I used to be really into natural bodybuilding during my university days. My timetable was fairly light so I was able to choose my training time and was also fairly active outdoors. I now work as a software engineer full time which has me seated for about 8 hours. I am also finding it hard to get a good training session after work due to mental fatigue. I am really not a morning person so training before work wont help. I am finding that even though I am training regularly and eating alright my phisique and strengh are deteriorating. As a working professional is there no hope for me in bodybuilding?
I would love to hear from others who train and have very inactive jobs.
"Training regularly and eating alright"
And if you can't get up for training, maybe it's just not for you.
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Stats: Age: 33 Weight: 215 Height: 5'6"
Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:520 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220
Lift before work.
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I often feel the same way when I get into the gym; mind numb, no energy, and feeling tight. I start with something fast and light like squat jumps or light snatches. That usually gets me woken up and ready to lift.
+1 what Joey said.
Also, how does having an inactive job HURT you in bodybuilding exactly? I am a software dev working for a startup company and I think it is hugely beneficial if you are a bodybuilder. Bodybuilding is not about having mental energy for the gym. It is about being consistent 24/7 with your plan and having a job that allows you to eat at your desk is the perfect job for BBing. Imagine being a construction worker and trying to bring your 3 or 4 prepared meals to the job site and trying to find time to eat them. Having a job like yours makes it really convenient....
Your physique isn't deteriorating because of your job...you are either just being lazy or you have body dysmorphia. Everyone is mentally tired after work and doesn't feel like doing shit. Just fucking do it. Buy a preworkout if that helps.
Many pro BBers have very active jobs yet still find a way to stay consistent with their nutrition and training. That is why they are pros.
Also, in this day and age, you should feel blessed for finding a job that only requires you to work 8 or 9 hours and pays well.
Last edited by FearFactory; 08-01-2012 at 07:45 AM.
Ultimately, taking a break every hour to move around is huge for bloodflow. Also, I begin every workout with 15 minutes of mobility work and foam rolling. To me and long term progress, that 15 minutes is more important than the last 15 minutes of the workout. Make it a priority. If you sit all day like I do manytimes, thoracic extension and hip/glute/hamstring activation are crucial as well as retraction of the shoulders. Ensure all of those are up to speed or you're going to see injuries down the line.
I'd also ensure you are eating well, stretching at night, doing a little mobility before work (take a walk or something light), and having well-defined goals and a plan. I compete, so every training session builds towards that, no matter how tired I am or how much I want to skip. I also have a plan written out so I know whether I am on track.
Along the lines of what FearFactory said, consistency is king.
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I think it's the mental part that is the hardest. Some days, my body is 100% and I'm ready to lift, but mentally, I'm just not there after a long day of work using my brainpower. Lingering headache and all, really makes it tough.
I find eating something flavorful really helps (yeah, it's really weird, but for whatever reason, it's effective). I'll chew 4 or 5 sticks of gum 30 minutes prior to lifting. I know it sounds weird, but it helps me perk-up a bit. Then, shut off the brain and lift heavy.
6'1"/203 (down 12 pounds since 5/2012)
2-mile run: 13:23
I'm at a seated job 5 days a week (40 hours) then at night I am on my feet working 3 night a week (20-30 hours). Its been tough for me bc I am adjusting but I get into the gym usually in the mornings. The thing is, you need to create good habits, and I found tweaking my diet helps a lot.
For me, the extra work plus not sufficient quality calories was wearing me out too much, so I adjusted my diet and set myself to get to the gym in the mornings between 500am and 530am. You just gotta do it, it gets easier. Also I talked to my fiancee and she is cool with letting me sleep at night some times so I can recuperate enough to keep lifting and working.
400(335) Bench Press
600(520x3 2xBW) Dead Lift
500(495x1) ATG Squat
365 Front Squat
consistency and intensity.
If it means enough to you, you will find a way to make it work.
On a similar note to what Fear Factory said, from my experience when it comes to training, a desk job is a blessing (when compared with a manual labour job).
Last edited by tom183; 08-01-2012 at 05:57 PM.
