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Bodybuilding/Strength Training?


I am wondering if it would be advisable to do bodybuilding type movements while doing a strength-training program. The strength training has built up muscle density but has not done much for improving muscle shape and form. I feel that the muscles do not get ripped down enough to rebuild larger and in better form.

I am also wondering if I will reach a plateau because I?m not tearing down my muscles enough and allowing them to rebuild larger rather then just denser. Is it ok to add bodybuilding exercises for these purposes while doing strength training? Thanks for the help.


What would you consider bodybuilding movements and what would you consider strength-training movements?


yeah what jared said is key. most succesfull bodybuilders dont waste too much time on "bodybuilding" movements i.e. bent over cable lateral raises. rather they would use a strength exercise such as bent rows or weighted pull-ups. whether bodybuilding or training for strength, you need to focus on the core/compound lifts. your rep ranges, tut, rest periods, etc...may change, but the lifts should remain pretty basic.


Like a westside program, and incorporating bodybuilding isolating movements after your main sessions ? Like ... isolated chest exercises ?



check out ct's OVT program.


Powerlifters and bodybuilders lift much the same way. Nearly all exercises they use are geared to rely most on muscular strength, unlike, say, olympic lifting, which depends far more on momentum and technique.

If, by bodybuilding movements, you mean exercises that isolate a certain muscle group, by all means use them in addition to compound work. Within supersets, for example.

Training for strength and that for size differ primarily in tempo, rep ranges, and overall volume.


Let's not discount lateral raises. They're an excellent finishing move, and very much a part of many pro routines.



I think he might be asking if you can incorporate bodybuilding exercises in a strength program w/o hurting his strength gains. Not a bodybuilding/strength combo type of thing like OVT.

I don't know, maybe add bodybuilding isolation movements in a GPP day ? I think it would be too much to add it to a main workout.

I'd actually like to know about this myself. Any strength vets out there ? Steve, Gold, Sully, etc ?



What most people for get is that Bodybuilding is mostly dieting correctly and being in tune w/ his or her body. Any type of strength training will build a body. Its the dieting that gets you lean and cut. and the shape of the bodybuilder. Look at Christian's body in his transformation and also look at Franco Culumbo( he trained more like a powerlifter then a bodybuilder) yet he had a bodybuilders physique. Its all about the diet and gentics in bodybuilding not what type of exercise is better or worse.



im not really discounting bent laterals, it was just an example. i think we can all agree that some of the iso-movements that a lot of bb'ers use are overkill.

i used to use a lot of iso movements after my core movements like you suggested. since i dropped them, my physique and strength gains have been far better.

i know a lot of guys like to use a "finisher" for that great burn feeling. my theory is that if you just busted out 5x5 with some heavy bent rows and weighted pull-ups, your rear delts are already fried. and it is possible that subsequent iso sets may lead to over-training, while not really producing a whole lot in gains.

maybe thats just me. although i consider myself to be a bodybuilder. i pride myself on training hard and heavy. i live to train heavy, i get a natural high from it. i just dont get that same feeling from a set of concentration curls.

i am also of the opinion that you must first build a sold foundation of muscle before concerning yourself with your rear delts or serratus anterior etc... therefore in my opinion those exercises would only be beneficial once you have attained the size that you are after, then you can worry about "fine tuning" the physique.

wow, that was way to long and im sure some people will have to disagree with me. flame away.


I very rarely perform any direct bicep work; yet, my biceps are just as big and as solid still. I perform deads, which biceps are assistant movers. For shoulders, it's push presses and chest, bench.

The brunt of my work in the gym is built around the compounds. Which, IMO, would be the optimal way to go: build/structure your routine around the compound movements. Create a solid base. Which is why I like Westside style. While they concentrate on the big compound movements, they also do perform some "smaller" more Isolatory movements; however these are done as a way of enhancing your core lifts.

"I feel that the muscles do not get ripped down enough to rebuild larger and in better form."

You know I kinda think that if you truly concentrate on the core lifts, this statement would soon be forgotten.



although i agree with the fact that diet plays a huge role in your success as a bodybuilder, i completley disagree that exercise selection doesnt matter.

you cannot tell me that someone who spends the majority of his or her time on the pec dec, is going to build a chest as impressive as someone who focuses on heavy benches and dips.


First off, you are not "tearing" muscles to make them get bigger and stronger. If you tear a muscle, you're in some serious shit. Anyway.....
I'm not big on isolation movements, for size or strength. Not that I'd never use them, but they probably not do as much as you think. Like Patricia, I have not done a curl in over two years, and my biceps are no smaller (larger actually). Brooks Kubik once said something to the effect of "what's a 60 lb. tricep pushdown gonna do for your triceps that a 300 lb. close grip bench won't?".
Remember, if you're training for strength, you have to let go of the bodybuilding way of thinking a little bit, or you won't get too far. If you really want, you could throw in an iso movement for a couple bodyparts at the end and it probably wouldn't hurt. Westside uses isolation movements particularly for extra workouts, and it works well. That is another option.



Why don't you post the program you are doing now? How long have you been on this program and how long have you been training in total?

As far as tearing the muscle down I assume you are talking about micro-trauma. Micro-trauma occurs mostly on the eccentric or negative portion of the lift. So if you want to do that increase the time it takes you to do your negatives. Get ready for DOMS though.



I feel that it is a lot easier to look strong than to be strong. I think this is true because isolation movements do tend to 'shape' a muscle, meaning put stress on individual muscles and force them to without tapping the nervous systems' recovery abilities. This means they can be trained more often than the core movements. I also believe, however ,that optimal size gains are related to strength...with means big movements.

Do both!