T Nation

Powerlifting and Weight Loss

so to you guys that compete, what strategies would you recommend to make weight with out “losing weight” from your lifts?
I’ve tried cleaning up my diet and adding a touch of cardio, but still have plenty of fat to lose.

I lost about 20lb without losing strength using a ketogenic diet for a couple of 2 week stints spaced a month or so apart.

For me it depends on certain factors:
CUrrent weight, time before comp, how much weight to lose, how you feel at a caloric deficient state due to prior experience.
Ive romped off 15lbs in 2 weeks, possible 5 lbs fat (courtesy a crash V-Diet) and then some sauna time. Had lifts plenty fine

My advice is avoid any protocol with high rep ‘depletion’ work… if you are a powerlifter and aren’t used to that high volume, you won’t be able to use nearly enough weight, you will get incredibly sore since it’s a new stimulus and your recovery will be shit during that time since the carbs are way down. I prefer something a Waterbury’s “5x5 for weight loss” sorta thing.

I’m relatively new to this game, only having competed for 2 years. Bear in mind that this was as a 220lb lifter, so the numbers will be different for lighter guys.
When I had to make weight, I’ve always had my training weight some 11-15lbs over my competition weight. A month out from the comp I’d remove “crap” from my diet (sweets, soft drink, chips etc.) while still eating as often. Depending on weight loss over the month, I’d consume more shakes instead of snacks or breakfast. It’s never been a genuine issue though. My training volume tapers down a little during this time too. I’d aim to be 5lbs over a week out from the competition, and load up with water in that week. A shower or sauna, weigh in, and a pig-out prior to lifting take care of the rest.

I like it because it’s simple and hard to stuff up, I’ve got a whole month to make diet adjustments without killing myself, and I don’t actually lose any real weight in the last week. Most of the time I’ve got a bit of leeway in the morning after a long shower, so I can have a muesli bar while waiting to weigh in. Whether it’s better than any other method, I don’t know, but it never left me feeling like crap, weak or stressed out, so it can’t be that bad.

Vis-a-vis the training - like I said, it tapers down. I always had more full equipment work and main lifts, and cut the volume of accessory work to maintenance levels. So I’d try to stay just as strong, as opposed to getting stronger, and try to improve a little technically. I always felt great in the main lifts and crap in everything else when I was losing weight.
I guess it’s better than the other way round though.

I dropped weight by eliminatin most carbs in my diet (other than fruit and vegetables) as well as candy and booze. I lost aboout 20 lbs over 5 or 6 weeks. I looked all cut up and jacked- even had abs. The downside is all my lifts went down significantly- 20-40 lbs. I think it’s a matter of choosing between the lesser of two evils here- fatter or weaker.

It all depends on how much you have to lose and how much you weigh right now . There are a number of different way to go about it though . For me when I had to cut for the 242s i would start with some light cardio (15min on treadmill after each lifting session about 3 weeks out along with eliminating most junk from my diet .

And by the time weigh in came I might only have to cut 1-2 lbs. Which would do by cutting off water about 2 hours before I go to bed and sleeping in a pair of warm ups .

[quote]NATOR wrote:
It all depends on how much you have to lose and how much you weigh right now . There are a number of different way to go about it though . For me when I had to cut for the 242s i would start with some light cardio (15min on treadmill after each lifting session about 3 weeks out along with eliminating most junk from my diet .

And by the time weigh in came I might only have to cut 1-2 lbs. Which would do by cutting off water about 2 hours before I go to bed and sleeping in a pair of warm ups . [/quote]

i agree with this plan…the most important thing is to give yourself time…and remember, many people make the mistake of cleaning up a diet, but not making the diet “clean,”…also if you need an extra kick, you can play with your diet abit…it may add some sodium, but eat spicier food to get your metabolism up, some extra vitamin B here and there…try about 6-8 min of light cardio before a workout, the elliptical is good low impact cardio and will mostly get you loosened up and warm without sapping you too bad…

Personally, I have found that I can continue to get stronger (albeit not as quickly as if I were eating carbs) by sticking to a timed-carb sort of approach with carbs PWO only and a refeed every 7-10 days.

Pinto, maybe cuttin the booze was the problem?

[quote]NATOR wrote:
It all depends on how much you have to lose and how much you weigh right now . There are a number of different way to go about it though . For me when I had to cut for the 242s i would start with some light cardio (15min on treadmill after each lifting session about 3 weeks out along with eliminating most junk from my diet .

And by the time weigh in came I might only have to cut 1-2 lbs. Which would do by cutting off water about 2 hours before I go to bed and sleeping in a pair of warm ups . [/quote]

Holy shit… NATOR’s back. What’s going on dude??

thanks for all the feedback guys!

Not to much just going to school and training ,getting ready for next years nationals .

[quote]NATOR wrote:
Not to much just going to school and training ,getting ready for next years nationals .[/quote]

and growing the beard to nearly EPIC proportions… were talking charlton heston at the end of The Ten Commandments type epic…putting zakk wylde to shame and shit

yea that to .

[quote]gi2eg wrote:
Pinto, maybe cuttin the booze was the problem?[/quote]

Maybe. Alcohol and strength sports go hand in hand. I think read somewhere that early gyms in Germany were often in the back rooms of taverns.

^ Coincidentally, someone just sent me that link today. I’ve been drinking all through Cressey’s Max Str program and have seen some pretty serious gains.

As I’m leaning out now, i mostly try to keep it to the weekends with maybe 6 beers during the week. Doesn’t seem to be slowing me down too much.

I’m competing (powerlifting) next weekend & since I’ve been on the creatine (first time and great results) I’ve put on some weight. I’m trying to hit the 165 for the Worlds but I’m 5/6Ibs over. Weigh in is going to be 3 or 4 hours before competing, so what’s the best way to lose the weight without losing strength? And what to take straight after weigh in?

This is what I’ve done for a Saturday morning weigh in:

Drop the creatine. Workouts this week are designed to get you moving and burn glycogen, but not get you sore or tax the CNS.

Sunday through Wednesday - cut all starchy carbs, just get them from veggies (asparagus, broccoli, green beans). Lean meat. Salt the veggies. 2+ gallons of regular water a day (double your regular intake, at least).

Thursday - same food, cut all salt, drink 2+ gallons of distilled water.

Friday, within 12-24 hours of the weigh in (if still 2-3 lbs over) - don’t drink any water. Only eat light weight, high energy food (like Cliff Builder Bars, almonds, etc). Assume everything that goes into your body will be there in the morning when you weigh in. If you aren’t drinking a regular amount of water, your body will retain every sip you take, and remember, water is heavy.

If you still are high, you can sweat a couple of lbs out pretty easily. The more you have to work to cut, the more it will affect your lifts.

After weigh ins, I like V8, peanut butter and jelly, bananas, etc. Stuff that digests easily. You have to be careful not to eat too much before lifting - puking on the platform is no fun. Make sure you eat throughout the meet.

I can cut 7-8 lbs like this, but I prefer not to worry about cutting.