Lift hard, lift heavy, and push yourself beyond your limits each session. I fully agree with this. There are those days though when you simply can’t push yourself beyond your limits and it’s not because you don’t want to, it’s simply because physiologically you don’t have the ability to. That’s where nutrition comes in.
Eat like a bodybuilder, train like a power lifter
Protein, fat, and carbohydrates are the three macros that we are concerned with. Most power lifters aren’t concerned with getting their body fat into the 5% range. In fact, the only concern most power lifters I know have, is getting more weight off the ground. So while bodybuilders cut the carbs and up the protein and fats, why is it many power lifters increase their carbs and lower their protein in the process?
Carbs are our energy source and are necessary when preparing for a serious power lifting session. The problem is, that unless you have an abnormally large stomach, those carbs take up a lot of room in there and make you full quickly, making it extremely difficult to get optimal amounts of protein. One thing that is commonly overlooked is that protein and fats are necessary for building muscle. Carbs will force glucose into the muscle as an energy source but can be removed and muscle mass can still be maintained for extended time frames.
My suggestion that works well for me, is to cut carbs down in the hours not surrounding your training session. If your macros allow you 400 grams of carbs, try cutting that down to 200 grams and getting about 60-70 grams before your power lifting session and again right after, during the anabolic window. This will allow you ingest more protein throughout the day which in turn will allow you to build more muscle. The result of more muscle mass is more strength.
Additionally, I’m a fan of simple carbohydrates through carb powder pre and post workout for strength training. I find that it gives me an amazing amount of strength increase during the actual workout, itself.
Tips for power lifting and nutrition
- Cut your carbs down to allow and increase in protein
- Ingest protein and simple carbs 30 minutes before your strength training workout and within 40 minutes after your workout, during the anabolic window.
- Get ample rest (6-8 hours a night).
- Stay hydrated and aim to drink a gallon of water throughout the day.
Stick with these simple nutrition tips and you should watch your strength shoot through the roof.
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