What Percentage Of Your Budget Do You Dedicate To Your Fitness Goals?

What percentage of your budget do you dedicate to your fitness goals? Here are some valuable tips & real-life examples of how you can spend less on fitness and still meet your goals. Read on and save money now!

TOPIC: What Percentage Of Your Budget Do You Dedicate To Your Fitness Goals?

The Question:

When times are tough we have to step back and take a closer look at our budget. And gym memberships, equipment, supplements, etc. can burn quite a hole in one's wallet.

What percentage of your budget do you dedicate to your fitness goals?

What is a reasonable budget to spend towards fitness?

What are some ways one can significantly cut their spending on fitness?

What is the most ridiculous budget for fitness that you've ever heard of?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

      1. InclineDBPresss

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      2. mrkdrt

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      3. History in Effect

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      3. TheSovereign

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        1st place - 75 in store credit.

        2nd place - 50 in store credit.

      3rd place - 25 in store credit.

1st Place - InclineDBPresss
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Managing The Cost Of Fitness

Let's talk about your budget! For those of you just getting into the bodybuilding lifestyle, or just trying to live fit, you are just starting to become familiar with the costs of fitness.

If you've been at it for a while, you are well aware that the lifestyle we all lead is very high maintenance. The personal resources we expend include time, effort and motivation. We make intangible sacrifices every day which bring us closer to achieving our goals.

Another expense that we can all relate to is the money we spend on getting the right foods, the top-notch dietary supplements, keeping up a gym membership and traveling back and forth, buying equipment... the list goes on, doesn't it?

For some of us the list includes personal training sessions, fitness magazines, designer meal replacement shakes and even massage therapy. Without getting into the economics of your lifestyle, it's safe to say that we're all concerned with keeping costs down.

How much of my budget should I put towards my fitness goals? How can I cut my spending? This article will answer both of those questions by looking at what you actually need to achieve your goals. I'll outline what expenses you can call reasonable. I'll also point out some expenses that you can easily cut down on, that you might not be aware of yet.

After reading the few sections of this article, you should have a much better sense of how your money can best suit your needs. With that being said, no matter how much money we budget towards fitness, if we aren't also training hard and dedicating time to fitness, we might as well save that gym membership fee and go on vacation. The harder you work, the more you'll get out of your fitness costs!

Percentage Of Your Budget
What Percentage Of Your Budget Do You Dedicate To Your Fitness Goals?


Since bodybuilding is one of my two passions in life, managing the funds to put towards it is pretty tough. I put 30% of my income towards bodybuilding, which is easy, since that also includes all of the food that I ever need. I always make sure to have an ample supply of fresh chicken breasts, oatmeal, canned tuna and anything else on my shopping list. I also make sure to have whey protein, fish oil, creatine monohydrate and ZMA around.

I can get by spending $100 dollars monthly on dietary supplements, and $400 on food. I usually try to go under budget, because saving a little here and there goes a long way - and then occasionally I will buy a nice high-performance creatine and NO2 blend like Controlled Labs Green Magnitude with some White Flood. I also tried out Dymatize XPand for a month. Savings also go towards gym memberships and equipment.

Reasonable Amount
What Is A Reasonable Budget To Spend Towards Fitness?


Whether you are a bodybuilder, figure competitor, athlete or if you're just trying to get into shape, your costs are going to be made up of food, dietary supplements, and equipment. Your food spending involves day-to-day food, spices and cooking supplies.

How much you spend on dietary supplements is really your choice - some of them are considered staples, and others may or may not speed up your progress. What I call your equipment involves your gym membership or your home gym, any clothes that you buy specifically for exercise and any other accessory that you use in a workout.

In the following section, I'll outline what is reasonable spending in each of these areas. Afterwards, I'll let you know how you can apply these numbers to yourself!

dot The Building Blocks - Food: dot

      A reasonable amount to spend per week on food is $100.00. That's a pretty even number. I can usually stay under $80 per week if I'm keeping it to a bare minimum, but sometimes I grab lunch or dinner out. I really like to get some nice fish when it's around, and some exotic fruit or nuts, too. Spending $100.00 per week, you won't get bored, and you will definitely meet your fitness needs.

