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
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!