T Nation

Body Comp Question


I am new to powerlifting, and I am far from being strong. Recently joined a powerlifting gym, before that I did all my training in my basement. So, the question is: Does bodyfat aid a powerlifter? It would seem to me, all things being equal except for percent of bodyfat, you would want to be lean and lift in a lighter class. I am 47, and did my first meet (a push/pull) at 165#. 5'10" and about 8.5% bodyfat. The guys I lift with say I need to move up to 181, eat more, and do less cardio. My gym lifts are 275# bench w/a katana, 460# squat w/a centurion, and a 465# deadlift w/a old metal deadlifter.


No. Variables matter in this order:


You can't flex fat. Then again, you can't have a tiny waist and expect to squat a lot. If your goal is strength and a better total, stop measuring your bodyfat and be whatever size you need to be to move the most weight in a meet.


ive found that when i weigh 300+ i can move weight easily, and when i cut to 250 i have a harder time moving same weight, ill still do it, just not as easy.


Thats what my really question is. Why is that? I would have to guess that you are losing muscle along with the fat.



Considering your lifts, you should eat more. Stop being limited by food. You can always recomp later after you've gotten stronger.


well the weight is distrib. over larger area.


That's what I am doing. Eating more..still clean, but more. Also, cutting back my fasted morning cardio some. That is also allowing me to sleep more. So, I get it: Eat, Sleep, Train. Just trying to understand the body weight aspect of it. At the gym, they said its ""leverages" but I dont know what they mean by that.


You have better biomechanical leverages for the big 3 when you weigh more. You are most affected by more bodyweight during your bench, than your squat, than your deadlift. In the bench a bigger chest reduces the range of motion, it also allows you to be more stable due to the wideness that usually comes with things. More stability = more power. In the squat a bigger gut/wider waist would allow you to essentially use it as stabilization to drive your quads into your gut when you get down in the hole. At the same time a wider waist allows you to distribute weight outwards over a great surface area. In terms of deadlift, this is the one lift least affected by more weight, in part because being of a better body composition allows you to get down to the bar better.

In your case - stop with the fasted morning cardio imo. If anything add some sprint work in or something that will actually help improve your power development instead of simply waste you away.


Thanks! Now I am understanding.


so to keep it simple....

Size = Power.


No. Not in the least. Size can often help with power and is a great tool to bring your lifts up and should be addressed just like any other issue.

Am I slow?
Am I lacking in maximal strength?
Am I lacking in work capacity?
Am I recovering?
Is my size holding me back?

There are many who do not optimize the size they're at because of those other issues, and there are many that are limited by their size more so than anything else. The OP is limited by his size in the sense that he tries to maintain a low bodyfat and probably inhibits his ability to recover.


A 460 squat is strong anyway you look at it especially at 165 so I don't know where you got it in your head you are far from strong.


460 squat - single ply.

460 squat raw would have been "good" at 165.


Fat does play a role in strength and how much you lift. If you lost 35lbs of pure fat, and not one drop of muscle, you would still lose strength.


Right 460 w/single ply. I have a lot of work to do. Never realized how much you really use hamstrings and hips in squatting.


It'll come. Train smart, and don't always train in gear. Gear is supportive (single ply), it's not going to lift it for you. Don't forget the basics of what has gotten people strong for decades.

Don't let your penchant for pretty abs get in the way of some bad ass numbers. Remember, abs on a skinny dude are like big tits on a fat chick....no one cares.


LMAO! Got it!