Both schools offers some solid arguments, yet both also have their weak points. Bodybuilders are focused on building muscle mass.
To achieve this, they spend hours on end lifting weights in the gym, and although they tend to grow stronger in the process, the focus is primarily put on building up blood in the muscles for 20 to 60 minutes a week, thus creating the field for hypertrophy.
As opposed, powerlifters are more focused on lifting serious weights, and keep track how much they can move. In terms of body constitution, they are somewhat fatter, since the focus is not on how they look, but how much they can lift.
Bodybuilding and powerlifting similarities
However, these two worlds often overlap. Both bodybuilders and powerlifters use the same compound exercises to reach their goals, with slight differences.
Of course, while the bodybuilders also spend time on isolation exercises and sometimes do 20 sets just for the biceps, powerlifters will avoid them because they are focused on overall strength. However, you’ll often find them sharing the same gym, and doing the same exercises.
Physique and aesthetics
Another aspect is the look of their physique. Even though we’ve said that powerlifters are not as concerned with how they look, but how much they can move, they won’t turn down developed chest or arms.
All humans are known for their vanity however strong they might deny this or try to conceal it, and looking good under your shirt can be a true ego-booster.
In the end, we come to aspect of building strength. Moving weight is all about strength. As a result, there is often an overlap, and you can find many athletes who compete both in powerlifting and bodybuilding.
The combination the powerlifting and bodybuilding in one training program, will involve using heavier sets in expanded set of repetitions. While powerlifters tend to do 5 or less repetitions per set, bodybuilders use the 6 to 12 reps scheme, trying to achieve ultimate muscle stimulation.
The powerbuilding approach
Powerbuilding melds two distinct training methods: powerlifting and bodybuilding. It leverages three key exercises – deadlifts, bench presses, and squats – to enhance strength, and promote muscle growth at the same time.
Powerbuilding will set the reps range of 4 to 8, which is aimed at building strength and and gaining muscle. The eight reps in the first set are targeted on building muscle. The second set with 6 reps targets the fast twitch muscle fibers. The final set with 4 reps is focused on strength.
If you want to try this approach, first choose 6 exercises for chest, arms and shoulders. Do them on Mondays and Thursdays. Do the same with your legs and back. After choosing which 6 back and legs exercises you will use, do them them on Tuesdays and Fridays.
In the process of deciding which exercises to do, opt for compound movements. Doing bench press, deadlifts, squats, rowing and similar compound movements will target more than one muscle group. When working out in this manner it is important to provide your muscles with time to recover. That is why you should rest for half a minute between movements.
A powerbuilding workout may be more taxing than powerlifting or bodybuilding alone and the recovery process after a powerbuilding workout may be more difficult. If you are used to bodybuilding training where you focus on each muscle group once per week, this may be tricky. Powerlifters, on the other hand, are not used to train with so much volume, and they also may find this change somewhat challenging.
However, both group of lifters should not have problems adjusting to the new system after some time, since it’s very similar to the one they practice. Once they feel at home with their new routine they can start ripping the fruits of increased muscle mass and added strength.
The powerbuilding diet
You might have guessed, the powerbuidling diet lies somewhere in between the bodybuilding diet and a powerlifting diet. Powerlifters on one hand will lower their calories a bit to put accent on their aeshtetics and looks.
On the other hand, bodybuilders who decide to try their hand at powerbuilding may have sacrifice some of the visually impressive muscles since bulk is needed for heavy lifting.
Your diet should include protein that comes from lean meats like chicken and beef, eggs, fish and dairy proteins like whey. Carbohydrates should come mostly from complex carb sources like pasta, brown rice, oats, sweet potatoes, different vegetables etc.
Don’t shy away from recovery supplements like creatine and glutamine. This new training method will put a great strain on your body, so it is very important to be consistent with your nutrition and supplementation.
This may not put an end to the ever going debate which of the two schools is better. They’ll always have their adherents. Yet, by combining the best of the two, powerbuilding makes a creative training protocol that allows you to enjoy both in increased strength and muscle mass.