Changing China

Giant on the move

How to diet like a weightlifter — eat lots and don’t exercise

August 4, 2008

Weightlifting facilitiesLike many 19-year-olds, German Julia Rohde needs to watch her weight – but her aim is to squeeze into the perfect competition category rather than the perfect dress.

With her massive shoulders and bulging biceps and thighs, the petite blonde usually weighs in at 55kg, a tad too heavy for the 53kg category she’ll be competing in on Sunday. Not that she’ll be going hungry.

In a sport where every pound counts because it means extra lifting power, her crash diet is still generous by most standards: bread, cold meat, muesli and yoghurt for breakfast; meat, salad and fruit for lunch; meat for dinner; and chocolate if she feels the pounds are dropping off too quickly.

And unlike most dieters, she won’t be trying to walk off the excess kilos between training sessions. Under her strict pre-competition regime, any unscheduled exercise that could strain her legs is, well, verboten. Which means she’ll only be allowed to move between her room, the training centre and the Olympic canteen.

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