T Nation

physical jobs

Any of you work physical labour jobs or ever have? how do you fit working out into your schedules. Don’t say like anything else because working your ass off all day physically kind of limits working out. I might try doing stuff on the weekend as anything is better then nothing. My job is very hard physical labour in the mines so I do get a lot of work on the muscles anyways.

What I found to work best is,


Tue or Wed morning before work- Back/Bi’s/Shoulders.
It kinda sucks waking up at 4 am but it’s only once a week and it works WAY beter than trying to do it after work!

What are your working hours during the week? I work at a seafood company and it’s pretty hard physical work also. We buy tuna and ship them across the country and sometimes out of country. Tuna range from 40-180 pounds. You have to pick them up to about chest level and then box them up. I work from 7-5 and would still work out after. I don’t know how your hours are though. A physical job defintely limits your lifting intensity.

So what?

Still work out! Start light and progress as much as you can. your muscles will grow!

Arnold went to army at 18 (or so). He drove TANKS for 14 hours a day!!! Yet he work up at 5 am 1 hour before everyone else woke up and he
with his buddy went to garage to work out with hideen barbells and dumbells. After long day of exercisisng he would come back again and work out for an hour.

He could do it, why cant you?

When Arnold went into the military they gave him the special assignment of training all day and eating as much as he wanted. He was the posterboy of the Austrian military.

I’ve had a fairly physically demanding job for almost 30 years now as an electrician. For the past 15+ years I’ve tried various tactics to ameliorate fatigue and exhaustion so that I could get in my workouts.

So far what has worked best for me is the following…

(1) Make sure you’re sufficiently hydrated. This means ensuring you always have access to prenty of water. Bring your own to the job and keep it near. At the minimum a gallon during work.

(2) Make sure you have enough food. In my trade you don’t have much time during breaks to wolf something down. If you’re short on time to cook you have to plan your meals and prepack them for the week. What I do is cook a shitload during the weekend and put it in containers for use during the week when I’m way busier.

(3) Plan your supplementation program. What I did is write down what I wanted to take, how much and when. Then I packaged the doses in tinfoil or plastic baggies and thew them in my lunch box. I carried supplements that needed to be taken between meals in my pocket and set my alarm watch to notify me when to take them.

(4) Plan your workouts and keep a log. It’s easier to blow off a workout or conveniently forgo parts of it if you don’t have a plan.

(5) If you work out after work don’t go anywhere but straight to the gym. This helps avoid putting yourself in an environment that discourages you from working out (like sitting down to relax for just a few minutes on the couch in front of the TV ).

(6) Use something to jack you up before your workout. I do my cardio in the morning and hit the weights after work. Taking an EC stack a half hour before my afternoon workout went a long way toward pumping up my enthusiasm. I imagine Power Drive would help with this also. I plan on trying it. One Caveat: Be careful about using an EC stack late in the afternoon, it may cut into your sleep and you will need good sleep.

(7) Pack your gym clothes and gear ahead of time in your gymbag and bring it with you every day you work out.

(8) Concentrate on getting good sleep. This takes a little discipline (at least in my case). Admittedly, I still have a problem with this one.



Man I put 72hoods on F250’s an hour for 10.5 hours a day.I work at Fords pace not my own.I get up at 4am and don’t get to bed till aroud 10pm. I workout from 6pm till7:30pm mon,wen,thru I do it becuase I want it that damn bad.How bad do you want it?

It takes motivation and dedication. When I have to go in early and work a hard day, I come home and eat, then I take a nap. Sometimes a long one some times a short one. Just enough to get me refreshed, then I go to the gym. You could also go before work.

Thanks for the info, yes im still gonna work out when i can but if you ever have or ever will work in the mines youll know what im talking about. It aint construction or a heavy warehouse job. Its extremely dirty stinky and very hot, you have to wear a respirator and all kinds of other shit while busting ass. I don’t have an exact shift length as sometimes its 12 hours and sometimes its 8 depending on workload.

One other thing you might think about is cutting out bodyparts that already receive a lot of work. In my case, when I worked construction I just left arms out completely as I was using them all day long anyway. Concentrated on legs mostly, cut out a lot of back and shoulder work, did a lot of abs. Kept chest about the same. Don’t know how long you’re going to be in the mines, but if it’s only for a matter of a few months, this would seem to be a good idea. Of course, if this is going to be a career for you then years of this sort of training would probably lead to some terrible imbalances.

If ever a time for one of those abbreviated ‘high intensity’ routines, I think this would be it. I had a job unloading trucks one summer, and it was plenty of lifting, but I still felt a lot better doing extra weights. However, too much extra weights would make me sore for a week, or affect my ability to do my job. So I would do a twice a week routine of press, deadlift, chinups, row and/or squat. Maybe 10 sets twice a week.