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If you are a bodybuilder looking to add a new dimension to your training, give powerlifting a go. Rather than building ‘cosmetic’ muscle, you’ll be better able to develop thick and full muscle bellies by incorporating it into your training. Think of legendary bodybuilders like Franco Columbo, Mike Mentzer and more recently Johnnie Jackson. Each have used powerlifting as the cornerstone of their training to develop thick and powerful physiques. Lifting heavy like a powerlifter will enhance your ability to develop a strong physique. Incorporate powerlifting into your training, executing each exercise with the most weight without compromising form. After each set, your muscle should be spent to the extent that you cannot execute any more reps.

Bodybuilding vs Powerlifting

Bodybuilding involves strength training and cardio, as well as dietary management to sculpt your physique to exhibit quality muscle after shedding body fat and water. Symmetry, vascularity, and posing, all come into the judging criteria. Powerlifting is a sport judged purely on three lifts: the squat, bench, and deadlift. The winner in each weight class is the athlete with the highest total for the three lifts.

Powerlifting Style Training For Bodybuilding Tips

  • Define Your Goal. Start by defining your goal. Think how a powerlifter would prepare leading up to a competition. Eight to twelve weeks is a good period for a powerlifting training cycle. Use of a pyramid-style training where more reps than sets are initially completed, and in the last week, use more sets than reps. In the early phase, concentrate on conditioning and the use of ‘assistance exercises’ to strengthen the smaller, stabilising muscles. This will assist you to be able to handle maximum poundages on the three power lifts.

  • Exercise Selection. As well as the squat, bench, and deadlift, use exercises such as hang cleans, the clean and press, bent over rows, push presses and cheat curls into your program. These compound (multi-joint) exercises will help you get the added stimulus from your training.

  • Adjust Your Diet And Supplementation. Don’t starve yourself. Eat like a powerlifter. Even compare the weight classes in a powerlifting competition to help you with your goal setting to see where you’d fit in. A diet high in protein, high in carbohydrates and medium in fats is perfect for the powerlifter. Like a bodybuilder, you’ll need to consume at least 5-7 meals a day to help your body recover from gruelling workouts. By eating more frequently and regularly, your body will be able to recover more quickly. Supplements like protein powders and vitamin packs can greatly assist with recovery too. Joint support supplements, l-glutamine, BCAAs, testosterone support supplements can also be highly relevant.

  • Get Optimum Rest. A good night's sleep is essential for recovery. The types of foods you eat, the times you eat them, your daily activities, and stress levels can all impact on your sleep.

  • Training Accessories Can Help. Use straps and gloves to help you get the most out of your lifts. See Mr Supplement’s Training Accessories section for more information.

  • Prepare Your Mind as Much as Your Body. Write out a schedule of what weights you want to hit each week as you progress toward the end of your powerlifting training phase. This will prepare your mind for the weights you are to achieve. When lifting, form a mental picture of how you want the lift to feel and look before you do it.

Powerlifting Builds Muscle

As a bodybuilder, try using a powerlifting phase to add new stimulus to your program and quality muscle to your frame. Many of the world’s best bodybuilders have used powerlifting as their core training methodology. Be strategic and you’ll see the rewards. By being disciplined and following a well-planned powerlifting routine, you’ll be rewarded with thick and full muscle to your body.

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