T Nation

Both a BB and Powerlifter


Hey guys I probably could of put this in the bb or pl thread but i chose this one.Im curious for the bodybuilders who are both that and powerlifters do they train any specific way. I was thinking about it and I was curious some one like jonnie jackson who does both.

How do most of them do it, do they train for one for a couple months and switch or do they mesh them together?


Justin Harris trains both DC and powerlifting... He was a bodybuilder, Dante Trudel helped him to the superheavies and he then did his first PL meet and totaled elite.
Works as a nutritionist or contest prep guy (not certain which or if it's both or whatever), nickname is Troponin.

Try to find out some more about him... Over at IM and other forums. Maybe he trains for bbing the first half of the year and PLing the second? I have no clue. He also has a log at elitefts. I think he's been training with Dante again lately, they made some funny vids and all that...

Maybe pX knows how JJackson trains ?


To my knowledge he doesn't do anything special. He trains the big lifts but keeps them in a routine that allows him to work all body parts just like most of us do.

When I was training more like a powerlifter, we still did body part splits. We wanted to be strong and build a shit load of muscle.

It isn't like the two aren't related.


Some of the largest and strongest people I know train both movement patterns and bodyparts, and not necessarily exclusively.

Jamie Reeves, ex worlds strongest man and powerlifter, and Gary Taylor too (another ex worlds strongest man) typically trained big lifts but also spent considerable training time to the 'accessory' muscles too.

To optimise absolute strength a significant amount of muscle hypertrophy is essential.

Sometimes when we look for differences, we may miss the similarities!


Way back when, a lot of the top bodybuilders were also involved in Olympic lifting: John Grimek, Tommy Kono, Sergio Oliva.

Like Prof said, everything ties together. You'd focus your workouts around getting stronger in your competitive lifts, while hitting the bodyparts as "accessories".

If you had a contest in one sport or the other coming up, you'd gradually adjust the training, while still keeping the basic elements the same.


The biggest powerlifters I personally know also train with a bodypart split and do plenty of accessory work for arms, chest, shoulders, back, etc.


Well, you also focused on getting stronger on the non-competition lifts.. Just that you work up to triples, doubles or singles on the competition lifts and stay with higher reps on the other stuff... That is for powerlifter/bb combos, no clue about oly/bb guys. Just saying because "focus on getting stronger on the comp lifts and work the rest as accessories" sounds like the other lifts weren't really increased much/not taken seriously.

Wonder how Ronnie would do if he were to readjust to PL training for a few months and then do a meet :wink:


probaly pretty good.

he did DL 800x2 not sure how many people can say that.


And I would say the same works vice versa. I would say most(probably all) successful BB train heavy in the big three for low reps.


thanks guys yea i know that both tie in but i also thought there were some diffences and also didnt think alot of pl trained bp split


Most will. It's very common to see upper/lower splits Pull/push/legs is basically back thick and width and bis, chest shoulders tris, legs. I wouldn't be able to name a even close to "strong guy" I know of in powerlifting who trains total body.

You'll likely be doing boxsquats and squats, dead variations, good mornings, board and floor pressing, will have to adjust your workload if you train in gear (much more taxing). It is actually not to difficult to train for pling and bbing at the same time, as long as you're trying to build mass, not diet that is.



Well the people that I know of active in both sports will typically compete in powerlifting during the bodybuilding offseason, and then ramp up the volume before dieting down for a bodybuilding show.

Here's a good example:



I don't know really anything about the history of bodybuilding, but I remember reading somewhere that bodybuilders got athletic points in bodybuilding competitions for competing in olympic lifting, then when the Weider's took over, they eliminated the athletic points. I thought it was interesting.


I believe Arnold was involved in a spot of oly lifting also.


to quote CT

"Heavy lifting can stimulate muscle growth even though you're "technically" outside of the proper hypertrophy rep ranges."

Obviously this is caused by a number of mechanisms. Most of the serious "competitive" bodybuilders ive met arnt slouches in bench press or squat.

One of my training partners would diet for PLing contest and then carrying on dieting for BBing contest then try compete in PLing again on the upswing, trying to find contests that fitted that set up proved awkward but was doable.


Honestly I imagine the differences don't need to be very large at all. Most bp splits tweaked slightly are pretty much very classic pling splits. Bench press variant done very heavy, then another variant done slightly lighter, and then two tricep movements essentially turns into "chest and tricep day" from "heavy bench day".


Heavy deadlifts, a hamstring/low back exercise done a bit lighter, some lat work and then some bicep work can be called "deadlift day", or "pull day" or "back/hamstring/biceps".

Or maybe put those hamstring work onto a day with heavy squats (front, back, box, different bars, blah blah) and leg presses, and hey, what do you know you have your "squat" day.