You wake up in a hotel room. You're not entirely sure what town this is, but it doesn't really matter. The dots on the map are all just names after a while. More important is that you've got a long day ahead of you that's packed with, well, crap. Work. Driving. Family drama. Whatever it is, it demands your full attention.
But you also need to eat—a lot. Sure, you could run up the white flag and hit the drive-thru, but you remember what a slippery slope that is. And anyway, deep down you know this is the sort of challenge where truly committed bodybuilders rise to the occasion and wannabes slink back to the norm. That's not going to cut it for you.
ROAD WARRIOR: Frank McGrath's On-The-Go Nutrition Guide
So let's survey your options.
There's a store in town, but it ain't much of a store. You've got no kitchen, no stove, no measuring cups, no utensils—not even a can opener. All you've got is a single microwave down in the lobby, a few bucks, and a baggie of Animal Whey in your duffel.
Yeah, you can do this. IFBB Pro and longtime Animal athlete Frank "Wrath" McGrath can show you how.
BUY IT ANYWHERE, PREP IT ANYWHERE
Wrath has logged his share of windshield time during his long career as a bodybuilder. He knows how to make do in any circumstances, and also how to overcome bigger obstacles—not the least of which was a life-threatening car accident. Two decades into the game, he understands the role determination and simple, practical solutions play in finding—and maintaining—success.
So in the spirit of his other shopping guides, Big on a Budget and Huge on a Hundred, we dropped Wrath at a random supermarket near the Animal headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to show us how he sticks to a pro diet on the road.
"We all make excuses," he says. "I ate shit because I was traveling, and I thought I had no choice. Been there and done that. And now I know it's all a cop-out. If I can get some good meals together on the road, then we all can."
MAKING IT WORK IN A KITCHENETTE
- Grocery stores are open early. Get in before anyone else gets up.
- Look for tuna with a flip-top can. Your teeth aren't a can opener, tough guy.
- Canned chicken is fine; rotisserie chicken is better. It's got more flavor, more meat, and you get to tear it apart with your hands.
- A ripe avocado is more than just a healthy fat source; it's freaking delicious. Add it to your tuna and rice and pretend it's nachos with guacamole.
- Keep a few empty Tupperware containers in your car, luggage, and gym bag. They don't make sense—until they do.
- If you're only going to use a small quantity of, say, oats, buy it in bulk. It's surprisingly satisfying to eat a 39-cent breakfast.
- Nearly every store offers free plastic forks and spoons. Go check by the deli.
- Hate those unflavored egg whites? Add some hot sauce—the cheaper and hotter the better.
- Other cheap and clean ways to flavor your food: Mustard packets, vinegar, lemon juice, and even mayonnaise. It's just eggs and oil, after all.
- Hate your hotel gym? See if you can do a trial at one of those chintzy $9-a-month gyms. They've got dumbbells, at least.
Wrath's selections are nothing revolutionary. You're no doubt familiar with tuna, egg whites, rotisserie chicken, oats, bananas, avocados, potatoes, and rice. Throw in some extra protein from his stash of whey and some sugar-free Kool-Aid to add a little "tasty-taste" to his gallon of hydration, and Wrath is off and running.
If you know Wrath, you know he's got no time for unnecessary details—or vegetables. He gets what he needs and trusts his training to do the rest. Check out his on-the-go meals:
FRANK'S ON-THE-GO NUTRITION PLAN
- Sugar-free Kool-Aid
Good enough to grow
Is this meal plan going to blow your mind with its deliciousness? Doubtful—although avocado, rice, and tuna is better than you think. But stack these macros up alongside what most bodybuilders are eating, and you'll see it's got enough protein, carbs, and fats to keep you growing. In other words, it'll do.
As Wrath points out, he uses every opportunity to make little taste additions. He sweetened his oats with Splenda packets he poached from the free coffee accoutrements in the lobby, for instance. And while his jug of Kool-Aid may not seem deluxe, it's enough to help him choke down those egg whites. If that's not enough for you, follow the lead of Wrath's Animal brother Antoine Vaillant and become an aficionado of hot sauces. As Vaillant explained in "World-Class Mass on $10 a Day ," dirt-cheap Crystal Hot Sauce can make just about any meal find its way into your guts.
If you watched the video and it seemed too easy, ask yourself if you've been making things too hard. Wrath likens it to complaining about a road gym, a classic lame excuse for not training. "If I didn't work out because the gym was shit, that's on me. You've gotta find a way. Dumbbells and barbells are all you need. Same with your food—it doesn't need to be fancy. It just needs to do the job. Get it done."