T Nation

Manual Labor and Bodybuilding

I have searched Tnation and all over the web and have found limited posts on this discussion. I have a hard time believing that alot of other weight lifters dont have manual labor jobs. I was wondering what other guys did for their job and how their training/diet/supplement-use looked…

There have been plenty of threads of people asking about nutrition (that’s the key) for manual labor jobs and lifting.

Basically, eat more and you’ll be just fine.

When I was in construction, I ate a lot. Hard outdoor work+lifting regularly=higher metabolism(for me anyway). I ate more, but I did it smartly, ate a lot of protien during the day as well as lots of fruit,veggies,nuts and of course water.

[quote]wannaberocky1992 wrote:
When I was in construction, I ate a lot. Hard outdoor work+lifting regularly=higher metabolism(for me anyway). I ate more, but I did it smartly, ate a lot of protien during the day as well as lots of fruit,veggies,nuts and of course water.[/quote]

This ^

Also if you’re really worried then BCAAs throughout the day with your water as well.

I second bcaas during work. Also for times when you cant eat down some dessicated beef liver pills…or get a desk job like i did.

im def. not worried or anything. ive maintained a 220 lb frame with a manual labor job for the past 2 or so years by eat eating all day long. eating is not a problem. how do/did you guys train?

6 days a week as hard as i could. hit each body part twice a week. volume and intensity depended on how I felt.

phish watd u do for work??

When I was in construction, I was able to train 4-5 times a week. Now that I am in college and have night classes and early mornings, I am not hitting 4-5. I can manage 3-4, and if a class is cancelled or something then I will go train too. Luckily, I keep my intensity up and still end up sore every week.

i managed the stock room of a grocery store for a year and half. Before that i worked with a stone mason. I got a desk job at the beginning of the year which makes life so much easier.

At first hitting that frequency was very hard. But the body adjusts pretty fast if you push through.

I do very tough physical labor for pepsi at the moment and have done it every summer for the past 5 years during college break. Basically 1500+ cases a day weighing between 22-48 lbs. Pulling 1-1.5 ton pallets for greater distances then most people walk in a day. Most of the time I do two cases at a time just to do less moving overall. The key for me is taking 2 full weeks off when I started work. Following by bringing back a lesser volume program for awhile and graduating back to my program before I began manual labor. After that my body could handle the new stress along with the workouts.

No matter what you do workout wise, the key to being able to handle manual labor and your workouts is nutrition. I highly recommend desiccated beef liver taking 2 tabs every hour on the hour. Make sure you get a breakfast or pre-work meal that has a good amount of fat in it as you muscles run on fat over a long period of time. There is a reason lumberjacks (probably the toughest physical labor) ate a bunch of flap jacks and bacon in the beginning of the day. You need energy or your going to burn out. A big fat and protein meal like steak and eggs will make it so your not even hungry for almost an entire shift. If you wake up late and have no time don’t even think of stopping for fast food, just crack 6 raw eggs and down them with heavy cream (as much as you need, i do about 3 tablespoons)

The desiccated liver tab has 2 grams of protein (they are over 80% protein and are easily broken down in the stomach and the nutrients are easily absorbed since it is a whole food) per pill to keep your blood continuously saturated plus a lot of BCAA’s, a rich source of vitamin A and C, every B vitamin (all 11), selenium, iron and 7 other minerals. It also contains Cytochrome-C, an iron bonding amino acid which draws oxygen into the bloodstream. More oxygen equals more energy. Plus they are extremely cheap costing compared to other supplements at about $40 for 500. I eat before work and only liver during work most days. I think its funny people pay $3 for a shot of plastic with less B-vitamins then a few liver pills. Give the high protein and fat meal combined with liver every hour approach.

I would cut cardio or keep it to a minimum first before cutting back on weight training. Also workout in the morning before work if possible.

I might be on this same boat too. I was thinking of putting my biggest muscles on the weekend where i can get good rest and have more energy since weekends are free days.

Something like the following:

If i dont go out fridays:

friday - legs
saturday - back
sunday - rest
monday - chest
tuesday - arm
weds-thurs rest

If i do go out fridays:

saturday - legs
sunday - back
monday- rest
tuesday- chest
wed- arms
thurs, fri - rest

At some point i will build volume back up to what i consider “normal”, as i know my CNS will be weaker from work that i have to start low.

[quote]RePz wrote:
I might be on this same boat too. I was thinking of putting my biggest muscles on the weekend where i can get good rest and have more energy since weekends are free days.

Something like the following:

If i dont go out fridays:

friday - legs
saturday - back
sunday - rest
monday - chest
tuesday - arm
weds-thurs rest

If i do go out fridays:

saturday - legs
sunday - back
monday- rest
tuesday- chest
wed- arms
thurs, fri - rest

At some point i will build volume back up to what i consider “normal”, as i know my CNS will be weaker from work that i have to start low.
[/quote]

intelligent intuition…very rare around here

I dont do manual labor but i work a very physical job,i workout 4 days a week and i maintain my weight on 4000 calories a day,but its awesome because i get to eat lots of food and stay lean,today iam starting a bulk so i shall be eating around 4500 cals to start off with.If you’re not gaining weight,eat more,simple.

[quote]BIG-GEORDIE wrote:
I dont do manual labor but i work a very physical job,i workout 4 days a week and i maintain my weight on 4000 calories a day,but its awesome because i get to eat lots of food and stay lean,today iam starting a bulk so i shall be eating around 4500 cals to start off with.If you’re not gaining weight,eat more,simple.[/quote]

word bro?

I work in a warehouse and according to the company info sheet I use when training new employees, an average worker will pick 30,000 lbs of product per 8 hour shift. I recently started to aim higher with my training and size and its becoming a chore to eat so much at work, I am running out of time to eat enough. But for now the scale and the lifts are both moving in the right direction.

Eat more
Train before work
Eat more

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pack a cooler with food, and put a big shake loaded with calories to keep up your energy without making you feel like a bloated pig. Something like 2 cups of milk, whey, a huge globe of peanut butter, and a banana should do the trick.

At my work we all sit on our fat ass’s growing multiple chins. Those who do not have multiple chins don’t really fit in.

[quote]Chris87 wrote:
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pack a cooler with food, and put a big shake loaded with calories to keep up your energy without making you feel like a bloated pig. Something like 2 cups of milk, whey, a huge globe of peanut butter, and a banana should do the trick.[/quote]

Personally, the milk would be what makes me feel like a bloated pig. For shakes I like - 2 cups almond milk, half cup heavy cream, 2 spoons oil, 2 spoons flax seed, 2 spoons pb, 2 scoops whey, banana, avocado. Pour that thick, creamy mixture into a Biotest nalgene jug, fill it the rest of the way with water. It should last ya all day.

I work manual labor but I’ve found it easy to workout in the morning with proper peri-workout nutrition, get a solid meal afterwards before I start chores, solid meal for lunch, massive supper when I get home followed by a bed time bowl of cereal and a shake.

I find that cooking a whole chicken over night + boiling some eggs makes for great lunch-bucket food. Toss a couple cups of rice in there too while you’re at it.

EDIT: Baked potatoes too. Eat them like your eating a piece of fruit. I’ve also become a big fan of rice crackers lately. If you get a mid-morning or mid-afternoon break these make a great snack along with some cheese. Yeah, eat the whole box. Only 100g of carbs in there anyways.