“Powerbuilding” – When Bodybuilding & Powerlifting Worlds Collide!

The word of lifting is currently divided into two opposed, yet very similar, schools of thought – bodybuilding and powerlifting, with an ongoing fierce debate – which of the two is more superior. 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.

However, these two worlds often overlap. Both bodybuilders and powerlifters use the same compound exercises in reaching their goals, with slight differences.

Of course, while the bodybuilders also spend time on isolation exercises sometimes do 30 reps 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. Another aspect is the good look. 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.

Powerbuilding will set the reps range to 4 to 8, which is aimed at exploiting the strength and muscle gain benefits.  The eight reps in the first set are targeted on building muscles. 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 do, and complete them on Tuesdays and Fridays. When deciding which exercises to do, go 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.

The rest and recovery process after powerlifting workout may be 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 some greater problems adjusting to the new system, 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.

You might have guessed, the powerbuidling diet lies somewhere in between the bodybuilding diet and powerlifting diet. Powerlifters tend to be overweight, and believe that their belly is the source of their strength.

Of course, this is a great misconception. Reducing the calories can decrease their body weight, without lessening their ability to lift heavy.  The only difference will be the improved look.  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 meat proteins (chicken, beef, eggs), dairy proteins like whey, carbohydrates (pasta, rise), and don’t shy away from recovery supplements.  The new training method will put a great strain on your body, so it is very important to be consistent in your nutrition and taking supplements.

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.

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One Response

  1. Lukas Hegg

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