Economics and Bodybuilding. As polar as they may seem, the reality is the two are a lot more closely linked than first thought. The costs do not just start and end with the monthly gym membership fee. The world of supplements, maintaining nutrition and the “compulsory” tight-fitting gym apparel amount to financial pain for the unlucky ones. As a student, I too was in that situation; in my second year at university, it was not rare to see the weekly grocery shop amount to over £100. To put that into perspective, it matched the grocery shop for the other four members that make up my family! To be honest, it would not surprise me too much to think of bodybuilding as one of the most expensive sporting hobbies.
Yet whilst looking at the demographics of you, my blog readers, the vast majority fall within the same age category as myself. And to those who don’t: “Every little helps”. Since second year to today, I have managed to cut my expenses on bodybuilding to just over £100 a month! And that covers supplements, grocery shops and my £20 gym membership. So since sharing is caring, I have decided to pass on some tips and tricks on saving the pounds that hopefully you can utilise.
Stick to the essentials
In a sport like bodybuilding it is often easy to get overwhelmed at first on choosing the “essentials”. Supplement companies, like any other company, will use any technique possible to get you to purchase their product, from sponsoring influential bodybuilding athletes to marketing products based on information from a proportionally small number of scientific studies. The truth is they’re SUPPLEMENT companies for a reason; the products they provide often are not needed and have minimal (if any) effect on your progress. Having fallen for this trap, I have gone from purchasing all types of products with fancy names to just using multivitamins, whey protein and creatine. In fact, out of the three, creatine can be argued as being the most beneficial and I only take the other two simply due to convenience. I could decide to get my proteins wholly from chicken and my vitamins from just fruit and vegetables, but in accordance with a packed timetable, that’s near impossible.
Likewise, many people get caught up with brand image. I can not begin to count the number of times I’ve been asked by friends to decide between two brands and name the differences. The difference that may exist between a top of the range brand to a slightly cheaper one, like Myprotein, will be have been claimed to significantly enhance performance, but in reality this is far from true. You can almost guarantee that if a supermarket chain was to make their own value brand of protein shake, I’d be one of the first in line to get them. Besides, the purpose of buying the shake was to provide a source of protein, so why pay an extortionate amount more for the micronutrients, which you’d be able to obtain from multivitamin tablets and food sources for a fraction of the cost?!
You would have thought that by saving up on the money previously spent on nights out in first year, my finances would have been much better off after getting involved in bodybuilding. But with such an expensive weekly shop, a large proportion of my student loan was gone by the end of term. But by looking elsewhere outside conventional supermarkets I have managed to live well off what was my weekly budget to what is now my monthly budget, with minimal changes in my diet and way of eating. A couple of months ago, I came across Muscle Food via a YouTube ad ( http://www.musclefood.com/hidden/?code=JM80618 ). And boy am I glad I did! Now imagine being able to get 5kg of chicken for just £25 and then on top being offered free delivery for orders over £75! Unfortunately for my flat mates, the fridge has been fully stocked up! Best thing is the quality matches, if not trumps, that of the well-known supermarkets.
These are just some of the ways I have managed to reduce my budget spent on bodybuilding. At the end of the day, bodybuilding is just a hobby for me, as it is for many of you, and should not be something that we have to hustle on the streets over, just to afford that extra month of membership at your local gym. I hope there’s a couple of pointers and lessons I have learnt and shared, that hopefully can help you guys in the future!
It’s only been a month since I started this fitness blog but since then I’ve already achieved posts getting up to 400 views each with blog readers coming from a wide variety of backgrounds (from the US to India).
This has not gone unnoticed and I have recently become affiliated with the aforementioned MuscleFood: an online store that specialises in providing domestic and exotic meats, from chicken breasts to crocodile meat, for low prices! Ideal for students like myself.
As a token of appreciation and to as a way of saying thank you for the continued support, I have managed to hook up a reference code, that once used gets you freebies (either chicken breasts, protein break, horse steaks, etc.) from Muscle Food on top of their already low prices.
Check them out if you want (www.musclefood.com) and use code: JM80618 before you check out to enjoy the benefits!