Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding

July 2, 2013 by

Before you invest too much time on this article, I want to warn some of you that you may have absolutely no interest in what I am writing. Yes, this article is about weightlifting, powerlifting and bodybuilding!

The reason that I chose to write this article as a part of my chiropractic office blog is that I do receive quite a few questions and comments about my new hobby since being in the newspaper recently. There also seems to be a fair bit of confusion about what it is that I am actually doing – especially because I am too fat to be a bodybuilder and too small to be a powerlifter.

The sport that I compete in is called Weightlifting or Olympic Weightlifting. It is called so because it is an Olympic sport. Weightlifting include two lifts called the snatch and the clean and jerk. Both lifts start with a barbell on the floor and end with it secured overhead with locked elbows and knees. At competitions there are a variety of men’s and women’s weight classes and I compete in the -94kg (207lbs) class. Lucky for me there are also master’s divisions so I compete both as a senior (all ages) and with people my own age.

Powerlifting is comprised of 3 lifts – Bench Press, Dead lift and the Squat. Like weightlifting, powerlifting success is based solely on the amount of weight lifted. Other than basic technical rules for a good lift, no points are given for form or performance.

Bodybuilding is a performance sport and is judged on the appearance of the competitor’s physique. The actual lifting of weight has nothing to do with bodybuilding other than producing the esthetics displayed on the stage (or nightclub!). Bodybuilders tend to train with much higher repetition counts than weightlifters or powerlifters in order to produce the desired results.

Obviously there are different attributes required by these different disciplines my choice of sport definitely reflects what I value as a chiropractor. Unlike the others, Olympic lifting REQUIRES incredible flexibility and range of motion and strength through that full range. Because the bar is taken from the floor to overhead, success demands catching heavy loads in a full squat (bum to heels), sometimes with the arms fully extended straight overhead. Powerlifting is done over a very limited range of motion, so while some athletes may have good flexibility, it is certainly not necessary to be successful.

Powerlifters are definitely the strongest when it comes to the pure amount of weight moved – which can be incredible. Ironically, weightlifters are the most powerful because there are higher speeds of moving the weight involved. Bodybuilders may be strong and powerful due to their training but do not NEED to be for success.

Lastly, the body types of the 3 athletes tend to be quite different. Bodybuilders are judged on muscle hypertrophy (big round muscles) and definition (low body fat) so are big and lean. Powerlifters tend to be big and thick through the torso. Olympic lifters – while muscular with big upper legs – tend to look more like normal people. If you saw many of the top weightlifters in this country in street clothes you would not guess they were elite lifters. In many ways, big bulging biceps and chests actually hinder weightlifting performance and those of you who have known me have likely noticed the change in my proportions which allows me to wear ‘normal’ shirts again!

I believe that everyone – regardless of age – should partake in some activity that addresses strength and movement. Olympic lifting does this for me and a growing number of others. Powerlifting and bodybuilding can also help you achieve these goals if applied appropriately.

If you would like to get involved in any of these activities, feel free to speak to me and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

Eat Fat to Get Lean!

February 14, 2012 by

…and my updated Morning Smoothy Recipe.

As most of you already know, I more or less follow a “primal” style of healthy eating. This means I eat almost entirely meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit, nuts and some seeds. Straying from this I also eat dairy as I tolerate it well AND I leave room for frequent treats. Those who know be a bit better know that I love to live and celebrate!

Sugar Addicts

One of the challenges I have encountered and a challenge many others have shared with me following a primal or paleo lifestyle are the sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings that go along with the transition. Said another way, we are a bunch of sugar addicts! The typical pattern is that we get strict for awhile, get sugar cravings, give in after awhile and then end up back on the insulin rollercoaster. This sabotages not only our health, but any fat-loss goals we may have.

Recently, an old friend – John Markell (he’s not old, we have just known each other a long time) – directed me to the blog of one of his Queen’s classmates that has had a huge impact on my approach to eating and sugar cravings and I hope it will be helpful to you as well.

War on Insulin

The man’s name is Dr. Peter Attia and his blog is www.waroninsulin.com. Without going into the details, he is documenting his own experiment and research on eating an extremely high fat diet as a way to be healthy and lose weight! Most people think this is absolutely crazy. I encourage you to put your culturally programmed ideas about fat consumption aside and read what this man intelligently has to say.

Leaner, Stronger, and less like a Sugar Zombie!

My own experience in applying his principles is that I have lost a significant amount of body fat and the increase in dietary fat has truly been the secret to ending the daily sugar cravings. In addition I have gotten stronger (I am a beginner competitor in Olympic weightlifting). Dr. Attia is a long distance swimmer and discusses how his diet has impacted his athletic endeavours as well.

If you are concerned about cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease, the blog goes into detail explaining and dispelling myths in a much more eloquent way than I ever could.

Please, check out what his website has to offer.


We have recently had some requests for my famous Gault Family morning smoothy recipe and I thought there is no better time to update it as there have been some changes since discovering www.waroninsulin.com. Here it is:


Gault Family Morning Smoothy

Use portions according to number of people and preferred consistency.


-Whey powder concentrate (high quality with no filler or aspartame)

– banana

– coconut milk

– almond milk

– organic whipping cream (if dairy tolerated)

– Greens powder supplement

– Fish Oil (high quality extremely important)

– frozen berries

– 3 raw organic eggs (not for kids)

– cinnamon


This is a great, fast breakfast that feeds the entire family. The high fat keeps me satisfied until lunch when I eat some high fat meat and veggies.


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