T Nation

Return to Bodybuilding From Powerlifitng


Hello Everybody......A quick solicitation of your opinion, if I may?

A brief explanation:

Due to issues with my blood pressure, it looks like the choice of powerlifitng and bodybuilding might be out of my hands. My doctor has strongly suggested I retire from power lifting and go back to bodybuilding...hmmmmm.
Two questions:

1) What's your opinion of returning back to bodybuilding from power lifting?
and.....if I do...
2) What are your recommendations of "Re-Starting?
ie: Cardio, supplements, WO regimen's, motivation, etc.

I have "been there, done that...so I know what to do, but it has been awhile.
My current weight is near 190 lbs...and I competed as a BB around 150 (154 lb. class). There are a LOT more details, but that's for starters.

Gotta admit, I'm a little down about the whole thing, but do look forward to getting the BB look back...if I can, that is! :slight_smile:
mr(too)beefy :wink:


Eat clean, change your exerise selection, you rep ranges. Change from movement focus to muscle stimulation focus.

Do your cardio, are you cutting or bulking?



I don't think my BP could tolerate bulking anymore!

My first BB contest I dropped from 180 lbs to 135 lbs in 9 months. I looked skeletal!
I competed as a BB 5 times in two years, between 148 and 154. Always came in top 5, but NEVER a first. Just couldn't seem to get tight enough.

As a PL, I'm at 186 today, and normally competed at 181.

Would probably be best to cut down to about 150-160 now.



How tall are you?


Sorry bud, I wish I had something concrete to tell you. I opened this threading thinking of some ogre at 328Ibs and 40% BF, and was about to write, "Calorific deficit until you see your abs". At 181 I'd guess you need a surplus.

All I can say is to KEEP lifting heavy, 4-6/8 rep range, but every so often, perhaps every couple of months, throw in a week of high-rep work, (12-15 or more) which I imagine you haven't done in a very long time. That should give your muscles a more 'rounded' appearance. Tape measure your bodyparts (calves, chest etc) and compare to other BB'ers to see if you have any lagging parts, and bring those up to speed with isolation movements.

This site has a wealth of material on ailments of all varieties, you may be able to use it to improve whatever condition forced the conversion.

Best of luck to you!!


On top of what's already been advised here, I'd recommend practicing better breathing techniques while training. Never hold your breath during any part of an exercise. Your BP can be a real issue if you're constantly going through Val Salva (which is common among powerlifters).


Bloobird..I'm 5'2" and 51 years old.
IronDwarf....GREAT reminder! Thanks, something I knew but wasn't thinking about.

Actually, I DO need to cut. The BW is one of the things pushing my BP up.

Was consdiering PRRS system by Eric Broser and some carb cycling.



You've done this before (competed) already and have/had a great physique already (from the pics you've posted earlier). I think you already know what you need to do as far as training, dude.

Bulking at your age is not safe imo (consult the over 35 forum for that), and obviously muscle memory should help you get back whatever muscle you (MIGHT) have lost, as long as you avoid injury. I'd also recommend dr Berardi's precision nutrition package so you can play around with caloric intake and not harm yourself healthwise.

Are you trying to bring up any body parts? Got any current pics?


What is the rationale behind the doc's advice?
He may be just working on bodyweight, i.e. when powerlifting you heavier and losing weight (tends) to lower blood pressure. If that is his only reason, you might consider PL in a lower weight class.

While on the subject, waht is your bodyweight out of competition versus bodyweight while competing?

BTW BP meds (well mine anyway) don't affect my training at all.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


Oh, you can. I'm not worried about that.

I'm wondering this too. While we should probably be doing backflips for finding a doctor that actually suggested bodybuilding, the stress of getting contest-ready isn't exactly the most healthy hobby in the world either.

I'm not familiar with Broser or that system, but carb cycling is a solid fat loss option. I'd be interested to see Thibaudeau's advice on this. You might want to shoot him a question in his Locker Room.

Just to be clear of the goals, you're looking to drop about 30 pounds, the majority of it being fat, right? First question is, do you think you have more than 30 pound of fat on your body now?

I didn't see it mentioned, but, how long ago did you do the bodybuilding? What kind of training/nutrition worked for you then?

Some of the best bodybuilding physiques have a powerlifting background, so I'd keep strength-building as the core of your plan and include some low intensity cardio a few days a week for now.


Cutting has many biases to be done. Diet, training (cardio specially), and some supplements are the variables that can be modified.

