Manual Labour Job Killing My Gains!

So I’ve been working a hard manual labour job for about 8 months now and for the first 5-6 months were manageable in terms being able to achieve progressive overload in the gym because the job wasn’t quite as difficult around that time due to staff levels being slightly higher.
However for the last 2 months or so a few people have quit, non of whom have been replaced meaning that everyone has more work to do and it is completely draining me of my strength and motivation. Achieving progressive overload has been impossible and I’ve actually been losing strength. For example 3 weeks ago i was benching 100kg/225lb for 3x4 no problem and now I’m benching 100kg/225lb for 3x1 (all my lifts have suffered in the same way).
In a normal week i work five 8 hour shifts and I have to go to the gym straight after because i don’t drive yet (so i don’t have time to go home then go back to the gym).
About 2/3 weeks ago I had some time off work and I was hitting 1-3 PRs every workout so it’s incredibly frustrating that i cant when i have work.

Does anyone have any suggestions to fix this???

Things I’ve tried so far:

  1. I’ve upped my caloric intake and I am well over my caloric maintenance so my food intake isnt a problem.
  2. I eat as much as i can when I’m at work on break but this is fairly difficult because I’m a painfully slow eater. I usually have something like a lucozade and water that i drink throughout the shifts as well.
  3. I’m a preworkout addict (currently using Centurion Labz Rage DMAA version) and no amount of preworkout is helping me achieve progressive overload.
  4. Sleeping longer. I always get AT LEAST 7 and a half hours sleep.

Is it time i started looking for another job?

I have thought about going to the gym before work however it’s the last thing I want to do as it would be extremely difficult to make it fit my schedule and it would then probably mess up my performance at work.

Give yourself some time to adjust to the hugher workload.

It also sounds like you just started lifting, so it may not be the work that’s causing you not to hit 2-3 PRs per session but just the natural way things progress.

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Nah I’ve been lifting for 2.5 years however for the first just over 1 year I had a 100 year old mans testosterone levels so made very poor progress. I’m on TRT now tho obviously.

What field of work do you do?

What kind of foods are you eating?

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Eat more. Work harder in the gym. Sometimes it isn’t easy to get progress.

Changing a job because of your precious gym is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.


I second this.

I don’t have a manual labor job, but I’m continuously standing and walking back and forth at my job, and even focusing really hard during my studies at school will demand energy in the form of extra food.

Idk if you’re allowed to whip out snacks while you’re on the clock, but if you can manage eating a couple more snacks or meals during your day it’ll help.

Can you bump up your TRT? eg if on 125mg/wk, do a mini cycle 12 weeks at 250mg/wk, then back to regular TRT.

Most guys I know that train seriously and work manual jobs are young, or are on gear.

Weird set of guys you know.


Forget this crap, really bad for you over the long term, not to mention burn out your adrenals. Take once a fortnight max if reeealy need a kick. Replace with caffeine pill/strong cup of coffee etc. Can look into Biotest Spike products also as a cleaner alternative.

Saying that, really load up on peri-workout on nutrition based workout supps Surge workout fuel, or karbolyn and essential amino type products

Forget about constant workout PRs and try a program off this site where you stay within yourself so to speak. This very good…


Lol. Not as weird as you first think. I’m pushing 50 and most of the guys I know don’t train at all because they don’t have the time due to work and family, or if the they do aren’t real serious, or consistent. Out of those that are around the same age, most don’t do manual work anymore. If they weren’t already white collar, professionals, the one’s that worked manual jobs might be in the same industry but are in managerial positions, or work machinery and aren’t doing their backs in.
I know only one guy that works a manual labour job, who is my age, and stays fit and who is not on gear. He is a concreter, still pushing around heavy barrows of concrete around, all day or bent over screeding concrete flat and smooth. He is an ex pro footballer, he trains every other day, weights and or bodyweight stuff like dips, chins, pushups etc. He doesn’t take PED’s, has an impressive physique for a natty. He also says a lot of guys in his industry that are also into training hard, bodybuilding, crossfit, powerlifting are on PED’s, or at least TRT.

Fair enough. Guess it’s a bit different down under.

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Different here in the uk too.

Seems it’s just Americans that have trt as the answer to everything


Are you really surprised? You should hear the ads these days. It’s everywhere. We don’t like to work through anything here. Take a pill, or in this case, inject something. We’re an odd bunch. Well, not odd, just lazy AF and lack accountability. I mean, it’s absolutely impossible that anything could be my fault. It must be my genetics so I need a drug.

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Bro, you sound pretty pissed off about it all. You should get on TRT - it’ll totally fix that.

And if you’re still pissed off just keep upping the dose until you’re not. That’s totally how it works.


I’m floored at the number of young guys that assume they have low T. Not to mention those that do don’t ever seem to address the cause.


Yeah it’s getting a little silly now. All guys ever want to talk about is their T levels. Never diet, never sleep…


Yeah in my opinion …if your under the age of 40 and especially if someone is in their 20s those two are major factors.

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Only if a new job will have more benefits and money.


I once went on TRT and accidentally got into contest shape.