Cheapass Challenge Initial Equipment List

Here’s the starting list of equipment, supplements, and services for this challenge. I’ve averaged the total cost out over 12 weeks and subtracted the amount from my $40/week budget target, leaving $21.29/week for groceries.

Of course, anyone NOT planning on entering the official EAS Body-for-Life and/or Instone Nutrition Lifechange challenges can simply subtract the cost of the supplements I purchased to qualify as a contestant. Males might also omit the calcium 600 mg + D supplement, but females who don’t consume much dairy in their diets should seriously consider keeping it.

EAS only requires that one EAS product be purchased and used during their Body-for-Life challenge, but Instone’s rules state that participants need to buy one product per month to qualify. I decided to pick up one canister of EAS l-glutamine powder that should last the entire challenge. On the Instone side, I bought one bottle of the Pre-Workout Intensity caplets which contain, from what I can tell, an innocuous mix of caffeine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), vitamin B-12, and cocoa extract. I plan to buy a 4 pack of Instone’s protein pudding each remaining month to meet the purchase requirements.

I opted for a cheap $10/month gym membership at Planet Fitness instead of picking up home equipment because the membership fee was very reasonable and no long-term contract was required. I’ll post an alternate starting list with a basic home gym set up of bench and dumbbells once I have a chance to check out prices at the local stores.

(Click to enlarge)

Cheapass Challenge Plan


– Spend no more than $40/week averaged over a 12 week period for food, supplements, equipment, and gym fees associated with completing a 12-week Body-For-Life challenge. ($480 total)
– Cost of weekly cheat meal does not count against the $480 I have to spend on my challenge.
– The ingredient/material cost of any meals provided to me free by my company during weekends or late night work sessions will be estimated and counted in my budget.


– Cycle calories between 1200-1600 calories per day as needed to produce desired results
– Total daily macros between 50/30/20 and 40/40/20 carb/pro/fat (Not per meal)
– Six meals per day with carbs reduced in meals 5 and 6
– Daily multivitamin and calcium 600 + D plus EAS and Instone supps
– 16 cups of water minimum per day (1 cup with morning workout, 2 cups with each snack meal, 3 cups with each main meal)
– Each week’s menu will be planned out and cooked ahead of time.
– One optional cheat meal per week may be taken for the duration of the challenge. – No foods from the banned list may be consumed at any time, including cheat meals.

Banned Foods: Baked pastries/desserts (brownies, cakes, pies, cookies, etc.), trail mix, nuts and dried fruit not in recipe, cheese and other dairy, ice cream, anything deep-fried (chips included), candy.

– Get to gym by 7:00 AM on weekdays, 9 AM on weekends

Resistance training schedule:
* Weeks 1 & 3: FGX (M, W, F)
* Weeks 2 & 4: Full Body Blitz (M, W, F)
* Weeks 5-8: Body By O (Sa, Su, T, W)
* Weeks 9-12: SGX (Sa, Su, T, W)
* Weeks 13-16: BFL (M, W, F)

Cardio training schedule:
* Weeks 1-4: 30 minutes (M, W, F), 45 minutes (T, Th, Sa)
* Weeks 5-8: 30 minutes (Sa, T, W), 45 minutes (M, Th, F)
* Weeks 9-12: 45 minutes (Sa, T, W), 60 minutes (M, Th, F)
* Weeks 13-16: 30 minutes (M, W, F), 60 minutes (T, Th, Sa)
* No cardio on Sundays

– Bedtime is 11:30 PM during the work week.
– If a workout is missed due to work or social commitments, it must be made up within 7 days.
– Workouts missed due to injury or dire, disabilitating illness do not have to be made up. 😉
– Weight, exercise, and meals will be tracked in Diet and Exercise Assistant daily

Cheapass Challenge V. 1

This is going to be an insanely crunch-filled summer for me at work with 12-hour workdays Monday through Friday (and a few weekends tossed in) all the way through mid-August and financially with the addition of a car payment to my monthly bills. I am not getting home until close to 11 pm at night, and $700 a month must go toward my “new” used 2002 Camry if I want to pay if off by October 2007.

I shall be squeezed for time and money.

What better time to enter both round 5 of the Body for Life official challenge and the Instone Nutrition Lifechange challenge! :wig:

I am also going to try to do this for under $40 a week including supplements, groceries for 6 meals/day, equipment and gym membership.

Yeah, that’s right, I’m out to prove that one can indeed successfully complete a 12 week OFFICIAL fitness transformation challenge (e.g. “You must buy some of the sponsoring company’s products in order to qualify.”) while working 60-80 hours a week and spending no more than $160-$200 per month for all required supplies and services.

Frankly, I’m tired of hearing the same “I don’t have enough time to exercise or cook my own meals” and “I can’t afford to eat healthy foods” excuses from people who have never even bothered to TRY. Two hundred bucks may sound like a lot in one shot, but I suspect that most people who gripe about the high cost of being fit spend much more than $200 a month total for food if you add in the cost of restaurant meals and take out. I won’t even get into the cost of a night out at a club or bar.

