Ideal Bodyfat For Powerlifting

Create: 05/10/2006 - 07:08
An Anabolic Review poster wonders if there's an ideal bodyfat percentage at which powerlifters compete. He asks:

Ive heard somewhere that 18% BF is the best number to be at for maximal strength. Not sure where this number came from, guessing its just been pulled out of the air. My doctor seems to think in the 10% BF range is ideal for health, not wanting to go lower or higher. What is your BF? What is best for PL? Do you ever go up (mostly fat) simply to max out your class? The thinking behind this is the most leverage and why not be at the top of your weight class, but in the case of a total tie, the lighter guy wins. Any thoughts welcomed.


i would say anywhere from 12-18% theres no need to be super ripped and cut like a bodybuilder but i dont wanna be a super fatty either

another thing is that it doesnt really matter how "ripped" you are or how pretty you are in powerlifting..... i read alot of russian articles and they said they dont let their powerlifters and weightlifters read BB magazines because they say they "brainwash" them into thinking bigger is stronger when there is really no correlation at all to size and strength

I really don't think that there is a particular ideal bodyfat overall... this IMO is individualistic... simply put everyone is gonna be different. I have even talked to a few top lifters on this subject... Tony Conyers for example told me that he feels like he loses bar speed on the deadlift when he gets heavier than normal... I know that my body fat percentage is low and I feel like it suits me fine... the 1st thing most people say to me when I show up to a meet is "what are you doing here man this ain't a bodybuilding contest" but I enjoy that and I think people underestimate me because of it... I wouldn't change it for the world! like stated above the World's strongest man Mario P. says it all ripped and strong as sh*t!

I always stay around 12%.I want to win and look good doing it.

My best competition performances came when I did not have to worry about weight. I did to lose or gain any weight on purpose throughout the last 3 months up to the contest. I hover around 10% but only because this is where my body stays given my activity level, metabolic rate, and caloric intake. That being said, I agree with RJ. Whatever your body is comfortable at would be ideal. Keeping your body at it's natural BF levels (hopefully somewhere between 8-18) is probably best. Physiologically, this is where your body is working optimally.


Submitted by phreak on
My bodyfat is at a tubby 30+%. Mainly because I hate dieting... I do feel stronger when below that, but I also get hurt more easily.

Submitted by Hank on
If Brad Varguson or Sam Byrd are any indication, about 3% would seem ideal.:) Gues I'm about 18% or so above ideal!

Submitted by Brad V (not verified) on
lol...I sit at 6%-7% all year. I've been told it's too low because it increases the chance for injury.