Interesting new series over at Juggernaut by Brian Minor. While I have no intention atm of competing in powerlifting I do feel training to get stronger in a proper periodized training program as a powerlifter would is a great way for natural bodybuilders to maximize their physiques. Looking forward to the rest of the series by Brian.
If you have paid any attention, you have likely noticed over the past ~4-5 years that there has been a dramatically increasing trend for physique-focused athletes taking a more progressive strength-based approach to their off-season programming. Before I go any further, for the purposes of this article “physique-focused athlete” refers to any athlete that requires a fake tan come competition day (bodybuilders, figure, bikini, fitness, physique, etc).
The concept of strength focused progression for this demographic of athlete is commonly met with both acceptance by some and criticism by others. The common refute: “strength doesn’t matter on stage” rebuttal. While this is certainly correct, it ignores the process of going from point A to point B and the significance getting stronger can have on the outcome.
DEFINING POINT B
Point B is typically a more developed, proportionate, and often more conditioned version of their previous showing. So while conditioning is more related to prep itself, being a mature athlete in the off-season goes a long way in setting themselves up for success when prep commences. But as far as overall development, it is well known that the offseason is where the progress is made. An off-season programming plan is essential soon after stepping off the stage, and it goes well beyond mimicking the workout posted by your favorite pro on social media.
So in the quest for a structured offseason approach, why are more physique focused athletes turning to a plan focused around increasing strength and even pursuing competitive powerlifting? Let’s examine the behavioral aspect first.