As someone who has been through periods where I needed to work 60-70+ hours per week with long commutes, go to school full time, and still attempt to prepare for a bodybuilding competition or even just training for the bodybuilder lifestyle, I’ve always thought of ways to make things more convenient, save time, or generally just enhance anything and everything I can do related to bodybuilding. Here is a list of a few of those things that may be overlooked or not thought about.
#1 – Tupperware
Obviously this isn’t exactly a secret tool that determines the difference between an average Joe and Mr. Olympia, and this can easily be figured out by most people, but Tupperware is definitely the most generally useful thing based on a variety of factors. Nutrition is key to bodybuilding, food preparation takes lots of time, money is commonly an issue, time, space, convenience is also an issue. Many of these problems can be reduced significantly or lessened by packing meals in Tupperware containers. Most stores provide a variety of cheap containers with a variety of sizes and packages to fit the portion sizes you’re accustomed to. There are also containers that provide sections – very convenient for sectioning off vegetables and keeping portion sizes consistent between carbohydrate sources, etc.
#2 – Gym bags
If you’ve never been the person to carry a bag to the gym, give it a shot! High quality bags with multiple compartments can be bought for 30-or less dollars. For someone that takes their training seriously, you’d have an assortment of gym items in there to aid your training – knee wraps, lifting straps, possibly wrist support straps – at the very least chalk to improve your grip. Supplements such as BCAA’s for intra-workout nutrition, extra pre-workout in case you forgot to take yours before the gym – hell, even a protein bar/shake in case you get a call and need to be somewhere directly after the gym and don’t have time to go home to eat. OR better yet, even a post workout meal! Are all these items NECESSARY? Of course not, but they’re definitely tools that will improve you as an athlete, bodybuilder, fitness enthusiast – whatever, and a cheap, high quality gym bag is a great way to store them.
#3 – Rice Cooker
Let’s be honest, how many bodybuilders eat rice? You’d have a hard time finding those that DON’T eat rice. If rice is going to be the staple of your diet for your carbohydrate source (it isn’t so much for mine, but when I’m bulking and in the past when time and money was an issue, a 20-lb bag of rice for 10 dollars provided me with a very cheap, easy-to-make complex carbohydrate source), then a rice cooker is a great way to easily measure how much rice you’re getting, convert the water-to-rice ratio without inconsistencies (which is important for contest preparation when consistency with measurements is important), and generally cook a lot of rice, walk away, and come scoop it into your Tupperware. For further convenience for competitors on the road and staying in hotels, very small mini rice cookers can be purchased that make smaller amounts of rice very quickly. You could even fit them in your – or your girlfriend/wife’s – purse.
#4 – Blender
Without getting to vague and adding in “stove” and “refrigerator” to the list, we’ll end it at owning a high quality blender. Because bodybuilders are known to heavily drink protein shakes and come up with some creations (protein waffles and pancakes, cakes, or anything that requires some sort of paste/blend), a blender is always useful, especially when on the go or at a hotel and you find yourself needing a protein shake, or if you find you need to consume a bunch of different ingredients fast (detox blend of some sort, blend of herbs/ingredients with specific effects, WHO KNOWS).
#5 – Pill Organizer
A multivitamin sometimes isn’t enough, especially if you not only take your bodybuilding endeavors seriously, but also your health. Sometimes it’s impossible to know if you’re really getting a good rate of absorption in that 7-dollar multivitamin from walmart, and even so – sometimes a lot of goodies are missing from that. Aside from general ingredients for overall health that you find in multivitamins, you might also take something completely different like a fat burner waking up, along with say, maybe yohimbine, and possibly something random like digestive enzymes to be taken with breakfast – whatever you’re taking and for whatever reason, it’s easy to find a huge handful of pills being shoved into your mouth every morning/evening, so for me – I like to pre-pack them into a simple pill organizer that has 7-days, AM and PM sections, where I pre-sort them and just open them up and throw them all down in the morning/evening.
#6 – My Fitness Pal / Application To Track Diet
There are now a variety of applications where you can create, modify, enter foods and the application will automatically tell you how many of each macro nutrient it has, the caloric content, and even add all the micro nutrient values to your diet plan. If one application is annoying to use, try another. There are a variety of different ones out there that make it extremely convenient to track what you’ve eaten, what you plan to eat, what your diet will consist of, what your CLIENTS diet will consist of if you’re a trainer/coach/nutritionist of some sort. Since smart phones with android/other operating systems that have access to these apps are very common, it’s a very accessible option. These also aren’t just for diets – there are advanced trackers for workouts that track sets, reps, and poundages too!
#7 – Razorba Back Hair Shaver
Didn’t expect that, did you? Well, not all bodybuilders are very hairy. If you’re like me, however, you transform into a werewolf every few days. I’m constantly shaving and the bigger you get, the harder it is to reach your back. Unless you have a reliable person that you can ask to shave your back, invest in a Razorba back hair shaver, or something similar that extends and allows you to reach the hard-to-reach places and go back to rocking stringers at the gym.
*More useful tools to come! Have an idea? Email us!