Differences, what you need to know and more

Each requires strict attention, but in different ways.

As the athlete that you are, you may have found yourself with the choice of being a bodybuilder or a weightlifter, but the idea around the bodybuilding vs powerlifting diet have you puzzled. While it’s possible to be both, everyone’s approach is very different, as the end goal is different. We know you understand. But sometimes people still think they can get away with certain things only to find it 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 crossover is easy.

That said, we know you want to try. But at the heart of the matter is the end result of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bodybuilding is for those who crave that jagged aesthetic and well-rounded appearance. Not a single visible muscle imbalance. While on the other hand, weightlifters are not as concerned with looks as they are with performance, being able to bench, squat and lift insane weights. So, yes, both athletes can lift big. We are not trying to be insulting. But what we’re saying is that for anyone wanting to take the stage in a bodybuilding show, your goal is radically different than a powerlifter and that comes down to diet.

Let’s take a look at these two sports and see the difference between bodybuilding and powerlifting diet. You won’t be disappointed with the results once you know exactly what you’re looking for. And you can find a cross that allows you to do both and do well in both sports.

bodybuilding vs powerlifting diet

Bodybuilding Vs. Powerlifting Differences

The overall difference between these two sports is strength versus aesthetics. Now, that’s not to say bodybuilders aren’t strong or weightlifters aren’t shredded, but the fact is that the end goal is different. Bodybuilders seek that perfect symmetry, which relies on sculpting and increasing size, but ultimately there is no weight to lift to determine a winner. The top prize is in the eye of the beholder. For weightlifters, the desire is to be as strong as possible and lift as much weight as possible, so even though they care about how they look, the only thing they are judged on is their brute strength and mental will. to lift massive amounts of weight. .

To achieve this, the training is different as well as the diet. Sure, there’s a crossover with certain exercises, but ultimately there has to be a structured plan to get what you want. Thus, the said differences between these two lie in the approach and the overall objective aimed at.

high protein breakfast ideas

Bodybuilding Diet Vs. Powerlifting Diet

Jumping into diets for these two, as that may be the crux of the matter. Bodybuilders need to make sure they get enough fuel to keep them going throughout their workouts, while limiting carbs and fats so they can get as lean as possible. A powerlifter tries to find the right balance of macronutrients to continue building strength and overall mass so that you don’t lose any strength gains (1).

Foods are probably the same for bodybuilding and weightlifting, as both types 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 can see sweet potato, brown rice, whole grain pasta, and whole wheat toast. As for those fats, maybe nuts or nut butters, avocados, and some oils can get into the mix.

The difference here is in the amount of macronutrients and balancing the calories so that you don’t gain weight as a bodybuilder and you still have enough energy as a powerlifter. So, a bodybuilder will prioritize protein over everything else, ensuring they get adequate amounts to keep them full and build lean muscle (2). Carbohydrates and fats will be present, but depending on the time of year, in much lower amounts.

Weightlifters will seek an optimal balance of all three, as they need it to thrive. Their training is depleting and making sure their energy stores are restored can do wonders for their gains. Ultimately, we’ve found it’s all about balance and how each athlete structures their plan.

high protein breakfast ideas

Which supplements to take for each

Supplements are an important part of the game and can greatly affect our training, performance, health and well-being. By working with premium, industry-leading products, you get the most out of those tough workouts while striving for great results. Most of the supplements available can be used by both bodybuilders and weightlifters, allowing both types of athletes to take charge and thrive in their respective sport.

When looking for great supplements to add to your routine as a bodybuilder or powerlifter, definitely consider the top three being pre-workout, intra-workout BCAAs and protein powders as they will cover all your pre-workout needs. , mid-, and post-workout routines. Creatine is also an important building block for increasing strength and size and can work wonders for absolutely all of your strength training goals (3). For health and wellness, both athletes can benefit from an omega-3 supplement, a super green 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 jagged aesthetic, while a powerlifter will lean more towards mass gainer to pack on mass and increase the size.


the bodybuilding vs powerlifting diet the debate really seems to be how much is needed for each respective athlete. Both athletes take care of themselves and seek to put the best foods and supplements into their bodies. With different goals and the end result having to be different, what matters is how much and how many calories to put into your body. For those looking to succeed, know your limits and work hard to reach them, because the results of quality nutrition are hard to ignore.

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*Images courtesy of Envato

The references

  1. Oliver, J.; et al. (2010). “Macronutrient intake among college weightlifters participating in off-season training”. (The source)
  2. Pasiakos, S.; et al. (2015). “The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review”. (The source)
  3. Francaux, M.; et al. (1999). “Effects of Creatine Training and Supplements on Muscle Strength and Body Mass”. (The source)

Teresa E. Burton