Ok, so this is weird for me. I've been doing multiple forms of training for years, and I've been sporting a single digit body fat percentage for the past 2 years, but ever since I've taken powerlifting seriously, my body fat has increased. I have been eating clean, and even in a caloric deficit, but I've gained fat around my belly and sides. My skinfolds EVERYWHERE ELSE went down, but my belly and sides have gained. Not much, but enough for my 8 pack to be downgraded to a faded 6 pack. Needless to say I'm not too happy about this.
What on earth is causing this? My calories are in check, my food is cleaner than ever, but I'm developing a mild belly. Now when I look at pretty much all powerlifters I see the same physique happening, 10-14% bodyfat, lots of muscle, lots of strength, but just a bit of extra fat around the waist. Very few are in single digit body fat from what I can tell. Is it the stress from regularly going to 90%+ of your 1rm? Is it your bodies way of trying to protect itself due to the intensity of the workouts? And, most importantly, how do I get my body to let go of the fat, without doing so much endurance that my muscle fibres change? Even in a caloric deficit I can't lose the belly fat, everywhere else goes down but the belly fat stays. I find this appalling because I literally had less fat working a lot less than I am now. With everything I have learned I should be leaner than ever because of a faster metabolism, but it just isn't the case. How do I fix this?
(Oh, and btw, my macro's are in check too, I eat 30-40% protein with the rest divided equally between carbs and fat.)