T Nation

Dieting and Powerlifting.


So I am a relativly new powerlifter ( Done my first meet over a month ago ) and I would like to lose some weight. I know this is an age old question of how to lose weight whilst maintaining strength but I would like to know if any of you have been able to do it? At my last comp i weighed in at 92.6 kg. I know to most of you that does not seem like that much. However, since we compete in a weigh class sport and the fact that the weight classes are due to change I would really like to cut some weight to stay in the 93kg class. Right now I am about 18% BF possibly? I would really like to cut this down a bit.

So what types of diet/meal plan do yous use to maintain/gain a low fat physique? I do know this would possibly be suited to another part of the forums, however I dont want to lose rediculous amounts of strength and weight.

I do know I need to start doing cardio ( as at the moment i do none apart from skipping on sundays ) So I know i need to start doing some Complexes and Cardio etc. However help from yous would be great.

Before I got into strength sports I used to weigh 210 pounds with no muscle and managed to cut down to around 153lbs. However, I was still relativly skinnyfat and I think I went around the whole procedure wrong. Now I weigh around 205lbs roughly. I am really happy with the fact I have been able to put on about 50lbs in less than a year and havent got stupidly fat.

Anyway all help would be appreciated!



I've had moderate success with a cyclic ketogenic diet...basically low carb, good fats, plenty of protein during the week and then on the weekend I replenish the glycogen stores with carbohydrates. Additionally, anything you can do to keep your body anabolic would be a plus. Our bodies have the tendency of really wanting to hold onto the fat and burn the muscle whenever you begin to restrict calories.

When you're overeating, all of the happy hormones are up...testosterone, GH, T3, IGF etc....when you're undereating, they are supressed. Your body is very efficient at storing and maintaining fat in case a famine hits. If you were without food for a period, your body would first tap into excess muscle, goodbye muscle goodbye strength...then it would start working through the fat.

Hopefully some of this made sense. It's not impossible to do, just difficult.


well chris, i'm currently working on the same idea. trying to drop excess bodyfat can be simple or complex, depends how you make it. i'm just cutting down on garbage and carbs, and doing a bit of walking because i don't have acess to a hill/prowler/strongman stuff, and i have time to drop.


I find the strength gains keep on going up until I get to around 12% bf as long as I use a high fat, high protein diet except for breakfast and pre/peri/post workout where I go with high carb, high protein.


Yeah. See im in no rush to lose my weight. I would be happy with just gradually shedding some. So just sticking some cardio in and doing complexes. Should do it? Anyone got a decent meal plan that they use? Also, do any of yous cycle carbs or is that just good if you are looking to cut rediculous amounts of weight?



I don't cycle carbs, but I do cycle calories. I eat the most calories the day I do the movement I'm giving the most focus to. Usually in the form of an extra protein shake and a larger meal than usual within hours after working out.


My advice would be to try everything until you find what works for you. Different diets do different things to different people.

Personally I can go super low carb/keep decently high calories to lose weight and maintain (even slowly gain) strength. But if I try to cut calories, no matter how many carbs I eat, my lifting and overall energy goes down.


I will caveat saying I've never comepted in powerlifting, so I am no powerlifter, but I still focus my training on getting as strong as I can on the Big 3. I manage to cut down from a chubby 207 to a leanish 185 (avatar for reference) by following some dietary advice from the DC crowd of reducing carbs after the midday meal, and upping my protein and veggie intake. I made gradual changes to my diet rather than one massive overhaul.

The first week, I stopped eating fast food (a major staple in my diet to get calories). The second week, I knocked out my daily 4 candy bars from the work snack bar. The third week I stopped eating greasy shit at the work cafeteria and stuck with salads and chicken breasts. The forth week I started exercising portion control for my home meals. It was after that when I started controlling my carb intake and focusing on nutritional timing. I shot for about 1lb of weight lost a week, to maintain strength and avoid number chasing on the scale. I didn't utilize a lot of cardio, just some heavy bag work on occasion.

I think jacking up my protein to compensate for my carb intake allowed me to continue making strength gains. I'm at an all time high for my bench and safety squat bar squats (300x5 and 390x5 respectively, both raw). However, training was BRUTAL for those first two weeks as I had to adjust to significantly fewer calories. When you're intaking 5-6000 calories a day of fast food and other shit, you're pretty indestructible, and recovery is rarely an issue. Operating on half of that is tough. However, I've adapted, and now my training is going better than ever.


If you are serious, hire shelby starnes. Went from 280 to 229 in 15 weeks and got stronger.



I have been working with Shelby for 4.5 weeks and have been very pleased with the results thus far.


Yeah I was seriously considering hiring Shelby at some point next year. So what does he do for you, give you your diet plan and cardio plan?


[quote]unstable wrote:
I've had moderate success with a cyclic ketogenic diet...basically low carb, good fats, plenty of protein during the week and then on the weekend I replenish the glycogen stores with carbohydrates. [quote]

Those carbs wouldn't happen to be beer, would they? Hehe.


Yes, he gives you those things in great detail. Both the diet and cardio will change significantly throughout the entire process until you both find what works best for you. It is awesome.


I see. I really think I will look into him then. You say you didn't lose strength either?


read anything about cutting, but only read it if Dave Tate wrote it. just read the articles that hes published and ull probably get an idea of where to start.


How much was it?


No, I got strong as shit. It just didnt show in the meet because I was an idiot tried to sweat out a bunch of weight before weigh-ins and ended up pulling a hamstring in my meet. My bench suffered, which is unavoidable if you drop a significant amount of weight, but it was only a 3% difference on all of my exercises... at 50+lbs lighter.