T Nation

Construction Workers!

Hey, I am going to do some underground cable construction this summer, now that school is out. I have several questions for those who have long all day jobs outside.

What is your diet like?

What and when are you workouts like?

I am 21, 6’0, 200 lbs, about 16% bodyfat… (quit smoking jan. 1st :))
I would like to come out of this summer by dropping fat down to 10% or so, while keeping some LBM. With my job i do a lot of shoveling all day, so i get a lot of physical work in, but i want to eat clean too. what would be good foods to eat that can be packed in a cooler w/o too much hassle?

Thanks guys!!

Demonthrall

I don’t know about construction . . . but I spent last summer working landscapping 60+ hours a week as a tree trimmers’ assistant, which means I carried logs for ten hours a day. As far as my diet went, I hate everything I could get my hands on!! My diet was really clean at all. I’m talking about 2 or 3 snickers a day, lots of tuna and eggs . . . at night I was too tired to cook anything which usually meant a footlong from subway or taco bell. I was still pretty lean even with all the calories I was taking in (at least 3,000). I’m guessing I was at about 10% BF, however the work I was doing was pretty hardcore. I used to joke when describing my job to people, “they take the work that the seasonal guys wont do, then give me that times two”.


Yeah, haha. I did this same job last year also, and i lost quite a bit of fat while hanging on to most of my muscle, but i really think i could clean it all up a bit and get some serious shreddage goin’. any tips guys?

p.s. heres a pic of me after last years construction season ended.

YES I KNOW I CHUBBED UP A BIT!! but keep in mind i quit smoking, and got lazy… hardy har har

I would say maybe 16 percent in the second pic, but definately not the first. I’d say you look about 20.

okay well from experience and witnessing, do not drink beer after work with the guys. I mean you can hang out with the guys after work and suck down some drink, but choose a better beverage like water. Even soda would do less damage than the amount of beer a guy can drink after a hard days work, more so a hard week of it.

As far as food intake, just eat as you would if you were in training. that’s all I can say. oh plus this- after work I go to the gym, shower, and workout. afterwards I shower then head home. but bust your ass and you will reap some good benefits that will help your weight training. there isn’t too much that weight training can do for contruction since you need more than strong legs to work in construction.

Man when I was doing construction the easiest thing for me was to bring along lots of nuts and sunflower seeds to constantly munch on during the day and then really pack it in at my meals with lean sources due to the fats I was getting all day.

As far as working out I had to be on site @ 4AM but would get up at the Butt crack and do my workouts befor hand. I am a morning person though. I did a M/W/F split. Full body w/o hr or less each. Weekends off.

Hope this helps.
Phill

yea, not really sure what bf percent is… either way… advice?

It seemed like last year i only lost fat for the first two months, and then i started losing strength after that… but bodyfat didnt budge after a certain point?? what can i do to ensure that the fat keeps coming off? its a very physical job, so it is pretty much 100% diet…

Go on Berardi’s Don’t Diet plan, throw in some HIIT running 3 times a week and train 5*5 style to keep muscle.

i dont know if i need Hiit with all my physical work on the job, do i?

demonthrall

Last summer I was doing construction in a hot environment, typically 3 or 4 days a week in excess of 100F. I’d typically wake up have a protein shake, bowl of oats with fruit added or fruit on the side then head to work. I’d snack on nuts and such throughout the day and would often take a lunch consisting of sandwich, whole grain/lotsa meat/whatever veggies will fit, If I could keep it cold I’d have a tupperware with cottage cheese and maybe a couple cookies. If I didn’t pack a lunch I’d often end up eating at the nearest burger joint. I would workout in the evening usually at home after a shower and a little rest. I had roomates that pumped me up to workout but if I was living by myself or with a family it would be very hard to stick with lifting after work. Dinner we usually ate lots of spaghetti dishes and BBQ whatever was clever. I was probably at my lowest BF% I had been since age 22 or so. Oh, drink as much water as you possibly can. I’d drink a couple gallons a day and sweat most of it out. If you pee a lot then obviously cut down on how much your drinking or your boss might get upset.

lol @ boss getting upset…

do any of you guys reading this have tips on how to keep protein levels high throughout the day, keeping in mind that i do have a cooler?

attached picture = :’(

Yes man. A great thing for this is jerky of any type. Get some tough jerky and simply slowly chew on this all day long. Jerky is an excellent, handy, source of quality lean protein.

Throw in some nuts or sunflower seed with this and Damn now your getting some constant nutrition to fight that catabolic bug.

hope this helps,
Phill

where can i find lots of jerky for cheap??

brazil nuts almonds beef jerky even milk is very good. If u can keep milk in your cooler it is worth it, if u cant stomach skim try 1%, if its too hot try throwing some protein bars in ur cooler, anything low carb high protein and like what was said drink lots of water with it. that should keep u going throughout the day. Good Luck