If you’re really looking to step up your training game over the coming months, and wish to add significant amounts of muscle mass to your frame, obviously you know that it is now time for you to bulk up. Bulking, for the most part, is much more enjoyable than cutting because you do get to be a little less strict with your diet, and you never EVER go hungry, and let’s face it, that’s already a huge win in most people’s eyes. However, there is an art to a successful bulk, and contrary to popular belief, there is much more to bulking than just lifting heavy weights, chugging weight gainers, and cramming copious amounts of food down your throat. Bulking successfully requires meticulous planning, a great deal of self discipline and preparation, and of course, large quantities of the right foods and supplements. For people on a budget however, bulking can be tricky as it is certainly not cheap, although with the right knowledge, it needn’t be overly expensive either. To help you add mass to your physique whilst still keeping your bank balance relatively large itself, here’s a look at a few handy tips designed to help you bulk up when on a budget.
Purchase affordable bulking staples
Providing you are not held back via food allergies and intolerances, and providing your lifestyle allows you to do so, most bodybuilders and individuals looking to bulk up, will consume certain foods that are considered staple ingredients in the bodybuilding world. Chicken breast for example, is one ingredient that bodybuilders worldwide are probably sick to the back teeth of seeing on a daily basis. Chicken however, can be purchased for a very affordable price, if you go to the right source. Many butchers and specialist businesses will offer fantastic prices on chicken when purchased in bulk, making it much cheaper than if you purchased it from a local convenience store, or a mega grocery store or supermarket. Oatmeal is another bulking staple that can be purchased in bulk, will last a long time, and is very, very affordable. Other common ingredients include veggies, potatoes, rice, and pasta, all of which can be bought for very reasonable prices, and all of which will last you a long time in the process, especially when purchased in bulk, which brings us to our next tip…
Buy in bulk
Yes, as you’ve probably worked out by now, buying in bulk is much cheaper than purchased foods that are virtually to order, so whenever possible, buy foods that you know you can store for a prolonged period of time, without having to stock up on them a week or so later. Chicken breasts for example, and other meats, are much cheaper when purchased in bulk, as the more you buy, the cheaper it will be gram for gram. Put simply, although buying 10lb of chicken is more expensive than buying 5lbs, if you were to go back a day or so later and buy another 5lbs, those two 5lb packs will be more expensive than the one 10lb pack. Oatmeal, pasta, rice, and potatoes, all of which are fantastic carb sources, can all also be purchased for a very affordable price when bought in bulk, and provided you store them correctly, I.E in a cool, dry, dark place, they will last you a long time as well.
Make cheaper substitutions
Chicken breast as mentioned, is very common in many bulking programs, yet it can be pricey, even when bought in bulk. Chicken thighs however, will provide just as much protein, with the added benefit of being much, much cheaper. For this reason, why not purchase chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? Alternatively, you could go with a different meat altogether, such as turkey, or even pork, both of which are also very affordable. If a certain variety of rice is more expensive than another, go with the cheaper option perhaps, just make sure to check the ingredients to make sure there are no hidden nasties. Remember, there are always cheaper options available to you, and if you are on a budget, you’ll know right away that every penny counts.
Bulk out your supplements
When bodybuilding and trying to add muscle mass to your frame, supplements, are very important and very beneficial when you are happy with your diet and training, and they really can take your training and your physique to the next level. However, supplements are not always as cheap as we may have hoped, so we may only be able to afford one or two, as opposed to a dozen or so. When on a budget, we have to optimize and we have to choose in terms of importance, which supplements we cannot do without. Whey protein is an absolute must, as protein is vital for muscle growth and repair. Most bulkers however, will also purchase a weight gain supplement on top of whey protein, but if you can’t afford to do so, you should stick with the whey and perhaps consider making your own. Simply take a scoop of whey, add it to some milk or water, add some fish oils, which are also affordable, along with a scoop of creatine (another staple supplement) and finish off with some powdered oats. Give a good shake, and you basically have your very own weight gain supplement, utilizing ingredients which you already own.
Embrace peanut butter
When it comes to embracing peanut butter, or any other nut butter for that matter, most of you will not require any encouragement when it comes to embracing them, as these delicious ingredients are what makes bulking so enjoyable. What’s more, a large tub of peanut butter will not set you back very much at all, and will last you a very long time (providing you can restrain yourself from eating the tub in one go). Peanut butter is ideal because it contains proteins, minerals, amino acids, and plenty of healthy fats that will ramp up your calories and help get you into the calorie surplus required for building new muscle mass. Avoid butters with artificial added ingredients and added salt, sugar, and oils, and instead go with an all natural butter, made from nothing but pure ground nuts.