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Strength First to Become a Better Bodybuilder?

My primary fitness goal is to have a better-looking physique; in order words, to look more like a bodybuilder. However, a lot of people say that it’s a good idea to build a foundation of strength from low-rep training before upping the volume/amount of repetitions and focusing more on building muscle mass. Is it really true that it is, in the end, before for one to first train for strength to then optimize your bodybuilding training?

A lot of people advocate this, and when looking at many of the professional bodybuilders, they also used to do a lot of powerlifting, e.g. Arnold. Thoughts?

In for shit-storm

I think having a great strength base is a very important thing when bodybuilding. I was an olympic lifter for many years and i feel like the strength i have from that has helped me to progress physique wise now that im training in more of a bodybuilding fashion

In before people who don’t look like bodybuilders start giving advice on how to look like a bodybuilder.

In the words of Ronnie Coleman, “E’RBODY WANNA BE A BODYBUILDA BUT DON’T NOBODY WANNA LIFT NO HEAVY ASS WEIGHT.”

Most bodybuilders have a strong strength foundation, but the reason why wannabe bodybuilders fail is because they do retarded 70 set splits 6 days a week–not because of their rep range. A bodybuilder’s focus is not weightlifting, so if you want to be a bodybuilder, don’t train like a powerlifter.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN that you should not squat, deadlift, bench, or overhead press. It means you care more about the muscle action than the weight that you lift.

Go heavy, go hard, eat a lot, get stronger, and get bigger. It’s really not that complicated; just find a good routine and stick with it.

[quote]labean wrote:
when looking at many of the professional bodybuilders, they also used to do a lot of powerlifting, e.g. Arnold. Thoughts? [/quote]

And Phil Heath used to play basketball

Kai Greene, Melvin Anthony and Toney Freeman were strippers

Hmmmmm

i know a kid who has a very good physique although his strength levels suck ass (3x3 deadlifts w/ 350lbs for a physique that should be able to lift way more). same is true for his other lifts.

so, i dont believe that you need to be very strong to bodybuild. the same thought comes up when you watch some of the kai greene training videos where he doesnt even go >220lbs on the incline bench.

[quote]Kooopa wrote:
i know a kid who has a very good physique although his strength levels suck ass (3x3 deadlifts w/ 350lbs for a physique that should be able to lift way more). same is true for his other lifts.

so, i dont believe that you need to be very strong to bodybuild. the same thought comes up when you watch some of the kai greene training videos where he doesnt even go >220lbs on the incline bench.[/quote]
Yeah, Kai is pretty famous in the fitness community for training as a bodybuilder, and NOT a weightlifter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8wZNGL4iA4 (he talks about it here)

It’s true that a lot of other bodybuilders haven’t good a history in powerlifting or “strength-training” so to speak, but I think that a lot of principles don’t apply when taking anabolic steroids. Then again, that’s just my apparent thoughts without any empirical evidence to back it up. To be fair, Arnold supposedly only utilized AAS when cutting to preserve muscle mass.

Something I find interesting whenever this topic comes up is that if you ask most guys who have been doing this for a long time if there’s one thing they could go back and do over or what has changed a lot in the way they train is they would have focused more on the muscle rather than the weight in their early years of training or they use weight they can “feel” more with their current training.

Some people might hear this and think get strong then focus on “feeling” the muscle. There’s guys on this site who’ve said they switched from a lift as much shit as possible mindset to using weight they could actually use the desired muscle with and reported better results.