Every week, I can expect to go through the following:

      • 5lbs chicken breast - $20.00
      • 10 cans tuna - $10.00
      • 2-3 gallons milk - $8.00
      • 1 pound cold cuts - $8.00
      • 2 dozen eggs - $5.00
      • A loaf of wheat bread -$2.50
      • A pound of almonds - $6.00
      • A box of brown rice - $4.00
      • 20 servings of oats - $4.00
      • Vegetables - $10.00
      • Fruits - $10.00

That adds to about $85.00. The meat and eggs alone gives me over 1000g of protein weekly, and I get the rest in whey. I also pick up peanut butter, olive oil, PAM, cheese and spices as needed - but as long as I don't spend over $100.00 per week, I consider myself in budget.

    If you're not after 200 or more grams of protein a day, your food costs will be a bit lower. If you're living a generally healthy lifestyle, rather than eating a high protein diet $100.00 can last you the entire week, and you can eat delicious organic foods every day.

dot The Icing On The Cake - Dietary Supplements: dot

      Dietary supplements are the easiest way for someone in the fitness lifestyle to spend tons of money. Some people spend nothing on dietary supplements, while others buy everything they can. You can easily spend over $500.00 in a month on supplements if you want to.

For a bodybuilder, I'd say you can easily stay below $85.00 monthly and still see great results. If you round that up to $100.00, every once in a while you will have some left over cash to put towards a new supplement you're interested in.

This is just paying attention to the "Staples":

That totals up to $83.00. In up-coming sections, I'll give some tips on how to get these costs down further.

    If you are a figure competitor, or just trying to stay fit, your training may demand some of these supplements but not all. Depending on what vitamins your regimen requires, I would keep spending under $75.00. Some of the more expensive vitamin and mineral products aren't really necessary to buy on a monthly basis, and all of the main health staples are very affordable.

dot Labor Fees - Your Equipment And Gym Costs: dot

      Equipment costs are easy to cut down on, because your equipment is really what you make of it. On a yearly basis, you'll be renewing your gym membership, buying new workout attire here and there, and you might need to get a stretching, pair of straps or a belt depending on what your gym provides.

I wouldn't spend more than $600.00 per year on fitness equipment and clothing. Depending on your area, this might be higher or lower, but I live in a rural area so prices are a bit lower.

      • Gym membership - $500.00
      • Needed equipment - $100.00

If the best gym for you costs over $500.00, my advice is, just pay for it. You should pay for the gym that you'll get the most value out of. Your "needed equipment" cost is pretty low because it might consist of a few $25.00 pieces of fitness equipment and a few pairs of shorts and T-shirts.

dot How Do I Know If I'm Staying Within Reason? dot

      If you have some serious budget restraints, or you want to save money, you need to implement some serious budget management into your routine. You thought there was no technical aspect to the bodybuilding lifestyle, huh?

Here are the steps to staying within reason on your budget that I practice every day. This can make a huge difference in your life - you won't realize how much money you can save until you manage your own budget.

      • For your first "budget period" (try 1 month), keep track of income and spending. Make it clear what things you are allowed to spend on, so you don't go picking up extra snacks that you don't need. Keep a log book of everything that you do spend money on. Notice HOW and WHEN you spend your money. I'd pick up a little notebook and update it as often as possible.

      • As you go through a budget period, check weekly on how much money you have, and look for any questionable spending.

      • At the end of a budget period, assess the value of each item you bought. Was this item worth the money? Will it need to be replaced next month, or is it going to last you a while? What can you cut out?

    Keeping a tight budget on your fitness costs makes the lifestyle so much easier! I'd recommend reading up on how to manage a budget, but the steps above are a general outline. As you track your budget as a whole, the techniques listed in the next section will help you make sure your fitness spending doesn't get out of control.

Cutting The Cost
What Are Some Ways One Can Significantly Cut Their Spending On Fitness?


Being healthy and having a great physique doesn't have to hit your pockets too hard. Spending on food, supplements and equipment can easily get out of hand, and you may be spending more than you need to, without even knowing it.

dot Grocery Shopping: dot

      If your food shopping habits are congruent with your training habits, you should be spending 25% less on food than you normally would, because you can usually cut out snacks and fast food. What you don't spend here, you'll be putting towards your equipment and supplement costs, so here's how you can spend the least in the food store:

      • Buy food in the largest quantity possible. At a wholesale club, you can buy huge packages of fresh meat, oats, brown rice, potatoes, and basically anything you need. If anything perishable is on sale, buy some extra, and freeze what you don't need.

