The Bodybuilder’s Shopping List


by Matt Meinrod

A few years back I was shopping at the grocery store and a man actually stopped me in my tracks and said, “Do you mind if I look inside your cart, you must be doing something right.” At first it was weird, but within a second or two it made me feel good, I laughed, and proceeded to let the guy take a sneak peek into my life. Any more than 10 seconds and I would have had to push the guy out of the way for being a creepster, but I let him have his fun. He didn’t ask questions as to why I bought $5 frozen bread (Ezekiel); why I chose organic red meat over the store brand; And why it looked like I was shopping for just a day or two worth of food compared to most people that shop for the week or month.

It was a bold move on this gentleman’s part, but I have to give him credit. Bodybuilders are a weird group of people when we have to function amongst the rest of society. I bet I can guess what’s in most of your shopping carts!

What’s the #1 type of clothing we’re all looking for? No, it’s not jeans or nice clothes. It’s not work outfits or shoes. It’s gym apparel. Girls in our industry have more yoga pants in their closets and drawers than Phil Heath has Jordan’s in his shoe collection. Rarely do I see a girl at my gym dressed badly. Now she can’t dress worth a damn to go to work or hit the club, but when she’s on the Stair Mill she knows what she’s doing. The gym fashion police will not be ticketing most of the girls at my gym for unsportsman-like-wardrobe. No 15 yard penalties, no not passing-go, no going directly to jail.

For supplements, I have my ear to the ground pretty well. You have two schools of thought these days. First, the guys so entirely bent out of shape for spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on supplements from 10 or 15 years ago that didn’t work, to now on a complete boycott on anything that isn’t omega-3 fish oil capsules or creatine monohydrate. In their eyes, everything else is shitty snake oil. And then you have the second group of guys that are so hardcore they bypass the fiber, fish oil, and vitamins and just go straight to high powered pro-hormones. God love’ m both! And ironically, both equally hardcore – one doesn’t need that bullshit to grow. Way hardcore. And the other is down to take anything you throw at him. Way-way hardcore.

Time at the actual grocery store is the same old-same old every time we’re in there. We stick to the perimeter and start near the fruits and veggies. After a quick load up on asparagus and spinach, we eyed the bakery, but only looked and smelled, didn’t touch. Then we head towards the egg aisle and load up on cage free or omega-3 eggs. From there we stay high on turn two and head towards the chicken and beef. If there’s a special on chicken breasts you can believe we’re buying out the shelf- no matter how slimy the chicken might be. As for beef, if you’re not on a budget, it’s grassfed and buffalo, all day, every day.

Otherwise, you’re looking at store brand 90/10 lean ground beef. At this point there’s a chance you might slip into the center of the store to pick out a half dozen or more tuna packets, but that’s only if you’re really desperate for something different. Back on track, we cart past the peanut butter section and find ourselves in treacherous territory: the nut aisle. In this gauntlet of the grocery store we find our almonds and cashews next to chips, pretzels, beer, and wine. If you’re going to blow your diet this is where it’ll happen. Push through the temptation and look past the butcher, since he only knows your name during contest prep and merely refers to you as Mr. Tilapia. Off to checkout we go in under 12 minutes; bodybuilding grocery shopping at its finest.

Sure, some of you might shop for other things like furniture that you won’t break or air freshener to make your house smell less like farts or cooked food, but for most of us this just about covers it all. Go online and order your Shiek lifting straps, Cardillo weight belt, and 6 Pack Cooler and we have all we need to be a fully functional and predictable bodybuilder or weight lifter.