As the athlete you are, you may have found yourself with the choice of being a bodybuilder or a powerlifter but the idea around the bodybuilding vs. powerlifting diet has you stumped. While it is possible to be both, the approach to each is very different, for the end goal is different. We know you get it. But sometimes people still think they can get away with certain things only to find that comes back to bite them.
With two sports that require attention to detail, just with different elements, you can no longer escape the idea that the crossover is an easy one.
With that said, we know you want to try. But at the core of the issue is the end result of both bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bodybuilding is for those seeking that shredded aesthetic and well-rounded appearance. Not a single muscle imbalance is visible. While on the other hand, powerlifters aren’t as concerned about appearance as they are performance, being able to bench, squat, and deadlift insane amounts of weights. So, yes, both athletes can lift big. We aren’t trying to be insulting. But what we are saying is that for those wanting to walk the stage in a bodybuilding show, your goal is drastically different than a powerlifter and it comes from diet.
Let’s take a look at these two sports and nail down the difference between the bodybuilding and powerlifting diets. You won’t be disappointed by the results once you know exactly what you’re looking for. And you may find a crossover that allows you the opportunity to do both and do well in both sports.
Bodybuilding Vs. Powerlifting Differences
The overall difference between these two sports is strength vs. aesthetic. Now, this is not to say that bodybuilders aren’t strong or powerlifters aren’t shredded, but the point is that the end goal is different. Bodybuilders are seeking that perfect symmetry, which is built on sculpting and increasing size, but at the end of the day, there is no weight to lift to determine a winner. Top prize is in the eye of the beholder. For powerlifters, the desire is to be as strong as possible and to lift as much weight as possible, so while they may care about their appearance, the only thing they are judged on is their raw strength and mental will to lift massive amounts of weight.
In order to achieve this, training is different as well as diet. Of course, there is a crossover with certain exercises but at the end of the day, there needs to be a structured plan for getting what you want. So, said differences between these two lie in approach and the intended overall goal.
Bodybuilding Diet Vs. Powerlifting Diet
Jumping into the diets for these two, as this may be the crux of the issue. Bodybuilders need to make sure they are getting enough fuel to power them through their workouts, while still limiting carbs and fats so they can be as lean as possible. A powerlifter is trying to find the right balance of macronutrients to continue to build strength and overall mass to not lose any strength gains whatsoever (1).
The foods are most likely the same for both bodybuilding and powerlifting, as both kinds of athletes are looking to take optimal care of their bodies. Protein would consist of lean meats, fish, eggs, and even beef once in a while to mix things up. Carbs may see sweet potato, brown rice, whole grain pasta, and whole-wheat toast. As for those fats, maybe nuts or nut butters, avocados, and certain oils may make it into the mix.
The difference herein lies with the amount of macronutrients and balancing out calories so you don’t gain weight as a bodybuilder and still have enough energy as a powerlifter. So, a bodybuilder will prioritize protein over all else, making sure they get adequate amounts to keep them full and build lean muscle (2). Carbs and fats will be present, but depending on the time of year, in much smaller quantities.
Powerlifters will seek an optimal balance of all three as they need them to thrive. Their training is depleting and ensuring their energy stores are restored can work wonders for their gains. Ultimately, we’ve found that it is about the balance and how each athlete structures their plan.
What Supplements To Take For Each
Supplements are a huge part of the game and can greatly affect our training, performance, health, and wellness. By working with premium and top-tier products, you get the most out those hard workouts as you seek to see great results. Many of the supplements out there can be used by both bodybuilders and powerlifters which allows both kinds of athletes the option to take charge and thrive in their respective sport.
When looking at great supplements to add to your routine as either a bodybuilder or powerlifter definitely consider the three main ones being pre-workout, intra-workout BCAAs, and protein powders as these will cover all the needs of your pre-, mid-, and post-workout routines. Creatine is also a big one for increasing strength and size and can work wonders for absolutely all your strength training goals (3). For health and wellness, both athletes can benefit from an omega-3 supplement, a super greens product, and of course, a multivitamin.
Supplements that may differ, for example, are fat burners and mass gainers. A bodybuilder may be more inclined to take a fat burner to help shed calories and burn that unwanted fat to add to that shredded aesthetic while a powerlifter will look more towards a mass gainer to pack on mass and increase size.
The bodybuilding vs. powerlifting diet debate seems to truly lie in how much is needed for each respective athlete. Both athletes take care of themselves and seek to put the best foods and supplements in their bodies. With different goals and the end result needing to be different, what matters is the quantity and knowing how many calories to put into your body. For those looking to succeed, know your limit and work hard to hit it, for the results of a quality diet are hard to ignore.
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