The Actual Cost of Being Huge

OK, by no means am I Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I'm a pretty big dude. I'm currently 221 lbs and very lean and vascular.

A lot of the younger guys want to know what supplements to take, that's an easy one to answer. VERY LITTLE!

You can get just about everything you need from food, but it comes with a price, a hefty price. I went grocery shopping today at Walmart. I fucking hate Walmart but it's about the most affordable place to shop when it comes to food.

Most chain grocery stores charge an arm and a leg for meat, and do not offer it in quantities as large as the bags of fish and packs of chicken at Walmart. A chain store will have like a 1 lb bag of fish for $7.99. WTF am I gonna do with 1 lb of fish? Hell, I'll kill that in one sitting. I would need about 3 bags of that to get me through 1 day, so unfortunately I have to go to Walmart.

Now, here is something I'm going to establish up front with some of you newer guys. Forget about variety, you're just not going to get a lot of variety in your shopping cart. As a matter of fact, your cart will look like it doesn't have shit in it, and your bill is going to be very high for what few bags of groceries you have. This is what I bought today, and I doubt its going to be enough meat to get me through all week, actually I know its not. I'll be back in there by Wednesday for more. My total today was $125, NOT COUNTING GROCERIES FOR MY FAMILY, MINE ONLY!

2- 4 lb/ bags of Swai (fish)

1  medium size bag of brown rice

7- small cartons of egg beaters, 1 per day

1- 5 lb pack of boneless/skinless chicken (Its mostly gone now, consumed about 3 1/2 lbs since lunchtime)

1.5 lb pack ground turkey

2 bags of spinach

5 kiwis

6 plums

8 apples

1 jar natural peanut butter

1 jar of salsa

1- $5 cookie sheet (really need a new Pyrex dish but too much $$, this will work for now)

2 boxes of instant grits

1 container oats

1 pack freezer bags

1 pack trash bags

4 rolls toilet paper

That about covers everything I think. So if you look at the food items its not much at all. I'm limited to eating that same shit everyday because I cannot financially afford to go outside of that amount of food and eat out. Although $8 extra of that I counted because I did have 2 half pound burgers today at this little burger joint here in town.

NOW, this isn't counting protein powder either. I dropped $50 on a 5lb jug of that last week. It will get me by 2 weeks. So figure an extra $25/week for protein powder. So I'm dropping roundabout $150/week for just myself. Now factor in groceries for my wife and 2 kids so my grocery bill is easily $1000 – $1200/month.

Still wanna be a bodybuilder? Now here is the kicker, this is skimpin' for me! This is bare bones minimum, I have no red meat in there.

When a cut of meat as shitty as a London broil is $5.99 a lb now, I just cannot justify spending that. I may eat red meat once/week now, if that. Now here is the difference between myself and some idiot who wastes his money on supplements. I'm dedicated to going through this week after week, month after month, year after year. This is the cost of my lifestyle, but I like doing what makes me happy so fuck it.

Gym dues are $65/month for the family plan I have, and my testosterone replacement and HCG through my doctor is another $100/month. Did I mention anything about pre-workout drinks, pro-hormones, or any other bullshit supplements? NOPE, fuck I didn't even factor in vitamins! So now you clearly see the difference between the weekend warrior who drops $50 on a jug of worthless pills and skimps on food, and someone who lives the life of a truly dedicated bodybuilder.

When I'm grocery shopping I don't look in my cart and say “Damn I have to eat nothing but these few select foods the entire week.” I'm thinking in terms of survival. I'm factoring out how much I'm going to eat each day, and trying to get enough to make it through the week without having to drop another $100. Sometimes I wonder if it's all really worth it, but even if it wasn't I know no other way to live.

I've been doing this for so long I cannot break away, I'd be lost. There is no other hobby that would be as rewarding to me as bodybuilding, I have no other interest for anything as much as this. There's a band that I follow… they have been my favorite band for a long time now, “Lamb of God”, I can't get enough of it. Not only is the music intense and hard, but the lyrics really speak to me. There is one line in this new song of theirs called “visitation” it goes as such:

“This is how I choose to survive, the only way I know to exist, the road is hard and the cost is high… but I was built for this!”

Damn straight! Train hard!


12 thoughts on “The Actual Cost of Being Huge”

  1. Damn those meat are over the top
    around here you will just see the cows at the local field and around 150 peso per kilo.
    Now each peso is 45 bucks at the highest.
    You gotta consider living in a third world place. And let me tell you life aint bad here actually things are cheaper and better.
    Example: all beef here are from grass fed cows,,

  2. Hey John,

    I stumbled upon your blog through bold & determined and gotta say I love it.
    You have one of my favorite physques. That’s how I want to look like some day.

    Big, rugged, cut.

