When looking to bulk as a powerlifter, here are some important things to consider for boosting training and performance.
For those of us powerlifters, we know how hard it can be to prepare ourselves for a grueling competition. While being healthy is vital for preparing for battle, we need to make sure we cover our bases fully so as to not lose too much weight and any muscle as we look to bulk and master our powerlifting diet.
While everyone’s process is different, there are some important factors to consider when it comes to ensuring a quality diet for our powerlifting goals. As masters of the big three powerlifts, we need to give ourselves the best chance at seeing PRs and taking down fellow giants lifting next to us.
Looking to professional powerlifters and checking out their routines is one great way to capitalize on their gains but knowing the basics before even doing so can help you decide which one is best for you. Powerlifting, and other strength sports for that matter, revolve around the idea of learning from those who have gone before us, while also finding what works best for us as individuals. With such a grueling and grinding sport, we need to be comfortable in our process as we seek the best for ourselves and our goals.
Let’s take a look at some important things to consider for our powerlifting diet when looking to bulk. From what to eat, to having a solid workout plan, and nailing down a good supplementation routine, it is important to master the art of balance so we thrive in every aspect of our lifts.
Caloric Intake For Proper Amount Of Energy
For those of us looking to bulk, ensuring we get the right amount of calories into our bodies is vital for putting on strength and size. But here is where things get tricky. Some people float out the idea of something like dirty bulking, where you eat mass amounts of whatever you want in order to gain weight.
While this may work for some, you aren’t maximizing your potential and are simply just putting on fat. To get the most out of your body and energy levels, you need to be sure you get the proper foods in your body to capitalize on energy. During these big lifts, your body burns so much for fuel that without the right foods and proper caloric intake, your lifts will suffer.
Correct Balance Of Macronutrients
This we hear all the time. But its so important. Making sure we have the proper balance of macros is huge for protein is the driving force for building muscle, but carbs and fats are important for driving other bodily functions and maintaining everything we want most of our performance (1). Let’s quickly breakdown why protein, carbs, and fats are important for powerlifters:
Protein: Protein works to maintain, restore, and grow those hard worked muscles, as well as other organs in the body.
Carbs: Can work to provide extra energy that your body can then use for vital fuel stores.
Fats: The right amount of fats will optimize hormonal balance, joint health, cognitive function, and a host of other bodily functions.
Meal Frequency & Timing
Eating at the right times at the right amounts is a great bonus for building strength and size while also keeping you full and engaged throughout the day. Eating around every three hours and working towards something like four to five meals a day will ensure a strategic diet is matched by great benefits. While our busy schedules sometimes don’t allow for us to always be cooking a whole foods meal, something like a protein bar is great for fueling us and providing our bodies with the right essentials it needs to continue seeing growth (2).
Supplementation is important for any athlete and having a solid supplementation plan can really boots our gains. We all know some of the staples being a pre-workout or protein supplement, but other supplements like intra-workouts or creatine are great for boosting muscle growth and giving us a boost when it comes to repair. For those looking to bulk, check out supplements that really work to aid in growth, for they will give you the best chance at seeing massive gains you want most (3).
Check out our list of the Best Ultimate Stack Supplements to see gains to your strength and size, especially in the offseason!
Getting Proper Help
For many of us, we know what to do. But we can always be learning and finding ways to learn from the pros and those who have gone before us is very important. Looking into proper coaches for workouts, diets, and supplements can work to give us the best chance at growth and finding the proper ways to excel with our bulking and our training.
Larry Wheels was a guest on the Strength Wars podcast and offered some great advice for those serious about lifting. He said that if you really want to see change and excel with your goals, look to the coaches and other experts who can help you get there. Learning and continuing to gains knowledge is important and real experts with tons of experience can help us get there.
Check out the full Strength Wars Podcast with Larry Wheels here!
As powerlifters, we know how hard it is to find the right balance of everything so we continue to see worthwhile gains. Our diet is important, especially as we bulk, because it can be easy to just eat whatever we see in sight. Knowing what to eat, how much to eat, and how frequently to do so is important for capitalizing on training and performance. You put in the time to get it right so see the results you want most out of your powerlifting diet.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Oliver, Jonathan M.; Mardock, Michelle A.; Biehl, Adam J.; Riechman, Steven E. (2010). “Macronutrient intake in Collegiate powerlifters participating in off season training”. (source)
- Schoenfeld, Brad J.; Aragon, Alan A.; Krieger, James W. (2013). “The effect of protein timing on muscle strength and hypertrophy: a meta-analysis”. (source)
- Knapik, Andrzej; Gallert-Kopyto, Weronika; Jendrysik, Krzysztof; Ziemianek, Piotr; et al. (2019). “The Use of Supplementation Among People Practicing Powerlifting and its Connections with their Self-esteem and Body Value”. (source)