Powerlifting and Bulking on a Budget

Powerlifting and Bulking on a Budget

How can you continue to get big or strong on a smaller or student budget? Here's a few things I do or have done myself to continue powerlifting and bulking. But these tips will work too if you're into bodybuilding, crossfit or none of the above and just want to save money. Now I'm not telling you to do the exact same things, but rather give a perspective and possibly spark an idea for your own situation.

1. Limit eating out.

Unless you live in Asia where eating street food is the cheapest option, you can end up spending $30+ a week on fast food or take-out. That's $120 a month or $1560 a year. The alternative is to plan and cook your meals ahead of time for the week. You'll find some recipes in the Power Foods section for dishes that reheat well in the microwave.

It's the small things that can add up. For example if you buy your coffee every morning, try making your own. I use a coffee press and it takes 5-7 minutes or you can invest in a coffee maker. It ends up paying for itself.

2. Shop around.

Don't settle on convenience. Shop around. Saving $2 or more per pound on meat adds up over the weeks and months. I have all the grocery stores bookmarked. Every Friday, I check out their new online flyers and make a shopping list for each store based on who has the cheapest price for each item. My main staples are fresh beef and chicken, milk, eggs, peanut butter, rice, potatoes and whole wheat bread. After a few weeks of watching prices you get the hang of what's a good deal or not.

Shop around for your supplements too. Check out www.truenutrition.com for some really low prices on protein powders and supplements. Use my discount code DAP545 for an additional 5% off or 10% off orders over 16 pounds. They're able to sell at such low prices because they don't spend money sponsoring athletes or on big glossy magazine ads. All those savings goes to us. I'm not a fan of the protein concentrates alone because they don't mix well in a shaker cup but I highly recommend the protein isolates because they are very easy to mix and drink. You can make your own mixes and blends too. I'll discuss some in an upcoming article.

3. Make extra money.

Use your skills to make extra money. If you're handy around the house, advertise in your building or neighbourhood for handywork. I see some basic job requests in my building all the time ranging from changing doorknobs to hanging picture frames.

Check out fiverr.com. Basically you advertise something you'd do for $5. Check out the front page, you'll get a feel for how it works.

Sell off some of your stuff that's just been collecting dust.

4. Ditch the car.

I'm aware some people need to have a car if they have a family with kids or their job requires it. But if you can, ditch the car and take public transit or walk. Say you have a 4-banger and you fill it up once a week for $45. Your car payment is $200 a month. Add your insurance on top for $100. You're looking at $480 a month or just under $6000 a year! A monthly transit pass is $120 here. When you talk to any serious lifter, they ALL have a story about some sacrifice they had/have to make. Not owning a car is one of mine. When I need a car, there's car sharing programs or rentals. My next point could make it easier to live without a car.

5. Move somewhere more convenient.

You know you're serious about your weightlifting goals when you move somewhere else just to reach them. I did this last year. Moving into the city is great if you're on a budget. No more need for a car. Plus a lot of different food markets and grocers to shop at. Other lifters have moved across a country to be closer to a powerlifting gym. It's all about how bad you want it.

These are tips just off the top of my head. I'll add more when I think of them. Do you have any to add? Let us know in the comments below.

Words by Dan Profane

Read: Powerlifting and Bulking on a Budget Part 2 : Sandwiches

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