Bodybuilding Compared to Powerlifting

August 12th, 2007 by Paul Johnson

Bodybuilding and powerlifting is often confused. Some bodybuilders don't even know all the differences between the two.

Bodybuilder goals compared to Powerlifters:

Bodybuilders are all about aesthetics. The reward for their weight training is how they look. Bodybuilders see strength gains as a bonus from the workouts. They will also do cutting cycles, to make sure their muscles are not hidden by too much fat. Bodybuilders also like to be symmetrical, so they do isolation excercises, such as shrugs to work the traps, to make their body look proportioned.

Powerlifters on the other hand only care about strength. Gaining extra fat is actually seen as helpful in increasing strength. Cardio is usually not done by powerlifters, unless it's needed to control very excessive bodyfat. Powerlifters also use equipment during lifts such as a bench shirt or squat suit, to help reduce injury and aid in increasing their strength.

Powerlifting and bodybuilding routine differences:

Bodybuilders like to do many isolation and compound excercises per workout. They do more than one excercise for most muscles. Rep ranges usually are above 6 with short rest times between sets. Some bodybuilding workout routines advocate hitting the muscle more than once a week.

Powerlifters in contrast, only do 3 excercises: Squat, Deadlift, and Bench press. Powerlifters dedicate one workout to each excercise once a week. Rep ranges are lower and rest times are longer to allow the body to regain it's strength.