      • Use a shopping list! The most common habit I have in the food store is picking up things impulsively. If you take a list with you, you already know what to buy. You can even include on your list "$5.00 snack of choice" to satisfy that impulse-buyer deep down inside.

      • Look at what you eat on a daily basis once you start a budget period. If you're having health food at the deli every day for lunch, you are spending around twice as much as you would on a packed lunch.
      A major snack to stay away from is the


    or energy bar. Sure, they are extremely convenient and offer health perks as well as a good taste, but buying a protein bar here and there on the go can really add up. They cost anywhere between $2 and $5, and can be easily replaced with a whole food meal.

dot Supplement Shopping: dot

      Whether you use generic or gourmet, factory or designer, there is probably room to tighten up your spending on supplements.

If you are not buying your supplements in the largest quantity possible, you need to start. Let's say you buy 5lbs of whey protein a month, along with 200g of creatine. You're paying $50 a month for all that, plus shipping and handling of $5-10. That totals up to around $55 dollars.

A great way to knock off your spending in the long run is to buy 10lbs of whey, and 500g of creatine, all at once. First of all, this cuts out the shipping cost of one order. A 10lb container of whey, like SciVation's Whey costs only $65, or $32 for 5lbs - when a 5lb container of similar quality whey might run you $35-40.00. Instead of spending $110 over two months, you spend $95.00. You just saved yourself $15-20... That can really add up!

    If having that much cash all at once is a problem, you can try making two trips, but in one trip buy two months worth of some things, and in the next monthly trip or order, buy two months of another group of supplements. You can still get substantial savings this way.

dot Using Promotional Offers: dot

      Look for promotional offers from companies like SciVation


      Controlled Labs

          when they come out with new products. You can sometimes get a discount from offering a review of the product, or maybe even get a sponsorship by agreeing to track progress in a

      workout log

          on Bodybuilding.com.

      Also try to find free samples whenever you can. Bodybuilding.com's store usually has a few pre-workout supplements and a few protein powders in sample packs which companies give away as a promotion. Try out one or two when you place your order (they are a courtesy, though - don't go crazy!) to see if the product is something you actually want to spend your money on.

      dot Equipment Costs: dot

          Without a doubt, your biggest one single cost will be a gym membership. These can run you between $500.00 and $1000.00 a year. If you buy several separate memberships throughout the year, watch that figure go up and up. Some gyms charge $20.00 for one visit! Your other costs will involve


          and some can be expensive pieces of equipment. How can you minimize these costs?

      The first place you should look at is your gym membership. When you purchase a gym membership, it's hard to be sure if you will want to work out there in two months, or how much you'll be away.

      My best advice is to make that year-long commitment. A year-long membership can run you $500.00, so by bouncing around to different $100.00/month gym memberships month to month, you are really straining your pockets. When you go on vacation, or on business trips, look for hotels with training equipment, or gyms that offer trial memberships.

      Money Saving Tips.
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      Money Saving Tips.
      Let's make a thread full of ideas. Every day I empty my pockets of whatever change I have into a bucket. When the bucket is full I deposit it into savings.
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          Another area where I have made some regrettable spending is gym attire. I used to go to the shoe store and buy nice $50.00 pairs of nylon


          , before I had to be aware of a budget. The only use I got out of those shorts was to wear them through a sweaty gym session and get them torn on the bottom of a heavy squat. Now, I wish I'd bought the $5.00 pairs of shorts on clearance at Wal-Mart. Don't waste your money on exercise clothes!

      Finally, when you go to buy a new weight belt, or pair of straps, search for used first. I got my dip belt at a yard sale for $5.00. These types of things will last you a while, but why invest $25.00 when you can spend $5?

      dot The Finer Things: dot


      high school

          , my

      lifting partner

          was terrible with money. Great guy, and very


          , but terrible with money. When I introduced him to Bodybuilding.com to shop for supplements, he immediately rang up the following bill:

          • 2 2lb containers of gourmet whey - $75.00
          • MuscleTech Creakic Hardcore: $39.99
          • MuscleTech Gakic Hardcore: $51.99
          • Lean Body RTD's (12) - $39.99

      To sum that up, he spent over $200.00 on what might last him a month. That's great if you've got the money for it, but to me, that was completely unreasonable as I ended up gaining more than he did that month on my $80.00 budget.

