Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Health Sciences


Jeremy Akers


The aim of the present study is to investigate whether a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (LCKD) is an effective strategy to decrease overall weight and fat mass, and preserve lean body mass (LBM) without compromising performance in trained, power-lifters. This was a six-week randomized controlled trial, with a LCKD intervention group and a normal diet control group (CON). The LCKD group was instructed to consume a diet with less than 7% carbohydrates, 50% fat, and 45% protein. Those in the CON group maintained an ad libitum diet. Both groups completed the same validated training protocol during the intervention. The CON had significant increases (p < 0.05) in one-repetition maximums for bench press, back squat, and deadlift, while the LCKD had a significant increase in deadlift (p = 0.000), with maintenance of both bench press and back squat performance. There were no changes in body composition measures. The main findings of the current study were that deadlift power increased, and LBM was maintained while consuming a LCKD and following a power-lifting training protocol for six weeks. Because of poor subject compliance, results of this study are inconclusive as to whether a LCKD can be used as an effective strategy for power-lifters whose aim is to lose body weight and fat mass while maintaining performance during a six week power-lifting training regimen.