When to Change Weight Classes as a Powerlifter

When to Change Weight Classes as a Powerlifter

Sports
Deciding which weight class to compete in as a powerlifter can be a tough decision to make. As powerlifting is a weight-based sport, it may seem logical to try to fit into the lightest category possible to be the most competitive.  While this may benefit some advanced lifters fighting to win a national competition or break a record, it can hold back many lifters from growing to their full potential. One of the biggest mistakes that new and experienced powerlifters make is cutting weight to be in a weight class that isn’t right for them and delivering a sub-par performance. When is it time to change weight classes? Along with making the tips provided below, consider your body composition, training age, lifestyle, stress management and support system. For relatively lean…
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Beetroot Juice for Bodybuilders and Powerlifters

Beetroot Juice for Bodybuilders and Powerlifters

Sports
Beetroot juice has been trending for a while in the world of endurance athletes, but it has not really generated a lot of interest amongst bodybuilders and powerlifters. The evidence is pretty clear that is has some applications in terms of improving performance in certain areas of training for bodybuilders and powerlifters, but this article will break down the current research and also include an interpretation of whether or not it is worthwhile taking. Why is Beetroot Juice Theoretically Helpful in General? At minimum, beetroot juice is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, B9, iron, manganese and antioxidants in general. But the real reason why people care about it is due to the potential it has to improve blood flow. Beetroot juice contains nitrates, which helps to dilate blood…
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Beetroot Juice for Endurance Performance

Beetroot Juice for Endurance Performance

Sports
One of the more interesting foods/supplements that has been gaining traction over the last few years is beetroot juice. Often times people, particularly endurance athletes, will spend a lot of time and money on things that do may or may not work in the hopes of a small increase in performance. At the top level, this small increase in performance can make a big difference in outcomes. Most supplements do not live up to the hype, but it looks like beetroot juice could be an exception to that, since it consistently seems to help people improve their performance. That being said, there is a bit of nuance to the topic and it certainly is not a magical supplement guaranteed to help you dramatically improve your time. How It Theoretically Works…
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Supplements for Bodybuilders and Powerlifters

Supplements for Bodybuilders and Powerlifters

Body Composition, Sports
When it comes to bodybuilding and powerlifting, we all know that training, rest and nutrition, in general, should be prioritised above supplementation. If you are looking to optimise your body composition and performance though, it makes sense to take advantage of any benefit you can. And while supplements might not be necessary to see great results, there are certain situations where they can help improve your results. This post is going to list common supplements used in the bodybuilding and powerlifting community and how they may or may not be beneficial. Creatine Creatine is one of the most well-studied supplements that consistently provides benefits. It is a naturally occurring non-protein amino acid that is found in foods such as red meat and seafood. But typically, people do not consume the…
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Nutrition For Strength Athletes

Nutrition For Strength Athletes

Body Composition, Sports
Strength and power athletes are typically looking to enhance power relative to body weight. This means some sort of resistance training is going to be a big part of their training. As with any type of training, proper nutrition has a significant impact on how well your body responds to and recovers from training. In strength training, nutritional objectives include: meeting caloric needs providing the optimal ratio of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) incorporating specific timing of meals/nutrition   providing optimal micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) ensuring sufficient hydration Energy, nutrient needs, and nutrient timing can differ vastly from person to person or in the context of different sports and training modalities. Just a few of the factors that come into consideration are age, gender, height, weight, level and intensity of training or…
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What is RED-S and What Should You Do About It

What is RED-S and What Should You Do About It

Health, Other, Sports
What is RED-S Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport, "RED-S" or simply "RED-S" is a clinically defined syndrome referring to the impairment of physiological function caused by a deficit in a person's energy intake relative to the energy required to maintain optimal health, homeostasis, growth, the activities of daily living, and sport.  Being in this state of relative deficit is often also referred to as being in a state of low energy availability (LEA). In this state, there is a lower than required amount of energy for the body's normal physiological functions. This can have a variety of health consequences including:  Altered metabolic functionMenstrual disturbances and amenorrhea (loss of period)Amenorrheic athletes have 2 to 4 times greater risk for a stress fractureImpaired bone health (increased osteoporosis risk) Reductions in immune system functionReduced protein synthesis (ie for…
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What Should Powerlifters Eat on Comp Day?

What Should Powerlifters Eat on Comp Day?

Sports
As a dietitian who works predominantly with powerlifters and other strength athletes such as strongman competitors and Olympic Weightlifters, I often get asked about nutrition strategies for competition day. Obviously, your nutrition plan on the day is not going to make a massive difference in comparison to all the work you have done in the lead-up to the event. It can still be the difference between making or missing a lift when it counts though. I know a lot of competitors who just rock up to the event and hope for the best, trusting that they can just eat the food that is available at the meet. And while this can work, for sure, in my opinion it is sacrificing an opportunity to maximise performance. The Goal is to Feel…
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The Complete Guide to Creatine

The Complete Guide to Creatine

Sports
Creatine is one of cheapest and most widely used gym supplements by casual gym goes and athletes alike - but there is also a lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding it’s usage, safety, efficacy, and effects on body composition. Here we are going to break down everything you need to know about creatine so you can find out if it might be something you want to use, or if you already are – how to use it most effectively! What is it? Creatine is a naturally occurring non-protein amino acid that is found in muscle tissue, most commonly in red meat and seafood. It started to rise in popularity in supplement form in the 1990’s. In the human body creatine is combined with a high energy phosphate group to form…
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The Game Changers: A Dietitian’s Review

The Game Changers: A Dietitian’s Review

Sports
When The Game Changers documentary came out on Netflix, I felt I had to watch it. It was almost a job requirement for me, since not only am I a dietitian, I’m also a sports dietitian specialising in strength athletes and I have a bit of a presence on Instagram. This meant that I had a crazy number of questions coming in about the documentary. Nutrition documentaries typically have quite a lot of bias, and do not represent the totality of the evidence well. This is a common theme, because honestly, the fundamentals of nutrition typically are not that interesting for the average person. To really bring in an audience they need to make bold claims. Nobody is interested in hearing what they have heard before. People want new and…
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Collagen Supplementation for Injury Recovery

Collagen Supplementation for Injury Recovery

Sports
At first glance, the research on collagen supplementation from an injury recovery perspective is mixed. I will be the first to admit that when I first looked into it, I brushed it off as another one of those supplements getting unnecessary hype without enough promising research behind it. I hold myself to a high standard as an evidence-based practitioner and I am typically not the quickest person to hop on board newer trends, even if they come out of the gates strong with 1-2 promising studies. Because of this, I was quite dismissive of collagen. This was until another colleague of mine in the dietetics world pointed me in the direction of a podcast that featured Professor Keith Baar, which started the process of opening my eyes and seeing that…
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