      In Conclusion

      This article should have helped you to see what kind of spending is within reason if you're trying to build up or stay in shape. You're going to be putting money into food, supplements and gym/equipment fees. It is very easy for these costs to get out of hand, so I highly recommend you follow the budget guidelines that I outlined.

      You can strive every day, every week, every month, every year to reach your goals as best as possible within your means, and by keeping spending within reason, you'll have a much easier time. Good luck out there and work hard.

      2nd Place - mrkdrt
      View This Author's BodySpace Here.

      When times are tough we have to step back and take a closer look at our budget. And gym memberships, equipment, supplements, etc. can burn quite a hole in one's wallet.

      It's no secret - bodybuilding costs money. While some may consider gym memberships and extra food necessary and comparable to equipment for other sports, it's easy to go overboard on unessential items.

      Percentage Of Your Budget
      What Percentage Of Your Budget Do You Dedicate To Your Fitness Goals?


      Personally, I am not ashamed to say I am on a tight budget. I don't make "the big bucks," but with discipline I've been able to meet all my needs with what I do get. In a month, for house payments, car and utility bills, I spend about 75% of my income.

      Of course, groceries take priority. I fit them in my typical budget, but allot a few more bucks when bulking. While this is essential for bodybuilding, it is also essential for everyday life, so I make sure I have enough money in the fund that I don't go hungry. I usually spend about 15% of my monthly income on groceries.

      Second on my list in importance is the gym membership. I buy a year's pass, but pay monthly for it. Luckily, my gym is fairly reasonable, and only takes a mere 1-2% of my monthly income.

      For supplements, I stick mainly to the essentials. Whey protein, a multivitamin, and a creatine product are staple purchases. For me, anything above this is luxury. I spend less than 4% of my bi-monthly income on supplements.

      After these "musts" of my fitness goals, taking about 20% of my monthly budget, I usually have about 10% of my income left over. Perfect for infrequent needs (like a new pair of wrist straps) and even bank savings!

      Reasonable Amount
      What Is A Reasonable Budget To Spend Towards Fitness?


      A reasonable amount of money to spend towards fitness greatly depends on what else your money is going to. If you spend so much on bodybuilding that you can't make rent or your credit card is maxed out, obviously, you need to go over your budget and adjust accordingly.

      In my opinion, if you have spare money that isn't going to bills and fitness, then by all means, use it for your passion.

      It's hard to judge someone who seemingly spends generously, using every spare dollar they have on fitness related products or services, if that is their passion and they use it to reach their ultimate fitness goals.

      Cutting The Cost
      What Are Some Ways One Can Significantly Cut Their Spending On Fitness?


      There usually isn't a way to get everything for free, but there are many ways to get deals and reduce overspending.

      dot Groceries: dot

          Buy in bulk. For groceries, buying greater quantities always cuts costs. Shopping at Costco has really helped me out. Also, always keep my eyes peeled for deals in the grocery store flyers.

      When meat is on sale, this is when I head down and buy up to the shopper limit. Meat can be easily frozen and lasts for a long time this way, and I can guarantee I will use it eventually. If it's been an expensive month where unforeseen expenses arise, I may switch to a meat-free week or two. While it is not my dietary preference, eating soy, lots of natural peanut butter, with my usual dairy, is fine for a short while and is often a cheaper grocery trip than when buying meat.

      Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
      Author, mrkdrt: "Buy In Bulk."

        Buying fresh vegetables instead of frozen or pre-cut can usually reduce costs drastically if added up over a month. Often, if you are willing, many grocery stores put day old bread and over-ripe vegetables (that are still good) on a clearance price. If you plan to use them right away, why wouldn't you buy them on sale?

      dot Gym Membership: dot

          Like bulk groceries, buying a year membership at the gym will save you a LOT more money than if you paid a monthly fee, or even worse, a day pass each visit. Consider the gym first. A lot of gyms have more than just a weight-room. Some include pools, basketball courts, wall climbing, and more, but don't even have dumbbells over 60lbs and non-Olympic barbells!

