Building Muscle on a Budget- Cost Conscious Supplements and Food

Building Muscle on a Budget- Cost Conscious Supplements

It’s hard to build muscle, or diet when you are on a tight budget. The key is to learn the tricks of the trade, and if you do it correctly, you will actually save money by getting a better body. Let’s look at some of my suggestions.


Budget Muscle- Food Edition:

Whether you are dieting or trying to add muscle, there are certain go to foods.

  • Chicken Breasts: Chicken breasts can be had for $1.99 a pound many times if you go directly to the butcher section at many grocery stores (Krogers), but if you buy the Tyson variety, you will be paying close to double.
  • Chicken Thighs: Fattier than chicken breasts, but much more economical, chicken thighs are a real value in the muscle department.
  • Eggs: I see our local ALDI advertising eggs for 59 cents a dozen all the time!
  • Yogurt and Cottage Cheese: Both very good sources of protein
  • Bulk almonds, peanuts, and cashews: Great healthy fats and proteins to snack on
  • 1st Phorm Level-1 Meal Replacement Shakes: Only 140 Calories, 24 grams of protein, and $1.66 for a complete meal, it is a must buy! Order here with free shipping!
  • Canned Tuna: Sometimes not the most appealing taste, but high quality protein for a low price!


Budget Muscle- Supplements Edition:

Whether you are dieting or trying to add muscle, there are certain go to supplements.

  • 1st Phorm Creatine: Creatine is safe for men and women and is one of the most researched and proven supplements ever. It builds muscle, helps in recovery, and is dirt cheap. Purchase 100 servings for less than 19 cents a serving with free shipping here! 
  • 1st Phorm Glutamine: Glutamine is another safe and proven supplement for men and women. Your muscles are full of glutamine and it is good for your immune system. Purchase today with free shipping for servings less than 32 cents a day!  
  • Hot Coffee (Black): Black coffee has antioxidants and caffeine that is great for weight loss. Especially if you don’t add the sweeteners. Try drinking this while fasting.
  • 1st Phorm M-Factor Multivitamins: M-Factor is dosed correctly with the right vitamins and minerals for women or men (you pick the men’s or the women’s version when ordering). They are tailor-made to help men and women who are active at working our or dieting that aren’t getting all the vitamins and minerals their body needs. Order M-Factor will free shipping here!



Quality foods and supplements don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but they sure can make those arms and legs grow!


Questions and Comments?


Thank you for reading, share with your friends!

Dustin Holston

Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist

How to Diet- A Comprehensive Guide


How to Diet- A Comprehensive Guide


Dieting isn’t as hard, or as expensive as people make it out to be.

The Weight Loss Formula

As mentioned in the linked article the weight loss formula is simple.

(BMR) > (Calories Consumed)-(Calories Burned)

Or quite simply: Eat less calories than  your body needs. 

Step #1. Figure out how many calories your body needs to maintain current weight (BMR).

Before you can start dieting, you really should figure out how many calories your body needs to maintain your current weight . I like to use this calculator to calculate my BMR. Currently my BMR is approximately 1900 calories (I’m 5’8, 192, 32 years old). BMR is the calculation of how many calories your body needs to maintain current weight if you were just sitting and breathing all day. This doesn’t include what your body needs if you workout, work, etc.




Step #2. How many pounds of fat do I want to burn each week?

Of the thousands of people who will read this article, I’m sure 95% of you will say “as much as possible”. Although this sounds like a good idea, it is not. Losing weight too fast can be detrimental to your health. You should want to lose weight safely and effectively while leaving as much muscle as possible.  The old adage is that cutting calories by 500 a day will help you burn 1 pound of fat a week. Although there are multiple studies confirming and denying the 500 calorie figure, I like to use it in my cheat sheet.

There are three ways to “cut calories”. The first way is to eat fewer calories. The second way is to burn those calories. The most effective way to diet is to do both. Burning calories through weight training and cardio will help you grow muscle and burn fat. Changing your diet will further help your weight loss journey. The third way to burn calories is through supplements such as The Bliss Go Pack or Commander Go Pack from 1st Phorm. These help speed up your metabolism to help you shred fat faster.

How many pounds should I shoot for losing each week? In most cases I don’t suggest trying to lose more than 1-3 pounds per week. This is equates to 4-12 pounds per month. Keep in mind that we are talking about “Fat” and not clearly just pounds. If you were normally eating a high sodium diet, you will lose a ton of water weight the first few weeks on top of the fat.


To Lose 1 pound per week- Cut/burn 500 additional calories than your body needs each day.

To Lose 2 pounds per week- Cut/burn 1000 additional calories than your body needs each day.

To lose 3 pounds per week- Cut/burn 1500 additional calories than your body needs each day.

Step #3. How am I going to burn these calories?

Part A. Plan a Diet

I suggest starting out to try to eat your BMR. The BMR is the amount of calories your body needs at rest to maintain current body weight. Since you will be active and in the gym, your body is going to be burning much more calories than normal, so eating your BMR should be 500-1000 calories less than your body will actually need to maintain current body weight.

This means I need to shoot for around 1900 calories per day.

Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast- Level-1 Shake + Banana= 230 calories

Snack #1- 1 servings of almonds= 160 calories

Lunch- Broccoli and Chicken Breast (6 oz)- 330 calories

Snack #2- 1 servings of almonds- 160 calories

Dinner-2 fillets of Tilapia, 2 servings of brown rice (200 grams), Cauliflower- 500 calories

Post-Workout Snack- 2 servings of Phormula-1 + 1 serving of Ignition= 360 calories

Before Bed Snack- Peanut butter with apples- 200 calories

Total Calories= 1940

Part B. Workout Plan

When I’m cutting, I want to be in the gym at least 5 days a week. I like to hit specific muscle groups on specific days. I will then finish the workout by doing cardio.

