Torn between bodybuilding and powerlifting, Help me decide?

f4iguy

f4iguy

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I'm not sure which direction to go. I've always enjoyed training like a bodybuilder. 4-5 days a weeks for 1-1.5 hours, 2 body parts per session.

My strength has continued to go up with my current routine. Although I'm natty many people comment on how I could possibly be an elite powerlifter if I focused my efforts in that direction. I was able to do 30 strict pull ups before I started lifting at the age of 12.

You can find videos of my lifts on the tube. I recently recorded a bench video if you search 350 RAW bench press for 9 reps at 198lb

I'm a little weaker than usual at the moment (80 hr. work weeks, First child about to be born, and lack of sleep + natty status don't help). My Squat/Bench/Deadlift are going up but I feel my progress would be much faster if I switched over to a powerlifting routine.

You can see in the video my bodyfat is up (maybe 15%?). I've been down to around 6% before with abs/veins all over but obviously strength suffers. I'm pretty sure I could continue to build strength and cut down to about 190lbs.

I guess what I'm trying to ask is will I loose mass as a natty lifter switching over to a powerlifting routine that emphasizes Squat/Bench/Deads? Has anyone switched from bodybuilding to powerlifting or vice versa? Did you go back or are you enjoying the change? I'm sure my lifts would go up but I'm concerned I'll loose my hard earned muscle.
 
jswain34

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You will absolutely not lose mass just by switching to a powerlifting routine. That is a completely unwarranted fear. You could even gain some due to the new stimulus if you eat properly. Additionally, the class for Powerlifting is 198 so you dont really need to cut down to 190 unless you wanted to lift even lighter than that.

Edit: big muscles help to lift heavy weights too :)
 
Aleksandar37

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Try it out for a few months and if you don't enjoy it as much, go back. No need to stress and make it more complicated than that. The only person who is going to be able to tell what parts of each you really like or dislike is going to be you.
 
TNlifting

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Powerlifting is awesome, compound movements are so much more fun than cables and dumbbells to me. Even though I'm weak as fuark, once you start chasing numbers it gets addictive (in a good way!)
 
f4iguy

f4iguy

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You will absolutely not lose mass just by switching to a powerlifting routine. That is a completely unwarranted fear. You could even gain some due to the new stimulus if you eat properly. Additionally, the class for Powerlifting is 198 so you dont really need to cut down to 190 unless you wanted to lift even lighter than that.

Edit: big muscles help to lift heavy weights too :)
Good point. I've been training in similar fashion for years. I think it would be fun to switch things up and see what happens. Linear progression has not been serving me well lately. I'm lucky to add a rep on the big lifts every 6-8 weeks. I'm putting together an undulating periodization program.
 
TruthWalker

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For me, I have to train extremely heavy if I want to gain any mass. I'm not natty, but even with copious amounts of gear and food with zero cardio it is difficult for me to gain weight, and almost impossible if I am not using a powerlifting routine.

My current workout routine is built around compound lifts (bench, Incline, deadlifts, rows) and I do 4 sets with reps of 4/4/2/2. corresponds with 80%/80%/90%/90% of 1RM.

Secondary lifts are done 4x6 at 60-70% 1RM.

I get out of the gym in 45 mins to an hour, train 5-6x per week, and because I am lifting so heavy I don't really even need to add cardio and I'm still leaning out while on a massive bulk. That aspect is probably thanks to a combination of the heavy lifting, gear I'm using, and my super fast metabolism.
 
f4iguy

f4iguy

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For me, I have to train extremely heavy if I want to gain any mass. I'm not natty, but even with copious amounts of gear and food with zero cardio it is difficult for me to gain weight, and almost impossible if I am not using a powerlifting routine.

My current workout routine is built around compound lifts (bench, Incline, deadlifts, rows) and I do 4 sets with reps of 4/4/2/2. corresponds with 80%/80%/90%/90% of 1RM.

I get out of the gym in 45 mins to an hour, train 5-6x per week, and because I am lifting so heavy I don't really even need to add cardio and I'm still leaning out while on a massive bulk. That aspect is probably thanks to a combination of the heavy lifting, gear I'm using, and my super fast metabolism.
Wow those are some low rep ranges and high percentages! I've never trained below 5-6 reps. Strangely I'm natural and high reps have worked well for me. I usually go 6-10 reps on the compound lifts and as high as 20 reps on other lifts. My arms blew up on high reps training.
 
rugger48

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You don't have to train low reps to gain. Trust me you don't. Lots of stuff out there to get you where you want to be.
 

Dm1988

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Well when you say are you gonna lose mass being natty unfortunately if you leave enhancers behind your gonna lose some gains but you can deff retain some strength specially if your training is geared toward that only you no the answer man which one is gonna fit your lifestyle better ? I have done both and I can honestly say powerlifting isn’t as demanding on the diet side of it for some that’s a big factor.
 
Ptlhains

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Do both. Lots of people do. I do. Do the powerlifting compound movements and their accessory compound movements (i.e. variations of presses, squats and deadlifts). And then do accessory work via bodybuilding movements and accessory powerlifting work (i.e. band work) focusing on 'higher reps' and recovery.

If you go natty, no matter what you do - you lose what your getting for 'free'.
 

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