      If all you want is the weight-room, then this place obviously is not for you. Why pay full price when you plan to use only 10% of the facility? Look for 'hardcore' gyms that are sure to have the equipment you need, and don't make you pay extra for perks you likely won't use. Usually these gyms are run by like-minded people, and aren't typically out to rob you in fees.

      If you still are worried about costs, check out the classifieds for free-weight and equipment sales. It's not uncommon to see Olympic bars, dumbbells and plates for a mere fraction of retail cost.

      dot Supplements: dot

          Buying 10lb bags of


          instead of 2lbs makes the whey last for over a month, plus is cheaper.

      Scivation's Whey

          , I find, is a great deal for a lot of whey.

      Multivitamins can range in price, but it's easy to get one for really cheap. SportPharma is a great budget option for a fairly comprehensive formula.

      With each of these products, monthly purchases on supplements aren't necessary, so you may be able to budget your supplement purchases over two months, for example. I buy all my supplements from Bodybuilding.com. Buying online alone can save me about half of what I would pay at a retail supplement store.

      The Bodybuilding.com store often has 10% off deals; so take advantage of this when you can. Another way to save money on supplements is to buy only what you need. Really consider your motivation for a new product, if you think it will help, but you don't feel its necessary, then hold off on it or at least save up for it and treat yourself.

      dot Gym Equipment: dot

          For equipment, my gym has new clean belts and wrist straps for members to use free of charge, so I don't have to go out and buy any. Check to see if your gym has these, it could save you a good chunk of change.

        What Is The Most Ridiculous Budget For Fitness That You've Ever Heard Of?


        One of my friends in college was a supplement junkie. Lucky for him, his parents paid for his school, and access to the school gym was paid for in student fees. This left him with every dollar he made to be spent as he wished. Unfortunately buying into the hype, and products that "guarantee" specific results, he spent nearly $400 dollars a month for supplements.

        I couldn't know for sure, but I'm sure with his part-time job, this was a huge chunk of his income. On top of this, he bought branded straps and gloves from popular companies such as TLF. While you would think this would help out his goals, he improved in the gym no more than myself or our other buddy we trained with.

        If someone has the money to spend on extra or unnecessary products, you can't blame them for spending their money how they want. But, having no greater effect, it obviously was a waste of money that could have been put to better use.

        3rd Place - History in Effect
        View This Author's BodySpace Here.

        When times are tough we have to step back and take a closer look at our budget. And gym memberships, equipment, supplements, etc. can burn quite a hole in one's wallet.

        Percentage Of Your Budget
        What Percentage Of Your Budget Do You Dedicate To Your Fitness Goals?


        As a college student, my budget is pretty tight already. Thankfully, my school has an adequate gym where I get a great cardio workout and a good weight lifting session in. The school gym is included in fees that I pay to the school each semester, so I use it at least 5 times out the week. I spend between 50 and 100 dollars a month. I consider this very reasonable for a person like me who has to spend money on food, books, and tuition.

        This is a typical grocery list aka nutrition list of what I usually buy:

        dot Creatine: dot

            I consider creatine a must have on anybody's list. It helps your muscles get energy, helps them grow, get stronger and increase in strength. Creatine monohydrate is the most studied and has been proven effective more than all of them. I take 3-5 grams a day; usually with water. No need for it to be flavored.

          dot Whey Protein: dot

              You have to use whey protein ladies and gentlemen. Whey protein is an excellent source for a person who wants to gain weight or perform better in a sport by getting stronger. There is nothing wrong with taking whey protein and it keeps your muscles growing.

          If you want to be strong and give your muscles adequate recovery, you should take whey protein. I stick to whey protein concentrate when on a very limited budget or take in whey protein isolate.

          dot Multivitamin: dot

              The behind-the-scene workers for bodybuilders. They keep your workouts efficient and productive. Vitamins and minerals are also great to consider if you have nutrient deficiencies. Many of us took Flinstone tablets to keep ourselves strong and healthy. A good multivitamin allows you to cover the bases if your lacking in minerals and vitamins.

            dot Others: dot

                Others that could be included for people with higher budgets: casein protein, pre, intra, and post-workout products, prohormones (if you are of age) and many others.

