5 tips for bodybuilding as a student

Harry Booth

5 tips for bodybuilding as a student|Work out before sitting down here....|Shop late at night to grab a supermarket bargain!|Buy in bulk for big savings

5 tips for bodybuilding as a student|Work out before sitting down here....|Shop late at night to grab a supermarket bargain!|Buy in bulk for big savings

Bodybuilding as a student can be hard - working around a tight timetabled schedule, fitting in a social life, a positive work rate and all on a shoestring budget. All of this can be worked around however and here are my top 5 tips.

#1 Buy it in bulk

[caption id="attachment_3349" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Buy in bulk for big savings Buy in bulk for big savings[/caption] You needn't have to fulfil the student stereotype of living off of beans and noodles, surprisingly you can eat like a king on a peasant's budget. Firstly, there’s no more expensive a way to live as a student than to buy full price on a daily basis as a means of hunting down your dinner. If you know you use rice or pasta a lot then buy the bulk packs. Additionally, local Asian food markets often sell a selection of different rice in bags up to as big as 10kg - the price may seem big at first but two weeks down the line when you haven’t had to restock your cupboard, your bank balance will thank you. The same applies for supplements, if you find one you like then next time you buy it, do it big! Go big or go home is your moto in the gym so why shouldn't it be when it comes to your fuel?

#2 Cook it in bulk

As a student you’re either busy doing “work”, in lectures or spending your evenings going out. Cooking a meal at breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday just really isn't a good expenditure of your time. To cure this, a few times a week cook a meal in bulk, the prep might take a little bit longer and so may the cooking time, but this is absolutely minimal in comparison to doing it daily. Once cooked, portion it up and you have meals ready for whenever you need them. If you don't like the repetitive meals and like to switch it up a bit then do several big meal preps of different meals and then freeze them and rotate them as you wish. Not only is this cheaper than a student union meal deal, it also tastes better. Some of my favourite preps are chilli con carne, mass batch fajitas and Spanish style rice and chicken. With this sort of packed lunch you'll be the envy of fellow students.

#3 Get up and work out before lectures

[caption id="attachment_3347" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Work out before sitting down here.... Work out before sitting down here....[/caption] My University gym opens up pretty early during the week and I like to try and get in before my fellow students although you may be a little bit groggy and tired over breakfast and probably the only person in your student digs that's up and about. However, if you manage to wake, you've now got the whole day ahead of you and you are about to be at your most mentally focussed. There are arguments for training fasted at this hour, but I like to get some protein porridge in me and mix up some pre-workout to drink on the bus to wake me up and get me in the zone. There are few students in the gym and mainly “adults” having a session out before they go to work, surely they've worked out something that us students haven't? Not only does it get your day started and you partake in you first lecture on the up of pre-workout where your fellow students are sipping coffee and squinting through bleary eyes, but it also allows you to easily fit in your daily food intake in nice intervals rather than all of it being stuck post 1pm. You’ll also be surprised at how much more sleep you’ll end up getting by working in this cycle. I'm a chronic night owl usually but after waking early, I found myself getting tired at a normal hour and being more productive in the hours that I was awake.

#4 Shop savvy, train savvy

[caption id="attachment_3348" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Shop late at night to grab a supermarket bargain! Shop late at night to grab a supermarket bargain![/caption] I know we've already had a tip about buying in bulk but savvy shopping is slightly different. This time it's not about buying the bigger amounts but looking out for deals or discounts on food. Local markets are a great source of cheap healthy fresh fruit and veg. Often it will only have a couple days left before it goes bad but if you know the market is on twice a week then buy what you need for a fraction of supermarket price. Local butchers can often offer great prices that beat supermarkets on large purchases of meat. With late night shopping, often supermarkets and metro shops will begin to reduce stock a couple hours before closing. So if you time your weekly shop around this, you can pick up bargain meats and fish for a fraction of the price and if there’s a lot available buy it and freeze it.

#5 Have fun

These are probably some of the best years of your life and an experience you’ll never get to have again. Find the right balance of gym, work and social and don’t feel bad if you miss a meal every now and again as you're probably still eating better than the majority of your fellow students.

Tagged: Nutrition, Training

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