8 IPF World Classic Powerlifting Champions Share Their Pre-Meet Meals

Have you ever wondered what some of the top powerlifting athletes eat before they compete? Maybe it’s just me, or maybe you’ve wondered the same. With the conclusion of the 2018 IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships, I was curious about what some of this year’s champions ate before taking the platform.

In this article, I reached out to a handful of athletes in both the Junior and Open weight classes to learn what they consume(d) before competing. Are the answers all flashy? Yes and no, that’s up for your interpretation. What you’ll see below is a lot of variance between each athlete’s answers, along with nuggets of information that may be useful for yourself when going into your next meet.

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Got some awesome pics from @lvdmedia! What an amazing day yesterday. To come back after a year of recovery and win in this weight class stacked with talent is a great feeling. Competition was tight as I knew it would be, but I had my secret weapon @jenniferthompsonshusband who is a numbers genius. I truly enjoyed sharing the platform with these women. It was all high fives and back slaps in the warm up room. @sculptedcreations took 2nd in her first @theipf along with a WR in the DL. @maria_htee came up strong with a WR in the squat. Honestly it just makes me so proud to see all these women out on the platform giving it their all. We have for a long way from when I started in 1999. I was asked by @6packlapadat how much longer I had in this sport. Honestly, I'm not sure. @jenniferthompsonshusband told me to be proud of how I performed, but not satisfied. And that pretty much sums up how I feel. I am so happy to be a World Champion again, but still very unsatisfied (still pissed I missed those two lifts). So I guess I will keep at it until I am satisfied… Which may never happen 😁 I would like to give a huge thank you to @sbdapparel @sbd.usa, the best Nutrition company in the world @sspnutrition and the coolest cats I know @lvdfitness Check out their "evolve" collection!

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Editor’s Note: This article is purely informative and isn’t intended to provide meals that should be directly replicated, as everyone will need to eat accordingly to their body’s needs and goals. In addition, these athletes are competing at the top level, so more than likely their dietary choices will be different from the norm. 

1. Taylor Atwood: Men’s 74kg Open Champion

“1/2 cup of oats, 1 scoop of protein powder, 3/4 cup of milk, 1 banana, and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. All of that followed up by some Wild Berry Skittles (best Skittles out, don’t @ me).” 

2. LS McClain: Men’s 93kg Open Champion

“While I don’t eat very much for my pre-meet meal, I usually have the following spaced out throughout the day before my meet. 1/4 lb boiled shrimp with Cajun seasoning, 1/2 lb homemade burger, 2 cups of boiled cabbage, 8 hot wings, 2 Fruit Roll-Ups, 2 Fruit By the Foots, and tons of water.” 

3. Jen Thompson: Women’s 63kg Open Champion

Night before weigh in meal.

“With so many competitions these days looking at Wilks score, and any ties in powerlfting go to the lightest lifter; I want to weigh in as light as I can be without losing strength. For the night before weigh-in meal, I am looking at something that is sustainable, but not heavy. I don’t want to eat anything full of fat that will take my body a long time to process or have too much sodium that will retain water. I am also looking at volume and literally how much the meal actually weighs. So I go with a very simple grilled chicken salad.

The salad includes: 16 oz. grilled chicken breast, mesclun lettuce, goat cheese, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, cucumber and a balsamic vinaigrette (I dip my fork in the dressing on the side so that I am not eating too much of the dressing)

Nutrition: 620 Cal, 27g fat (6g are Saturated), 44g Carbs, 50g protein 200g sodium.

This meal makes me feel full and I can make it to the morning weigh in without feeling overly hungry.”

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This is one of my favorite pictures. It's obviously not pretty, but the intensity is there. Tomorrow I lift at 7:00 pm EST (you can watch the livestream on https://www.powerlifting-ipf.com/media/livestream.html). I'm physical and mentally prepared. I can't wait to share the platform with all my competitors. My prediction is three or four of us will break the current WR total (499.5 kg or 1101 lbs). It is a scenario a true competitor hopes for. This is going to be fun, Game On!!! @lvdfitness @sspnutrition @sbd.usa @sbd @usapowerlifting @theipf @howmuch_yabench @ironsisterhoood @rawpowerlifting @pwrlft_community @kingofthelifts @givemesport @girlswhopowerlift @powerliftingwomen @barbend @powerliftingmotivation @striveforwomen @houseofhighlights #thompsonsgym #ironsisterhood #strongmoms #sspnutrition #powerlifting #strong

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After weigh-ins.

“There are many schools of thought on what you should eat after the weigh-in. I believe you should eat what makes you feel good.

I love: Quaker Oats Brown Sugar & Maple oatmeal, a banana and SSP Nutrition Post drink.

These are easy to digest and make me happy.”

4. Bryce Lewis: Men’s 105kg Open Champion

“Bagels with cream cheese and smokes salmon are a staple for me, but not at all necessary.

Pre-meet nutrition varies immensely depending on weight cutting, preference to feel full or empty when you lift, and of course food preferences. I do think topping off glycogen stores, not changing much from your habits before best sessions, seeing signs of good hydration (relatively clear urine), and consuming salty food and/or electrolyte fluids are a good chocie.

