We do a lot of work with guys in the trades or mines, and heaps of FIFO guys. The good news? You guys are the BEST responders bar none. Most of our testimonials are guys in the trade, and all our coaches love blokes in the trades.
Your number one advantage, you know how to get sh*t done. With all due respect to some of our other clients, it's hard to get them to work in the gym. We never have this issue with guys in the trade.
Here are 5 tips we give to everyone that will help heaps:
Fix number one: Get Sleepy
Almost every person we work with doesn't get enough sleep, because of interrupted sleep patterns and changes to sleeping hours.
As much as possible, you need to get 8 hours of sleep. That is hard if you go to bed late one night, early the next, coffee late on day, pre-workouts the day after.
What to Do: Sleep
Work out what time you need to get to bed for 8 hours. From that bedtime:
Two hours before you hit the sack, go heavy on carbs. You are going to burn them off the next day. This counts for everyone except those gaining too much fat. Rice is the best to get a stack of carbs in, but I personally love tater tots. Don't stress protein or fat too much in the last meal of the day, but get a big plate of rice or potatoes in you.
One hour before, get your supplements in. GABA, 5HTP and Theanine. Start with the recommended dose, don't be afraid to take more. When you hit the sack, you should feel really relaxed, and free from stress.
If you have a misso, try to get one across the line during this hour. Do not go to bed at your 'sleep' time and try to give her a 'back massage'. If you are a single man, handle yourself during this time, we all know it makes you more sleepy.
Thirty minutes out, dim lights, no tv, no internet, no facebook. A BIG help for lots of guys is to listen to a podcast. Joe Rogan Experience is amazing, as are all the connected comedian podcasts. Listen to something light-hearted, in a cool dark room.
If you are getting a legit 8 hours, and still waking up tired, move it to 9 hours for a month or two. You might have some sleep to catch up on.
If you are working away and grinding out 14 hour days, you are going to struggle to get 8 after you eat and get to bed. If this is you, try one of those sleep apps on your phone, and pay off as much debt as you can when you fly back in (or get days off).
It's not as good as consistent sleep, but if that's what you have, its what you have. Catching up one or two hours a day helps your overall average. Naps are good too.
If you are in a situation where you just can't get your average up, your eating needs to be as perfect as possible, and as much as possible, the most reduced stress you can put yourself in.
Fix number two: Think about recovery
If you are doing labour all day, you might already be doing near enough to create muscle, and you might have to do a small amount extra at the gym.
This is where coaching helps, we figure out two things:
1. maximum recoverable volume and
2. minimum required volume to grow
What to do: The more energy you burn in the gym the less likely you are to grow. Basically, if you feel lethargic all day, you have no sex drive and generally feel listless, have your training volume. Cut it in half.
Tradies tend to use 'normal' people programs and beat the crap out of themselves. Send me a message on FB and I'll give you 7 days access to the School of Gains. Jump on the MASS program, but
1. don't superset
2. cut the sets in half
3. do 6 reps instead of 15
4. if you are on the skinny side, try having dextrose while you are training
If you are FIFO and getting heaps of rest, you might need to have two programs. At home and away.
You should finish your workout feeling tired but good. You should not feel dead. If you need pre-workouts just to get work done, you need to rest more. I know it feels like progress, but you will actually go backward.
If you get to a stage where you are feeling rested and good, you can start adding volume again. Almost everyone we've worked with did less and felt better.
Fix number three: Make water easier
Right now, you will be hot as hell out there. We recommend 70ml per kg, which we know is hard when you are on site.
So, the water you drink, make it more efficient. Lots of people like those electrolyte tabs that you put in the bottle (like berocca). They make the water taste better, and it's more likely to keep you hydrated. If you don't mind the taste, you can add Himalayan salt for the same effect.
Other tips are to freeze a couple of 1L bottles so water is cold out there. Skull water when you can (as you might not get a chance later).
The biggest tip, when you get up in the morning, place three glasses of water on the table, and chug em down. Start the day hydrated. Do the same thing when you get home from work. Do the same thing when you get back from gym. Once you get used to it, that's 9 glasses a day, and you are ahead of schedule. Consider it training for the next boat race you are in. Honestly, leave three glasses on the table for this reason.
Your goal should be, your last pee of the day should still be pretty clear. If you go to bed and your p*ss stinks, you are going to be waking up in a super bad condition.
Fix Number four- Hit macros
We know its super hard to eat on site, so you are going to have to be creative. Your number one macro to hit is protein. 3g per kg because you are working all day is the goal.
You are probably going to need to use protein powder to do that, but that's fine. Other than that, if you want to gain, you are going to need to pack food. We have guys that cook up chicken breasts, slice em up, then freeze them. As they thaw out during the day, they eat them (yes, this is safe).
Lots of protein bars are really crappy, so don't rely on those too much.
A good choice is to bring a protein shake with dextrose inside it while you train. It doesn't bother most people, and you can keep adding water to it. Get a good quality protein powder, and do a double up on scoops, and sip through the workout.
When you do eat, if you can, make sure it has protein. For the other macros, the big carb backload at the end of the day should help too.
Fix Number Five - Quit pre-workouts
Honestly, the thing that people fight us on the most, but eventually agree. There is so much crap in preworkouts. Here are some ideas to ween yourself off
1. try a short black
2. try a no-doze
Both of those are interim ideas while you break the 'addiction'. Once we get you rested, we tend to focus on the supplements for focus. There are lots of choices here, so if you want a breakdown on what's best, send me a message on facey.
Hope this help! these tips should be able to change your gains!
If you want to go through ANYTHING on here, I'm always happy to have a chat. Lots of the time, I'll know the answer off the top of my head. I try to do calls every day to make sure I'm on top of issues people are having.
If you want to have a chat, on the form below in the 'ask me anything' fields say 'I'm a tradie, pass this on to James, my number is ___ and my issue is ____'. I'll get them to forward me those messages.
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