How to Lose Fat and Maintain Strength?

Hi guys.

i’m been doing powerlifting for a couple of years and i love it. the problem is, that in my seek for getting stronger i also got fat, very fat. i’m currently weighting 120kg @ 182cm of height and 28 years old. The looks are not my worry, but my health is and i’m not that stronght to justifi weighting so much, my current pb’s are 185kg,120kg,200kg.

So i want to lose weight, but i not sure how is the powerlifting aproach to this?. should i put me self in a caloric deficit and keep using my powerlifting routine and hope for the best? or what is the best way to do this?, ideally i whant to get leaner but keep my PB’s the same at least.

Thanks for your help.

Any of this advice you got in this thread from three and a half years ago will still help.

The advice in your thread from three years ago will also help.

Most importantly, understand that you’ve been talking about wanting to “lose fat while preserving strength” for several unsuccessful years. You’re now 35 pounds fatter and your squat has gone up about 25 pounds, your bench is up 5 pounds, and your dead is up 50.

Tough love ahead: Stop being lazy by using “I don’t want to lose strength” as an excuse. Spend the next 12 weeks on a complete and focused fat loss plan, not trying to do a powerlifting plan while eating for fat loss. If you lose any strength, it’ll honestly be no big deal because you haven’t been making phenomenal progress. You can work on regaining lost strength after you’ve earned it by dropping the fat you’ve been talking about for a long time.



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Hi Chris. YOu know what, you are absoluty right, i have been making to many excuses to not lose fat, but im tired and worried, so i reread all the old threads plus another guides on the web and did my decitionto dedicate the next 16weeks to lose fat.

if you can indulge me for one last question. after all the reading i come up with the follow diet: i’m currently eating arround 4000 calories, so, in order to lose weight i plan to start eating 2800 calories broke like this: 400g protein, 42g carbs and 90g of fats. Plus im going to keep my powerlifting routine the same (squat monday and fridays, bench and deadlift wednesday), but adjusting the weights if i feel weaker. this sound right or should i tinker another thing?

If you have been eating 4000 calories for a while, can I recommend that you don’t drop 1200 calories overnight?

Drop 200-500 calories until you begin to see movement on the scale in the right direction.

You have a long road to get down to a good weight, no need to rush the start and increase the chances of failing before you begin the real hard work.

I also recommend you have plans for how to deal with wanting to eat poorly. For example, I have a goals pocket diary which I write down what I’ve done well and poorly (I just put a check or a cross for each of my meals). I do this before I eat something.

It’s amazing how well putting a simple X in a book before you eat it works to stop you eating it.

To illustrate this, I put this book away for the holidays and everything went pear shaped haha


It’s squat day. You load 130% 1RM on the bar, unrack it, and try to squat. Was that a good idea or a bad idea? The exact same thing will happen to your diet if you approach it this way.

So, trying to maintain or build strength while losing fat… because you don’t want to lose strength… which is what we already talked about.

Try complexes 3 days a week (start each session with one heavy lift, then hit the complexes), and walk whenever you can. You almost-literally cannot walk “too much”. With a tightened up diet, that’ll be plenty to get progress moving.

Wow - when I read the truth hammer above even I was a bit taken back. But respect for the response. Ownership of issue is the only way to beat it.

Just my 2p.
Hitting 4K cals CLEAN is hard work. I know this. So I’d wager you eat a fair amount of crap. I had this presented to me here on this forum 2 weeks ago. I’ve cut the crap, lost 1-2kg and gotten stronger.
It’s all about the prep.

Good luck!

Well, althoright i’m fat, i didn’t eat much of crap food(only bread and some milo), the rest were egg, chicken breast, rice and a little of milk. the things was that i ate a lot of rice and bread. But yeah i cut down the rice and cut out the bread; and haven’t eat any kind if junk food, and not plan to, since friday.

Is a long road. But i have the objetive to lose weight until half year, hopefully i will hit my 100kg goal.

Well, how i see it is that if he took the time to write a reflexive response pointing out my errors and laziness is because he actually wants to help me not insult me.


Hi, Chris, thanks again for your help.

I did complexes some time ago and they where tough but fun (i love barbell training) i will definitly incorporate them in the routine. And to be clear, when you say “start each session with one heavy lift” you mean like just 1 set of only one of the big three or some kind of 5x5 aproach?

and regard the diet, i finally didn’t cut down to many calories(it was pointed out in several forums and articles that was a bad idea). i started taking out the bread, which i was eating a lot, cutting down a little the rice of my diet and been avoiding any kind of junk food, i will adjust every week if i see the scale going down.

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With that specific program, I believe a bare minimum amount of heavy strength work is beneficial. One exercise per workout, for a few sets in the 2-5 rep range. Because complexes are, by necessity, always going to use pretty light weights, keeping the body accustomed to some heavy work will go further to preserve muscle mass (and, yes, strength to an extent).

Just keep the priorities in focus. The main work of the day is the complexes. The heavy stuff is gravy.

I’d look into the diet. What you eat matters. How hard you work in the gym matters. If you’re eating too much and not working hard enough in the gym, then there’s your problem. Back off the cals a little bit and work a little bit harder in the gym and you should see some positive changes.

I’d start with some sort of maintenance calories and train a little bit more volume in the gym and see what happens for a couple of months. Just don’t make any drastic changes one way or the other. Take your time and be disciplined.

You should try this kind of split : day 1: powerlifting lift ( squat, bench or DL ), Day 2 : cardio outside or at the gym, outside activities like skating, walking in the wood something that make your warmer and increase the heart beat. Then you restart lifting then cardio…

You will be able to maintient your strenght and maybe increase it by reducing frequency training, more rest. The cardio day is like an active rest.

Use a diet to fix your need.

sorry for my English. Good Luck !