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Training With Heavy Labour Job?

Hey all,

I’m taking a break from PT’ing and going for a labour opportunity for the obscenely good overtime pay. The plan is to build up to 60 hours per week. I want to maintain my strength through this period.

I have a theoretical understanding of how to do this (maintain intensity, reduce volume, increase calories and sleep hours) but no personal experience with it. I’d appreciate any input from those who’ve been through similar experiences.

I’m thinking:

Day 1 & 4: Lower Body & Core
Day 2 & 5: Upper Body
Day 3,6,& 7: Off

Days 1-6: 10-to-12-hour shifts.

Lower Body & Core Day:

Deadlift & Front Squat 5x3

Dragon Flags 2x6-10
Weighted Hypers 2x6-10

Side Hypers/Crunches 2x6-10
Cable Twist 2x6-10

Upper Body:

Bench & Bent Row: 4x3
Military Press & Pullup: 4x3

Rear Delt & Side Flyes: 2x6-10
Arm Curls & Extensions: 2x6-10

Thanks in advance,


I’d cut out the upper body iso movements at this point. 60 hours a week is a shitload of work for a laborous job, I’d only keep compound movements to get the most bang for you buck in regards to volume and muscle preservation.

Also, you might want to check out Power Drive for increased CNS recovery.

I’m in the exact same boat. I’m doing a total body workout every other day during the workweek.

Train like an in season athlete.

I’d be doing 1 or 2 sessions a week.

Hit the big lifts only and forget the isolation exercises.

Monday: Squats, Romanian Deads, Bench Press
Thursday: Pullups, 1 Arm Rows, Abs
Maybe throw in overhead press as well.

It all depends on how intense the work is & your ability to recover.

Your first few weeks will be horrible. While your body is getting used to it, its going to be tough no matter how you do it. Once your body is used to the job you can work back up towards what you were doing before. Just make sure you are eating lots and getting sleep.

Last year I was able to keep up my training while doing close to 100 hour weeks of cribbing, which is one of the hardest construction jobs. After awhile your body adjusts to it, and it just becomes another day at work. But give your body the time to adjust to it, and you should be good to go.

A year and a half ago I was working 50+ hours a week doing home remodeling type stuff. It was fun but absurdly tiring. Some nights we’d be working past midnight.

I did a modified version of the Waterbury Method and made some good gains. I’d bring shakes and shit with me but there was still times I’d go without calories for 4-5+hours. If you’re interested I’ll post details.

Thanks all!

Much appreciated.

– ElbowStrike

IMO go full body and brief. when I was doing high steel, concrete, demo etc etc. I did three full body a weeek and Id get up at the ass crack (3AM) do it pre work. Hit it hard and fast get out. BIG compounds for the mot part.

I found this best as if I did say a leg day and really killed one part and had very bad DOMS then it really effected work. You can still hit it hard. but just ease into it youll build a hell of a tolerance.



Hey Elbow Strike, you beat me to this question.

I agree, you have to get up as early as necessary to get this done before work. I did some construction for a while and tried to keep up training and I can tell you it’s just not going to happen after work.

Also, 5x3 is still too much volume. You body is going to struggle to adjust to the new work load for the first few weeks so you want to start with a bare minimum, just enough to maintain.

I’d train 3 days a week and pick 2 movements for each day, and alternate between heavy and light days. Say Squats and Chinups Monday, Bench and Romanian deadlifts Wednesday, and back to Squats and Chins on Friday. 3x3 on Heavy day, and 2x10 on light day. After a month you can add more volume and exercises and see how this affects your progress.

Also, you have to get up at the same time every morning, whether you are training that day or not.

I would do either of these programmes:

  1. Training Economy
    How to Maximize Efficiency in the Gym


  1. Westside II

All by Joe Defranco.

What Phil and Andrew Dixon (can’t believe I’m saying that!) said.

Buy some BCAAs. Keep them in your lunch box and pop them like candy.

Also, keep this in mind: If you show up to work all sore, you’re more likely to get injured on the job. So take it easy in the gym and remember you have to get up for work the next morning.

I’d give your body 2 weeks at least to get accustomed to the work load, and then I would ease in training again gradually.

Also, why not train in the weekend? You don’t work in the weekend, do you?

If its just strength your concerned about just do full body twice a week with only 1 set per exercise.