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Will powerlifting make me fat [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

May 15, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Will powerlifting make me fat

Will powerlifting make me fat

Your body makes you fat, bot the sport of powerlifting. Train like a powerlifter and eat fewer calories than you burn and you will not get fat while you powerlift.
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What is your why

Before we go into the details of whether powerlifting will make you fat, let me ask you a couple of questions:
  • Why do you want to burn fat?
  • Why do you want to lose weight?
  • What happens when you do?
  • What happens if you don't?
These four questions are important. They will determine whether you will be successful or not. Sot down, reflect on them and write down your answers. If you want to achieve your goals it will be tough. Your boss, your wife, your children, your parents, and your friends will want your attention and time. Time which you spent on their needs and goals is the time that you will not have for yourself. Unless you want to lose them, you have to make extra time to follow your own dreams and passions. This is hard. Many people do not succeed in this. This is because they think of their lives in this way:
  • What do I want
  • How do I get it
  • Why do I want it
If you want to be the one who sets yourself apart from the masses, you have to change your way of thinking. With this framework you are set up to consume, not to produce. It is part of the consumer mindset that we are being trained to follow. You will satisfy what you want now at the expense of being happy in the long run. Something interesting happens when you flip the order of these questions on their head:
  • Why do you want something?
  • How do you get it?
  • What needs to be done?
This way you will focus on what matters. You will see more clearly how to be happy and successful.  Your thoughts and actions will become more connected and the worries will be replaced by action. If you want to know how this works on a psychological level read Daniel Kahneman's thinking fast and slow. Simon Sinek's TED talk on the golden circle will change your life.
If you change your mindset you will not ask "Will powerlifting make me fat" the question will change to "How does powerlifting help me to achieve my goals". A small, but very impactful change. 

What does your body use fat for?

Your body uses fat as a long term energy reserve. Whenever you eat more than you need to fuel your body, your body wants to keep the energy and store it as fat. So if you eat a lot and stay inactive, your body will produce fat. This is also why many people like potatoes and chocolate bars so much. Potatoes and chocolate, in fact, most foods that make you fat, how a very high density of calories and take little effort to consume. Back in a world where we had to sleep in the wild, there was a lot less food in the winter, and we did not exactly know when we would eat next, this is a useful mechanism. In a world where you can order a whole crate of snickers bars from your coach to be delivered to you the same day, this mechanism is not as useful. 
So fat is a way to store surplus energy you eat. Technically, powerlifting will never make you fat. Your body will. Fat is a result of eating more energy than you burn. Powerlifting has no direct influence on this process. Your choices on what you eat have.

Why are powerlifters usually fatter than bodybuilders

As humans are optical beasts and powerlifters usually appear to be after than bodybuilders, some would conclude that powerlifting makes you fat. Powerlifters tend to live a lifestyle where monitoring your caloric intake is not as important to be successful as in bodybuilding. The main factor in powerlifting is that you can move big weights. In fact, being heavier even helps with this as long as you take care to stay within your preferred weight class. Lifting heavy weights also needs a lot of energy. Therefore bodybuilders and powerlifters will usually eat quite a lot. The big difference is that bodybuilders will take more care to keep a caloric deficit for longer than powerlifters. Caloric deficit means that you burn more calories during the day than you eat. This is why powerlifters often look and are fatter than bodybuilders. That does not mean that powerlifting itself makes you fat.

Powerlifting programs to consider

Will powerlifting make me fat

No, powerlifting does not make you fat. Being in a caloric surplus does. Being a powerlifter makes it more likely for you to live a lifestyle that gets you into a caloric surplus. However, in the end, it is what you put in your mouth that makes you fat, not lifting heavy weights in the gym. 

Further reading


Topics: Fitness, Strength, Rogue, Powerlifting