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physically damaging blue collar jobs vs. "healthy" fitness lifestyle ??

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  • physically damaging blue collar jobs vs. "healthy" fitness lifestyle ??

    Everyone says people who work in the trades have nagging to serious physical ailments from the years of physical abuse and strain from their work. It's a huge detriment to the career. People warn yea, the money is good, but you'll be shot to hell by age 50. Yet, no one seems to be worried that people who work out regularly will suffer the same fate.

    What are your experiences? Will someone who is active for 30 years from age 20 to 50 experience the same physical breakdowns as people who work in the trades from age 20 to 50?

  • #2
    What about the typical diet of each group?

    People I know who do factory work generally smoke, drink, and eat poorly. (Much of my family & friends.)

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    • #3
      Anything too repetitive and hard will hurt you. I think that's why the trend is to a few hard workouts that are efficient, rather than hours and hours seeing little gain.

      My grandmother owned a dress factory, but she worked on the machines for over 30 years. Even though people often thought she was 20+ years younger than she was, it was because they hadn't looked at her hands. They were old old hands. I also know a carpenter who still works 20-40 hours a week in his sixties. He actually looks super, but again, his hands are beat up from hammering, cutting, etc.

      Mark has written about how his health was effected (affected?) by years of hard training. But when I think of "active," I don't think of "punishing." There are a gazillion ways to stay active, but a tradesperson who uses the same muscles day in and day out for 30 years might get some injuries in the process.

      You might want to google some of the Mr. Universes of the 1980s and 1990s who are still fit and see what their take on it is.
      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

      B*tch-lite

      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by OnlyBodyWeight View Post
        Everyone says people who work in the trades have nagging to serious physical ailments from the years of physical abuse and strain from their work.
        I'm thinking you mean something like hard landscaping.

        Yes, something like that can be hugely damaging. If you think about both the kinds of activities and the length of time spent at them ...

        Someone in that line told me that over time using motorized digging and compacting tools will literally strip the cartilage out of the joints of your fingers. You've seen how those things vibrate. Now imagine holding one.

        And, as I said, length of time. Advice from someone like Mark is usually to do a lot of low-level activity, like walking, and some intense but very short workouts. This might mean something like 15 to 30 minutes three times a week. Some people do something like Tababta sprints, and that's done in eight minutes.

        You've also got plenty of recovery time on the four days on which you don't exercise. Someone doing manual labour has to come in and do the same again next day without a rest-day.

        You could certainly hurt yourself with ill-judged or badly carried out exercise routines over time. But I don't think it really compares with some kinds of heavy manual labour, where the types of activity may be difficult to do without strain, the activities may go on for long stretches of time, and you have no rest-days to recover.

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        • #5
          big, huge difference between working out & being active, and working a construction job.

          when i lift weights, i use perfect form and control tempo & function. when i volunteer with habitat for humanity and do house construction, i simply have far less control over angles, pressure, moment arms, body positioning, repetition, muscle recruitment... the job just needs to get done, and i'm often sore afterwards (not in the way i'd ideally want).

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          • #6
            Factories are basically crimes against humanity.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
              Factories are basically crimes against humanity.
              Really? Millions and millions of families have been fed from the earnings of a factory worker.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                Factories are basically crimes against humanity.
                Odd because I love my factory job. I build fiber optic cables which help not only the US military, but SpaceX, medical facilities, laboratories, not to mention the company you buy your internet from.

                I also love that I can lift heavy stuff and carry it around.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ecole66 View Post
                  Really? Millions and millions of families have been fed from the earnings of a factory worker.
                  Well if you are fed by the earnings then anything goes, I guess.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Diana Renata View Post
                    Odd because I love my factory job. I build fiber optic cables which help not only the US military, but SpaceX, medical facilities, laboratories, not to mention the company you buy your internet from.

                    I also love that I can lift heavy stuff and carry it around.
                    Awesome.

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                    • #11
                      There's going to be a wide range of different jobs that still come under the "blue collar/manual labor" title.

                      Most are going to be better for your heart and lungs (assuming no toxins) but harder on your joints, but it is different for each one. Mine has me walking a whole lot, climbing in and out of a lifted truck, and pulling myself up on block walls so I can look over them. That kind of stuff is actually pretty healthy. My biggest health risks are pulling a muscle, coming into contact with some kind of bacteria (bum poop, bird poop, dog poop), stepping on a dirty needle, getting bit by a dog, twisting my ankle or getting in a traffic accident.

                      Now if I were doing repetitive work or using equipment that vibrates (jackhammers are brutal) - something like that - it's going to do a lot of damage.
                      Durp.

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                      • #12
                        ^ I agree "blue collar" is far too general of a term for what I think OP is getting at.

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                        • #13
                          RitaRose, what is your job? That sounds like a pretty excellent day.
                          "Itís not about how strong you are, itís how well you can move with that strength."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Blanchy View Post
                            RitaRose, what is your job? That sounds like a pretty excellent day.
                            I read utility meters. Not too bad except for the bums and the junkies and the poop and the black widows and the snarling dogs and...
                            Durp.

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                            • #15
                              I work as a cabinet maker, I am on my feet all day, moving bending lifting and carrying often up to 300 lbs in one way or another all day. it gives me great upper body muscles. Not so broken by work, way broken by life though.
                              Primal since April 2012 Male 6' 3" SW 345lbs CW 240lbs GW 220lbs and when I get there I am getting a utlikilt. This one http://www.utilikilts.com/company/pr...ilts/workmans/ actually.

                              Join me at www.paleoplanet.net, where all the cavemen hang out.

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