Have you ever thought to yourself that if you only had the time, money and conveniences of a successful competitive bodybuilder of fitness model you too could achieve the physique of your dreams? You too could workout when and how you wanted to, prepare and eat all the right kinds of foods and supplements, and get the rest you need to repair and grow new muscle. You say to yourself that you just don’t have the time and resources like those “other guys and girls” do. Those “other guys” have “the life” conducive to the bodybuilding/fitness lifestyle. It is so easy for them and you have such a difficult time inching up the ladder scrapping every morsel of time and bit of knowledge just to gain an ounce of progress.
Hopefully this article will shed a little light on scheduling your time, finding ways to save money on food and supplements, convenient food preparation, and other little tricks to help you reach your goals a little easier. Sometimes all it takes is a little tweaking to make your workouts a little more effective and to get more out of each set, rep, meal and supplement you take. Being more efficient and effective will enable you to reach those goals all the while saving a little time and money on your journey.
Below is a list of tips and tricks to help you make the road to success a little easier on your schedule and your wallet.
1. Wheel and Deal: When joining a gym see if the facility is running any specials such as the first month being free or waiving the registration fee. Maybe they have a special couples rate for your significant other. Most fitness facilities want your business so they will try to work with you to get you in their door, but don’t be afraid to ask about special offers just in case they were not offered up front. For college students there are ways to utilize on-campus facilities such as recreation centers specifically for students which are usually included in the price for tuition. Many facilities will also offer student discounts.
2. Buy in Bulk: Get a membership at a local wholesale warehouse. They sell foods in bulk which break down to be cheaper per serving. Remember when buying in bulk to freeze most of your meats and thaw as you prepare them for the week ahead. You can easily buy large amounts of chicken, ground meats, beef, oatmeal, rice, frozen vegetables, milk, and other staples of your nutrition plan. You will have large amounts of food and less trips to the store.
3. Clip Coupons: If you do not have access to one of those wholesale stores you can always find ways to save at your local grocer. Many stores have special discount cards, coupons to save 10 or 15%, and 2 for 1 deals. Keep an eye on their deals and what time of the week they are running them.
4. Be Supplement Savvy: As I said regarding food, have the same mindset with supplements. Look for deals at your local supplement store. Find out if they have specials during each month and/or if they have a special discount club to belong to. Even better, look online for great prices. Many sites will also offer you free gifts with your purchases. Compare prices and carefully look at prices per serving as to serving sizes and servings per container vary from product to product.
5. Brown Bag It: Try to prepare your meals at home as much as possible. Take meals to work instead of going out to lunch every day, make smoothies and protein shakes at home instead of buying them pre made, and going out to dinner should be kept to a minimum. This will ensure you are eating all of your goal friendly meals on a regular basis and will give you consistency and keep you on a schedule toward your goals. Make going to lunch or dinner a treat and something that you do only once a week or so.
6. One at a Time: No one said you had to use every supplement on the planet to guarantee success. Try one supplement at a time to see what effects it will have. You will know if most are working within six weeks or so. This will not only save you money in the long run but will also let you know which ones work and which ones you are wasting your time with. Experiment and stick with the ones that work for you.
7. Spend Your Time Wisely: If you are the type to go home from work before hitting the gym, save some time and pack a gym bag and head to the gym right after work. If time permits you may want to train in the morning before work or class to free up time for other things in your personal life. It takes a great commitment to schedule your time wisely. If time is not on your side when in the gym try supersets and staggered sets during your workout. It not only saves time but will also give you a cardio effect. Do calves in between sets of arms or superset chest and back or biceps and triceps together.
So there you have it, just a few tips for the financially struggling but committed. There are ways to your goals you just have to be creative and careful in your choices. If you want it bad enough you will find resources and creative techniques to get you there without breaking your bank. Good luck.
By: Brad Borland, M.A., CSCS