T Nation

How Much Difference Does Money Make?


I've survived and progressed on next to no income for my entire training so far, if I had £10/$20 to spend on food PER WEEK I was lucky.

Any money I could scrape together went on gym membership and food (very cheap food) and very very little else. Even buying new socks was quite a luxury, haha. I would occasionally get gym memberships paid for as a birthday present or similar, but you get the general idea.

Having just qualified and soon to be earning, I'm just wondering if anyone in a similar position saw themselves break through onto the next level, simply by having more funds to eat more/higher quality food or anything else.

This isn't a case of "OMGZ now I canz afford NO-EXPLODE!!!" but simply a case of progressing from budget noodles/eggs/milk to big fat steaks and just generally having less stress and a higher quality of life.


I think it makes a huge difference.

I spend quite a bit on food every week, and I'm not buying much I think I could go without. I am also not wasting anything at home.

Bodybuilding has motivated me to do good in college so I can afford calories when I get a real job.


Depends on the person. If you are talking about the vast majority of wimps on this site (which INCLUDES myself) who make ZERO progress, spending $1000s on supps and food per week won't mean jack shit.

I am sure a few select people like yourself, who work hard and made progress would make even better gains, but it is only theoretical for me and my kind who love to stink up this forum and work on finger muscles only.

I know people will ask why do we type in this forum if we make zero progress anyway - we have no life and this is our only hobby.


Sorry I don't have a rags to riches story but I think more money DEFINITELY DOES impact progress in BB. Especially the stress issue . . . of course there are alot of variables but more money DOES lead to a more stress-free life and this allows for higher quality training sessions as well as an optimal setting for continuous recovery. There is also less stress when you can get all the supplements you prefer rather than simply can afford and just KNOWING you have a perfect set-up allows for less stress in general.

And of course, money allows for higher quality food so that's a given. I buy some things organic but that is because it actually tastes better (like cottage cheese) and not because it says organic on the cover. Most of all, money allows for convenience. Don't feel like setting up food after a busy day? Easy to get healthy meals prepared for you for not much money but I suppose it does add up if you keep doing it routinely.


Eating became more enjoyable since I can now cook meals with a wide list of ingredients and sauces.

Personally, progress itself didn't really change that much, but body comp improved(smaller waist while gaining/maintaining) and my huge bloated gut is no more.


Dave_ I know that you are already one of the biggest guys who post regularly in this forum, now that you are going to get paid regularly, are you going to try out Thib's PARA workout protocol? I realize you are in UK and it might be incredibly expensive to do so, but just wondering.


But you know Dave you are also living proof that you don't need a lot of money to make progress. Hard smart work can do the job.

And money is a poor replacement for that.


I thought about this after watching the video of Mark Alvisi posted here recently, dude said he buys 3lbs of fresh tilapia a day(plus w/e else). Obviously "wealth" isn't necessary, but if you watch the different vids of the more well paid BBers you can always find things that really make you think to yourself "that would be so awesome if I could afford that."

I think it would have a more profound impact on dieting down though, where better ingredient quality and diet scrutiny in general becomes important. Unless of course your budget is just seriously preventing you from eating the calories/protein requirements to grow, and then that's an obvious "yes" to money improving progress.

Also aren't AAS rather pricey(probably the aspect of them I have researched the least)? If you actually start to think about things like competing at the high end NPC shows, and a potential pro career, that is pretty much a cost you have to figure out as well.


From my own experience, the more money you have the easier it is to bulk and enjoy it as you can really experiment. I only eat really good cuts of meat these days and try other meats that I would not have been able to afford in my earlier days (i.e. duck).

Plus if you want to go out for a bulking buffet, you can do it at a good seafood restaurant rather than eating dirty chinese (not that dirty chinese doesn't have its perks).


Variety, in a word. More money means a greater variety in food choices. When you are eating at least 4 times a day it just gets so boring if you can't enjoy a variety of dishes due to budget constraints.
Supplements are only one variable, but you can get the best quality. Wondering if your creatine is as pure as it should be or going for the cheaper product that tastes like old socks can't be conducive to stress-free training.


It's certainly not going to hurt you, but if you were already getting in all the required nutrients by the way of cheap foods it's probably not going to help much either. It will definitely make things more enjoyable simply because you can be more creative, but I wouldn't expect gains to come any easier.


I honestly don't think it matters that much. Look at the prison dudes that bodybuild. Of course, you do need access to some basic equipment and nutrition, but even people at the poverty line should be able to pull that off.

Supplements, food variety, elite gym access, etc. are luxuries, not necessities.


I don't think money makes much of a difference. Look at bodybuilders in prison, for example. Of course, you need enough money for basic equipment and nutrition, but most people even at the poverty line can probably pull that off.

Supplements, food variety, elite gym membership, etc. are luxuries rather than necessities.


There is no doubt a difference. I couldn't have afforded to eat like I do now when I was in school. Hell, if you considered the steaks I eat at full price, I eat more than 30 bucks worth of steak a day (even though I buy it on sale) along with 3-4 protein shakes that I couldn't have afforded previously.

That was one of the main reasons I used to eat more junk food....because Mc Donald's and Wendy's had a dollar menu and that was about the only way I could afford enough calories to keep growing.

I spend about 200 bucks a week just to eat the way I do daily.


People at any level of financial means can build muscle. That wasn't the question. Those same guys in prison would be making ten times the progress if they had access to decent supplements and true quality food all day long. Also, most of those guys are under 220lbs even though they may be ripped. Dave is bigger than that now.


Even Dave said in the OP that he is not looking for answers re: building muscle initially, he's asking about PROGRESSION. Unlimited supply of supplements and food variety which are luxuries fall into that category.


Like everyone else said your gonna have a lot more options. But what I'll throw out there that no one mentioned is when your eating out. You can now get that 24 oz steak at dinner that costs $20-$30. Add a piece of grilled chicken to your meal for the extra couple bucks. Order some kind of meat dish that's not on the appetizer menu and have it as an appetizer. Also when you got no food at home or don't feel like cooking, you got the cash to go eat out and not have to resort to fast food.


Ten times the progress from supplements and better quality food? Really?

I'd say these guys look pretty good, especially for natural bodybuilders:



Are you really arguing that bodybuilders will NOT see better progress from higher quality food sources and more money for supplements?


Once again, I am going to ask you for info about your OWN physical progress. Anyone actually making any wouldn't write half of the shit you do. Post pics of progress.


wtf 30 bucks a day in steak? I can get like 3kg for that much. That must be like 500g a day in protein from steak alone.