T Nation

Powerlifting and Being Lean.

Hey T-Nation,

I need some help. I love powerlifting and competing but I also want to lean down a bit. I do not want anything extreme but I want to lose BF. I compete in the 220’s and weigh 216 @ 22% BF. I would like to be 12-15%. I was explaining this to a personal trainer at my gym and he said sorry you can’t have both strength and be somewhat lean.

I would appreciate any help. I know diet is the biggest part of getting lean but I would like to do this with as little strength loss as possible.

Thanks,
Rich

I made a similar thread some months ago. turns out most powerlifters and olympic lifters in categories that arent superheavyweights have 12-15% body fat.

the strength loss is minimal really. at least its a lot less strength lost rather tahn if you were say… 5% body fat

About the exact same situation except I’m smaller. I’m eating a lot more jerky, less carbs and incline treadmill walking 2x a week.

T-Nation needs an article on this. this seems to be comming up a lot lately with no real answers

[quote]rich44 wrote:
Hey T-Nation,

I need some help. I love powerlifting and competing but I also want to lean down a bit. I do not want anything extreme but I want to lose BF. I compete in the 220’s and weigh 216 @ 22% BF. I would like to be 12-15%. I was explaining this to a personal trainer at my gym and he said sorry you can’t have both strength and be somewhat lean.

I would appreciate any help. I know diet is the biggest part of getting lean but I would like to do this with as little strength loss as possible.

Thanks,
Rich[/quote]

Smart timing of your fat loss and training cycle is key here. It’s best not to plan testing 1 RM maxes during this time. It looks like you could easily be in the 198’s without a lot of effort and strength loss. You might experience 2-5% loss of strength depending upon how fast your gross bodyweight changes. I have no doubt you can get back to your prior strength levels within a year.

If you have the time and patience, diet-only changes will have the least effect on your overall strength. If you go the cardio/diet route, expect a bit more dramatic strength change. You’ll have to adapt to the added conditioning work, too.

It’s taken almost a year to get to my 242lb. class totals. I am going to compete this year at 220. I did most of this with a combo of cardio (30 minutes on the bike 3x/week) and diet.

The diet changes were mostly knocking out the fast food and junk at night and getting at least 330 grams (based on bodyweight) of protein a day from different sources(shakes and real food). I experienced about a 3% loss of strength overall in the beginning 2 months. After that, I resumed hitting bodyweight PR’s.

If you compete equipped, realize your gear is going to loosen up a bit. Hell, you’ll even have to cinch up your belt even more, so take it for what it’s worth. Your gear will have more play in it. For the type of weight loss you’re looking at, you may need tighter squat/deadlift suits and bench shirts.

Tell the personal trainer to pack sand. Talking the talk and walking the walk are two different things.

David

[quote]All2ez wrote:
T-Nation needs an article on this. this seems to be comming up a lot lately with no real answers[/quote]

Do they really?

When you start, get your self to a decent bf %, bulk until you have the strength or size you want and then diet.

[quote]All2ez wrote:
T-Nation needs an article on this. this seems to be comming up a lot lately with no real answers[/quote]

No real answers???

Here’s an answer… whoever says that you can’t be strong and somewhat lean is a fucking idiot who has no idea giving advice to anyone.

Jesus. How is this even a question that warrants further discussion??? Look at the top guys in the 275 and under class. Strong as fucking bulls, and nearly all less than 15% bodyfat.

You simply cannot be a top competitor in a limited weightclass unless you have as much muscle as humanly possible. Two guys compete at 220lb/100kg. Same height but one has 20+% bodyfat, the other 10%. Who do you think is gonna be stronger??

Sam Byrd squatted over a grand at single digit bodyfat.

Frankly’s benched 4x bodyweight as a 198 and is probably not much more than 10%.

Look at Brian Schwab, Belayev, Konstantinov, Matt K etc etc…

Chuck V doesn’t look like he gained ANY bodyfat going from 198 to 275. Hell, he looks leaner now. He manages just fine.

I honestly cannot believe this question even needs to be asked. Actually I can believe the question is being asked since it’s a valid enough question, but I can’t believe people are actually considering their answers or acting like it’s fucking rocket science.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
All2ez wrote:
T-Nation needs an article on this. this seems to be comming up a lot lately with no real answers

No real answers???

Here’s an answer… whoever says that you can’t be strong and somewhat lean is a fucking idiot who has no idea giving advice to anyone.

Jesus. How is this even a question that warrants further discussion??? Look at the top guys in the 275 and under class. Strong as fucking bulls, and nearly all less than 15% bodyfat.

You simply cannot be a top competitor in a limited weightclass unless you have as much muscle as humanly possible. Two guys compete at 220lb/100kg. Same height but one has 20+% bodyfat, the other 10%. Who do you think is gonna be stronger??

Sam Byrd squatted over a grand at single digit bodyfat.

Frankly’s benched 4x bodyweight as a 198 and is probably not much more than 10%.

Look at Brian Schwab, Belayev, Konstantinov, Matt K etc etc…

Chuck V doesn’t look like he gained ANY bodyfat going from 198 to 275. Hell, he looks leaner now. He manages just fine.

I honestly cannot believe this question even needs to be asked. Actually I can believe the question is being asked since it’s a valid enough question, but I can’t believe people are actually considering their answers or acting like it’s fucking rocket science.[/quote]

Agreed.

Its the 21st century, powerlifting isn’t just three day splits and fat guys anymore.

To be on top of your game you need to incorporate higher volume training coupled with a healthy dose of SPP, GPP, mobilization movements, foam rolling and stretching. If you can do all that and avoid eating cheeseburgers all day, then I don’t think you have an excuse for not being lean.

I eat, lift, and do GPP like an animal.

I’m pretty lean and I’m fairly strong.

It’s totally doable.