ProRawX - As a few of you reading this will know, I competed in ProRawX Powerlifting Competition last weekend at Arnold's. This was my first crack in an open age group at an invite only comp with elite only lifters. Whilst it was a whirlwind of a weekend with lots to take away from, there were a few real brain explosions on the day that opened my mind but I thought I would elaborate on the nutrition side of things in this blog and maybe you will be able to take something away from it.
Coming into deadlifts (the last lift of the day after 4-5 hours of lifting already) I felt absolutely incredible, I was coming in hot and ready to go! Not only that, after the whole day of lifting was done (8hrs) I was still ready for more, my body was primed for performance! I have competed many times and usually coming into deadlifts I am wrecked! Not this time...
Nutrition - Primed For Performance
Over the last 20 weeks or so I have experimented with educating myself and experiencing a new way of taking in nutrition. The last month or so I have been asked by a few people if I had lost weight, in fact I weighed in HEAVIER then expected in Melbourne at 126.3kg when I needed to be under 125kg to compete. I had 2 days to deplete myself of hydration and get below 125kg. Now, with a 2hr weigh in that SUCKS. This means I had to weigh in depleted, rehydrate and warm up for squats at the same time... A challenge in itself but Ill touch on this later. My point being, I was 126.3kg but LEANER and stronger than ever.
I am no nutrition expert and nor do I claim to be. I will share with you what I have learnt and what has worked extremely well for me. Hopefully you can take something away from it!
- Red Meat/Protein
I have been learning a lot from a few people like well known Pro Bodybuilder and Powerlifter Stan Efferding and my training partner Jeremy who broke an All Time u125kg Australian Squat record on the weekend @ 392.5kg. Stan says "Red meat is the only food in the world that we could isolate and eat as our only food source and survive off." This statement alone should blow your f**king mind and if it doesn't you need to think about it more. This could be the solution as to why you feel like shit, stressed, tired, overwhelmed, holding weight etc.. Red meat is SO nutrient/micro nuitrient dense that we can survive off it alone... The ultimate SUPER FOOD.
At my body weight of around 125kg I should be getting around 200-300g of protein per day whilst training. Red meat has 25g of protein per 100g, 200g of meat per meal is 50g of protein, 4 meals per day is already 200g of protein! Protein intake is much more efficient eaten consistently throughout the day for e.g. rather than 2 meals of 100g of protein, 4 meals of 50g is far better off as it can trickle in your system all day long.
To optimise your protein intake I have also learnt that 20g of protein in each meal spaced 2-3 hours a part will give your body 90% of what it needs. To get the other 10% and really optimise your protein intake you need 40g per meal. It is pretty cool that you only need 20g per meal to reach 90% though!
- Iodised Salt
Secondly, Iodised Salt. Iodine and Salt support our thyroid function, our thyroid controls the function of virtually EVERY ORGAN in our body. Pretty DAMN important right!? Stan also speaks about how a lot of us are deficient in salt, especially those of us training as we sweat it out. Thyroid hormone regulates our metabolic rate and is associated with changes in body weight and energy levels. So for those of you trying to lose weight, thyroid function plays a big roll in losing weight and a sprinkle of iodised salt on 2-3 meals per day may the difference between that stubborn fat.
Not only this, Sodium binds to water in the body and helps maintain the balance of fluids both inside and outside of cells. This means that your body is holding more blood, blood carries nutrients, thus repairing muscle faster, you will have more endurance and overall nutritients delivered to your muscles and EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY. The more I learn the more I realise protein intake is just a f**king buzz word we use for building muscle, that is just the tip of the ice berg.
I also try to have 6 eggs per day. Eggs contain around 8g of protein per egg which comes in handy. I am more interested in the good fats and cholesterol that is in them. I am a bit more vague in the area of fats but my friend Arial Dencio who has an impressive body building background told me to have 6 a day and Stan Efferding also supports this for the fantastic fats they provide. The results show.
- Basmati Rice/Carbs
My main source of carbs. Basmati rice is a white rice that is digested very quickly and great for your gut health because of this reason. A trick I learnt from Jeremy is to strain it with olive oil which helps take out a lot of the starch, starch slows the digestion/metabolism rate down. Having such a clean carb burn through your body so quickly allows you to EAT MORE, thus meaning more fuel, more energy, more performance, more power. Marketing has told a lot of us that carbs are bad and they make you fat, what a load of shit, the wrong type of carbs and sitting on your ass will make you fat. Have you ever wondered how even some very light female bodybuilders are prepping for competition on around 2000-2500 calories!? On the other hand you hear about the ones that completely f**k their hormones because they were dieting on near to nothing which is very dangerous. The higher calories will always be better to optimise performance. Now as a Powerlifter/strength athlete I don't really care that much about how a look, I just know I feel A LOT better and perform better. I won't lie though... The leaner, harder look isn't something I hate lol!
- Red Meat, Iodised Salt, Eggs and Basmati Rice
From my experience over the last 20 weeks and on comp day, these 4 nutrition sources are a MUST in my diet. It is definitely worth experimenting with. If I am completely honest with you, 4 of my meals per day involve these but at dinner I have a whole pizza for a calorie dump and the slow digestion helps it sit in me over night which helps me hold my weight as I lose weight easily. I can still have a pizza every single day, feel better, look better, have more energy and have people ask if I have lost weight when I actually haven't... It is fantastic!!!
To Conclude - After Weigh In
So I weighed in at 126.3kg 2 days prior to competing at ProRawX, I then cut out a lot of salt, a lot of fluids and just kept to my steak, eggs, rice, just small meals. At 8:30am I weighed in on the day at 123.2kg and the first lift was at 10:30am, 2 hours to hydrate. Now, lifting big weights dehydrated is really f**king dangerous, your muscle fibre's don't slide well and you can tear muscle really easy, Ironic as I tore a hamstring 10 weeks ago that is still mending so this wasn't an ideal scenario.
As soon as I weighed in I had a concoction of gatorade with 3 table spoons of iodised salt that I drank. Within an hour I had drank 1.5litres of gatorade and 1.5litres of water and didn't need to pee once. The salt helped my body suck hydration and nutrients back up into my body/muscles and I was moving very well under the weight within an hour.
Throughout the day I ate steak, basmati rice, eggs and drank salt, gatorade and water. I am telling you, by the time comp was over I was still jumping out of my skin I couldn't believe it, my body was primed for performance! Whilst some lifters were foaming at the mouth off chemical warfare pre-trainers the only stimulant I had throughout the day was 2 coffees.... I didn't need anything else.
In conclusion, this competition gave me further insight into how to peak well for performance and how effective it can be for life in general. I hope you enjoyed the read and could take something away from it! :)
- Jake Fisher