              Reasonable Amount
              What Is A Reasonable Budget To Spend Towards Fitness?


              A reasonable budget should be between 50 and 100 dollars which should include the basics I listed. Whey protein, creatine, and multivitamin should be in anybody's stack. If you have money, you can include others that I mentioned before.

              Cutting The Cost
              What Are Some Ways One Can Significantly Cut Their Spending On Fitness?


              Research the products you are getting and don't fall for flashy products claiming to give you a 50% boost in strength in 5 days or weight gains of 30 pounds in a week. Don't try to go for products that you have no idea what they are.

              Most brands do work, but some include stuff you don't want. A lot of people want the basic protein powders and creatine and not all those fillers and extra ingredients. Those extras drive up the cost of the products. Stick to the basics and you will still get solid results. If you research and ask others who know about supplements, you will be successful.

              What Is The Most Ridiculous Budget For Fitness That You've Ever Heard Of?


              I have heard some people who spend 500 to 1,000 dollars a month on products. 50 to 100 dollars is suitable for me. The people who spend over 500 dollars usually get a lot of products. There is nothing wrong with that, but a budget like that would break my bank. No doubt you will be spending money close to this if you are trying to be in a competition.

              3rd Place - TheSovereign
              View This Author's BodySpace Here.

              Percentage Of Your Budget
              What Percentage Of Your Budget Do You Dedicate To Your Fitness Goals?


              I am currently a college student so I workout on fitness and do not spend money on gym fees. However, for supplements, I figured a good price range would be $2/training day or roughly $10/week. When I did pay to use a fitness facility I think it was around $30/month.

              Reasonable Amount
              What Is A Reasonable Budget To Spend Towards Fitness?


              This depends greatly on two things:

              1. How much money are you making?
              2. How dedicated are you to your fitness?

              Firstly, and most obviously, if you are making a comfortable wage you can afford to spend more money on recreational activities such as bodybuilding/fitness. However, if you are at the point where you're fretting over your budget, accessories such as fitness expenses might be the first to go.

              Secondly, if you are a serious athlete or really want to get into shape you will obviously spend more time and money than someone who wants to "stay in shape" or just doesn't care about their fitness. Gym fees can vary widely especially depending on where you are living. This variable depends greatly on the convenience of the facility.

              In the title of this post I mentioned training smarter. Part of this is to browse this website and many others to find effective training methods WITHOUT ever having to pay a gym fee. I mentioned in the first question that my budget for supplements was $2/training day. I thought this comparable to the price of a Gatorade that most people would not think twice about buying on their way out of the gym. Same price, exponentially more nutritionally significant.

              Cutting The Cost
              What Are Some Ways One Can Significantly Cut Their Spending On Fitness?


              As I mentioned earlier there are many articles on this site written about how to workout at home or on a tight budget thus cutting out the expense of a gym membership. In the title of this post I mentioned being an informed consumer. This means you need to price shop.

              The newest, most expensive, most popular, or name on the bottle doesn't mean a dang thing. Read the labels and find out what you are putting in your body, compare prices and supplements to find out which is the best bang for the buck or if you can afford a little extra spending.

              If you're concerned over gym fees, then check with the local community college or high school and see if their facility is ever open to the public. If you do not have internet access or a computer, public libraries provide both of those services. BE A SMART SHOPPER! Know what you're putting in your body; know what it does and compare to similar products. Then decide what you want to buy.

              What Is The Most Ridiculous Budget For Fitness That You've Ever Heard Of?


              Thinking that having the latest and greatest supplements, high priced lifting gloves, the most popular gym and a bunch of other stuff will make your training more effective. Sorry folks, the latest is by no means the greatest and bigger/more expensive is certainly not always better. The name on the bottle doesn't make it any better.

              If you're relying on gloves and other equipment to assist you, then you clearly have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do. Crumby hole-in-the-wall gyms may provide all the same equipment and mindset you require for your training. You don't have to spend a lot of money. You just have to be informed as to HOW to effectively train your body and WHAT supplements will help you (based on your goals) the most.