What Power Nutrition Can Do For You!

In this article I am going to layout some of the things that following a customized nutrition plan can do for you - the hardcore powerlifter.
It has been close to three years that I have had my Nutrition column here at Powerlifting USA. In this time period I have worked with numerous World and National Champion Powerlifters from all weight classes.

These include such great lifters as Phil Harrington, Ron Palmer, Joe Mazza, Steve Goggins, Gene Rycheleak, Kara Bohegian, Dr. Larry Miller, Hennis Washington III, Jason Burnell, Karen Sizemore, Jamie Harris, Amy Wesiburger, Tee "SkinnyMan" Myers, Glenn Ross and the strongest man to ever walk the planet, none other then Garry Frank!

These are not all the world champions that I have worked with but just a few off the top of my head. From my experiences in the powerlifting nutrition trenches I have seen it all. But my happiest times are those when I see my athletes surpass boundaries and reach new heights that they never thought possible. To see my athlete taste the sweetness of success is something that all coaches take pride in.

With my column I try to inform the aspiring powerlifter of how they can take their performance beyond their genetic limits. I know that many of you were quite skeptical of my ideas at the beginning. Many of you were thinking that I was some guy trying to change the face of powerlifting. You know what you guys were right. With my nutrition ideas and theories many athletes at all levels have gotten major improvements not only in their lifts but their health as well.

If you are a regular reader of my column then you will have seen some of the bozos that send me uneducated stupid questions trying to pull my chain to discredit what I do. Of course I always have not only a slick answers for these fellows, but I put them in their place from not only a scientific angle but a real world results angle as well.

A lot of people who are neither hardcore skeptics or true believers from day one still are curious about what a proper power nutrition plan can do for them. Well in this article I am going to layout some of the things that following a customized nutrition plan can do for you - the hardcore powerlifter.

Hopefully after reading this column those that have yet to see the light will have a better understanding of what I do and what areas I focus in on when consulting with me for private nutritional programs.


Strength Beyond Belief

Now being a die-hard lifter the first thing we should discuss here is how the nutrition plan will affect your strength. Of course to most of you this is the only thing that is important but latter on you will see that there are many other factors that should be of concern as well.

As you should already know strength is controlled by many factors and variables, not simply just throwing around some heavy weights hoping that you will one day grow up to be big and strong.

A proper nutrition plan will help you increase the strength and power of your muscles and tendons. If you cannot strengthen your muscles and tendons on a consistent basis you might as well give up powerlifting because you won't be too successful in this sport. Strength is not just related to your muscles and tendons.

The hormones that float through your bloodstream play a huge role in your performance. If you think that a properly designed nutrition plan won't cause major influences on your hormones then you better get your head checked. What you put in your body is no doubt one of the most important variables that control your hormonal levels, both good and bad.

If you have ever talked with someone that has followed one of my customized nutrition plans you will soon find out that once you have entered the "Nutrition Realm", there is no going back. Once you see how much of a difference it makes on your strength, energy level, volume workload, endurance, recovery, hormonal balance and much more, you will never be able to go back to what you were doing before.

In fact you will wonder how the hell you survived eating so horribly over the years. Not only that, but you will be wondering how much bigger your total could be right now if you started a proper nutrition plan years ago. Well its not too late, so don't get left behind with your disastrous eating habits.


Improving Your Endurance & Volume Workload

Once you start following a customized nutrition plan you better get ready to leave your training partners in the dust. You may think here that I am just blowing sweet words in your ear but that's not the case in the least. Within just a few weeks you will see that the volume workload that you are handling will be much more.

Not only will you be handling much more in total tonnage per workout but you won't feel as drained at the end of the workout.

This is one of the things my clients notice right away. Their endurance in the gym is way up and their energy even after a very tough workout is still high.

Remember the more volume you can handle the stronger you will get so don't think that this added bonus isn't going to have a major effect on your total. It is going to make a huge difference and it is one that you will see very early on once you get your plan on track.


Optimizing Your Body Fat Percentage

Now I know this topic can be a little touchy for some of you out there but it doesn't have to be. Getting your body fat percentage to a decent level will do a lot more for you than you can imagine. First off leaning out can really help your lifting. How many times have you seen lifters with big bellies have a hard time getting down to the bar in the deadlift?

