Let’s be honest here about what getting into truly awesome shape does to you in terms of strength. Namely, it zaps it. You can’t get as strong as you can get, and also be in the best shape you can be in. One is going to take a little bit from the other. So think of it like a teeter-totter. The heavier kid always gets his way on that thing. The heavier your training is tilted to one said, the less the other side gets to have his way in the ups and downs of things.
The severity is going to be very individualistic. Some people may not get much weaker, and some people’s strength may have totally gone into the shitter. What people don’t realize is, you didn’t get weaker permanently, you’re just in a weakened state because of an energy deficit. I know that sounds like an obvious statement, but I wish I had a dollar for every time some guy that ate himself into a whale to bench 3 plates told me he didn’t like to get in shape because he loses all of his strength.
A lot of people think you need to get fat in order to get stronger. This is retarded and completely untrue. The reason strength rises while you are gaining weight, is because there is generally a calorie surplus involved. So there is an abundance of BCAA, ATP, and glycogen readily available for your body to use for energy and contractile power. This makes for a stronger you. But the fact is, fat has no functional purpose for strength. The “gives you more leverage” argument is bunk. Even if your chest measurement increased by an inch, that’s not enough change in ROM or leverages to make up for the 30-40+ pounds on a lift people often get when “bulking”.
Don’t think so? Give me said fat guy, let me take away all of his carbs for the next 2 weeks, and watch his strength drop like a rock. Now, his measurements didn’t change. He’s still virtually the same “size”. It’s the lack of energy coming in from food, and the lack of fuel resources that made him bottom out. The extra fat he’s carrying isn’t really serving a purpose in helping him move weight or be strong.
If you think being a fat ass is required to be strong, then all you have to do is look no further than Jamie Lewis, Stan Efferding, and Dan Green. Who all own raw total records in the 181, 220, and 275 pound classes. They all did so in single digit bodyfat.
I don’t recall Ed Coan nor Doug Young nor John Kuc ever looking like lard asses. I believe that Mariusz won the WSM title a record five times, lean as shit.
Is it easier to just eat processed diarrhea all day long for that surplus of calories? Sure. Lots of guys do it. They also look like fat frat boys that don’t even look like they lift. There really is no reason why, other than being lazy as fuck, to not put some effort into making sure your calories come from quality sources 90% of the time. Getting a surplus in can be difficult, however you would be amazed at how well a small surplus of quality makes you feel and allows you to train, in comparison to a big surplus of shit.
I've gone down that route before myself, and each time I regretted it. I looked back and saw that I looked like shit, felt like shit, and lifted like shit. Have some go with your show...but shit man, have some show too.
The reason for this long “speech” about this is, if you got weaker when you got leaner, it’s not something to panic over. You lost strength because you have an energy deficit. Which is also why you are leaner. All that has to happen is for an energy surplus to return, and strength will come with it. Don't be such a god damn baby about it.