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Chaos and Pain

  /  tips   /  Dieting And Training On The Tiniest Of Budgets, Part 2

Dieting And Training On The Tiniest Of Budgets, Part 2

It
seems of late that people have gotten extremely busy complicating
something that is extremely simple- getting big and strong. Idiots clad
in day-glo spandex and in all manner of wraps, belts, and shoes
populate every squat rack across the land, endlessly yammering on about
their newest highly vaunted cookie-cutter online program, talking
everyone’s goddamned ear off about the intricacies of their diets and
generally doing nothing useful whatsoever. Resigned to mediocrity or
sub-mediocrity, these vapid consumerists consider themselves an
essential part of a community that they clearly misunderstand, because strength
training is not about how much money you spend- it’s about how much
heart, balls, hate, aggression, and self-motivation you apply in direct
opposition to gravity and mass
. It’s not about allowing people you
don’t know to dominate your bank account, because this community isn’t
filled with sexy-ass Findommes (Finanacial Dominatrixes) talking crap to
wimps to separate them from their money. Well, upon reflection I
suppose it is, though the Findommes in strength sports are generally
fat, hairy guys running gear companies that aren’t particularly
aesthetically appealing. In any event, it doesn’t have to be that way-
it can and is much, much simpler than a cursory examination of the
conversations on any message board might otherwise indicate.

As we’ve seen in the previous installment of this series,
people in the distant past and in modern correctional facilities have
figured out ways to build massive amounts of muscle and strength without
the benefits of modern technology, complicated programming, expensive
gear or supplements, or really any of the things people today seem to
think are indispensable. It was only with modern
medicine, modern training facilities, the ability to do nothing but eat
and train as a vocation, and modern convenience that Halfthor Bjornsson
was able to break a thousand year old record set by legendary Viking Olm
Storulfsson. carrying a 32-foot, 1,433 pound log two steps further than Storulfsson could before his back snapped and he died.
If that’s not significant to you, you must be busy in the back of the
gym eating paste while wearing your helmet and your bib backwards- never
fear, though, because they have powerlifting in the Special Olympics to
accommodate people of your intellectual caliber.

If
you do these, pretend I’m there as your high school wrestling coach
screaming “GET YOUR GODDAMNED HANDS OFF YOUR LEGS, YOU BABIES!”
Seriously. Keep your goddamned hands off your legs.

In
my life I have had to do more with far less a couple of times, and
while these times were highly annoying, they taught me a great deal.
During the majority of these periods I had unfettered access to some
kind of gym, which should be first on your list of priorities. As I’ve
mentioned in past articles, you can do a hell of a lot with bodyweight
work, and I managed to maintain a 500lb squat in jail without weights
simply by doing a metric buttload of Crossfit’s favorite “time-waster,”
wall sits. I’ve read some hilariously misguided posts about the
uselessness of wall sits on social media, but like anything else, if you
go hard enough with them, you will see results. While in jail I would
read while walking. I would walk 100 yards, do a two minute wall sit,
and repeat… for extended periods of time. Over the course of 7 months
I was able to maintain a fairly lean 195 lbs using nothing (for 5 of
those months)- I got to lift 3x a week for two months) but dips,
pullups, wall sits, a bunch of TRX-style movements, and following the diet I’m about to outline.

Could
be chicken a la king… or regurgitated chicken a la king. I doubt
they taste significantly different enough to label correctly.

l

As
I’ve mentioned previously, the food served in correctional facilities
is not sufficient to fuel training- it’s barely sufficient to sustain
life. Certainly, moves can be made- I was trading all kinds of stuff to
get extra milks, extra turkey ham (which is vile, but it’s protein), and
extra trays. Even with that, I think the most protein I managed to get
in a day from jail food alone was 100 grams. As such, I started
supplementing with summer sausage and ramen noodles three times a day,
on which I spent about $10 a day and which netted me another 100 or so
grams of protein more. Was it “quality protein”? Hell no, but I was
still moving decent weight when I finally got access to the gym, and I
held onto a tremendous amount of muscle.

You
might wonder how Pauly Shore rocked better shoulder development in the
90s than half of Reddit’s r/weightroom, and I’d say the answer is
“cocaine is a hell of a drug” (Mello).