I have seen this at just about every contest I have ever been to. Not only this but that extra spare tire will also bring down your leverages in the deadlift. Just ask anyone that has gotten rid of that extra "Love" around their waist can attest that their strength has gone up. Lets face facts for a minute here. If you are carrying too much fat it will actually hurt your lifting in the long run, not help it.

Now don't get me wrong I don't expect powerlifters to get all shredded like bodybuilders but the fact is the large majority of lifters do carry too much body fat. The tide is changing though. Just take a look at a lot of the top lifters and you will see that they are much leaner and harder than in years past. They are realizing they are becoming more efficient lifters by dropping the spare tire in for a hard set of abs.

Just take a look at lifters like Phil Harrington, Ron Palmer, Hennis Washington III, Angelo Berdanelli, and Joe Ladnier just to name a few. These guys could step on a bodybuilding stage and do some damage and they are all at the top of their classes in powerlifting. Not only will dropping the extra roll help your lifting, but it will also have a very positive effect on something even more important than lifting - your health.

Heart disease is the number one killer for American males and if you don't watch your eating plan you can also become another statistic. Don't let that happen, eat for power, but eat clean and your lifting and heart health will thank me latter I guarantee it!


Recovery & Injury Prevention

Now you may be wondering what does Power Nutrition have to do with recovery and injury prevention. Well just about everything. The best strength coaches in the world will tell you that your program is only as good as your rate of recovery. You can be on the best program ever invented but if you can't recover from it you will fall and degress in your strength instead of going forward.

Nutrition will play a major role in your success in how fast you recover between workouts. I would say that you could recover a full 24-48 hours in advance from following a proper nutrition plan. One of the major keys here is your post workout nutrition plan. This will play a vital role in how fast you will be back in the gym and how fast your body recovers from the battle you put it through.

Not only will this help in your recovery but it will also help in injury prevention. How many times did you have a little tendonitis flare up to only let it go and in no time it was a major ailment that was just nagging you down?

Proper nutrition and supplementation can help prevent injuries before they occur and can also help in the healing process. You can definitely heal much faster with a proper nutrition plan that is designed for injury recovery then just going with whatever comes your way. Take care of your nutrition plan and when you are injured your nutrition plan will take care of you!


Maintaining A Healthy Blood Profile

One of the things a lot of lifters have gotten out of my column is that not only do I emphasize being a bigger, stronger lifter but I also address the fact of being a healthier lifter as well. What good is it to total over 2400 pounds if your arteries are clogged and your kidneys look like they have been through a cheese grader. You can't enjoy powerlifting from a coffin, so taking care of your health really is the most important part of your nutrition plan.

A lot of you younger bucks might think otherwise but as you get older you will see the truth in what I am saying. I can just see all the master lifters agreeing with my words especially those that have suffered from different health conditions latter in their career. Powerlifters especially in latter years suffer from a wide range of different medical conditions. I hate to say this but the majority of it has to do with their lifestyle and nutritional habits.

The first area I would like to discuss is heart disease. As you should already know it is one of the biggest killers in American males so if you are of the male gender you should be paying attention. Your nutritional intake has a direct effect on your cardiovascular health. If you suffer from such conditions as high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, and angina or have had a heart attack, except for the very small percentage that is caused by a genetic disorder, you can only blame yourself for this.

Powerlifters train all the major muscle groups looking to strengthen the lower back or their glute tie ins for a better Deadlift lockout, but they forget to take care of their most important muscle of their body…their heart! I personally have known several powerlifters that suffer from cardiovascular diseases like the ones mentioned above. Heck even heart attacks are almost commonplace among a lot of lifters. High cholesterol and tryglycerides levels are also a problem among many lifters.

This can only set you up for a massive heart attack. I know a lot of lifters don't like to think about these things but you can only keep your head in the sand for so long. Type II Diabetes is another disease that I have seen in a lot of lifters as well. For those of you that don't know Type I Diabetes is something you are born with due to a genetic disorder. Type II Diabetes is a different kind that most of the time is caused by again your nasty nutritional habits that are coming back to bite you on the ass like a rabid pitbull.

