T Nation

Heavy Lifting for BB


I am really into getting the looking good naked and actually stepping on stage in the next year or so, and i was wondering if there is a way i can keep to my power lifting roots by also still lifting heavy while attaining the "ripped" physique. Any regimens people have used concerning this that worked would be great. I am 5'9 175lbs. 10% BF 2 years serious traning


Pro body builder Johnnie Jackson does...

But King Kamali also uses a power lifting style and his look is too blocky and has fallen in the ranks so watch out...


Of course you can lift heavy and train for bodybuilder. Some guy named Ronnie Coleman seems to like to lift the heavy weights and he's done alright for himself. Things like heavy singles and doubles might not be the best for growth though. Still sticking with the power movements for progressively heavier weights with the food to grow is a surefire way to get big.


Just use heavier weights and more sets to get your volume in. Something like 6-7 sets of 5 in addition to the 8-12 stuff.


I personally like the approach of Coleman and others of WSB. Wether you like whole body or splits the focus is the same.

1st exercise go for heavy compount (1 to 3 rep max)

do 2 or 3 exercises that toal 100reps focussing on contraction

I personally like doing split part of the year and during the winter do whole body 1/2 and upper/lower/arms the other half of the year

You can toy around with whatever you want


Progressive Pulls (power clean, high pulls, deadlifts)

No sets and just go for 3 reps per set, when you can't do a couple of singles and then you are done. This with heavy eating will get you strong fast. With the strenth then you can move into a traditional split like I explained before and the added strenght will help with the mass density.


thanks guys youve all been a big help....i shoulda thought about ronnie coleman figurin videos of him are all over youtube of his huge weights being moved around. Keep um coming all helpful so far.


yup. Look at Johnnie Jackson or Ronnie Coleman. I'll admit there pretty well the most roided out folks ever but they both do ALOT of powerlifting movements.


The steroids argument kills me everytime. Yes they use steroids, but is that what you think really seperates them from everyone else? I mean look at some of the cycles that are posted on this very site, I've seen some heavy users post here(and those are the ones who admit it) and they are nowhere near the development of those guys.

Those two are thick as a house, they A) have elite genetics(especially Coleman my god) and B) have trained with heavy weights for YEARS building up their size. Both have done 800 lb dead lifts and row roughly a small car, is it a surpise they have traps up to their ears and backs that block the sun?


Not really a surprise no. lol.

I gues there just the 2 best examples i could think of.

Powerlifting moves (i really just use them for power for wrestling) thickened me up alot though. Give em a shot bro.

p.s don't be dumb like ME and wait to start deadlifting. I did squat and bench for years but i held off on deadlift. Don't. Within (i swear) weeks my back looked WAY better.

its worth it.


I'm confused. I thought the key to getting big was heavy weights around 3-4 sets. How does a bb'er lift?


BB lifts any way he wants. He will cover the low end, and the 8-12 range typically with a lot less than 90% 1rm. Less rest periods between sets for the higher rep stuff, and many more types of exercises that powerlifters.


The steroid argument shouldn't kill you every time. None of the current Mr. Os would have got there without them, and you can't really say what's what with their training methodologies since the hormones throw all those rules out the window. You can say coleman lifts heavy weights and built it that way but if he was natural, we don't know what sort of things he would have had to try in order to achieve his physique.

He'd still be big but nothing like he is now, not even close. To see his max natural development you might say he's nothing special- don't doubt it. Take a look at kevin levrone's before and after physique...you wouldn't even recognize the man.

Roids must always enter the convo when talking about the techniques employed by the top guys in BB. There's no way around it. Yeah, sure, they work hard but often no harder than the next guy, and often even LESS because of their genetic advantage, building a physique 3x as good as a guy doing the same thing roid-free. Let's not pretend steroids don't result in a 50%+ size limit increase over what's possible naturally if the genetics are there. To say otherwise is just lying to yourself.


Differnet ways for different people, but if you look at the bigges thickest guys on stage today most of them are training heavy(or they likely aren't growing). Usually a few exercises per bodypart worked up to a heaviest 1-2 sets either to failure or just shy.


People in my opinion put WAY too much thought into what the drugs are doing for these people and in my mind it's a combination of genetics first off(this one got me in trouble ha) and then years of training and eating.

I'm going to leave it at that, hopefully, and not hijack this thread.


Levrone is a poor example to use, as he was one of the lucky few who could "diet up". You could say that his current size is a result of simply not eating and training, not a lack of AAS.


I actually just listened to a radio interview with him. He said he hadn't lifted a barbell over 225 lbs in years since stepping away from bodybuilding. His muscle memory is totally insane.


No, I can say he's 50% the size he used to be due to reducing his testosterone injections by about 90%. Are you kidding? Diet up?! you HAVE seen him these days yes? Thats not lack of training, its lack of roids and training. You guys come up with some stupid stuff boy...


I think it was CT who said that lifting heavy will result in a denser look when relaxed. I agree with that, I lift in the 6-12 range but I might take a week or two every once in a while to lift heavy in the 3-5 range. When I dieted down I looked harder especially in my arms. I also believe this helped with my strength, I was able to use a lot more weight when doing sets in the 6-12 range.


XXser, thats what i like to here man. Some examples of personal experience with the topic.

Scott, i can't seem to get away from you dude. I think you bring up a good point man.

Theres only one way to settle this.

pose down. lol

I'm gonna shut up now cus i think were on the verge of a total highjacking.


I thought we were agreeing on heavy training being good for bodybuilding ha. I just have a pet peeve(and I'm going to try to keep quiet about this from now on) about drugs being attributed so much of the success of the big boys on the block.

On a personal note, since changing from a more traditional bodybuilding approach to a heavy powerbuilding program not only am I bigger(as a result of food and training) my muscles do have that denser and thick look to them I feel only comes from heavy training. For extreme cases you can look at guys like Mike Mentzer or a Johnnie Jackson since he was brought up here, years of heavy weights make them look very dense.