T Nation

Olympic Lifting and Diet


The past couple of months I've been working hard at the olympic lifts and getting better at them. I do the full movements and all of the nearly countless variations of them interspersed with simpler lifts like back squat, military press ect. but I'm worried that I may be eating way more than I'm burning off olifting... "I'm getting fat" is what I'm trying to say here. And what I'm trying to figure out is if there are really any special bulking or cutting measures that one should take when focusing on olympic lifting as there is in the other strength sports? If the answer is as simple as EAT RESPONPONSIBLY rather than EAT MORE, I will kindly take this advice and stop packing my guts with red meat and whole milk every day.

Something like 6 months ago a magazine article popped up on tmuscle where Dave Tate was saying something about covering a whole pizza in olive oil and eating one every night. Obviously overkill for any beginner, but the message I took from the article was to eat more to gain strength. Any light you fellas could shed on this would be greatly appreciated. My ears are cocked to anyone with genuine wisdom.


If you are drinking a bunch of milk, stop. In fact, for now, cut out any dairy and see where that takes you. Keep eating meat.


Will leaner meat like chicken be enough for recovery or will I benefit more directly from the fat in the beef?


The fall of 2008 I followed a 5-day a week O-lifting schedule that was, on paper, a resounding success. In 16 weeks I added 40lbs to my Clean and Jerk and 30lbs to my snatch (245-285 and 185-215 respectively). On the other hand, my body weight went from 208 to about 260. It was pretty rediculous.

There is some merit to the idea that if you eat more, your strength will go up, but you can't force gains by eating more.

If I have any advice, its that, if you're not naturally lean, make sure your bodyweight gain is justified by extra weight to the bar. It should be more than a 1:1 ratio.


Chicken is good, make sure to vary your protein sources... pork, lean ground beef, steak. Then take care of your fats... coconut oil, avocados, nuts (except peanuts), nut butters (except peanuts), olive oil, fish oil, raw butter. And eat carbs on how hard you train. If you don't have that much time under tension in your training, you don't really need too many carbs. But for me since I have been including a lot of bodybuilder stuff lately like more chins, more dips, some arm work, I've been having more carbs like oats, Surge Recovery, and Surge Workout Fuel.


Why? I'm also a milk drinker. BTW I think I'm not lactose intolerant because I perform well on the toilet.


Well he said he's gaining too much fat. Too much milk/dairy might have something to do with that.


Sorry for hijacking this thread but is it possible that if you don't eat enough your lifts are stuck forever? I'm kinda in this situation right now.

Based on my unchanging performance and BW, I probably should eat more, but I'm also not certain. Anyway here's a list of what I eat daily (approximation):

  • 500g of meat (uncooked), usually fried
  • 2 liter of milk + 30g of sugar
  • 500g of vegetables
  • 2 bananas + some other fruit
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g of rice (cooked)

BW: 67kg (147lb)

BTW I also wall climb and run beside weightlifting.


How do you feel after training and during the week? Do you feel that your tired from not eating enough?

How has your bw been relative to your weights and how long have they been stuck for?

I wasn't enoughing much 3-2yrs ago to maintain my bw of 87-88 and cutting to 85kg. It was taking too much out of me at comps and my lifts didn't go up for about 2yrs :frowning:

Up the food and see how you get on with your lifts.



In general, I recover fast enough (I also take multivit and fish oil) that the following day I can train again or do some other sports, but I never feel "100% fit" (maybe because I do too much activities). Also there's a lingering back tightness from weightlifting (I think) that never completely disappears.

I think I never feel tired because of not eating enough.

After training for approx. 2 months of oly lifting: snatch 60kg and c&j 70kg.

The other "strength lifts" hasn't improved much (if any) since I did Starting Strength:
- BS 100kg
- FS 90kg
- Bench 70kg maybe
- Press 50kg

BTW, with my 174cm (5'8.5") height should I care to increase my BW up to 77kg or should I stay at 69kg (now it's 67-68kg)?

