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wow. physical labor jobs kill your cycling hobby

Old 12-08-07, 07:33 AM
  #1  
feethanddooth
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wow. physical labor jobs kill your cycling hobby

started a new job 2 weeks ago with the county public works department. before then i was riding 75-150 miles a week depending on weather mostly. since starting i have ridden 0 miles. ive dropped weight so im not very worried about getting too out of shape. but i now with out working my legs they will, and already have, start losing strength.

anyone here work in a physical labor job and still put in their normal miles? whats your plan? how do you get around the exhaustion?
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Old 12-08-07, 08:23 AM
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StephenH
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If you do physical work all day, then at the end of the day, you just want to sit in an easy chair.

If you sit at a desk all day, then at the end of the day, you want to get out and do something.

I don't know that there's a good cure for it.

One thing that is not obvious is that "getting tired" is not the same thing as "keeping fit". You can be on your feet all day and be tired at the end of the day with very little exercise. Or you can work certain muscular groupls without really getting your heart rate up.
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Old 12-08-07, 08:49 AM
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I've had jobs that had a good bit of physical labor in them. During those periods I persisted with the bike even though I often didn't feel like it. I had very good seasons. It's kind of taking it to another level. You have to get used to it. Start with just a bit of riding after work, and gradually increase it. Try to be consistent. You'll probably find that your legs are sore at work at first, but you'll either get used to that, or it will pass, depending on your age. You'll find that resuming your biking will energize you, not drain you. You'll also find that even though you felt tired when you started, once on the bike and warmed up, you're fine.
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Old 12-08-07, 06:37 PM
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I worked on a farm 6 days a week for a couple years. I found that once my body got used to it I was able to do things on top of the physical job. I think however what is key is your body getting used to the labor first. I would start doing short rides on your days off at least as soon as possilbe and then work in some days you have work. Eventually you will adjust.
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Old 12-09-07, 01:11 AM
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I worked a physical job (mainly upper body - heavy, repetitive lifting) for a year and a half recently ... I quit last April after a bicycle accident killed my shoulder and I couldn't lift anymore. You do adjust to it, but I'd do things like commuting to and from work by bicycle, and/or going for short rides on the days when I didn't work.
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Old 12-09-07, 02:45 AM
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Just over a year ago I made a career change and am now apprenticing as a machinist in a shop that deals primarily in building and rebuilding parts and equipment for the energy sector. We handle some large parts that get put together into even larger parts and nothing here is as easy as working on bike in the shop I volunteer at.

As an apprentice I get every crappy job that comes down the pipe and the work is about as physically intense as anything I have ever done save for landscaping and it is a job that is typically done by people much younger and larger than myself... I often joke that I am the shop muscle and should point out I hit the floor at 142 pounds. Most of the pieces I work with weigh much more than I do.

Prior to this I worked as a Rehabilitation Practitioner and drove a desk and my bike.

As a Rehabilitation Practitioner I worked in outreach and would see clients in the community... it was pretty common for me to ride 60 km a day in the course of making calls and most evenings I would go and ride 25-30 km in the river valley to unwind. On some days I would work a split shift and go mountain biking in the afternoon as we have an excellent trail system in our city and ride the trails with my friends on the weekends.

As a machinist I now have a commute of 30 km a day and would say that up until the cold weather hit I was still riding a good deal and averaging close to 50 km a day, every day. On some days in the summer I would get up early and go ride some single-track before work.

I think it's a matter of adjustment to a higher workload and with that you have to make sure your caloric needs are met and that you stay properly hydrated... I don't think I have been in this kind of shape since my twenties when I was riding 60-70 km a day and teaching martial arts.

I already had the legs for the work I'm doing and have really increased my upper body strength... my level of physical activity warrants a diet that sees me eating 4000-5000 calories a day just to maintain my weight and I always have water at hand.

And at 42 I am also one of the oldest apprentices our shop has ever had.

I am almost never too tired to ride my bike and besides commuting I also live a car free life so all my errands and social activities (much of those are cycling related) require that I ride.

I have had numerous days where my combined urban mileage for the day has surpassed 100 km and I have had an offer to go and moonlight as a bike courier which I am seriously considering.
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Old 12-09-07, 05:59 AM
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As some others have said, just get out there for a little bit at first and your body will acclimate. I'm 49, install ceramic tile for a living, and ride 100 in winter, and near 200 in summer, and I'm by no means some kind of superman! It just takes a little while for your body to get used to the change.
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Old 12-11-07, 12:04 PM
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I worked on trail crew for the National Park Service a while and found that I couldn't eat enough food to keep up my riding habits. They only summer jobs, and it was always "go go go" with both work and recreation; we were always hiking and riding whenever the weather was nice, and California summers had lots of nice weather. I just started dropping weight, and I don't weigh much to start with. I was eating tons of pasta, avocados, oatmeal, etc, but just couldn't seem to keep weight on, and I started to lose muscle. I didn't have the time to put the effort into eating properly -- we were too busy having fun!

