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  1. #1
    Senior Member PhoenixIkki's Avatar
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    Construction Workers

    I see these construction workers that are very muscular, sometimes kind of fat but still very muscular. And most of them are like that, then I start to wonder how they manage to not overtrain working like that, carrying lots of weight all day for hours in a row. I don't think their meals are that much focused in protein also, and yet they manage to get very muscular from the job.

    Despite them been working like that for some years which sure helped, how they manage not to overtrain and to grow?

    It's not like they're huge but they damn sure are bigger than most people in my gym.
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  2. #2
    Cui Bono? EAE's Avatar
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    Their bodies are constantly presented with a higher level of stress and they adapt to handle it. Construction work is like getting paid to increase your GPP.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Njfreak's Avatar
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    I am one of those guys!

    Hey all,
    Well I have been a Union Laborer for a Brick and Block company for a little over 2 years straight and for the better part of 2 years before that.

    Basically my job consists of this...
    I have to make the cement for the bricklayers to lay the block and brick, which a bag of cement ranges in weight from 70 to 90 pounds a piece. Each mix takes 2 to 3 bags to make. The amount of mixes in a day is usually around 15, sometimes higher sometimes lower.

    So lifting one of these bags is basically like doing one rep of a barbell row. so lift to my stomach then stand up straight carry it as if I curled a barbell half way and hold it there for a couple steps them get the bag ontop of the mixer. which uses front delts.

    Beyond the cement making part I deal heavily with cinder blocks. A cube of block has 72 block in it so I spread them out over a section of where a wall will go up. This means carrying two block at a time(one in each hand) so like a 40 pound dumbell, then walking with them to where you pill them up for the bricklayers so it isn't that bad, but then comes the time when they get on top of the scaffolding, which usually sits 6' 6" high. Now I have to put the block ontop of that for the workers, so that is doing front raises, so they get pilled 4 high ontop of each other.

    Some other work also is shoveling which uses a lot of lower back, and using the wheel barrow for moving trash which is legs and traps and shoulders, your grip.

    I am not compaing this is my job I choose to do this only until I am out of school. but my gains come slowly, but they come, I just have to eat a lot, high calorie intake, high protein intake, lots of sleep, and I think about how to move everything at work so not to take muscles I don't have to.
    Most construction workers in my trade may not be huge but damn near are some of the stronges SOB I have ever met.

    Just sheading a little light on my job...
    my gains in a little over 4 years have gone from 130 at 5'10 to now 205 at 5'10" so yes we do adapt but have to alter our routines a bit.

    Njfreak
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  4. #4
    Senior Member PhoenixIkki's Avatar
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    Originally posted by EAE
    Their bodies are constantly presented with a higher level of stress and they adapt to handle it. Construction work is like getting paid to increase your GPP.
    Ok I understand that, but why when we bodybuilders get a higher lever of stress we overtrain and the construction workers doesn't? Shouldn't we adapt too? just wondering

    And Njfreak thanks for the inside on the job, it was interesting your comparison to the gym lifts.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Njfreak's Avatar
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    your welcome,

    I just figured it is the best way for someone who isn't a construction worker to best see what a day consists of.
    And myself I always think about lifting at work, so when I move something I think about that muscle working...

    Njfreak

    (on a side note, I have had my first real break from this kind of work...been on unemployment now for almost a month, and my size and strength have finally gone past what I considered my plateau!!! gotta love the winter..can't work makes for great gains because of all the added rest!)
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  6. #6
    Cui Bono? EAE's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PhoenixIkki
    Ok I understand that, but why when we bodybuilders get a higher lever of stress we overtrain and the construction workers doesn't? Shouldn't we adapt too? just wondering

    And Njfreak thanks for the inside on the job, it was interesting your comparison to the gym lifts.
    Well, typically our training is more infrequent, more brief, and more intense than construction work. The stress is just too infequent and too powerfull to get an adequate adaption in a small time frame.

    You can certainly alter your training to allow you to continually increase the amount of stress you can handle, but it takes some planning since obviously you don't adapt overnight, it takes time.
    Repeated cycles of building up stress to near overtained levels, then backing off for a bit. Not going to failure. Doing GPP work in addition to your normal routine. Active recovery workouts. More frequent workouts. A lot of things can be done. If you're interested in learning more about all this, you can read Matt Reynold's Training Theory, which is a great resource on learning the ins and outs of training and covers how to manage stress and plan out your training.
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