Start by not eating crap and adding some cardio to your program, judge by your progress (or lack of) and modify your variables accordingly.


That is da' plan!


Fullbody conditioning will take you a long way toward giving you some level of fitness which will also at the same time bring your body composition to a level you are more comfortable with without sacrificing too much muscle or strength. It's good for your heart, too.

Using myself as an example, I typically go back and forth between PL and BB styles of workouts every couple of years due to fatigue and boredom. The one thing that remains constant to me is the amount of conditioning I need to do in order to bring myself up to the higher rep ranges when going from PL to BB.

I like using fullbody complexes a couple times a week for a month or two to bring my conditioning up. On the other days I just do a regular FB workout using a heavy upper push, upper pull, and leg dominant exercise. After I feel more confident with higher rep ranges I usually slow the conditioning work down and go back to more body split work.


I can relate wit the conditioning differences. I just did a light arm day of bi's, tri's and forearms...and kept it moving. Got a little winded, and was a bit crampy...but overall...it felt GREAT!
I'll take some hard DOMS over joint pain anytime!


As promised, here is the NEW Workout.
Your thoughts?

PRRS = Starting january 26, 2009

Power January 26/28/30
Rep Range February 2/4/6
Shock February 9/11/13

Power Chest/Back

Bench Press: 4 x 4-6
Rack Pulls4x4-6
Incline Dumbbell Press 3 x 4-6
Good Mornings: 3x4-6
Decline Barbell Press 3 x 4-6
Pull Down Behind Neck 3x4-6
Weighted Dips 3 x 4-6
Seated Rows: 3x4-6

Power Bi's Tri's Shoulders

Barbell Curls 4 x 7-9
Curl 4 x 7-9
Seated DB Press 3 x 7-9
DB Kickbacks 4 x 7-9
Front DB Raises 3 x 7-9
Concentration Curl 4 x 7-9
Side DB Raises 3 x 7-9
Cable Pull Downs 4 x 7-9
Rear Delt Pec-Deck 3 x 7-9

Power Legs

Squat 4 x 7-9
Standing Calf 3 x 7-9
Deadlift 4 x 7-9
Seated Calf 3 x 7-9
Leg Presses 4 x 7-9
Seated Leg Curls 4 x 7-9

Rep Range Chest/Back

Cable Crossover 4 x 7-9
Upright Rows 4 x 7-9
Seated Pec Deck 3 x 10-12
Hammer Strength Seated Rows 3 x 10-12
Flat Bench Flyes 2 x 13-15
Unilateral DB Shrugs 2 x 13-15

Rep Range Bi's Tri's Shoulders

Sissy Bar Curls 4 x 7-9
Hammer Grip Shoulder Press 4 x 7-9
Unilateral Cable Raises 3 x 10-12
Hammer Curls 2 x 13-15
Plate Raises 2 x 13-15

Rep Range Legs

Front Squats 4 x 7-9
Seated Leg Press Calf Raise 3 x 10-12
Hamstring Hypers 3 x 10-12
Seated Calf Raise 2 x 13-15
Seated Leg Press 2 x 13-15

Shock Chest/Back

Superset: Bech Press/DB Flyes 2 x 8-10
Superset: Lat Pull Down Front/Bent Over DB Rasie 2 x 8-10
Drop Set: Decline Barbell Press 1 x 8-10, drop 6-8
Drop Set: Lat Pull Down 1 x 8-10, drop 6-8

Shock Bi's Tri's Shoulders

Superset Rope Press Down/Resciprocating Curls 2 x 8-10
Superset Overhead Cable Extensions/Cable Curls 2 x 8-10
Dropset Concentration Curls 1 x 8-10, drop 6-8
Dropset Skull Crushers 1- 8-10, drop 6-8
Superset Cable Front Raises/Cable Side Raises 2 x 8-10
Dropset Smith Machine Military Press 1 x 8-10, drop 6-8

Shock Legs

Superset Single Leg Press/Leg Extensions 2 x 8-10
Superset Pop-Squats/Walking Lunges 2 x 8-10 -Superset Leg Abductor/Leg Adductor 2 x 8-10
Dropset Leg Pressess 1 x 8-10, drop 6-8

EVERY Monday/Wednesday Abs ~

Kneeling Cable Crunches 2 x 15
Leg Raises on Incline Board 2 x 15
Russian Twists 2 x 15

EVERY Monday/Wed/Friday Cardio~

30 Minutes Treadmill Walk in AM
20-30 Minutes HIIT Elyptical/Treadmill PM