T Nation

Hard labor and overtraining

I will be starting a hard labor job the last week of nov, unloading and hauling around 20-200lb christmas trees, 30-50 hours a week, the last couple of years I have gotten some noticable strength gains, with a terrible diet, under 2000 cals and from terrible sources, (this was all in my pre t-mag years haha), I didnt work out during these times, I will be working out and hitting the weights hard this year though, watching my diet closely etc, how can I tell if I am over training? or is it a moot point since I am 20 and shouldnt even worry about it?

You’ll have to watch for fatigue and recovery levels. Doesn’t make sense to hit the weights hard and more frequently if you’re already doing that kind of manual labor. You may find that you may have to tone down your training sessions while you have this job. Unless of course you have incredible recovery abilities. I would say just watch out for constant fatigue and lack of recovery, and adjust appropriately.

I used to stack & move boxes on the job (airborne express, a state warehouse) in some great unheated, uncooled warehouses. Winter was never a problem except when you got sweaty and then started to cool off too fast. Summers sucked, though. Here in Virginia, it can be 110 with the heat index. I would workout 4x/week; even when I ate ~4000 k/Cal, I would still be exhausted as sh!t. It was so bad for me that I would have gone on 4-AD or at the least Methoxy-7, maybe tribex, because after about three months of heat it gets to be too much. My libido hovered between damn near zero and nothing and I was 20, which was really sad and bothered my girlfriend.

I would most definitely cut down my volume in the gym and most likely increase my caloric intake during this time period if it were me. Perhaps a program like Ian King’s “Big Muscles, Busy Schedules” would work well. How long will the job last?

Forgot to add that I am twenty also, and overtraining is always something to keep an eye on.

I would tone done your volume of training to say three workouts a weeks for 10-15 sets. Also don’t be too worried about the labor work you could consider it your weighted GPP.

During your work make sure you increase your daily kcal intake by 750-1000kcal to account for the extra expenditure. I would recommend doing active recovery workouts to help with restoration, try swimming, sauna or other restorative measures too. Lay off on the heavy weight workouts though, maybe do 1 maintenance workout and 2-3 active recovery workouts a week for about 45 minutes a session.

Keep a close eye to your diet during that time. Maybe consider taking Surge after a tough day on the job (I’m going to start downing some Surge even after boxing, wouldn’t hurt!).

And hopefully you'll also sign up for that Methoxy testing. Oh, and read the following: http://www.testosterone.net/ html/body_75kinak.html (space at "/" and "html"). Should tell you a little more about some of the signs of overtraining.

Thanks for the responses fellas, Ill definetly have a glass of surge on hand and drink it after we get done with the hard work, (we lift and shake the trees for a couple hours, then just do easy customer service for a couple hours) I was thinking about doing Great Guns and some chest/back/leg maint…I want to use this time to really pack on some mass so I was going to be eating about 4000 cals a day maybe more, I guess well see how it goes…

Look at your work day as a warmup for your workout. Get to the gym hit it hard. Short and sweet. And eat big. Make sure to log your workouts to compare week to week.