T Nation

Bodybuilder to Power?


Lets say a man works on bodybuilding for a good amount of time and wishes to convert over to olympic lifting and work purely on strength.

How hard do you think this would be for the person?
Would it be harder than starting at square 1 as a power lifter?

Just curious.


Assuming as a bodybuilder you performed the squat, deadlift, and bench it would be easier to start PL because you are at least familiar with the movements.

I think starting off in OL will take longer because it takes a while to get flexible in the full snatch and clean with the bar racked in front. It takes some time to pick up the technique and there aren't many places/people that can properly teach others.

If you are looking to make the switch to OL, you can practice the positions and technique for OL as a warmup to your regular strength training workouts. This practice 3-4 times a week will really add up over time. Then, as you get better at OL, you may want to get into a more OL oriented routine.


I'd say you'd have better overall "success" if you started as a strength athlete (powerlfiter or Oly lifter), and then went into bodybuilding. By starting as a bodybuilder, you'll have a large amount of fluffy muscle which isn't as strong as it could've been, had you started training for pure strength sooner (though, that's a topic of some debate).

Franco Columbo, Big Arnie S., Dorian, and Coleman all did some competitive powerlifting before walking down the speedo path. Sergio Olivia, Tommy Kono, and Christian Thibaudeau began as Oly lifters.

I'd disagree with that. The bros at Westside have said over and over again that a bodybuilder's bench press exercise is not the same as a powerlifter's bench press exercise. The bodybuilder is generally a more diagonal movement, in order to work the chest. The powerlifter version would be straight up and down, using the tris. And I don't remember the last time Flex magazine included box squats in a "Tree Trunk Leg" article. Plus, most Fitness mags consider the deadlift to be a "lower back exercise".


If you did the big 3 before, it would not be a hard transtition