Posted by Tony Montgomery under General  Training  on Jan 02 2015

I blame everything on Mark Bell and Jesse Burdick, back when being big, strong, and somewhat fat was the acceptable norm for powerlifters, these two guys go and decide to flip the script and get shredded. Jesse did it 1st going from super fat to a lean ripped and pasty 220lbs. Mark followed suit, after a serious injury sidelined him he decided to put down the HoHo’s and fight a war on carbs. Now everybody wants to get lean and everybody can, but everybody wants to get lean and stronger at the same time which is quite nearly impossible unless you do it separately meaning you get lean and weaker first than maintain that leanness while regaining strength if done right this will most likely take a year to accomplish. But if you want to do both at the same time it can be done to a certain extent you just have to be really smart about when to call it quits on the diet so you don’t lose strength.
What I’m going to tell you is not rocket science but sometimes you just need to hear it in order for it to click. Losing weight is easy, it simply takes eating less calories than you burn in a day approximately 500cal deficit a day to lose a pound a week. You can also lose weight and gain strength but this can only be done for a given period of time before you A. Lose your fat body leverages which makes you weaker, B. Get injured because as you get super lean you’re more likely to get injured if you’re still trying to push heavy weight, or C. Diet and strength train in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time which can be anywhere from 8-12 weeks some maybe sooner most not longer.
I’m only talking about this from an anecdotal perspective as I’ve done it myself and have talked to several people who have done t as well. The consensus with most was they got weaker around 8 weeks of serious dieting at about 1-2lbs of weight loss per week. I actually got injured and weaker as I got down to around 8% bf I noticed things like tends and muscles were super tight and everything was achy and at 2 weeks out from my meet I ended up wrecking my bicep deadlifting.
The biggest drop off came for me at about week 10 of my diet I was down 30lbs from 250 to 220 and one week I squatted 575lbs for 3 easy singles and the next I got stapled with 515lbs and this is coming from a 650lbs gym squat at my strongest and heaviest. Every week there after just got worst and worst soon everything started to drop, but I was determined to be super lean and super strong and in hindsight I still would have been strong for a 198lbs lifter but I most likely would have lost 150lbs off my best total to do it. So after the injury I decided to end the diet and add calories and about 3 weeks into it my strength was back to were that dramatic drop off was.
So the best way to do a diet and get stronger or maintain strength is to do a 1 to 1 ratio of a calorie deficit and calorie surplus and to be safe do it in 6 week spurts. So a 6 week cut followed by a 6 week surplus notice I didn’t say bulk you fat powerlifter, just surplus. Shoot for a surplus of an extra 100 calories a day per week so by the end of week 6 you would have added 600 calories to your daily count. If done properly you should notice that your cutting calories will get higher and you’ll still lose weight and your calorie surplus will go up and you shouldn’t gain to much.
So give this a try if your heart is set on being a lean powerlifter just don’t go full retard like me and get busted up. I hope this helps and if you have any questions always feel free to hit me up at

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