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Mombow111 02-28-2011 09:10 PM

Powerlifting and dieting
While I've come to suspect dieting for any reason other than making weight is generally unacceptable in the PL community, I feel that this question is still best addressed to those who hold a higher emphasis on strength at any rate.
Essentially what my question is, how would you go about a cut while retaining strength, muscle retention would be nice- but strength for me would be primary.

Relevant points would be:
-Is slow steady dieting be good, or should I just blitz through and then regain strength?
-Opinions on zig zag dieting/ refeeds (would it be best to cut calories the day after a workout, or just limit calories the day of a workout, just before I hit the gym)
-What kind of cardio, if any, should I do (LISS vs. High Intensity Interval)
-Do I max out during my workouts, if so how frequently? Should I cut volume and increase intensity?
-Can you gain strength on a cut, and if so how?
-Preferred macro nutrient profile?
-Anything else you can think of.

BendtheBar 03-01-2011 12:29 PM

I am not a powerlifter but I train for strength. I never lose strength going the slow and steady route.

I don't like the idea of making dramatic changes the first time you try to shed a few pounds. I would simply try to strip back your intake a bit and get the feel for how you body is responding.

Also, how clean would you say your diet is right now?

Mombow111 03-01-2011 02:11 PM

As clean as possible, I've been living off chicken (w/ skin), eggs, oatmeal and vegetables up here. I've switched to throwing bananas in my oatmeals for sweetness this weekend over sugar (I was going through like half a pound a day). My body is still pretty fit, its just I seem to have a much more stubborn "set point" then most people (works both ways for me I guess. As for my diet I feel most comfortable on a higher-fat, moderate-high protein, and lower carbohydrate composition but if I get my hands on some candy, dried fruit, or nuts, I pretty much binge until my stomach is in danger of cracking...

BendtheBar 03-01-2011 03:30 PM

Regarding of the big mistakes for people when cutting is that they go nuts. You really don't need to do any cardio at all.

I would certainly take it very easy out the gate if you do do any cardio, and only add it slowly.

Get the diet down first, and then worry about cardio after that if it's even needed.

Bodybygamma 03-02-2011 04:37 AM

Weight lifting will generally burn more fat then cardio in my opinion in the long haul.(more muscle uses more fat for energy, studies show a person who weight trains burns more fat overnight then a person who just does cardio.) Its GPP(general physical preparedness) whats important, just generally being more active to keep energy levels high.

Cardio in small bursts 15-30minutes tops 2-4 times a week in addition with weight training 2-4 times a week will do the job most of the time,(assuming progression principals are being followed) maybe once a week have a 45minute cardio, session,1hour tops including a 15minute warm up & 15minutes cool down + stretching.

Most people make drastic changes in diet & in physical activity for instant gratification & end up crashing too hard, stunting both their nervous system & metabolism.

What works best for me is eating the same stuff I normally do on lifting days or even a little more, so 3 days out of the week I eat whatever the hell I want, super carbed, & on my off days(when I don't lift) I try to eat more protein & fat then normal, while reducing carbs.This is just basic changes nothing super drastic but actually works quite well in keeping my strength up.

Based on your diet to apply my simple method I would say throw in some lean red meat instead of chicken on lifting days, as well as some yams or brown rice, since that is hardy & healthy carbs that will fuel the body if you want to eat clean.

Mombow111 03-02-2011 01:09 PM

Thanks for the advice, I'm going to clean up my diet a bit, restrict my calories to between 2,500-3,500 a day and try following your suggestions on cardio a bit. I'm not going to do anything to drastic yet seeing as I've made some good strength gains over the past 2 months and want to keep going until I atleast get to my short term goals, but obviously consuming a entire box of chocolates isn't going to be beneficial to getting their either. Hopefully when I'm satisfied with my gains, I'll be able to do something as slight as cutting 500 calories a day to round off my physique.

In terms of cardio, should I just measure progression in speed? I often get confused/run out of ways to gauge that I'm making forward progress (it's not as simple as adding weight while weight training... unless I'm bulking I guess..).

MonsterMike 04-29-2011 03:28 PM

this may sound crazy, and i KNOW there are people out there who may disagree.....but I have cut (for my size) tremendous amounts of weight before, both over a long period of time AND in a few weeks....and I can truly say in regards to strength gains.....its all in your head! If you tell yourself "I MAY be weaker from a weight cut" then you will may go against "science" but it really is mind over matter sometimes.

J_Byrd 04-29-2011 07:40 PM

Your diet looks pretty good to me. I was on the other end when I started the weight loss (my diet sucked). I am doing it slow and steady. Been losing a lb or 2 a week. My body fat is probably alot higher than yours though. The good news is that during the weight loss I have continued to make strength gains. I have found that as long as I keep my protein high, lots of water, and good sleep, I can keep on track. To avoid cardio, on accessory days, I try do them in supersets to keep the heart rate up.

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