What Contractors Should Do At The Gym

By Robert Robillard on Remodeling

What Contractors Should Do At The GymWhat Should People In The Building Trades Do At The Gym

By John Donaldson

Chances are you lift heavy, awkward things from time-to-time, and then you climb a ladder with them.  What you have is an “on-the-job” strength benefit, which accountants could never achieve in their office.  That’s the good news, but with a cautionary note.  Most work is physically task specific, like having the skill and strength to hang dry wall.

Systemic Strength

Where specific skilled movement and strength fails is when we try to transfer it to something that demands systemic strength.  Think of this as the difference between moving a large granite boulder thirty yards in a wheel barrow versus lifting and carrying the same boulder thirty yards. Unless you have routinely lifted and carried progressively heavier boulders, you are likely to fail to lift it,  or you’ll lift it and hurt yourself.

Getting Strong

That said, I want to make the case for making yourself as strong as possible.  Since strength is the ability to apply force, then the more force you produce results in greater work capacity, among other benefits.  The most productive way to get strong is by training with a barbell.  A barbell can be loaded in very small increments, and it requires the lifter to overcome gravity in a balanced, coordinated movement.

Barbells Win Over Machines

Such a concept should not be new to you.  When you bend down and lift a bag of cement your body is moving as a system; your brain tells your body to move in a sequence that moves the load to the desired place.  The human body prefers to move things this way, and the barbell is the ideal tool for accommodating the movements we’d like to strengthen.

Why is this?  The range the barbell travels and the number of muscles recruited to move our large, bony levers about several joints begins a muscular, skeletal, and cellular stress-adaptation cycle that is unparalleled in weighted human movement.  The back squat, overhead press, and deadlift produce more of this training stimulus than any machine based circuit, which moves the body as a collection of unrelated segments.

Reaching The AuthorWhat Contractors Should Do At The Gym

You can learn more about this approach at www.strartingstrength.com.  If you’re interested in training this way, feel free to contact John Donaldson at jar.donaldson@gmail.com.  I can also be reached afternoons and evenings at the Beede Swim & Fitness Center, 498 Walden Street in Concord, across from the high school.  978-287-1015.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. He also writes the "Ask the Carpenter" advice column in the Boston Globe, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob <a href="https://profiles.google.com/concordcarpenter"

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