Balancing Bodybuilding And A Physical Job

One of the biggest obstacles that stop people from engaging in bodybuilding activities is the required commitment. You have to go to the gym a few times a week and your diet has to reflect your goals. How do you do that when you are working as a construction worker?


1.It’s going to be hard.

The body does not have an infinite ability to sustain physical stress. It’s like a battery – it can only do so much work before a recharge’s needed. When your whole day is full of serious physical work you are obviously not going to be able to train as frequently and as long as a teenager whose only responsibility is to be spoiled and stupid.

Combing physical work and training is hard because your recovery rate is irregular.

However this does not meant that you shouldn’t train. You can still make progress but you have to be sensible.

2.What’s your job? Where does it hurt?

There are all kinds of physical jobs ranging from a construction worker to walking courier. It’s crucial to determine which parts of your body will be affected the most during your work. Are you walking long distances? Or maybe you are using you arms more? The most used muscles and joints must be identified and proper exercises selection and schedule must be set.

For example, if you are working a job that tires your shoulders and arms a lot, you can schedule most of your upper body training in the beginning of the week.


The logic is that the week-end provides some recovery for that body part. Therefore you would be the strongest in the beginning of the week. If you were to do most of the work for that body part on Friday evening for example, you will probably feel weaker. This is not set in stone and varies from person to person.

3.Limit the workload and training volume.

The fastest way to over-train is to do lots of volume. When you are already exploiting your body the volume should be minimized to the lowest possible values you can get away with. Obviously, routines like Smolov should be avoided like a salesman trying to sell you the next best thing.

It will take trial and error, but c’est la vie…

4.Be careful with your lower back.

Without a doubt the lower back is one of the slowest muscle groups to recover. To make things even worse your spinal erectors are usually also the most frequently injured muscle during physical work. For that reason keep special attention to your lower back.

If your work involves lifting moderate weight frequently, make sure that you do it with perfect form. The fact that the weight is light does not mean that you can’t get injured when you lift with bad form. It happens even to the best. Lee Priest, who is a bodybuilder known for his arm development, has torn a bicep lifting a TV. Don’t underestimate light weights.

5.Focus on the basics. 

Like it’s already been said the body can only handle so much – the same way the day only has 24 hours, eventually the juice ends. Don’t spend your money on useless stuff and keep your focus sharp. Your routine should consist primarily of proven exercises. There’s no time for pointless T-Nation style workouts that promise to add a third ball to your nut sack in half a day. Leave that to the fools who have money to spend on garbage.

6.Do micro workouts when pressed for time.

Sometimes you won’t have time to go to the gym. This is when micro workouts may be useful. A ten minute workout is better than a zero minute workout. A lot can be done in ten minutes.

7.Take protein snacks when on duty.

Like a boss...

Like a boss…

Chances are you are not going to eat in a restaurant during your lunch break, if you are a construction worker. You are probably not even going to have one.  That’s why it’s recommended to take some protein snack  such as peanuts with you.

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