Strength Training for Bodybuilding
Why is strength training so misunderstood? Some people in Bodybuilding think that strength is only for Powerlifting or Strongman contests, but they couldn’t be further from the truth.
I have always been fascinated with strength. I think there is something primitive about lifting heavy things, and it just feels right. I compete in strength sports like Powerlifting and Strongman, so obviously I consider obtaining great strength to be the most important effect of weight training. As a matter of fact, I think that strength is extremely important for all sports, Bodybuilding included.
With that being said, your weight training needs to cater to the sport you are in. A sprinter can train all year long to improve his bench press, and even reach a lift of 500 pounds, but he won’t be a better sprinter because of it. You must first consider what you are trying to accomplish. In Bodybuilding, strength is not measured, but muscle size, shape, symmetry, and definition are the deciding factors.
On the other side of the coin, I have heard many Bodybuilders say that they never lift heavy, because bodybuilding is not about lifting heavy weights. Personally, I think these guys are confused. They are correct that a record lift in the squat will not win the trophy in a Bodybuilding contest, but lifting light weights won’t either.
It all boils down to this: You must challenge your muscles in order to make them grow, and the way to do that is with strength training. If you don’t lift weights that are heavy for you, and if you don’t push yourself with great effort, you will not reach your potential. Some guys will be able to lift more than others, but as long as you are pushing yourself to use progressively heavier weights in good form, you will be able to stimulate muscle growth. As you get stronger in your working sets, your muscles will get bigger.
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I know that there are guys who have success by lifting weights that are light for them for high repetitions and loads of sets, but most people can’t do that.
Genetics are a factor for almost everything including strength and muscle size. Not everybody can achieve the same thing, but everyone can improve upon what they have with proper strength training. That is the only thing you can control, so focus on doing just that.
No matter what your sport is in the iron game, strength training is the way to maximize your success. If you would like some detailed workouts for greater strength, you can check out the Bodybuilding Training page or the Powerlifting page.