We have been
asked many times whether bodybuilders are really strong or whether their
big muscles are just for show. The answer is that some bodybuilders are
indeed strong but that strength for physique competitors is a means to
an end rather than the ultimate goal. The athletes who are most
concerned with ultimate strength are weightlifters.
is a sport which is judged by the amount of weight a competitor can
handle for any given type of lift. Over the course of history there have
been many types of strength testing and weightlifting competition. Today
there are two basic types of recognized competition weightlifting:
Olympic lifting (involving the snatch and clean and jerk) and power
lifting (with three events - the dead lift, bench press, and squat).
weightlifters do a lot of bodybuilding training - that is, they work on
balanced development of all the muscle groups - but their primary goal
is strength training. This is even more true for power lifters than
Olympic weightlifters because their lifts involve a lot less technique,
timing, coordination, and are designed to be a more specific test of
strength and power.
difference in programs between a weightlifter's strength training and
bodybuilding is that the lifter works in a much lower rep range. That
is, while bodybuilders use less weight and do higher repetition sets,
weightlifters are training to do one maximum rep in competition, so they
frequently pile on the weight in their workouts and do triples, doubles,
or singles to prepare them for handling huge poundages in a meet.
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