Monday- Biceps/Triceps + 20 minutes HIIT

Tuesday- Chest + 20 minutes of HIIT

Wednesday- Legs + 20 minute jog

Thursday- Back + 20 minute jog

Friday- Shoulders + Calves + 20 minute HIIT.

Weekends- I may go for a jog or play basketball. I try to give my muscles the weekend off.

Part C. Supplement Plan

Supplements help supplement your diet and exercise. If you are a gym rat, you will need to supplement your diet more because you lose many vitamins and minerals through sweat. We also miss out on a lot of vitamins and minerals because of our diet. Many American’s don’t eat enough fish.

Here is my supplement plan:


Commander + Thyro-Drive with Breakfast– Commander is my favorite fat burner on the market. Commander gives me energy, reduces cravings, and burns fat.

Commander  with Lunch– Commander is my favorite fat burner on the market. Commander gives me energy, reduces cravings, and burns fat.

M-Factor Hero before bed– A great multivitamin that isn’t pixie dusted. It works by giving you essential vitamin and minerals your body needs in a capsule, much more proven way to inject vitamins.

Thyro-Drive before bed– Thyro-Drive helps maintain optimal thyroid performance to maxmize weight loss.

Opti-Core before bed– Stress makes you gain weight, lack of sleep helps prevent gains. Opti-Core helps reduce stress and increase sleep.

Full Mega before bed– We don’t eat enough fish. Fish Oil is great for your heart, is an anti-inflammatory, and studies have shown weight loss with fish oil.

Creatine Post Workout-  I mix creatine with Ignition and Phormula-1 Protein post workout to help with muscle growth and recovery.



Losing weight isn’t difficult, but keep consistent with it can be. Plan everything from your workouts, to your diet, to you supplements to ensure that you maximize the weight loss. After each month I take a look back to see if I achieved the results I wanted. I then make tweaks.


If you need further advice on diet, training, or other goals, feel free to email me: Also feel free to click on any of the links through the page to receive the lowest price and free shipping on your 1st Phorm orders.


Thank you,


Dustin Holston

Certified Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist


Creatine Rage and the Case of the Abusive Cop

Creatine Rage and the Case of the Abusive Cop

You may have watched the above video that tried to state that Officer Ben Fields may have been using bodybuilding supplement “Creatine” and it may have contributed to his rage!


Oh no! I use creatine daily!

Here is what we know about creatine: 

It’s naturally occurring. It is found in meat.
It is one of the most studies supplements in history.
Your body already has 100-150 grams of it naturally without taking the supplement.
It increases muscle mass and strength

This is what side effects are known:

Weight gain
Dehydration and cramps
Gastrointestinal issues

Alleged side effects:

If you have kidney or liver problems, you probably shouldn’t take creatine

Other items to note:

There is no such thing as Creatine Rage!!!

Creatine does not increase hormone levels such as steroids. Creatine isn’t an amphetamine that hypes you up. Creatine is not going to make you hulk out and assault a kid for no reason! 

Incredible Hulk? Not likely from Creatine...

Incredible Hulk? Not likely from Creatine…

So in the case of the “Creatine Rage Cop” Results:

It was a bad kid, doing bad things, who messed with a cop having a horribly regrettable day.

Creatine is Found- Not Guilty

Creatine: the most cost effective supplement in history!

Creatine is the most cost effective and studied sports supplement in history. Creatine has a ton of conflicting information about it that has kept some people from taking the wonder supplement. This is why you should take CREATINE!

If I could tell you that I have a supplement that for less than 18 cents a day will help you build more lean muscle, make you stronger in the gym, will help you recover faster, and could have anti-cancer properties, would you take it? What if I told you this supplement has been studied for years and is completely safe with normal dosage ranges? The name of this miracle supplement? Creatine.


Here are some facts about Creatine that you may or may not know:

  1. Creatine is not a steroid! It is an amino acid. You will not get “jacked”, have roid rage, or see your marbles shrink from use of creatine.
  2. Creatine is heart healthy! Studies have shown that people who survive heart disease benefit with supplementing creatine! 
  3. Creatine shouldn’t make you puffy! I have heard a million times that creatine causes water weight gain. Although it is possible because creatine forces more water into the muscle cell, it should have any dramatic impact. There were stories that inferior creatine still had sodium in it and would cause water retention. If you are concerned with water weight, drink more water when supplementing with creatine. More water makes you piss more. More piss, less water in your body!
  4. Women can take creatine! Multiple studies have been done on women showing that it is effective to help women work harder in the gym and gain more muscle. If you do not want to gain muscle, or work harder in the gym, then don’t take creatine!
  5. Sugar makes creatine work better! Spiking your insulin does increase the amount of creatine that enters the cell. To do this, I’d suggest taking your creatine with some juice, kool-aid, or fruit. I like to add mine to my ignition and protein post workout. Post workout carbs + Creatine + Protein= MUSCLES!
  6. When you take your creatine doesn’t matter! As long as you take approximately 2-5 grams of creatine a day, it doesn’t matter if you take it at night, preworkout, post-workout, or morning.
  7. Caffeine and Creatine do not have a good relationship! Caffeine and creatine together can make you have cramps. Many people take their creatine preworkout with excessive amounts of caffeine. It may be smarter to take your creatine post workout instead of preworkout.


If you would like to buy some pure micronized creatine monohydrate for $17.99 with free shipping, please check out this link!  You will get fast and free shipping on your entire 1st Phorm order. Also check out the post workout stack with Ignition and CTC (Cinnamon Toast Crunch) flavored Protein!

Lift Heavy My Friends,
Dustin Holston
Certified Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist