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PLer Reducing BF But Maintaining Strength


So after searching through numerous forums and websites for useful information concerning fat loss for powerlifters or just strength athletes in general I have given up. Every source I find talks about muscle size and fat loss but I'm really not all that concerned about muscle size.

I started lifting last November and have made good strength gains since then. When I started I was 108kg at 1,80m but now I'm 116kg and alot stronger.. and bigger.

I want to reduce about 16kg of bodyfat but maintain as much strength as possible as stated in the title.
So I want to ask you strength athletes and powerlifters on how I should engage in this. Should I do as the bodybuilders say: High protein, low carb. Weight training with alot of cardio(HIIT) etc. or are there different aspects to it when it comes to strength training?

I should point out that I'm not a fan of strict diets(meal 1: 6 eggs, 60gr of oatmeal etc.) nor do I care about muscle size so I don't care if my muscles get smaller but still maintain strength if that makes any sense.

Thanks in advance,



Don't change your training at all. Some people add cardio on non-training days. You can do that depending on what your time frame is.


add hill sprints, or a sled if you've got one good luck.


I like the low-carb, high-protein diets for fat loss. Protein will be especially important as you drop your calories below maintainance. You really can't go wrong with ground beef, apples and carrots.

As far as cardio goes, easing your way into will be important especially if you have never done a lot of higher impact activities. Personally, I like 20-30 minute sessions at a moderate pace on an elliptical machine for cardio (or just weight cutting). It just doesn't seem to mess with my lifting too much like doing sprints or jump roping would.


2 theories on this. 1 is to go slow and clean up your diet. Cut out junk food and soda and increase protein, veggies, and water and just keep on rocking and eventually you will get where you want.

2nd is to go balls to the wall and lose the weight as fast as possible and then regain your strength once your body adjusts to new leverages (most affected will be your squat). In which case something like the velocity diet would be perfect, but not fun or easy.


see what a little cardio does. you might be suprised


Agree with matsm21. Do a little on your off days and it may end up becoming a really good thing for your overall fitness levels.


I'll put this out there even though I dont think you wanted this answer so ignore away if this does not apply. Because you didnt assert it yourself I will assume you dont take aas/ped's. If you did I could very easily answer your question. Allow me to completely agree with the increased protein intake and reducing carbs. Certainly diet is the best way to cut fat. Having said that if you ever take it to that level there are compounds literally created for PLing.

I used to compete as a 242 [on the sauce] but have since found ways/a method to compete at 220 and still basically if the same poundages I was at 242. I did lose some fat for sure through dietary changes but not 22lbs worth. If the subject catches your fancy maybe send me a PM as I wont thread crap here with information maybe no one wants.


Read the article Wendler had on here last week. The easiest step is just cleaning up your diet and eating less. Smash some whey before your meals and you'll eat less while keeping protein up. Do some HIIT if you want but you might not need to if you take the long slow and easy route.

Whenever I've leaned out I havent lost any strength. Your gains might slow down but you shouldnt get weaker unless you're really going balls to the walls


I've just gone throught this myself. The first thing is that if you are going to lose 16 kg, your strength is very likely to go down. Of course diet is going to be the biggest factor. Doing some sort of cardio can help a bit, but you have to be smart about this.

I included plenty of HIIT type cardio with kettlebells and the sled. Doing this combined with the weight loss absolutely killed my strength in the SQ especially. I'm now starting to see my strength start to come back after I've leveled off with the weight loss and trying to simply maintain my conditioning.

I've found the lower intensity cardio much easier to recover from than the high intensity stuff, provided you don't do the low intensity stuff for hours and hours.

Based on my experience, here's what I would recommend. If your sole focus is to lose fat and maintain strength, modify your diet and do some low intensity cardio on your off days. If you really want to improve your conditioning as well, do some higher intensity cardio. This will likely come with a price though, so expect some strength loss (at least in the short term).


Whats your eating like? I'm assuming you dont do any cardio at all.

The way I look at it you have two option you can take for fatloss. First option, you lose fat quickly and try to maintain strength. Second option, you lost fat at a steady pace and be able to improve strength.

The former, you go on a strict diet and slowly add cardio in addition to your training when diet is no longer enough. The less training experience you have the easier it is to maintain or even improve strength on a calorie restricted diet. This is usually for people that have set deadlines(weigh-ins, BB comps, 2guys1cup, etc).

The latter, you slowly clean up your diet and add in conditioning sessions. Slowly clean up your diet meaning if your eating junkfood, drinking sodas, and playing beerpong tournaments every night(And losing), you just slowly get rid of those things. Think baby steps. Add in 5-10mins of sprints or some other form of conditioning after you lift weights. When you stop losing fat you could clean up your diet a little bit more, you could conditioning a little bit more, or both. With this option you'll slowly begin to lose bodyfat and will be able to still get stronger. This option goes with the "A little goes a long way" saying.

You will lose fat on either option but your genetics and experience will determine how well you do. If you don't know much about your genetics and don't have much experience then the only way you can find out is through trial and error. Sucks I know but thats what make its fun :smiley:

P.S. If you have high bodyfat the best/easiest thing to do is clean up your diet.


Thanks all of you for your helpful comments!

I should add that I'm in no great hurry to lose these kg's, I just want them off in 12 months. I don't know if that's taking it slow or fast but I'm just going to decrease calorie intake, drop the unhealthy stuff and eat more protein and veggies. I will not change my training a bit and see what that will lead to but if I want to bump things a bit up I'll probably add in some cardio on off days(and rethink my diet).

If things go really well with this and my strength levels stay the same or go up(which I find very unlikely) I'll probably keep on cutting off extra 5-10kg's of fat but I'll just have to stick to the plan and see what happens.

Again, thanks for the replies and I will keep those interested informed on my success,



you can either keep same workout, and just carb cycle or do a bit of cardio. or you can do a high volume program like sheiko, most people that run sheiko end up either staying same weight while gaining lots of strength, or lose weight while gaining strength. ive been doing a 13 week sheiko program, started weighing 165 and now weigh 156 and im eating BIG, and my strength has been rising. carb cycling will do you good though, but if your not a dieter i recommend a high volume powerlifting program.


You say you want to take 12 months to lose 35 lbs (or whatever 16 kilos is) but that's retarded thinking. Blast and Dust man. If you keep pussy footing around with a slow and steady approach, you will never get anywhere.

Do the V-Diet. You will lose 15-20 lbs in less than 6 weeks and maintain all your muscle. I dropped a bit of strength on it while I was in the 6 week period but jumped right back where I left off on 5-3-1 and was hitting PR's the very same cycle but with 15 less pounds of fat holding me back. I highly recommend it.

Or you could just do a fuckload of tren.


Thanks for your response but I see this as more of a lifestyle change. I have a pretty easy time adapting to a new lifestyle if it isn't too brutal.


how much tren are we talking about here? :wink: