• Powerlifting Vs Bodybuilding



      By Carlon Colker, M.D. Flex

      If building muscle were a simple as pushing or pulling the heaviest weight possible, bodybuilding would be easy. Since that’s basically all powerlifters do, they’d have the most exquisite physiques on earth. But the fact is, they don’t. Most powerlifters are clinically obese (with no muscle definition), perpetually injured, and, astonishingly, only marginally developed by bodybuilding standards. It’s an important subject for my readers to explore because, due to some degree of real strength-to-size correlation, so many of us get drawn by the lure of low repetitions with heavy weights.

      Some experts claim that the diference between bodybuilders and powerlifters centers on the bodybuilder’s desire to “feel” the movement in order to achieve a pump, and thus maximize muscle stimulation. In sharp contrast, the powerlifting goal is to simply lift the maximum amount of pound- age regardless of the form. The idea is to “incorporate” as many muscle groups as pos- sible in order to maximize the poundage moved, as opposed to isolating and hyperstimulating a particular muscle.

      Another aspect—beyond style and execution of form— to consider is the actual diference in training. Bodybuilders train with considerably more volume. In other words, even though a powerlifter may lift more poundage in a single lift during a particular training session, the bodybuilder moves expo- nentially more total poundage. Also, powerlifters take far more rest between sets compared to bodybuilders.

      So again, strength is important, but it’s all about how you define it. You can’t expect the muscles to grow without getting stronger. To help you compare and contrast the substantive training diferences between bodybuilding and power training to understand the dramatic diference in physique development, check out the table below.



      By the way, before all those annoyed e-mails, blog posts, and letters come in from staunch powerlifters, please be advised that I know all too well that the sample routine I posted for power training is not what a typical powerlifter might do preparing for a meet. Rather, it’s reflective of the kind of number-chasing routine one might typically fall into when ego trumps sense.

      When I see guys overreaching on the weights with less-than- impressive muscular development to show for it, I remember the words of the long-since-passed Muscle Beach pundit Dan Duchaine. Eccentric but brilliant in his own way, he used to say, “If you want to impress me, build a 20-inch arm with a 20-pound dumbbell.” He was so right. But it took me quite a while to figure it out. In fact, it took me 20 years, to be exact. I pray it takes you less. - FLEX

      Source: http://www.flexonline.com/training/b...s-powerlifters
      Comments 57 Comments
      1. sanguine's Avatar
        sanguine -
        "Most powerlifters are clinically obese (with no muscle definition), perpetually injured, and, astonishingly, only marginally developed by bodybuilding standards."

        i think you will be e-lynched for this sentence right here, and well deserve it

        Many people are more interested in performance rather than pretty biceps
      1. Matthersby's Avatar
        Matthersby -
        In simply for the wrath of PL'ers
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Powerlifting is a competitive numbers game and is fun, good for overall size development and is practical for most men that don't have time to cook so many meals, practice posing, etc.

        But bodybuilding is an art and the body is the clay. The goal is different and so you know, the biceps are of least concern to most bodybuilders. Legs, back and chest are usually the big three. While acute strength isn't as impressive in bodybuilding, the overall amount of work performed is.

        And his quote, while not tactful at all, is true. The majority of powerlifters are above 20% BF and some even closer to 30% depending on which weight class you are looking at. I have respect for them regardless because my old boss and friend was a powerlifter and he got me into weight-lifting. He was 300lbs and could out perform many, many bodybuilders in the room at any type of lift for any duration, yet, he was still obese.
      1. jbryand101b's Avatar
        jbryand101b -
        Originally Posted by sanguine View Post
        "Most powerlifters are clinically obese (with no muscle definition), perpetually injured, and, astonishingly, only marginally developed by bodybuilding standards."

        i think you will be e-lynched for this sentence right here, and well deserve it

        Many people are more interested in performance rather than pretty biceps
        Performance is defined by ones sport.
        Developing the muscles to look magnificent for show is a body builders performance.
      1. jbryand101b's Avatar
        jbryand101b -
        Unfortunately the data based science behind the differences in hypertrophy training and strength training are real.
      1. sanguine's Avatar
        sanguine -
        Originally Posted by jbryand101b View Post
        Performance is defined by ones sport.
        Developing the muscles to look magnificent for show is a body builders performance.
        Hmm, I see it differently. I see performance as being a physical phenomenon, not a subjective aesthetic. And lifting a high volume of lighter weights can be a useful training tool, but it will never be as physically and neurologically challenging as lifting a bigger weight a smaller number of times.
      1. sanguine's Avatar
        sanguine -
        Originally Posted by sanguine View Post
        Hmm, I see it differently. I see performance as being a physical phenomenon, not a subjective aesthetic. And lifting a high volume of lighter weights can be a useful training tool, but it will never be as physically and neurologically challenging as lifting a bigger weight a smaller number of times.
        And for what its worth, I workout at the University of Georgia weightroom, and the kids that are clearly into Westside-style powerlifting
        A) are the most jacked
        B) lift the most weight
        C) do it with the best form.

        So I cant really speak to the "all powerlifters are obese thing" I think it its largely the other way around: strong obese people are more likely to become powerlifters, rather than powerlifting making one become obese...see the difference?
      1. lamonster14's Avatar
        lamonster14 -
        And what of the raw powerlifters at the top of the game? Stan efferding,Dan green? Obese;I think not.
        Pete rubish,mark bell, Sam Byrd, Eric lillebridge, Chris hickson-to name a few more.

        Ben seath just did a bodybuilding show, I bet he didn't get his quads and hams from extensions and curls
      1. compudog's Avatar
        compudog -
        Whoah, bias much? Being strong is a noble goal in itself; it leads to better health and longevity, and benefits the individual and everyone around them along the way. Being pretty on the other hand is just narcissistic. So how do you justify your bias? Personally I could care less about having a 20" arm. As long as that arm can lift a kid or rescue a stranger from a burning building I'm happy with it.
      1. jbryand101b's Avatar
        jbryand101b -
        Originally Posted by lamonster14 View Post
        And what of the raw powerlifters at the top of the game? Stan efferding,Dan green? Obese;I think not.
        Pete rubish,mark bell, Sam Byrd, Eric lillebridge, Chris hickson-to name a few more.

        Ben seath just did a bodybuilding show, I bet he didn't get his quads and hams from extensions and curls
        he said most, not all, or the few ellite.

        no he got them from steroids, and proper diet, training, an sleep.
      1. jbryand101b's Avatar
        jbryand101b -
        Originally Posted by compudog View Post
        Whoah, bias much? Being strong is a noble goal in itself; it leads to better health and longevity, and benefits the individual and everyone around them along the way. Being pretty on the other hand is just narcissistic. So how do you justify your bias? Personally I could care less about having a 20" arm. As long as that arm can lift a kid or rescue a stranger from a burning building I'm happy with it.
        that is why you are not a body builder.

        the author clearly states the differences between the two sports. posing on stage is not easy. if you are not in the best shape, you are either going to look seriously out of shape (an most likely will look like shiit as well) or are going to pass out from being out of breath.

        if you don't really understand the sport of bodybuilding, you really shouldn't comment.

        the point of this article is to get those interesting in bodybuilding back on point, as we all get caught up in wanting to be strong and big (set in our own minds).

        the training styles are different. this can be argued for days. either you agree or don't. if you do, this article is a wake up call.

        if you don't, then you'll most likely bitch about it.

        It isn't a, " why powerlifters w/e" article.
      1. napalm's Avatar
        napalm -
        Stupidest fcking bunch of words I've ever read. I can't even call it an article.

        I just lifted in the WPC worlds in Prague, the 'clinically obese' lifters were the minority as far as physiques go.

        The days of the fat Powerlifter have been over for quite a few years now. We are in fact putting more emphasis on conditioning now than ever.

        Clearly no research was done prior to assembling this piece of shyt...
      1. napalm's Avatar
        napalm -
        Originally Posted by jbryand101b View Post
        if you don't really understand the sport of bodybuilding, you really shouldn't comment
        It's quite obvious to me the author doesn't really understand, or is up to date on current pl training methodologies.

        He really shouldn't be spewing such nonsense...
      1. rob112's Avatar
        rob112 -
        Obviously doesn't know the difference between a raw lifter and a lifter in gear trying to get perfect leverage.

        This article blows and is outdated. Most raw power lifters understand they will be most competitive in a weight class where they hold the most muscle mass...not the most fat.

        Different sports are different.
      1. lamonster14's Avatar
        lamonster14 -
        Originally Posted by rob112 View Post
        Obviously doesn't know the difference between a raw lifter and a lifter in gear trying to get perfect leverage.

        This article blows and is outdated. Most raw power lifters understand they will be most competitive in a weight class where they hold the most muscle mass...not the most fat.

        Different sports are different.
        I was going to mention the geared /raw thing
        Thank you for hitting the nail on the head
      1. compudog's Avatar
        compudog -
        Originally Posted by napalm View Post
        Stupidest fcking bunch of words I've ever read. I can't even call it an article.

        I just lifted in the WPC worlds in Prague, the 'clinically obese' lifters were the minority as far as physiques go.

        The days of the fat Powerlifter have been over for quite a few years now. We are in fact putting more emphasis on conditioning now than ever.

        Clearly no research was done prior to assembling this piece of shyt...
        No kidding, clearly it's just an off the cuff slam at pl. Fact is anybody with a BMI over 30 is "clinically obese", which would include every single (male) person who's ever set foot on the Olympia stage.
      1. napalm's Avatar
        napalm -
        Originally Posted by compudog View Post
        Fact is anybody with a BMI over 30 is "clinically obese", which would include every single (male) person who's ever set foot on the Olympia stage.
        Great point

        <----clinically obese at 5' 7" ~200lbs give or take and about 15% bf
      1. smoker145's Avatar
        smoker145 -
        Dan green and the Kroc are so fat and obese looking its disgusting....
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by sanguine View Post
        Hmm, I see it differently. I see performance as being a physical phenomenon, not a subjective aesthetic. And lifting a high volume of lighter weights can be a useful training tool, but it will never be as physically and neurologically challenging as lifting a bigger weight a smaller number of times.
        Clearly, you haven't performed 65-70% of your 1RM @ 15-25 reps on squats. Do that and you'll likely never make that statement above ever again...
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by jbryand101b View Post
        that is why you are not a body builder.

        the author clearly states the differences between the two sports. posing on stage is not easy. if you are not in the best shape, you are either going to look seriously out of shape (an most likely will look like shiit as well) or are going to pass out from being out of breath.

        if you don't really understand the sport of bodybuilding, you really shouldn't comment.

        the point of this article is to get those interesting in bodybuilding back on point, as we all get caught up in wanting to be strong and big (set in our own minds).

        the training styles are different. this can be argued for days. either you agree or don't. if you do, this article is a wake up call.

        if you don't, then you'll most likely bitch about it.

        It isn't a, " why powerlifters w/e" article.
        well spoken man. If they gave awards for post of the month, you'd get it for this one.

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