So, I started drinking weight gain shakes daily, and that helped a lot. I never actually gained any weight, I don't think, but I didn't waste away like before.
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Old 12-11-07, 12:29 PM
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I also worked trail crew for the NPS when I was a kid. But my crew chief had us eating so much that I started to gain weight and had to cut back! I also backpacked every weekend. Another year I was a fire guard at a backstation and hiked 300 miles/month. Didn't lose weight that year, either. Guess I'm just efficient. I'd probably be fat if I didn't ride.
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Old 12-11-07, 05:12 PM
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I work in EMS on an ambulance (night shift) so my job goes from sitting at a post and chatting with my partner, to taking off on a call for a chest pain, carrying a 250lb man down 6 flights of stairs, caring for him, driving (or riding in the back) lots of walking through ERs, lots of lifting, bending, climbing, squeezing, pulling, etc. We never know what the next call is going to require of our bodies. Basically my shift swings from sedentary to full bore physical labor and back again. It's very hard on the body. But I've found that my 7 mile round trip commute gives me a good, steady workout without exhausting myself before or after a 12 hour shift. On my days off, I usually do a 10-20 mile ride just for fun. I maintain a balanced diet with very little processed foods, lots of water and fresh squeezed juice. I pack a lunch for work and eat small amounts throughout the shift. Btw, I'm 24 yrs old, female, 110 lbs on average and about 4% body fat. I can also dead lift 100 lbs. I'm trying out for the fire department in '08.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by k_tech View Post
Btw, I'm 24 yrs old, female, 110 lbs on average and about 4% body fat.
If you didn't forget a digit, and you had a reliable test, that BF is way too low. Women should worry when they go under 12%. All bodies need fat to operate correctly; women need a bit more than men. 4% might be OK for a man briefly during the height of the season. 8% is a better male minimum. So eat! Forget that conventional "you can't be too thin" BS.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
If you didn't forget a digit, and you had a reliable test, that BF is way too low. Women should worry when they go under 12%. All bodies need fat to operate correctly; women need a bit more than men. 4% might be OK for a man briefly during the height of the season. 8% is a better male minimum. So eat! Forget that conventional "you can't be too thin" BS.
+1

Even elite female athletes shouldn't drop below 10ish percent at peak.
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Old 12-12-07, 12:32 PM
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oops. that was my bad. i meant 14%. yeah...4% not good. i shouldn't post while taking cough medicine.
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Old 07-19-21, 06:52 PM
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I'm 43,work in hotl as Sous chef,I wake.up every day at 4 am,get home at 3 ,get my 2 kids from daycare tjey are 5 and 3 ,cook dinner ,play and 9 pm I'm in bed.i got myself nice gravel bike so I can bike to work 20 kilometers total,did it for month and half,but now the fatigue is getting to me so I'm cutting down to 3 or 4 days a week.i have the best rides on my days off,because I'm guessing .I'm frustrated because I would love to ride more, but the true is ,when you have family and busy physical demanding job you cannot do it.i hear guys all the time nraging about how they ride 50 k a day,when I ask about job and life,I get - well I don't have kids a d I work in the office .So for all of uou out there with kids and family and hard taxing job,Don't get discouraged even 1 or 2 times a week is great ! Ride on
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Old 07-19-21, 08:19 PM
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I've done bike commuting off and on most of my life, both "physical" and "non-physical". Sometimes short commutes, sometimes long commutes.

It can be done.

Riding the bike home can be relaxing.
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Old 07-19-21, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by feethanddooth View Post
started a new job 2 weeks ago with the county public works department. before then i was riding 75-150 miles a week depending on weather mostly. since starting i have ridden 0 miles. ive dropped weight so im not very worried about getting too out of shape. but i now with out working my legs they will, and already have, start losing strength.

anyone here work in a physical labor job and still put in their normal miles? whats your plan? how do you get around the exhaustion?
Give it some time to acclimatize. I'm an arborist by trade, spending long days doing heavy lifting, climbing, lugging around a chainsaw through canopies. Lots of vertical feet everyday climbing up ropes

I have no problem now doing my weeks work, even commuting 30-60km to and from work, doing a 600km audax ride on the weekend then back in the trees Monday.
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Old 07-19-21, 09:50 PM
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Is this a record a 14 yo post resurrected?
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Old 07-20-21, 08:05 AM
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Chef1978 This is a very old thread which we call zombie threads. More than likely, many members, who were active at that time, are no longer interested. I will let this thread run and see if it gets any responses. Otherwise, I will close it. In the future, if you have a subject matter covered by a zombie thread, please start a new one. Thanks.
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Old 07-23-21, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Chef1978 View Post
I'm 43,work in hotl as Sous chef,I wake.up every day at 4 am,get home at 3 ,get my 2 kids from daycare tjey are 5 and 3 ,cook dinner ,play and 9 pm I'm in bed.i got myself nice gravel bike so I can bike to work 20 kilometers total,did it for month and half,but now the fatigue is getting to me so I'm cutting down to 3 or 4 days a week.i have the best rides on my days off,because I'm guessing .I'm frustrated because I would love to ride more, but the true is ,when you have family and busy physical demanding job you cannot do it.i hear guys all the time nraging about how they ride 50 k a day,when I ask about job and life,I get - well I don't have kids a d I work in the office .So for all of uou out there with kids and family and hard taxing job,Don't get discouraged even 1 or 2 times a week is great ! Ride on
your story was mine years ago. My gods are now grown so now I have lots of time to get in those longer rides. You will get there eventually.
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Old 07-28-21, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
If you do physical work all day, then at the end of the day, you just want to sit in an easy chair.

If you sit at a desk all day, then at the end of the day, you want to get out and do something.

I don't know that there's a good cure for it.

One thing that is not obvious is that "getting tired" is not the same thing as "keeping fit". You can be on your feet all day and be tired at the end of the day with very little exercise. Or you can work certain muscular groupls without really getting your heart rate up.
well said. my method is to go to the gym on the way home from work. the moment you step foot in the house, youre not going to excercise after that. think of your workout as a second job.
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Old 07-30-21, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Chef1978 This is a very old thread which we call zombie threads. More than likely, many members, who were active at that time, are no longer interested. I will let this thread run and see if it gets any responses. Otherwise, I will close it. In the future, if you have a subject matter covered by a zombie thread, please start a new one. Thanks.
Yeah k_tech has probably doubled her weight and fat % by now. ;J
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