What you must know …
Strength athletes criticize bodybuilding as an un-athletic sport, while bodybuilders criticize powerlifters as being nutritionally undisciplined. However, in reality, they can learn a lot from one another in terms of their training. Even if you are only interested in gaining strength, you will still need to apply training methods which increase hypertrophy. On the other hand, if all you tend to care about is looking good, you need to use methods of enhanced strength training.
The techniques used by physique athletes and strength athletes are completely opposite one each other where bodybuilders are looking for the hardest way to move a weight and strength athletes are looking for the the easiest way to move a weight. The Silver Lining: Begin each workout with a core lift that allows for a high load and follow up with two-four additional lifts that hit weaknesses or specific parts of the muscle that the core lift did not.
Bodybuilders Compared to Powerlifters
Back in the day, bodybuilding shows typically included a performance requirement, sometimes in the form of a weightlifting competition. Likewise, strength historians recall strength athletes of having more of a aesthetic physique. Regardless, most of us would like to look and perform like both rather than picking one over the other.
The bottomline is that in terms of physical greatness, you really do need to be great at two things: hypertrophy training and strength training.
Based on how you lift the weight you can create a stimuli for increased muscular development and increased strength development and emphasize one over the other.
Maximizing Strength Depends On Muscle Development
Maximizing your strength development requires two things: creating a mind to muscle connection to optimally fire your muscles to lift a weight and making your muscle fibers thicker.
Maximizing Muscle Development Depends On Strength Development
Hypertrophy is a secondary adaptation to strength, in that you can’t grow a muscle without first recruiting it. Recruitment requires increasing load on the muscle. Although the feel is important, you are unable to optimize stimulus for growth without increasing overload.
Regardless of your primary goal, you need to be sure to optimize both hypertrophy and strength stimuli in your training regime.
Think about the bench press. If your goal is to maximize pec development, would you bench differently than you would if a bigger one rep max was your goal? The answer is yes.
A bodybuilder concerned with pec development would use a longer eccentric temp, increase the ROM, and provide the necessary stimuli to create the most fatigue in his pectorals. The bodybuilder would be looking to find the hardest way to lift the weight.
The start of each workout, perform a core lift, such as a compound lift like military presses, dead-lifts and barbell rows. On each core lift, optimize the mechanics for the easiest possible way to complete the movement. With an emphasis on high weight and low reps (1-5 reps). The compound exercises should be followed with 2-4 assistant lifts putting more stress on the week areas of the muscle. Use a bodybuilding mindset while performing the assistant exercises, focusing more on generating fatigue and less on the weight being lifted with a full range of motion.
Be Strong and Look Strong
While this approach isn’t anything new, what is different is the use of movement strategies fitting both categories of exercise. On the core lifts you will be using a high-tension technique, while on the assistance lifts you will use more of fatigue-generation techniques.
Thus, you satisfy the stimulus for muscle development and complete the requirements for strength development.