Unless you live off a trust fund or you’ve married Britney Spears, you have to work for your money. If you’re also a bodybuilder, you train and eat around your job’s schedule and limitations. If you work at a desk all day or are a personal trainer, you probably don’t have it so rough. But for those of you with very physical jobs such as construction, landscaping, tiling or roofing, things can be challenging. The days are long, and they take a physical toll on you. Nobody understands that better than Dennis Wolf, from Germany by way of the republic of Kyrgyzstan, in the former USSR, who made it to the Mr. O in his rookie year in the pros, in 2006.
From the age of 18 until he was 25, Dennis worked up to 12 hours, six days a week, painting houses and installing windows. Forcing himself to shrug off the fatigue and train after work, he managed to build a very good physique in spite of his manual-labor job and won several big amateur titles, including the Mr. Germany. But it wasn’t until he quit the job that his gains really took off. “My off-season weight went from 240 to 280 in two years, and my competition weight increased from 220 to 245.”
Those gains would be impressive enough for a beginner, but for a man at Wolf’s advanced level, they’re nothing short of astounding. “The only change was that I was getting much more rest and eating better. My training was exactly the same as it’s always been,” he said.
Maybe you move furniture or unload trucks all day. Have you been making satisfactory gains in size and strength lately, or not? I’m not telling you to quit your job, but if you have a real passion for bodybuilding and want to get a return on your investment for all that hard training, maybe it’s time you started looking around the job market in your area and see what’s out there that wouldn’t be so physically demanding.