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Working 12+Hours/6 Days Per Week, Help Figuring Out How to Continue Lifting

Alright so I started working in a distribution center last Wednesday 9/30 in Receive…basically we are unloading inventory anywhere from 20lbs-300lbs+ using a dolly from 6:30am-finish…which is sometime 6-8pm…Monday-Saturday right now. I feel exhausted after work to go to the gym and therefore haven’t found a schedule that fits because pre-workout stimulant usually lasts 4 hours so sleep now has to be considered as well.

Honesly its a job and if I could work somehwere else right now that isn’t physically demanding somewhat…I would just so I could feel fresh to the gym but I have to deal with this right now…At other warehouses Id go to gym before work so I guess thats what I’ll have to do?

Can anyone chime in because I need to figure it out asap lifting I feel like I’m not making progress if lifting 1-2 fully body workouts per week vs the usual 3…

If this type of work is new, give your body time to adjust, it will.

Take your ore workout an hour before you get off work if it lasts that long and you’re not willing to stop taking it.

Try a stimulant free pre workout.

Best progress I’ve ever made gym wise was last year, worked around 1,000 hours of overtime I believe as well. Just do it mane.

Eat more of the new physical job is a new physical stress

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Its not new I’ve been in warehouse enviroment 2 years or so…its the 12+hour shifts daily combined with unloading trucks using dolly all day that I’m not use to

Give it time man. You’ll adjust. The human body seems to be a real bitch to kill unless there’s not enough quality food fueling all your activities

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So what are you saying…to lift after work or before work? And that basically my body will adjust to both at the same time?

If possible lift before work.

2 full body sessions with at least 6 hard sets weekly per muscle group is enough to continue making progress.

Good thing about that is that stimulant pre-workout wont interfere with sleep. Do you lift before work?

:man_shrugging: I don’t like morning sessions but plenty of people love them

I worked night shift (7pm-7am) for a few years. Lift before work, ESPECIALLY on any day that involves spinal loading. Your legs and back will be shot by the morning, and then after a drive they’ll be weak. Do your lifting beforehand if you can.
Also, try to eat as little as possible overnight.
Get blackout curtains for your room.


I work 6:30am-finish…which is 6-8pm
So even for morning shift I should workout before?

Another approach is doing a one-lift-a-day program (OLAD.) Something like bench, rows, squats, OHP or incline bench, pullups, deadlifts, off would keep the muscles working without being too mentally or emotionally draining while you adjust to the long hours.

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As mentioned above:

Give your body a few weeks to adjust.

Train before work if possible and the preworkout will carry you for a the first hour of your shift. You’ll be exhausted enough to sleep well.

Good time to eat more considering you’ll be burning more calories from working. Maybe not mega bulk but at least a decent surplus. If u feel better eating more than do so.

Training wise you can make great gains from 1-2 full body workouts a week. Bang for your buck is what you are after so some things u may wanna consider are super sets with big heavy compounds. You won’t need many sets this way to get a good stimulus. If you time ur rests and keep yourself honest itll be pretty intense. e.g. for one day:

Flat Bench/Barbell Row superset (take the bar right off the bench and row it): 3x8 @ RPE 6 week 1 and progress to RPE 9 week 4 (start moderate difficulty a few in the tank and progress to close to or actual failure over a block). Can add sets or reps depending on how you are recovering and progressing

Squat/Deadlift superset (probably don’t go to crazy on this because you’ll die) 3x6 @ same deal as above maybe leave an extra rep or two in the tank. Near failure squats and deads is pretty fatiguing.

So that’s it in principle but u can mix it up to suit u. Like maybe Row/Squat to start one sesh and
Bench/Deadlift the next. You can use other movements or machines if that floats ur boat as long as you cover all the big movement patterns over the week you’ll train most every muscle in your body. Isolation work less useful in this scenario but hey is ur time.

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I just wanna say I feel for you, dude, and I REALLY admire your dedication to working out. When i had to work the same amount of hours in a non-physical job(just involved lots of travelling) I just stopped lifting completely.

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Whoops! Misread it, thought you ENDED at 630 am.

I second this and jjst to add, if it is just temporary, you don’t have to make progress all the time. Just do 2 whole body workouts/week with high intensity and you will be fine. Take sunday and another day before work

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Everyone on my team is talking crap about how I look like I have muscle but have bad technique putting the crap on dollys…etc. Basically in these jobs they have high expectations if someone looks big…whether its muscle, fat, both, etc. Funny thing is these guys don’t lift or go to gym, brag about how they can do physical labor in warehouse easily and many hours per week, and even lie that I don’t look like I lift…when talking other days about the opposite.

Sad thing is I didn’t really start it or put it out there that I lift or have a degree and looking for position different…they just find a way to hate…maybe to encourage and at same time just hate idk lol.

They’re right though they do make it look easy but someone who lifts out of job can get sore right? Won’t it effect output capacity a little? Most people think if one is use to lifting in gym, warehouse job should be easy and they’re best on team

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It’s normal. I live on the other side of the world and similar shit happened to me when i did a physical labour job. Then in the professional world(probably only here and less in the West), people used to think you’re stupid if you’re too big lol.

Some of that is just ball busting on the new guy. It happens just about everywhere. Some of it is also pride in being capable. I’m sure these guys have seen their share of big guys who try to shove stuff around using only strength who end up quitting, broken and demoralized.

On conditioning: It just takes time. Being bigger/stronger is great for bigger/stronger stuff, but technique and work capacity is most important for long duration repetitive tasks.

Yeah you’re right…what made me mad is that I didn’t go out my way to look like some macho big dude…and guys have the audacity to think I’m not this or that cause something unrelated sort of haha …anyways yup ball busting

Dr. Darden’s 303030 and/or John Little’s Max Pyramid can be done once a week or less, and all you need is three exercises. That is 270 seconds under load per week. You will then go to two exercises per week after about four months. This is based upon my continuous success and progress; my three exercises are 1) Leg Press, 2) Pulldown, 3) Chest Press. Note that these are all compound exercises. Max Pyramid may be the best exercise to assure ZERO performance (aka out-roading), but most larger folks will eventually exceed weight stack limits then requiring 303030.

A Max Pyramid and 303030 with the proper weight is the toughest exercise one will ever experience … but also the easiest to execute