The
key, which might seem obvious but was hitherto mysterious to me because
of my obsession with maintaining extremely low bodyfat year round, is
to keep your calories high and your workload higher than Pauly Shore on vacation in Colombia.
When I’m not trapped in a concrete box, bored out of my goddamned mind,
and extremely limited on my food choices, I tend to focus almost to the
exclusion of everything else on protein, which will work to an extent
and then fail to take you to the mountaintop of hugeness. Judging by
the emails and IMs I get, many of you reading this fall into this trap-
you focus entirely on getting 1.5-2g of protein per pound of bodyweight
and think that’s all you need. After a year of eating 6 meals of 30-50g
of protein a day and virtually nothing else, your bodyweight stalls out
at 150 lbs, you wonder why you’re not getting stronger, and you message
me with questions about why you can’t make any progress… but if you
just took a second to look at your diet, you’d see that it’s barely
sufficient for a 13 year old girl who goes to Gymboree three times a
week.

This
just in, guys- the only people making significant gains on 2000
calories a day are small children, burn victims, midgets, and people
suffering from wasting diseases. You might as well not even train if
your goal is to gain strength and mass on so few calories. In the
day-glo, post-apocalyptic wasteland of the modern gym, you can look like  Rictus Erectus among the wraps and straps and bands and
matchy-matchy Lulu Lemon-clad Instagram superstars if you simply eat
your face off and stick to nothing but heavy weights for a few months.
Seriously- it’s never been easier to look like a goddamned monster in the
gym than now due to the remarkably low standards pervading every gym on
the planet, so now’s the time to buck the hell up and set off on your
own journey to one day stalk through the crowds of “weight lifting”
idiots in the gym like you’re a ultra-mega-pissed Jason Voorhees in a
recently reopened Camp Crystal Lake.

So
the above example of a Viking who couldn’t be outlifted until a 400+
pound man mountain did it with every advantage of the modern
professional athlete. When he set that record, did it on an ancient
diet without the benefit of refrigeration (though storing meat in lake
water apparently keeps it from spoiling). That
means it was not all that easy to get the nutrition you need to become
super strong back in the day. Modern farming methods are mostly
horrible, but they can churn out some calories like… well, like they’re calorie factories.  Which they are. One benefit of
factory farming that is super cheap but most lifters never use is 80%
lean beef. It’s cheap as hell but fattier than Honey Boo Boos awful mom. Fun fact though- if you cook and blot a pound of 80%
lean ground beef you completely eliminate the need to buy the more
expensive 90% lean ground beef.

“Cooking
and draining ground beef significantly reduces fat and calorie content,
as shown in the table below, which compiles data from the U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database* and Iowa State
University’s research** published in the Journal of the American
Dietetic Association. During cooking, both moisture and fat content
decrease within the meat. On average, 4 ounces of lean raw ground beef
becomes 3 ounces (about 85 grams) of cooked meat” (Garden-Robinson).

Check out the nutrition info on different meats:

So,
using this knowledge and $100-$150 a week, you can eat your face off,
have a very well-rounded diet, and fuel your gains. As I’ve written at
very great length, I despise bland foods. Thus, this staple for me in
lean weeks when cash is crazy short, it the Mexican staple of beans and
rich, with the addition of ground beef. You can change the flavors to
suit your personal tastes, but this just gives you an idea of how
cheaply you can eat big.

Poorer
than that? Well, if you can stand chicken thighs (I utterly despise them out of a Chipotle burrito bowl), you can still bulk like an ancient Viking badass
ten or twelve bucks a day.

One
last protip for channeling your inner Olm Storulfsson- ditch that crap about “ego lifting” and go nuts. Do you think he was whining
about how lifting for your ego did nothing for your strength or gains,
or do you think he got crazy strong by having drunken strongman
competitions every night? Somehow I don’t think he was worried about
his 7 rep max- he was worried about outlifting the other guys every
goddamned day, just like the old German strongmen a few hundred years
later.

Now
get your head out of your ass and go get strong and big to the point
that normal dudes just whip their nuts out and cut them off when you
lumber past.

Sources:

Garden-Robinson,
Julie. Does draining fat from meat make it leaner? Best Food Facts.
https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/lean-to-fat-ratio/

Mello
NK, Mendelson JH, Negus SS, Kelly M, Knudson I, Roth ME. The effects
of cocaine on gonadal steroid hormones and LH in male and female rhesus
monkeys. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2004 Nov;29(11):2024-34.

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