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How to Lose Weight When Powerlifting

by
author image Grey Evans
Grey Evans began writing professionally in 1985. Her work has been published in "Metabolics" and the "Journal of Nutrition." Gibbs holds a Ph.D. in nutrition from Ohio State University and an M.S. in physical therapy from New York University. She has worked at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and currently develops comprehensive nutritional and rehabilitative programs for a neurological team.
How to Lose Weight When Powerlifting
man powerlifting in gym

Losing body fat when powerlifting presents the challenge of dieting without strength loss. Do not modify your lifting program -- the same program that built your strength will allow you to keep your strength. Adding some cardiovascular exercise and conditioning work on the days you do not lift and modifying your diet will allow you to lose fat without dropping lean muscle mass. Do not make drastic changes to your diet; make modifications slowly and determine the effect they have on your training. If your lifts start to go down, you have cut out either too much or something important. Consult a health-care practitioner before beginning any diet or exercise program.

Step 1

man writing down calories
man writing down calories

Calculate your caloric intake for seven days. Average this for the week. If you have not gained or lost weight, you have a rough idea of your maintenance caloric intake level.

Step 2

nuts on table
nuts on table

Reduce your saturated fat intake. Eliminate fatty cuts of red meat and pork. Your fats should consist of no more than 20 percent of your total caloric intake. Eat healthy fats from oily fish, olives and olive oil, nuts and seeds.

Step 3

man slicing vegeables
man slicing vegeables

Eliminate simple sugars such as soda and junk food. Processed cereals should be replaced with fiber-based cereals such as oat bran. Get most of your carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables, brown rice and sweet potatoes.

Step 4

meat on barbeque
meat on barbeque

Eat protein with every meal and as a between-meal snack. You potentially need up to 2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight, according to a study in "The Physician and Sportsmedicine." If you compete in the 220-lb. class, you might need as much as 200 g of protein per day. Get your protein from very lean cuts of red meat, oily fish, chicken and fat-free milk.

Step 5

man weighing himself on scale
man weighing himself on scale

Weigh yourself on a weekly basis. If, after two weeks of cleaning up your diet you have not lost weight, cut your calories by 250 per day. Cut calories first from carbohydrates, unless you have an intensely physical job such as swinging a sledgehammer all day. If this is the case, cut your calories from fat. Determine the effect this has after two weeks and make further adjustments if necessary.

Step 6

man doing a pushup
man doing a pushup

Perform conditioning workouts at least three times a week. Do not perform them before or after your regular powerlifting sessions. Performing them on your days off is ideal, or at a separate time of the day if this is not possible.

Step 7

man pulling a sled
man pulling a sled

Perform high-intensity conditioning such as sled dragging twice a week. Drag a weighted sled at least 25 yards moving forward, then 25 yards moving backward. Do this for at least four trips, and add one trip every week until you hit eight trips. Select a weight that you must work to complete all of your dragging.

Step 8

man walking outdoors
man walking outdoors

Perform light cardiovascular exercise at least once per week, twice if your schedule permits. Simply walk for 30 minutes. Avoid marathon sessions, which can scavenge muscle tissue.

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