Diabetes that isn't taken care of will no doubt shorten your lifespan, and make your quality of life not so nice. A proper nutritional program can most definitely help you prevent getting Type II Diabetes. As for those that already suffer from the condition, a properly laid out nutritional plan can help you more than you think. I have worked with several lifters that have completely dropped all their medication in a 6-month period just by changing their lifestyle and nutritional habits.

Even their medical doctors were amazed at how they have controlled their blood sugar levels in such a short time just by optimizing their nutrition plan. Take care of your long-term health otherwise you will regret it when its time to pay the piper!


Chemical Enhancement Like Never Before

One of the main things that I like about powerlifting is that it is one of the most non-hypocritical sports on the planet. The whole "Chemical Performance" topic in sports is one controversial topic. Heck it even had old George Bush talking about it in his State of the Union Address. Now what I like about powerlifting when it comes to this topic is that we have the most realistic point of view on this complex and controversial subject.

Now whether you are for or against chemical performance enhancement in sports you can't ignore the fact that millions of athletes around the world do use drugs to take their performance beyond their natural abilities. Now with the use of performance enhancing drugs we must understand how they affect the body. We are all aware of the side effects that these different drugs can have on the body.

With this in mind we must now know how to protect the body from their effects. Anabolic steroids, Growth Hormone, IGF-1, diuretics, thermogenic drugs, Insulin, chemical cell volumizers, all affect the body differently as well as the organ they most tax. What the chemically enhanced lifter must realize is that prevention and maintenance is the key to increasing their performance and keeping them healthy. Two of the most taxed organ for the enhanced lifter are the kidneys and the liver.

Keeping them in proper working order is no doubt of high importance unless you want to be on dialysis the rest of your life. A proper nutritional plan will take this into consideration to make sure that you are getting the right balance of nutrients in your plan.

Proper natural supplementation will also play a huge role in keeping these organs healthy. One of the most common side effects of taking different oral steroids is elevated liver enzymes. This is a very serious matter and can most definitely be controlled through a proper nutrition and supplementation plan focusing in keeping these enzymes in check.

Another thing that I do with my chemically enhanced lifters is to constantly cleanse the different organs of the body. The purpose of this is to get rid of the build up of toxins in the body that can cause many health conditions down the road. One common liver detoxifying cleanse that I do will flush toxins from the liver and gall bladder. Now this process takes a couple days to complete but the end result is something that has to be seen to be believed. When one of my lifters saw what came out of his body after one of theses cleanses he knew he would have been in big trouble down the road.

Just refer to my "Liver Cleanse" column from a couple months back and take a look at the pictures of what came out of one gentleman that wasn't eating the healthiest diet in the world. Another thing that the chemically enhanced lifter will notice when he is following a customized nutrition plan is that your strength will take major jumps unlike before.

Even if you are a world class athlete and you are already in the realm of the truly elite, you will still see your total go above and beyond what you thought possible. If you are chemically enhanced and you are not using a customized nutrition and supplementation plan then I can guarantee you that you are not even scraping the surface of what kind of results that you should be getting from your "Enhancement" program.


Before & After having liver stones.

Believe me what ever type of program you are following you can increase the effects of it by anywhere from 15-50% better results from following a nutrition plan that is customized to not only your training but your chemical program as well.


Conclusion

I hope that I opened the eyes of some of you powerlifters that seem to ignore the nutritional sciences. Following a proper program can do more for your total and health then you can imagine. If you are not getting your nutrition plan dialed in then you are giving your competition a major advantage over you. Don't give away that world title to someone else just because you decide to live a life of fast food and sugar laden goodies. This may sound funny but powerlifters are athletes.

So if we are going to perform like a true strength athlete we must wake up and catch up to all the other sport communities out there that have gotten the nutritional sciences part of their sport decades ago. In our sport we have advanced with our equipment like never before. There are bench shirts that can put over 200 pounds on your bench.

There are wraps that give so much rebound they could spring you into the stratosphere. And with the advent of all the science and technology put into the equipment of our sport there are still world class athletes eating worse than a couch potato. If you are looking for real world results then get your nutrition plan on track.

I promise that you will be glad you did. So if you are one of the guilty its now time to put down that pint of ice cream and throw down those hot dogs and feed your body like what you are - a true strength athlete!

If you would like to find out more about the customized Nutrition XP3 Program or have any questions please feel free to write me at: aricciuto@X-tremepower.com.