Wow 2 years! And here I'm complaining that my lifts haven't been improving for 3 months.


Your over analysing it.

Just train, eat and sleep.

If your not able to get your lifts and strength up your doing something wrong mate. Be a bit more patient. Your only 2months in. Your first 12-24months you'll get some big results mate. It'll click.

116/142 @ 83.5kg 09/2007...
120/145 @ 90kg 12/2009.....sick... :frowning:
122/147 @ 89kg 08/2010.....got injured and didn't do anything for the rest of the year in August

When I started lifting in 06/1999 after 4 weeks I did
35/45 @ 75kg 06/1999
100/120 @ 77kg 09/2002 : before I went to Uni in 09/2002
Didn't lift much during Uni but also prolapsing my L4 taking a huge 9months to get over it and with a miracle between 2005 and 2006
105/125 08/2006 @ 81.8kg

So to recap
35/45 @ 75kg 06/1999
2000 can't remember what I did but progress was about 10-12kg on my lifts pear year for 3yrs?
100/120 @ 77kg 09/2002 : not sure if I did this in 2002 or 2003? I swear I did 100/120 @ 77kg though?
105/125 08/2006 @ 81.8kg
116/142 @ 83.5kg 09/2007...
120/145 @ 90kg 12/2009
122/147 @ 89kg 08/2010


I've only been lifting for 9 months or so (but with a 3 month no coaching / much useful lifting gap), my bw has gone from 72ish kgs to 82kgs now. As a relative beginner, like Koing recommends I'm not analysing what I eat or my bodyweight too much. I'm just making sure I eat enough and trusting my body will find a weight it's comfortable with in the next year or two and then I will start worrying about what weight class I'm suited too!


This is the correct!

I f0cked myself from 2007 late 2008 wheer I was cutting to 85 and losing too much strength and training was not ideal due to the low bodyweight...pretty dam STUPID mate.

OxMan, what have your year on year results been? It'll be a year in about 3months! It'll be bad ass to see what you put up in a year!



Currently if you count from before I came to the club

Snatch: 50kg => 77.5kg
Clean and jerk: 60kg => 87.5kg
Back Squat: 100kg => Need to max out but 130kg min

After exams I really want to hammer out the lifting and improve my consistency so hoping to make some significant gains in the next 3 months!


Currently if you count from before I came to the club

Snatch: 50kg => 77.5kg
Clean and jerk: 60kg => 87.5kg
Back Squat: 100kg => Need to max out but 130kg min

After exams I really want to hammer out the lifting and improve my consistency so hoping to make some significant gains in the next 3 months!


yeah, doubles for yooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Don't forget you also Cleaned at least 100kg right?



Yeah, that was a little while ago now though. Hopefully should be able to do a few kgs more now!


For sure mate :slightly_smiling:



It's rather interesting from my limited experience in forums that weightlifters seldom talk about food. The polar opposite is of course bodybuilders. Powerlifters usually talk about stuffing food as much as possible down to your throat. That's only my impression though which I'm certain is far from the truth.

In my gym, powerlifters and weightlifters train together. Here I also never heard anyone discussing about food, much less supplements (I asked a lifter once about how she eats and she said that she only eats what's on the table. The only "supplement" mentioned was AAS by my coach - given to him when he was trained by a Chinese coach in the 80's.). I think the mindset here is similar to many other sports, train hard and eat just enough so you can train again.

Sorry for my rambling....


ramble some more!

The food thing is basic, just eat the right foods, less junk, and have some protein shakes to supplement. Take some fish oils and be done with it.

If you want to bulk, up the carbs and protein, weigh yourself everyday, and watch your weight go up, if not add another 350-400calories

If you want to lean down tidy up the diet, lower carbs overall and watch the weight drop, if not your eating too many carbs or your putting a few too many twinkies in your gob. If you want to get ripped do some running also.