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Bodybuilding vs Weightlifting

The main difference is that the volume of training of a weightlifter is different to that of a bodybuilder. In all the exercises undertaken by as weightlifter (with the exclusion of the squat), there is no eccentric movement in weightlifting. Say a lifter did 10 sets of two reps in the snatch, not counting the time the weight is being held overhead, the total amount of time the muscles are under tension is 20 seconds. A typical bodybuilder will have 60 seconds of tension per set. This is the factor which distinguishes a weightlifter from a bodybuilder.

Types of Weightlifting Programmes

  • The Bulgarian System. A typical workout day for a Bulgarian weightlifter would include seven workouts spanning 30-45 minutes each throughout the day! This would include exercises such as front squats, snatch, clean and jerk, front squat (again), clean and jerk, snatch, and front squat yet again! Workouts of this nature include a considerable volume of weight, as well as heavy poundages. There’s no evidence to suggest that a Bulgarian training programme would be superior to a conventional bodybuilding training programme.

  • The main disadvantages of the Bulgarian system include: the increase in injury rates - It is a fact that lifting for your maximum weight everyday, all year round is not good for you. It is hard on your joints, your muscles and your connective tissues. The lack of variety in lifts -  Boredom is inevitable unless your being paid big bucks to do it, if your not, why would you bother? The system does not produce sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, an increase in the fluid muscle - This is the kind of muscle size bodybuilders want and have when training to a bodybuilding program. Most lifters need a lot more work on assistance exercises to perfect their technique - The Bulgarian System is more suited for top lifters, most people do not meet this requirement.

  • Twenty-Rep Breathing Squat Routine. Twenty-Rep squat routines are considered to be old school by modern lifters, despite being proven as an effective mass builder for most for anyone that works consistently on them. Generally this program involves abbreviated workouts so as not to impare the lifter's limited recovery abilities, done three times a week. The workouts focus on a few basic, compound movements, with rigorous squats being the core. This program is good for people who are new to lifting and have a strong desire to get big, but remember it does come at a cost.

  • High Volume Training. More bodybuilders use a high volume training program than any other system to build their physiques. A high volume workout involves focusing on just one or two major bodyparts per session and performing multiple exercises, hittig the body part from different angles or with a unique type of stress, for multiple sets. The longer workouts require that you split bodyparts up and train them over three to five training sessions. A proper high volume workout also incorporates short rest periods, otherwise you are just hanging around the gym because you have nothing better to do.

  • High Intensity Training (HIT). High Intensity Training is a training system popularised by Nautilus inventor Arthur Jones. Tradition HIT workouts are done full-body, two or three times weekly, with just eight to twelve exercises, usually for just one set. You should do one to two warm up sets, making sure not to push them to become work sets, which would thereby increase volume. Any of these exercises can be done either with free weghts or machines. Machines are often a better choice for safety reasons, especially for those training alone or alone on a bench machine.

Train in the Manner That Works For You

The body adapts to nearly all stress that is placed on it. It is because of this we have such varied training systems. When trying to determine what type of training brings about the best adaptation, be open minded to each technique and analyse if there is something worth trying and adding to your bodybuilding arsenal.

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