The Bodybuilder-Powerlifter Hybrid

Great article by Charles Staley over at T Nation and getting stronger focusing on the big complex movements is the best way to progress as a natural bodybuilder in my opinion and is how I train.

Here’s what you need to know…

  • Strength athletes criticize bodybuilding as an un-athletic beauty contest. Bodybuilders bag on powerlifters for being fat and nutritionally undisciplined. In truth, they can learn a lot from one another about training.
  • Even if you’re only interested in strength, you still need to apply optimal hypertrophy training methods. If all you care about is looking good naked, you need to utilize optimized strength-training methods.
  • The strategies that strength and physique athletes use are almost completely opposite to each other. Strength athletes are looking to find the easiest way to move a weight, while bodybuilders look for the hardest way to move a weight.
  • Solution: Start each workout with a core lift that permits a high level of loading. Follow up with 2-4 assistance lifts designed to target weaknesses that the core lift didn’t address.

Powerlifters vs. Bodybuilders

For the past few decades, there’s been an uneasy coexistence between strength and physique enthusiasts. Strength athletes love to criticize bodybuilding as an un-athletic, drug-fueled, narcissistic beauty contest, while at the same time, bodybuilders often insult powerlifters for being fat and nutritionally undisciplined.

It wasn’t always this way. Back in the day, bodybuilding contests usually included a performance requirement, usually in the form of a weightlifting contest. Similarly, many strength historians often remark that strength athletes of yesteryear had more aesthetic physiques than their modern counterparts.

Of course, most of us would love to look and perform like a badass, rather than picking one or the other. But more often than not, many of us assume that we need to choose one or the other. Something about the shortcomings of being a jack of all trades, right?

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