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Bodybuilding Versus Powerlifting


In the article I’m going to tell you about the following subject – Bodybuilding Versus Powerlifting. Today I’m going to talk about Bodybuilding (BB) vs Powerlifting (PL): advantages, disadvatanges, similiarities and differences between these two very cool sports. I hope it will make it much clearer for you which one fits you more. Let’s begin with a little bit of history…

Bodybuilding Versus Powerlifting

Bodybuilding History

Bodybuilding didn’t really exist until late 19th century. It was “pioneered” by Eugen Sandow, later to be known as “Father of Bodybuilding”, giving the audience the greatest show of their time by showing off his “out-of-that-world” physique. Back then, main idea of BB was to look like Greek or Roman statues of Zeus or other gods. (And not to become a cartoon-like superhero…) But it was back then, the early 20th century. In the late 60′s arrived the great Arnold and changed the whole game. From that point they were called “mass monsters”.

Powerlifting History

This sport is much younger than bodybuilding. It became widely known in the mid 50′s of the last century. The man who is considered a pioneer of powerlifting is Paul Anderson, who won one gold medal at the olympic games and one at the weightlifting world championship.

At the beginning it was called “Odd Lifts” and the main idea was to compete in 3 main lifts. The man whose total (sum of 3 lifts) will be the highest — is the winner. The very first compete lifts were: bench presses, squats and bicep curls. But after 1965 the rules changed a little bit and the bicep curl was dropped and replaced by the deadlift. Since then, the powerlifting game changed a lot. Later, in the 90′s, competitors started using gear that helped them lift/push much more weight and decrease the chance of getting injured.

Different Training Routines

In powerlifting and bodybuilding the training routines are very different. While in bodybuilding you need to get very lean for a contest, in powerlifting you need just go and lift as much as you can (of course in your weight category), therefore you need to do a lot of cardio to be in the right condition for the BB contest. Don’t get me wrong, powerlifters need to do their cardio trainings too, but on a much lesser scale.

When we are talking about powerlifting — training is defferent in almost all aspects. For example: repetitions, to get pumped a bodybuilder needs to do about 12 to 15 reps. On the other hand for a standard strength-training session, a powerlifter needs to go for low-reps training. (1 to 5 reps.)

The other big difference between those two sports, is nutrition. While most powerlifters underrate this topic, bodybuilders eat “clean” and healthy all the time, their eating regime is very strict.

Now let’s compare their programs!

Sample day of a BB routine
Bench Press — 4 x 14, 12, 10, 8
Incline Bench Press — 3 x 10
Decline Bench Dumbell Press — 3 x 10
Skull Crusher — 3 x 12
Cable Tricep Extension — 3 x 12
Cardio — 20~30 mins
Sample day of a PL routine
Bench Press — 8 x 12 reps, then 8, 6, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
Spotter assistance exercises:
Dumbbell Flyes — 4 x 10
Weighted Dips — 4 x 10
Skull-Crushers — 6 x 6

The biggest difference between these two programs is that in a PL program the main goal is to lift as much as you can, so it’s all about low reps and more lbs/kg on your barbell. On the other side, a BB program concentrates on hypertrophy by doing more reps with less weight.

CrazyLifter’s 5 cents…

For me it’s all about strength and power so I’m all into powerlifting. In my opinion it’s much funnier (LOL) *more fun to lift heavy-ass weights than posing in strings in front of hundreds of howling guys with questionable sexuality…

But don’t get me wrong (again), I got much respect for BB’ers, because not everybody can diet like they are, especially in the ruthless cutting period before a contest. Both sports require 200% dedication, but the results are well worth it.

Don’t fall for that media bullshit or fashion thing, just go and train until you meet your goal and then set yourself a new one.

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