T Nation

Physical Job Plus Lifting


Hey everyone, I'll try to be brief.

-Went from 180 to 230 this year.

-Training: modified 5/3/1 where I do deads and bench on Monday then do my assistance work on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

-Diet: lots and lots (can be posted if necessary).

Okay so this summer I'll be working a very physical job (7-3:30 all day in the sun) and I'd like to gain another twenty pounds. I'm already eating until I'm full and often until I'm not comfortable. Any tips on how to eat more/bump up calories efficiently would be really appreciated.

Also recovery will be more of an issue because of the constant physical aspect of my job. Any tips on better recovery, tricks that anyone uses. If anyone works a physical job your input would be highly appreciated.


1.Buy a bodybugg (keeps track of caloric expenditure based on your activity level) http://www.bodybugg.com/
2.Wear it
3.Eat 500 over what it says


Dont waste money on a bodybugg. Ever.

You have what you eat now, and youre eating to a point where you are full. Well, one way to boost your numbers is by adding in more fats. Fats are 9cal/g, while carbs/pro are only 4cal/g. A serving of PB/Olive oil is almost 200 cal itself. Adding a spoon of OO into a shake or PB on a piece of bread to a meal several times a day adds up real quick, and isnt expensive.

On top of that, the stomach is expandable. You eat til you are full now? Well, time to push the envelope. Add in protein shakes at the end of meals. Almonds?

And these are all healthy, easy sources. Hell, you can take the more direct route and down some shit not that great for you, but spank the healthy options in calories. Hamburgers, KFC, etc. Pair it w/ 1 scoop of whey, and you're guaranteeing 1K+ meals with atleast 50g of protein/carbs.


Have you ever seen jacked labor worker? They are in horrible shape.

In my experience, physical job greatly affect lifting in a bad way. 7h to 15h30 maybe isn't that bad but your gain this summer will definitely be deceiving. Not only you are drained after your day but the sun hitting your head all day makes you weak. Repetitive work hurts your joints.

Personally when I spent all day doing physical labor I don't feel like doing something physical after (going to the gym)

Also you are probably pretty soft right now. I would focus on strenght instead of getting the number 250. Don't flame me for it though.


Care to elaborate on your first point?


Bodybugg = waste of money. bam, elaborated.


What are you basing this on?


He probably based it on the fact that it's a waste of money. I could be wrong though.


That's fine if you want to be linguistically difficult. I have one, I rather enjoy it. There's a whole forum of people that also have the BB device themselves and seem to really like it, come to your own conclusion.


I have a physical job working in a steel factory, and it's usually way hotter than I'd prefer. When I'm only getting 6 or 7 hours of sleep I get run down pretty quick but when I get 8 or 9 I usually can keep myself motivated to force feed and am not completly dead by the time I start lifting around 6 at night. I also work 7 - 3:30. So if your getting the sleep you need it will help alot.


Its simply unnecessary....Ipso facto, waste of money. One doesnt NEED one.

Tracks calories burned? A pedometer? Really? Just use logic. Eat. Weigh yourself. You didnt change? Eat more. BOOM, simple. No need to throw a couple hundred dollars into the fire.


That and he's already doing physical labor. Maybe if you're desktop bound, but even then ...

Seriously Akuma, you need to make this sound a little more complicated. Is there a device I can get to remind me to eat?


I work(ed) in a physical job and I would listen to Akuma's advice - also just a couple more notes, not that I'm an expert or anything (but this helped me):

  • drink heaps of water - dehydration is a killer

  • utilize carbs (if you can handle having them)

  • prepare meals the night before / plan ahead

  • if budget allows utilize supps such as BCAA, EAA's etc.

  • get plenty of protein

  • if possible train on weekends instead, giving you more time to rest during the week.

  • Sleep, lot's of it. Even have a nap now and then when you can - makes a difference

Congrats on your gains so far


Yeah not gonna throw away $200 on that thing.

Thanks for the input guys, couple of questions

-Do you think drinking some BCAA's during the day would be beneficial?

-Should I reduce workout volume?

-ANACONDA Protocol? Or some sort of homemade version?

Will definitely be eating a lot more pizza. I usually eat a whole one after every workout (friend works at a pizza place and I get a large pizza for $5 so awesome)

Currently I'm at 4 tbs of olive oil, so I'll bump that to 8 just to be safe :slight_smile:


OP, my biggest recommendation is to utilize shakes. Buy a cooler. Nothing crazy, just a $10 piece of shit from Walmart or something, it doesn't matter.

Put whatever you (need) want into the shakes, and then drink them to supplement your meals.

It's probably that simple.


  1. Only time i use added BCAAs is if i do Morning cardio, prior to eating.
  2. No, dont use work as an excuse to cut out on workouts.
  3. Anaconda proto would be a better use of money. Maybe you arent quite ready for the full protocol though. Id say you could get by with adding Finibars to your regiment tho. 3 of those is almost an extra 900 cal.


+1 for these 3 advices. The other ones arent bad but this make a difference IME.


Quick question what is your current level of body fat at right now, if you had to guess?


Nik and Akuma, all homo, throw on the posing trunks and posedown boys. Battle like men.


I bring bottles of protein shakes. They are expensive, but they allow you to sneak away and throw one back as needed and your boss is none the wiser. I bring a cooler of food everyday so I don't need to worry about where to stop for lunch. Once your body gets used to the workload, going to the gym won't feel like such a burden, but the first week will be difficult. I work for a living and many of my coworkers are successful bodybuilders and athletes.

One huge advantage I see from working is that you get much tougher. and you work out muscles you would never think to exercise. Guys who work in an office can get soft from sitting all day.

Oh and caffeine. Lots of caffeine. Morning and afternoon.