut butter, 1.5 scoops of whey, and 1 tbls of olive oil.

Anyways, I just wanted to give a brief and broad summary of myself. I am looking for some guidance with the whole construction worker trying to bulk deal. Any info or advice will help! Feel free to ask questions. Please, don't flame me on my first post :expressionless:


If you are going into construction bulking is gunna be tough. Id recommend just keeping it clean and being sure to eat enough protien and carbs to grow steadily. Chances are you wont reach 220 in 3 years unless you put on a gut to match the muscles. As a fellow tall guy (im 6'4") i know the pains of weight gain on a skinny frame, but if you are putting on 10-15lbs of muscle per year you will be doing very well. Other than that i like your diet, lots of great foods for building muscle there.


Thx for the response.
I guess I will just have a little slower gains than most then? What time frame should I give myself to hit 220lbs? 220lbs is 50lbs away for me so maybe 4-5 years?


I'm 6'3" but I don't have a skinny frame. This might not help you because you're skinny and I'm a fatty, but by sophomore year in high school (15 yo)I was 205 and I'm 19 now and I'm 260 with a slightly smaller waist. Hope ehat gives you a slight idea.


220 should take you at least 4 years but Id bank on 5. I grew up skinny, hit 6'4" at 145lbs since then ive gone up to 205lbs but i also added some body fat.


I agree, it is quite tough to gain weight while working construction! I don't know about you, but I usually only get one break per 8 hour day and sometimes none. It's especially harder to train on work nights too. The good thing about it is that you gain muscle from labor and get paid for it.

Sometimes I'll be too exhausted at the end of the day from working in the rain and such, so I have to relay on takeout.

You eat edamame soy beans? I used to eat a lot of those, but because I read that it has estrogen-like effects I have been trying to avoid eating excessive amounts.


It's impossible to say how long it will take to get to a certain size or weight or if you will get there. Just go all out and see. You're eating well. If you stop gaining, eat more of the same. With so much physical work on top of bodybuilding, sleep is very important.


Hmm, I'll have to check in to what you are saying about the edamame. I've never head that before.


I get 8.5 hours of sleep right now and that's with me going to bed at 9pm. It has been in the back of my head for awhile now that maybe I should bite the bullet and get in bed at 8pm to get 9.5 hours of sleep because like you said, sleep is very important.


I get really frustrated when there is no time for a lunch break man. The one good thing is that we ride in the company truck to and from work. I just eat a real quick snack on the way to and from work and I try to sneak more snacks in with my water breaks.


Well I guess I must be eating the correct amount of food because yesterday was the third straight week that I've gone up in all my weight.


The confusing thing about gaining weight is knowing whether you put on 5 lbs of muscle, 5 lbs of water, or 5 lbs of shit.


If one eats right and has the correct workout then it should mostly be muscle.


Yeah, sure, good luck getting to a ripped 220 lb in 3 years. I mean, are you serious dude? Your height gives you a slight advantage but at your current weight you are a stick man.

Strength gains are not highly correlated with caloric intake, by the way, this is a neurological adaptation. The quality of communications between your neural pathways is somewhere between poor and awful at this point in time. This is why you likely feel Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness from every exercise you are doing in the gym right now.

In all sincerity I'm willing to bet the farm that your diet is nowhere near where it needs to be in order to continue to gain adequate muscle a year from now, sorry. I have worked in construction and I fully realize how difficult an undertaking it will be for you to put on 50 lbs of almost pure muscle in three years.


I guess you didn't read the other posts or else you would not of made that post =)

re-read the thread.


Do you really think I missed something here?


dude, he ASKED if 3 years was a reasonable goal, and last time I checked we ARE in the BEGINNERS SECTION, than someone said possibly 4-5 years, and he agreed. So OBVIOUSLY YOU did misread the thread. Instead of shitting on someone why don't you offer your infinite wisdom and give him some advice based on your limitless knowledge.

To the OP, keep doing what you are doing. Whatever some one else says works for them, most likely will not work for you. It took me almost 2 years to figure out my body's "happy medium" diet wise. Just keep tweaking things here and there to put yourself on a steady, but slow weight gain. Don't get disappointed if weight gain stops, slowly increase your nutrient intake until it begins again, don't be a fool and start eating like a fucking gorilla, you'll only see large amounts of fat gain like that. And if you haven't already, look into getting yourself some casein protein. ON(optimum nutrition) has a nice casein protein thats fairly inexpensive. It's longer digestibility will help keep your body from going into "starvation" mode if you can't find a way to eat every 2-3 hours.


Thx football, that some good info right there. I need to read into the product ON.

I am only taking whey protein right now but I am thinking about making the switch to N.O Xplode for my pre and post workout shake. Know anything about N.O Xplode?


Thx football, that some good info right there. I need to read into the product ON.

I am only taking whey protein right now but I am thinking about making the switch to N.O Xplode for my pre and post workout shake. Know anything about N.O Xplode?


I took NO-Explode before. I don't think it's that great. I would rather have spent my money on more protien/fish oil/food. That would be my recommendation...