    None of that whiny “aesthetics-skinny-fitness-vlog” shit, your physique says:
    “I’m a man and not a pretty boy!”
    I am big on physical labor as well, paying my rent and food by kicking ass and taking names on construction sites

    Concerning meat prices:
    I am living in Vienna and prices are through the roof here for anything! Rent, food, going out… Only the beer is cheap! (as in all german countries)
    8 bucks for a kg of burger? Damn I want to go to the US.

    A really fatty and cheap steak (which I can afford as a student) costs arround 9 $ per pound here and it’s the cheapest of the cheap. I have to eat that shit twice a day and get all the rest of my protein and animal fats in from drinking arround 20 eggs per day mixed with oats and frozen berries.

    I have gone so far to simply skip fruits altogether and superdose low class multivitamines as the prices here are simply killing me! Milk and oatmeal are cheap as hell so that’s basically what I am forced to eat day in day out. Low class steak, a fuckton of eggs, gallons of milk and pounds of oats. Not pretty but it works for me!
    You got any advice on how to get from 210 to 240by changing my approach a bit until the end of this year?
    I don’t know if I can stomach another pound of eggs!! hahaha!

    All the best to you from Austria man

    • Thanks a bunch!! The first thing you need to ask yourself is if you have the resources to get that kind of size. A quality 240 lbs takes a lot of steroids and possibly hgh. It sounds like the grocery bill is steep enough without factoring these things in. I wouldn’t look at your goal as just hitting a number on the scale, I did this for a long time and I was only fooling myself. I had gotten to 263 lbs at 5’9″ before, but it wasn’t good quality. The thing is this; you can actually look larger weighing much less if it’s quality. If your drinking all that milk and eating that many carbs something tells me that your carrying some bodyfat. There is nothing wrong with trying to make some gains, but ask yourself how realistic it is to gain 30 lbs more when what your doing right now is expensive and hard enough. I would change my goals if I were you. It’s not worth it, te type of size your talking about takes a lot of money and it’s never very sustainable unless your committing to that level and expense month by month, year by year. Just my opinion

  3. I buy non-perishables in bulk. It saves me a ton of money. For example, if I’m going to get rice, I get a 25lb or 50lb bag of rice from a local Asian supermarket, where it comes out to around 80 cents a pound. Personally for protein powder I use a blend of pea and rice protein, and you can get a 20kg bag of either and save a major amount of money.

    Obviously you have to pay more up front, but if you’re going to eat it all anyway, it’s definitely worth it. I haven’t looked into a chest freezer yet, but buying a whole side of beef and keeping it in a freezer would definitely save a lot of money as well.

    Bulk, bulk, bulk. For cooking I use coconut oil, and it’s definitely cheaper to get that in a 5 gallon pail than it is to buy it in smaller quantities. I never look at the upfront price: I look at the price per volume. It only feels tough for a second to plunk down some huge cash for a ton of food, that is until I realize I’m saving a TON per volume, and I also don’t have to go shopping for that stuff again for a very long time. A 50lb bag of rice lasts quite a while, as does 5 gallons of coconut oil.

    I also like having food in storage because it gives me a sense of security. Win-win all around. Fruits, juices, eggs, fresh meat, tubers — I keep these in my diet but having non-perishables always at hand, and buying them in massive quantities, helps keep my grocery bills within reason. Bananas are my go-to fruit, which I use in smoothies all the time, and are probably the cheapest fresh food I buy. Fresh food these days is definitely expensive and that gets a little bothersome for me.

    Managing this stuff is fun to me and I’m always poking around online trying to optimize my shopping list. I’ve had a steady enough diet now to know what I will and won’t eat, so I just look for the largest quantities I can find of what I know I’ll eat, and stock up on that.

    I really like Lamb of God too by the way. Awesome stuff. You know who else I like? Infected Mushroom. I don’t know if that’s up your alley (electronic dance music), but they have some legitimately awesome stuff. Check out the song “Heavyweight” if you get a chance, as well as their cover of “The Pretender” by the Foo Fighters. That stuff gets me pumped up. They have a ton of great tracks but those are two of their best IMO.

    Lamb of God’s gotten me through some rough spots for sure though. Awesome band, very sharp and tight and intense. Love it.

  4. Due respect to the old guard (Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax), but Lamb of God is the baddest, heaviest band making music right now 🤘🏻 If you haven’t listened to them, check out Black Label Society. Zakk Wylde is a savage on the guitar & a fellow devotee to the iron. Always enjoy reading your stuff brother. Citius, Altius, Fortius!

    • thanks for following, and yes, Lamb of God is far ahead of anyone in the metal industry, light years beyond what everyone else is doing right now, I agree. Black Label is good too, thanks for following brother- JD

  5. This is why I come to your website and educate my ass Johnny.
    You are honest, you live it and you research it.

    The costs for bodybuilding are really high and I feel what you mean with the shopping cart. Absolutely no fucking variety and healthy food are just plain boring after a while.

    I need burgers, sugar and all that shit at least twice per week or I am gonna go on a killing spree.


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