Meal Plan for a Weightlifter / Olympic Lifter

Olympic style weightlifting ism frequently trained along with field athletics like discuss, shot-put and javelin. Clean and jerking weights involves short bursts of energy. Although fitness may not be the primary objective, it is crucial as well as maintaining an optimal power to weight ratio, especially if the competitor has to make a weight to compete in a class.

Training sessions can be long in duration and explosive power is the main goal, although the athlete will require enough energy for long training sessions. A weightlifter should eat for strength and with this a degree muscle size will develop. The key to healthy quality weight gain is to eat consistently throughout the day following a structured meal plan.

Weightlifters should eat six to seven meals / snacks moderately large, rather than huge meals. Include plenty of high protein food choices, like lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs and milk; fibrous low glycaemic carbs like cereals, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes; fruit and vegetables (don't forget nuts and pulses are also good sources of protein); as well as sources of essential fats.

Meals should be spread regularly through the day. Structure is of particular importance around training as sessions can be long in duration. Consume low glycaemic carbs about 30 minutes before a workout, with a small amount of simple carbs right before and straight afterwards. In addition, sip a carb drink – possibly an isotonic drink – during workouts and have protein before and immediately after working out.

The following is a sample meal plan for one day for a weightlifter to help gain strength. Rest is crucial, so often a weightlifter only trains two or three times per week. On non-training days, the only difference should be to nutrition consumed around working out.

30g whey protein in water
Large bowl porridge (oatmeal) made with skimmed milk + handful dried fruit
2 slices granary bread + natural peanut butter
Oatcakes + natural peanut butter
Item fruit
Drink water
Chicken breast or oily fish
100g basmati rice or wholewheat pasta
Tbsp sunflower seeds
Large mixed salad
Low fat yoghurt
4 squares Easy Flapjacks
Large handful mixed nuts
Large banana
Mug green tea
30 mins pre-workout
4-6 oatcakes
Immediately pre-workout
20g whey protein + 30g dextrose in water
TRAIN – during workout
Sip 20g whey protein + isotonic drink
Immediately post workout
20g scoop whey protein + 30g dextrose + 30g maltodextrin in water
Evening meal
60 mins later
Lean red meat or chicken / turkey or white fish
100g basmati rice or 100g wholewheat pasta or 6-8 small boiled new potatoes or 1 large sweet potato (dry roasted)
Large serving of vegetables / salad
Low fat yoghurt
Late snack
250g quark / cottage cheese

As with all the meal plans this is merely a guide and must not be stuck to rigidly! Eat a variety of different meats / fish / alternatives, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables every day, and drink plenty of water. Adapt the plan to suit your own needs and lifestyle according to your results and performance in the gym in order to keep the strength gains progressing.

Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.