Three weeks ago, in preparation for a powerlifting meet (tomorrow), I decided to go fully paleo. Previously, I was following more a bodybuilding.com diet (5-6 meals a day--so much forcing myself to eat oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and lean-gross protein--chicken breasts and tons of whey protein). I have to admit that the main reason that I decided to go paleo was to lose weight to get to the 114 weight class. I didn't lose weight (didn't do any cardio whatsoever)--my weight is at 121/2 (I am 5'2, 26 yr female), but my lifts have improved dramatically and on VLC version of paleo [pastured eggs/meat/avocadoes all fried in chicken fat/coconut oil for breakfast w/ kale; meat, coconut oil, sour kraut for lunch; fatty chicken thighs fried in coconut oil + green salad + 1/2 avocado for dinner; maybe nuts, coconut cream, and bone broth for snacks]. My deadlift went from 210 to a very easy 235--aiming 250 competition--, for my squat 185 seemed like a cupcake weight, aiming for 215 competition. My bench is still at a stupid weight, so I am not going to list that. I didn't even eat carbs post workout either. My energy has been great, my sex drive is crazy high, and my abs are coming-in. I hope to knock out some great lifts tomorrow in my 123 weight-class--hoping a semi-busted shoulder doesn't mess me up too much. I am totally a believer in "paleo for powerlifters." Fat makes this girl so damn happy. I am hoping that following this lifestyle will continue to help me improve my strength and my aesthetic appearance.
Are there any other powerlifters out there on this forum, who have found that adopting a paleo diet has dramatically improved their lifts?
update: I busted my plateau--deadlifted 270. Problem was not enough rest and not enough carbs.
asked byAllison_14 (414)
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on July 11, 2013
at 02:39 PM
As the current Colorado state record holder for the 148 lb in Bench Press with NASA Natural Athlete Strength Association, my one recommendation would be to not change your pattern dramatically just prior to a meet. I have been paleo for over 1.5 yrs, and have consistently done IF as well. My max has improved during that time, and making weight has been easy. But I caution that it takes time for the body to adjust to rapid diet and lifestyle changes.
on July 11, 2013
at 02:34 PM
I had to read this a couple times to see if I originally posted it lol! I am a female at 123lbs, trying paleo for the first time to make it into the 114 weight class. I am exactly 3 weeks from my meet. I started paleo 5 days ago and lost 2lbs already. I have been gluten free before paleo but was following a strict bodybuilding diet forcing myself to eat every 2 hours as well. I have done a lot of research regarding paleo and powerlifting and haven't found much so thank you for posting. I havent felt reallyt crappy like I heard you are supposed to. I was really concerned my strength would decrease but so far it hasn't. I look much leaner just after 5 days of paleo. My squat went from 250 for 3 reps to 265 for 3 reps, my bench went to 150 for 3 reps yesterday and im looking forward to deadlifts tomorrow. Last week I hit 240 for 3 reps so im hoping I can make it to 250 tomorrow. I really hope I can lose more weight to make it to the 114 weight class for the meet! I too am struggling with a lil bit of a shoulder problem! Right before I work out I load up on fruit and nuts with some lean protein, the rest of the day im really just eating veggies and lean meats. I am having a little trouble sleeping and head aches here and there but for the most part I am happy following paleo. I think powerlifters can really benefit from it, after all you are what you eat. I hope I can lose 5 or 6 more pounds that way the rest I can just dehydrate for weigh in.
on June 07, 2013
at 10:18 PM
I used to do the bodybuilding-style of eating 5 to 6 meals a day, some of which were just whey protein. I did that for years with not much progress. Initially I lost weight but eventually I got crazy about eating every 2 to 3 hours as to not lose my precious muscle and was vulnerable to obsessing about food a little too much. I now believe the reasoning for eating so often is total BS.
Once I switched to paleo and stopped obsessing about eating every 2 hours and even tried out IF, things changed dramatically. My body holds on to muscle and loses fat much more promptly. After years of being a gym-rat my body comp. changed without me really trying! Recovery is insane compared to before. One week I had break through workouts near every day when really watching my omega 3 to 6 ratios and eating a lot of raw fish. Whey is out, it's just real food now, even post-workout. The only downside is that my sex drive has been actually down since I switched to paleo. I'm still trying to tweak it to get it back to where it was. I think it might be all the IF. I gotta eat more fersures.