Many beginners wonder how many calories they should eat as powerlifters. The answer is quite simple; you need more calories to gain muscle as a powerlifter than you do as a skinny athlete trying to bulk up. Powerlifters have to build more muscle mass in order to increase overall maximum strength. To gain more muscle mass, your body needs more calories than it burns. So, when you eat less calories than you expend, your body tends to break down muscle tissue and use it for more important brainpower, essentially the opposite of what you would want for powerlifting efforts.
Powerlifters can consume several thousand calories a day. If you are planning to focus on a certain muscle group throughout the course of the day, such as legs or chest for instance, then you may want to split your daily calorie intake across those muscles. For example, if you are focusing on working your chest and legs early in the morning, and then staying up all night, you likely will want to divide that ingestion between morning and afternoon workouts and possibly just a little bit of breakfast.
When you are in the bulking phase of your training, you will also want to consume a high quantity of calories because your body is expending more energy to support growth.1 This can be done by eating several large meals a day. Your bodybuilder’s body is constantly working to support growth, so it needs a large amount of food to help maintain its functions at this level. Your average calorie intake will be much higher in the bulking phase. Bulking powerlifters often eat five or six small meals throughout the day, which is still adequate, but should be more than sufficient for your daily energy needs.
How Many Calories Should You Eat As A Powerlift?
A common mistake of beginners in powerlifting is that they do not know their calorie intake requirements. Most powerlifters also do not pay attention to their protein intake.2 A low calorie diet would actually harm you more than help you while powerlifting so a better approach is to maintain your calorie intake but increase your protein intake.
Powerlifters also have to gain muscle mass in order to increase overall potential for repetitions max strength. In order to gain muscle mass, you have to consume more calories than you burn each day. Your body will use fat when you consume less calories than you burn and this is very counterproductive for powerlifters. Therefore, if you are a powerlifter, you have to ensure that you consume more calories per day than you burn per day. If you are unable to do this, you should make an effort to consume more calories per meal throughout the day as it is the most efficient way to add some power to your workouts.
As far as eating goes, a good rule of thumb is to try to maintain your calorie intake similar to your resting metabolic rate. For example, if you have an average resting metabolic rate of six thousand calories per day, then eat approximately one and a half pounds of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. This is the average of all powerlifters on a bodybuilding stage, so no one needs to follow this exact rule but it will give you a good idea of how many calories to consume as a powerlifter. Another good rule of thumb is to eat five or six small meals throughout the day and take no more than two hours between meals. As you become a more experienced powerlifter, you will learn more efficient ways to eat that will help you meet your goals and get the maximum amount of results in your training.
Determining Your Calorie Requirements
If you are a powerlifter, you need to know how to correctly calculate your average calorie intake and then adhere to that average calorie intake to help ensure your body has all of the calories it needs to perform at its best. There are various calorie calculators available online for purchase and they are easy to use. You simply input the information about your height, age, weight, and activity level and the Calorie Count calculator will determine your caloric needs. They are accurate but only as far as your height, age, weight, and activity level.
If you want to know more about how to determine your caloric requirements, there is much more information available.3 For instance, if you are interested in participating in a fat loss or muscle building program, you will need to learn how to calculate your average calorie intake. The information you need to determine your requirements is not only dependent on your weight, but also on your activity level. The more exercise you get and the more muscle mass you build, the more calories you need to maintain your desired weight.
The formula for calculating your average calorie intake is very simple. The only trick is in knowing your ideal weight and your activity level. These are the most important factors when determining your Calorie intake. The formula is not complicated, and anyone can do it using nothing more than their own weight and height, and their current activity level.
How to Determine Your Calorie Requirements
For example purposes, we will assume that you want to lose weight. If you are serious about building muscle mass, you can also multiply your Calorie intake by 0.35 to get your optimal Calorie burn index (KOI).4
Once you have determined how many extra calories you need, the next step is how to determine your weight. If you are over 18, your weight will be a factor into your calorie requirement. If you are under 18, the percentage of your body mass that is fat will be used for calculating your weight. Obviously, if you want to bulk up, you will need more weight than if you just want to fit back in. In addition, athletes or people competing at a high level may also need more calories per weight to ensure adequate levels of energy.
If you know how to determine your average calorie burn, you will then need to know how to determine your weekly output of energy. This is done by figuring out your total weekly exercise session. If you are a serious athlete, you will likely find that you can eat more than you burn through exercise. Similarly, if you are into heavy lifting or powerlifting, you should consider how much you can consume when you are at your peak performance level.
Finally, you need to determine how to calculate your calorie requirement based on the information you have gathered. If you are an athlete or powerlifter, you will probably need more food than someone who simply wants to fit back in. If you are into heavy lifting, you should know how to calculate your weekly burn based on your total weekly exercise sessions. If you are into powerlifting, know how much you need to consume for each session. If so, you can easily figure out what food will help you reach your goals.
Benefits of Counting Calorie Intake
The benefits of counting calorie intake are that a person can use it to lose weight and keep track of what they are eating. The calorie counting is done in a couple different ways. You can either purchase a calorie and nutritional guide that comes with a program on how to calculate your calories and how to track the foods you eat so that you can maintain a healthy diet, or you can use a calorie counting calculator online that helps you find out how many calories you are taking in throughout the day. There are benefits of calorie counting, as it allows you to know the amount of calories that you are consuming versus the calories you are burning off. This is done by weighing and recording your daily food intake.5
Once you have figured out your calorie intake, the next step is to determine your target number of calories to lose weight. Once you have this number you will need to adjust it based on how much you weigh now, as well as the activities you participate in. For instance, if you are active in sports or outside at work more than normal, you should increase your calorie intake accordingly. If you are sedentary, you should decrease your calorie intake. This way when you come home after a long day at work, you still have an amount of calories to burn for a healthy dinner.
It is important to note that most dietitians and experts do not agree on how many calories one should be consuming for a day. In general most people that do their own calculations find that about two hundred calories a day are sufficient to fuel the body throughout the day. This number is only a rough guide though because it does not take into account how many calories you drink during the day. Keep in mind that the calculations are only estimates based on information and there are no proven scientific figures to support or oppose the amount of calories one should be consuming for a given day.
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1 “Bulking: What It Is and How to Do It – Healthline.” 6 Feb. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bulking Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.
2 “How Much Protein Do Strength Athletes Need? – Bodybuilding.com.” 26 May. 2021, https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/how-much-protein.html Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.
3 “Calorie calculator – Mayo Clinic.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/calorie-calculator/itt-20402304 Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.
4 “Calorie burn calculator | body mass index calculator | metabolism ….” https://www.cybexintl.com/education/fitnesstools/calcs.aspx Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.
5 “How to gain weight quickly and safely – Medical News Today.” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321982 Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.