What I personally take away from this is you should think about what you’re trying to do. If you’re trying to work your chest and doing incline bench for example, use the most weight where you can keep tension on the pecs and actually feel the contraction occurring. Just because you can use more weight on an exercise doesn’t mean you always have to.

here we go again

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
here we go again[/quote]

i wonder what percentage of your posts actually has content. single digits at best is my guess.

feel free to throw random ad hominems at me chief

What is weird to me (kinda) is as I am progressing up in weight used I am feeling my specific muscles better while doing the exercise. My mind muscle connection increases as the weight being used is increased. Just saying…

[quote]mbdix wrote:
What is weird to me (kinda) is as I am progressing up in weight used I am feeling my specific muscles better while doing the exercise. My mind muscle connection increases as the weight being used is increased. Just saying…[/quote]
That’s quite interesting. Have you made a decisive effort to focus more on your mind-muscle connection and have you improved your form/technique? That might have something to do with it. Here’s a complete broscientific theory: perhaps as your central nervous system and neural strength improves, you’re able to move more weight, but to the muscles, the stimuli are equally as prominent. Just a thought.

[quote]Kooopa wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
here we go again[/quote]

i wonder what percentage of your posts actually has content. single digits at best is my guess.

feel free to throw random ad hominems at me chief[/quote]
B*tch slapped
http://cdn.uproxx.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/SKILLETED-thumb-550x309-42339.gif

You will always hear about how some of the ‘best’, or thickest bodybuilders all started out as powerlifters. I myself trained amongst powerlifters and in the manner of chasing #s and lifting hard n heavy for a very long time and yet didn’t come anywhere near achieving a bodybuilder caliber physique.

While a lot of more experienced competitors and judges than myself have attributed the ‘denseness’ of my contest condition to those years spent moving heavy poundages, I can easily point to seriously world class athletes who will readily admit to not being especially strong (Brian Whitacre comes to mind, and he’s arguably one of the best in the world).

While training to get stronger, and see your weights lifted improve when you first begin your training is a very good way to track progress (still too much of a newb to go by less measurable variables), it’s not the be-all-end all to building a physique as far as I’m concerned.

S

[quote]labean wrote:
My primary fitness goal is to have a better-looking physique; in order words, to look more like a bodybuilder.[/quote]

So do you want to look like a strong bodybuilder or a bulky bodybuilder?

Really it’s more about proportions than anything else. However, building a foundation of strength is quite valuable before you start tweaking with a bunch of isolations and splits.

there was like 10+ page thread about this a couple of days ago… use the search function.

Do a bodybuilding routine and get stronger doing it?

remember there are more ways to overload a muscle than just poundages.

MMC takes years to get but when you do this will all make sense and arguing about powerlifting routines vs bodybuilding for aesthetics will seem like a big waste of time.

[quote]paulieserafini wrote:
Do a bodybuilding routine and get stronger doing it?

remember there are more ways to overload a muscle than just poundages.

MMC takes years to get but when you do this will all make sense and arguing about powerlifting routines vs bodybuilding for aesthetics will seem like a big waste of time.[/quote]

then again every year I realize I’m just barely scratching the surface. Maybe 2 years from now some freak in the gym will convince me to do some powerlifting and I’ll be like omg, but probably not.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
You will always hear about how some of the ‘best’, or thickest bodybuilders all started out as powerlifters. I myself trained amongst powerlifters and in the manner of chasing #s and lifting hard n heavy for a very long time and yet didn’t come anywhere near achieving a bodybuilder caliber physique.

While a lot of more experienced competitors and judges than myself have attributed the ‘denseness’ of my contest condition to those years spent moving heavy poundages, I can easily point to seriously world class athletes who will readily admit to not being especially strong (Brian Whitacre comes to mind, and he’s arguably one of the best in the world).

While training to get stronger, and see your weights lifted improve when you first begin your training is a very good way to track progress (still too much of a newb to go by less measurable variables), it’s not the be-all-end all to building a physique as far as I’m concerned.

S

[/quote]

As far as workouts, what changed for you when you went from training for numbers versus training for bodybuilding? Is it as simple as switching to a higher rep scheme and focusing on MMC? Also, what other ways are there to track progress, if not poundages, that are measurable. Things like arm size probably aren’t going to be increasing by the week so what else do you go by (esp. when you get more advanced)?