Some Reasons Why Powerlifters Tend To Be Fat

Perhaps you have always wondered why power lifters tend to be fat. You may have watched some powerlifting competitions and Olympic powerlifting and noticed that most of the competitors looked “fat” or overweight, and particularly around their midsection.

An ordinary person would never imagine that powerlifters are training hard owing to their fat and unhealthy looks. They are often accused of being fat with unappealing looks. Several popular lifters have huge guts and one can easily mistake them for walking refrigerators.  Putting on their shoes poses a challenge, let alone tying them. Walking upstairs is another big challenge.


Powerlifters are very strong men and also have a lot of muscle. They must burn numerous calories as they work out so you may not understand why they look overweight. To find out why weightlifters tend to be fat, read on.

All Powerlifters Are Not Fat

The powerlifting world is always associated with obesity because the heaviest powerlifters are usually among the strongest ones and are given more exposure than the rest.

Contrary to what many people think, actually most powerlifters are not fat; only the super heavyweights are the ones who are truly fat. Powerlifters from the lower classes normally have thick muscular development and would not look much different from a shredded bodybuilder. The majority of the fat guys compete in classes above 220lbs – 100 kg.

Powerlifters will often appear chubbier than they really are due to the many muscles around their midsection. This is important for keeping their body balanced when they are performing heavy presses, squats, and deadlifts. The untrained eye will see this as gut when it is swathed in some amount of fat.

Dieting Is Difficult

For powerlifters, being on diet makes the experience of trying to get stronger boring and harder.  Thus, many powerlifters find following a strict nutritional regimen very hard. As a matter of fact, at times it is even more challenging than lifting those heavy barbells.

In order to get as strong as possible, powerlifters will eat enough in order to ensure maximum strength gains and this will build fat as well. They consume large quantities of protein, which often comprises of fat and calories that add up to excess body fat. This is especially so with those exercises which don’t include cardio.

The Price Weightlifters Pay

Powerlifters, just like bodybuilders, are willing to do anything it takes to get the job done. It does not matter even if it means getting fatter. It is not surprising to see these guys eat beyond the point of exhaustion. Scott Mendelson, the professional bench press expert reportedly said in the movie Power Unlimited that he consumes around 10,000 calories for him to maintain his weight and strength. To give you a better understanding, this is roughly the amount an ordinary person would consume in 5 to 7 days.

Although being obese is neither healthy nor appealing, to the obsessed powerlifters, the disadvantages seem to be less important. So it is not surprising that powerlifters tend to be fat.

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