There are going to be some front-end expenses that can’t be avoided. Good running shoes, supplements like whey protein, and certain pieces of fitness equipment if there aren’t any cheap month-to-month, no-contract gyms around must be purchased at the start instead of weekly, so I will be taking the total cost of my 12 week challenge and dividing it by 12 to get the average weekly expense.
I’m so confident that I will be able to stay within budget that I’ll even toss in the cost of photo processing my before and after photos and postage for my entry packets.

Welcome to my first official Cheapass Challenge!

When workouts become burdensome…

I just received word that my team at work will be on a 12-hour work day schedule Monday through Friday with a few weekends tossed in for good measure for the next two months or so, which puts a severe damper on my intention of giving Kim’s plan another more serious try. I got derailed from following through 100% with the program by the last work crunch for the Winx project, and it’s not going to be much better this time around.

Double gym sessions per day are out if I want to keep up with such plebeian endeavors as paying my bills, doing laundry, and preparing meals, so I am going back to a single one hour AM workout per day. I’m going to focus on consistency and quality in my diet and workouts over quantity.

One thing I’ve learned about myself in the past few months is that I don’t like exercising enough to want to do it twice in a day or for more than 45-60 minutes at a time.

There, I’ve said it.

I can be gung ho about twice-a-day workouts for a month or two even with a crunch time work schedule, but after that, the rest of my life starts to come apart. The house gets messy. I run out of clean clothes. Unwashed dishes in the sink develop their own ecosystems. My cats are lonely and chubby from lack of play time with Mommy Mags. My parents begin to leave pointed phone messages asking me if I can spare the time to visit this month.

Working out becomes a chore instead of the physical and mental catharsis it normally is for me.

Mind you, I am not saying that exercise is fun, because the acts of physically exerting myself, heaving for breath, and creaking through days of DOMS will never be synonymous with “fun” in my mind, but there is something very empowering about training your body to be faster, stronger, and better that makes all the sweat and sore muscles worthwhile.

I don’t like exercising to lose weight. That isn’t a good enough reason to go through what is fundamentally a series of unpleasant and uncomfortable physical sensations. I like exercising to improve myself and get ever closer to achieving my maximum potential. Just because I am actually a major geek doesn’t mean I want to look like one or take pride in being all brains and no brawn.

To be complete, I think I need to have both. ;)  I just need to cut back to more reasonable, sustainable amounts of exercise until I am back to regular work hours, which, I estimate, should be sometime around the next decade when I retire from the game industry and open my own health food bistro.

It’s That Time Of The Year Again

So I guess I should disable the timers on my soaker hoses for the next few days, eh?Chris and I went on a road trip up to Marietta, Georgia to hang out with his father’s side of the family for his father’s 64th birthday. We drove up on Friday in my new (used, 52k miles, $10,500, will-be-paid-off-by-October-2007) 2002 Camry, spent Saturday on his brother’s posh houseboat, ventured out to IKEA in downtown Atlanta and saw Disney/Pixar’s Cars on Sunday, then motored back home yesterday.

All the while the lovely storm pictured above was meandering toward the coast of Florida, preparing, apparently, to dump about 50 gallons of water directly on my collection of container plants.

Mind you, we had set up a snaking length of soaker hose ($10.49 at Costco for 100 ft.) that would drip into each container and flat for 10 minutes every morning while we were gone, so the plants were already sufficiently watered. The wall of water that hit just as we got home around 4:30 pm yesterday was, at the very least, overkill.

When I get caught up with laundry, cooking, fitness planning, and hooking up the triple rail Kvadrik curtain panel system I acquired at IKEA, I have about two dozen plants to re-stake, re-pot, and generally help recover from being flattened by Alberto’s rains.

And yes, my monster tomato plant did fall over. Again. Sigh.

What day is it again?

For those who are interested, I will be returning to my regularly-scheduled daily progress posts on my workouts and meals next Tuesday when I get back from my mini-break road trip to Atlanta with Chris.

We’ve been in crunch (e.g. working 10 am – 10 pm six or seven days a week) for the past three weeks getting ready to send out the alpha build of our PSP game project for Konami.  I worked 12-15 hours a day for the last week, including this weekend.  I am tired beyond belief and surrounded by coughing, snuffling, diseased co-workers who lack my hardy daily-vitamin-fortified constitution. I begin to regret donating blood yesterday when the Bloodmobile pulled into the office complex, but the lure of a free $10 Darden Restaurants gift certificate was too much to resist. I’ll have to be sure to get plenty of rest and fluids over the next few days to ward off whatever mysterious virus is striking down the other people in my company.

For now, I would just like to have enough off-time to enjoy 7 hours of solid sleep per night, get a hair cut, restock my fridge and pantry, cook some meals, get my vegetable garden under control, and return to a regular workout and nutrition schedule. I also need to take my new used car in for some new tires, too.

On the bright side, I just received a $125 rebate check from Acuvue for the contact lenses I bought with my pretax flexible spending account money back in April.