Work capacity still matters outside the gym

“Back in the day” it was a given that hard work was going to be done day in and day out.

Hard physical labor was a way of life.

Today, few people know what hard physical work is like. It was often dangerous work, too.


I recently saw a photo from my buddy Don Giafardino, that is similar to this old photo. He was up on a crane doing real work, all day every day. He understands work capacity is in the real world.

I remember my Italian Dad getting me a job as a “mud-tender” when I was about 15 years old. I pushed wheel barrows of wet cement to keep the block masons supplied so the could keep laying block all day.



It doesn’t matter what you can do in 15 minutes in the real world.

What can you do for 8 to 12 hours day after day?

Don’t fool yourself about how fit and strong you are based on the gym alone.


Note: photos removed due to copyright issues

Published by ironcave1

I was the owner of the Cave, a strength-based, veteran-owned, unconventional coaching facility, which closed on May 31, 2022 after almost 12 years. My full focus is now on bringing our steelclub and mace training called Mace Fit out to the public. Follow us at and @2slingsteel.

4 thoughts on “Work capacity still matters outside the gym

  1. Wow Frank, that made me stop and think about this work capacity thing. We both know in CrossFit that is the buzz word and they live and die by that with their branding. Could it be that the fitness community at large has missed the boat. I am going to have to think this over both for my training as well as my clients……You my friend have made a great point and may change the way at least myself and the ones I train approach things.

    1. Thanks Gary! I know many “gym strong” people would not cut it for even one day on a masonry crew. Not to mention roofing, drywall, framing, landscaping, or cutting trees.

      1. People really need to understand this concept Frank, and you made some aware. Thank you for the mention and I have to say that out of the 42+ jobs that I have had throughout my life, working in a busy restaurant (not the prefab fast food kind, but a real restaurant) was the hardest, most demanding job I had ever held.

      2. Thanks for the feedback, Donnie! Hard work is hard work no matter form it is in. We were both well-acquainted with it coming up.

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