Builders aren't all famous for being buff. Although they have a physically demanding job, they tend to pay little to no attention to their diet and exercise, and their work hours mean they must also sleep terribly. However, it's not impossible for a builder to be healthy and have a beach body all year round; have a look at Glenn Luff, who I'm pretty sure is the fittest builder in the UK.
As you can see, Glenn isn't your average builder. The Materials Market (opens in new tab) expert eats well, exercises frequently and makes sure he's in bed in time so his body can recover properly. "Staying fit and strong is great for my work as a builder", he says, "It helps me to climb up and down ladders easier and carry more materials with ease. I never have any issues climbing roofs."
Of course, staying fit means Glenn lives a somewhat different life from other builders. "Not to generalise too much, but builders aren't known for being the healthiest of people", he explains, "A lifestyle of fry-ups, alcohol, drugs and next to no exercise has left many very out of shape. If I were to advise any builders looking to get a little fitter, I'd suggest just changing one habit at a time. Cutting alcohol for weight loss can help, for example. Not to mention, moving more can help improve fitness greatly."
Want to stay fit over 40? Here, Glenn explains how he remains fit at 37 and gives practical advice you can follow to help you look like the Fittest Builder in the UK, too.
The daily routine of the fittest builder in the UK
As Glenn explains, "I do martial arts sessions three times a week, in addition to going to the gym five to seven times a week, incorporating maximal effort strength training, dynamic effort force development training, and explosive training (such as jumps, slams and throws), high rep callisthenics and HIIT training. My training sessions are never over an hour long.”
This is how Glenn's schedule looks on a martial arts day:
Wake up and immediately drink water with electrolytes, wheatgrass powder and apple cider vinegar
Breakfast - Oats and 4 whole eggs, banana, peanut butter and honey
Get to the gym for some mobility work, core work and to train 2 weaker body parts
Mid-morning meal: Beef mince chilli, basmati rice and green vegetables
Lunch: salmon fillets, basmati rice and green vegetables
Finish and then home to eat
Martial arts training
Dinner: generally steak or chicken thighs with basmati rice and broccoli and then meal prep for the next day.
Off to sleep
Train like a builder with Glenn Luff
"If you're completely sedentary, I'd suggest just starting by walking or doing a few sessions on a stationary bike", Glenn suggests, "Ultimately, if you can move, you can exercise!"
Even Glenn admits his body transformation didn't happen overnight. Even five minutes spent not sitting on the sofa contributes to a healthier metabolism and better circulation. You can also boost metabolism just by drinking more water.
"I always stay fully hydrated and then some, drinking plenty of water (sometimes with added salt), and will drink three to four coffees per day", Glenn says, "I never, ever drink beer but do love a good bourbon every now and then."
Glenn recommends moderation as a key factor in staying fit and knowing when to be a bit more lenient with yourself: "Once a week, I’ll eat anything I want, like a roast dinner with all the trimmings, a good curry or a massive burger", he admits, "I never eat dessert however as I’d rather just eat a big dinner."
Hard exercise does a lot to help you realise just how resilient you are and how far you can push yourself, as does finding the discipline to get up and start the day hours before everyone else does. "Feeling good physically has done wonders for my mental health, something that is absolutely important in the building trade", Glenn concludes.