Protein in’t as essential, but a little bit may help. There’s a higher priority on carbohydrates. Again, the more extreme the weight reducing measures, the more minutes before lifting matter and the precision of nutrition matters.” 

5. Bonica Brown: Women’s 84kg+ Open Champion

“I am so simple. I don’t count macros honestly. 

Night before, I love to have General Tso’s Chicken and steam rice. Or steak and fries, which is so boring and simple!”

[Watch Brown break every Open World Record at this year’s Championships!]

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– – June 16th, 2018 – IPF Classic Worlds Calgary, Canada – – I went into this meet with many goals. I had no idea what I would or could hit. There were small and big ones. I’ll cut to the chase I went for the big one ……. I was able to set all 4 Open World Records in one day. First female in IPF Classic history to accomplish. All PRs in my book since I was at a lower body weight and also size in general. 273kg Squat, 151,5kg Bench, 247kg Deadlift 671,5 Total. 527,40 Wilks score. – – It ALWAYS takes a team of people when it comes to a meet. With training, behind the scenes, on the scene, and even the crowd – – I’m going to try to work on individual posts so this one isn’t so long. But I must give shout outs now to Arian Khamesi @ariantank , David Garcia @mother_teresa_of_gains , and Bill McCarthy @getthelift , for being my game day coaches. Kjell Bakkelund @kjelllbrell for being my coach. Promera Sports @promerasports for the amazing support and supplements. SDB Apparel @sbdapparel for your support and amazing equipment. Also personal shout to my sponsor Noble Vice @noble_vice_performance with their constant support as well. But the biggest thank you to my old and new powerlifting family and family. I wouldn’t be here today without you. – – More detailed posts to follow!!! – – #teampromera #TEAMCONCRET #2018IPFclassicWorlds #TheIPF #IPF #rawpowerlifting #Rawpowerlifter #sbdapparel #sbdusa #NeverStopGrinding #powerliftingpic #onedayatatime #neverstopgrinding #howmuchdoyousquat #howmuchdoyoubench #howmuchdoyoudeadlift #trainingforthegold #bubblypower #bubblypowerlifter #powerlifter #powerlifting #USAPL #usapowerlifting #calgarycanada

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6. Daniella Melo: Women’s 84kg Open Champion

“Since I water cut, I start lowering sodium levels two days out. I try to keep calories high and eat low sodium foods like peanut butter and fruit juice. After weigh-ins, I try to get all the sodium back in and eat salt and vinegar chips, and sometimes drink soy sauce. 

It’s kind of gross, but a good way to get sodium in and bloat up to my normal weight!”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkN1qCNl0GK/

7. Jennifer Millican: Women’s 57kg Open Champion

“I’m pretty boring and don’t much of a “go-to” for pre-meet meals. Since I’m usually traveling, a lot of what I end up eating depends on what’s around me. Typically, I try to get something in that I know won’t bother my stomach and that I can eat easily. Something high in sodium and high in carbs. I try to limit fat for absorption purposes.

Some of thing I have eaten post weight-ins are ramen noodles, sub sandwiches, chips, and protein shakes with powdered Gatorade are the most common things I tend to pick up.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkBbGHoBThd/

8. Luke Richardon: 1st Place 120kg+ Juniors

“So a normal pre-workout meal would be: Chicken and bacon foot long with cheese, lettuce, and sweet onion sauce from Subway. A banana, a 500ml Lucozade Sport with added maltodextrin with a Monster or Rockstar energy drink.”

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Well I did it, IPF World Champion. A full year of sheer and utter dedication and obsession all paid off in nine lifts. Thanks to @sbdapparel for the fantastic video of all my best lifts including a 380kg/838lbs squat, 210kg/463lbs, and a new Junior World Record Deadlift with 370kg/815lbs, and finally finishing with a new World Record Total of 960kg/2116lbs and a 536 wilks. Obviously there is a few thank yous that need to be said. Although you step on the platform alone without some people this would not have happened and they deserve credit, so I will be posting about these people individually over the coming days. This is not the end, it’s just the beginning. This has been a small yet significant step on my journey to becoming one of the greatest strength athletes that have ever lived. Although it may seem far now I’m going in the right direction and that is all that matters, and I believe I can do it. The show goes on and the climb must continue. Thank you all for your kind messages before and after the competition the level of support I have received has been overwhelming and I am replying to everyone as quick as I can. I’m far from perfect and further from finished, 1000kg is the next step. I haven’t said anything I haven’t backed up yet so suppose I’ll keep it going when I say it’ll be ticked off by the end of this year. Big love to you all and thanks again❤️

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Wrapping It All Up

There will always be variance between the foods athletes consume pre-meet, and what’s best is that you find a formula that matches your body’s needs. Hopefully, some of the information shared above from the world’s top raw powerlifters can be of use as you prep for your next meet and put up your best numbers yet.

Feature image from @jenthompson132 Instagram page & photo from @lvdjosh. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master’s in Sports Science and a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,300 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake’s bread-and-butter.

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