In a conversation with a fellow coach, the topic came up a while back that most powerlifters certainly train hard enough, but if they were to get a report card, it would look something like this:
- Training consistency: A+
- Training intensity: A+
- Sleep: C
- Diet: B-
Don’t get me wrong, there are some things that can’t realistically be expected changed.
If you’ve just had a baby, training is likely to take a backseat to your shift in priorities. Not to say you need to stop altogether, but your sleep and other recovery modalities are probably going out the window for a bit and prepping for a meet 2 months after you have a kid PROBABLY isn’t the best idea.
IMO, diet is a bit different as most powerlifters understand what needs to happen with their diet:
- relative consistency with caloric intake (+/-5% daily)
- MINIMUM 0.75g of protein per lb of bodyweight
- MINIMUM 0.4g of fat per lb of bodyweight
- 3+ meals per day (more meals based on appetite, satiety, and what fits your schedule)
- Reasonable intake of fresh fruits and vegetables
With that understanding, the problem most lifters face is simply a lack of planning and decision fatigue. Realistically, you have a full time job and other responsibilities. As much as you may love it, powerlifting is a hobby and you do it in your free time. It happens 3-5 times a week for most of us and that’s about it.
Contrasted to sticking to a proper diet (where you are “doing it” 21+ times a week), lifting is easy. As such, planning ahead is the best way to get your nutrition dialed in.
There’s tons of recipes and macro guides out there, etc. so I won’t waste time on that. Instead, I want to share the SINGLE BEST STRATEGY that I personally use when it comes to keeping consistent with nutrition as a busy person myself.
The strategy is called DFM Meals.
That stands for Dumb F*** Mode Meals.
You want your nutrition to be easy enough to where even when you’re absolutely wrecked from a full day’s work and a big lifting session, you can still keep on track with your diet.
You want your nutrition to be easy enough to follow so that even when you’re in the weeds and super busy with 10 minutes to pack your lunch for tomorrow, you can stay on track.
You want things to be easy enough where you know what you can eat at any point in the day that keeps you on track.
So, how do you employ DFM meals?
I recommend following this 3 step process:
- Select a macro target (protein, fat, carbs, calories) for your meal
- Brainstorm 2-3 meal options that take 10 minutes or less to order or cook up (you can use pre-cooked staples if you bulk prep proteins/carbs).
Do this for breakfast, lunch dinner and pre/post workouts snacks.
- Write down each meal onto a piece of paper or track it in an excel spreadsheet.
Here’s a link to my DFM Guide. It shows you 6 simple meal options along with some suggestions to streamline prep and use even less time to get good solid powerlifting nutrition
PS – Here’s 3 ways I can help you:
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