6'2 - 105kg (231lb) - 14%bf
B: 137.5kg (303lb)
S: 172.5kg (380lb)
D: 227.5kg (502lb)
Working in an office can be good since you can bring meals with you and in most cases can eat regularly (I keep food at my desk and snack all day long). You also may want to evaluate your office chair to make sure that it is as ergonomic as possible.
Lol Tom I would say that "fairly good progress" is an understatement.
Andrew mcfuckstain should take a lesson from your posts.
Thats for the tips everyone. I will try working out in the mornings at 6am and see if I am awake enough to get a good workout. I find that when I am bulking and training at night after work it is managable because I get a lot of energy from the calorie surplus. Cutting is a whole different story though. When my body is tired from a calorie deficit AND my brain is mush and I am mentally fatigued from programming for 8 hours my training sessions are pathetic. Ill also look around for a decent preworkout supplement to give me a kick.
How does training first thing in the morning impact the dieting side of things? Should I combine what previously was my breakfast with my preworkout meal or should I just have breakfast or just have the preworkout and throw in an extra meal later in the day?
One of my friends chose a Finance major in college so he would have a sit-down job so he could save all his effort for the gym.
"There is no reason to be alive if you can't do deadlift!"
- Jón Páll Sigmarsson, World's Strongest Man Champion (1984, 1986, 1988, 1990)
Gym / Competition Lifts - all unequipped
435lbs / 413.3lbs
325lbs / 286.6lbs
565lbs / 551.1lbs
Federations Lifted In: PRIDE Powerlifting (now defunct), AAPF/AWPC, USAPL, WABDL
It's pretty simple. If you have snacks regularly your bound to gain muscle. Don't think that your muscles are cannibalizing themselves by doing nothing during the day.
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i go on lunch during the week and saturday sunday are my heavy days so I can be well rested.
H: 5'7" W:185
Goals: 495 -315 -585
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A desk job definitely is good for eating, but it also promotes eating due to boredom.
A desk job is good for recovery in-theory, but if you're like me you get stuck in the chair for hours at-a-time, which just promotes everything tightening up. Like B&T said, you have to get up and move regularly. Sitting will turn the posterior chain into mush if you arent proactive about mobility and direct work. I raised my desk and got a drafting chair a couple years ago, so now I stand at least 6 hours out of 8. It's made a huge difference.
I also have trouble training in the evenings, so I BECAME a morning person. Had no other choice. Now, I love it. 5:15am up, 35 miles drive, training at 7:00.
I train semi-exhausted... after a ~13 hr shift desk-job on nights and train into my would-be bedtime... I have few other options so I just tough it out.
Last edited by NITF; 08-06-2012 at 06:41 AM.
I'm seated 9-10 hours per day. I think I've made reasonable progress (at least my weights have been consistently trending upward).
I really hear you on the mentally fatigued subject. There are days when I get home and just want to "lay down for a bit". And, I do. But, then I get up, head downstairs, put on some "angry music", and get to it.
For me, lifting has become therapeutic. After all of the stresses of the day, it's nice to push something around (something that won't write a snide e-mail 30 minutes later). That and I find solace in the fact that I can sit in the board room the following day, knowing that I am doing what no one else at the table has the willpower to do.
I'll echo what's already been said... It is entirely up to you to make it happen.
So I tried training in the mornings but I just dont think it is for me. I am not awake enough to psyche myself up. Also, i tend to sweat for hours after my workouts so combine that with wearing a suit and its not a good combo. I may try again later on. I have made some adjustments though which are helping. I am now taking a caffein based preworkout supplement, taking a tablespoon of olive oil just before training and decided to swap my crappy apple headphones for my closed sennheiser hd-25 cans.
I think the three of those combined help out a lot. Ladt night on the way home i fell asleep on the train and was totally mentally drained from work. I though there was no way I could go to the gym. Ended up taking my stuff (mentioned above) and had a great leg workout
Another question related to this topic but probably a really stupid one. I know that getting enough sleep is very important for recovery, however if I do not get enough sleep by an hour or two, does the seated nature of my job offset some of this and help with the recovery?
weird. put 8 hoursd in at a steel foundry and tell me that's better for you than resting all day. get a coffee before you got o the gym