T Nation

Unsure - Powerlifting of Bodybuilding?


at this point in my life, I don't know what I wanna do... powerlifting... or bodybuilding...

so I'm here in search of a routine...

I bench 210x2, squat 325x3, and deadlift 320x5

I want to know what routine you guys think I should do to gain a ton of mass...

Any suggestions? I've basically only done squat bench and deadlift... maybe a bit of curls every once and awhile


Not Really.


you posted your lifts, so post a pic of your physique, then people will tell you which one you should do


Muscular people are generally strong, and strong people are generally muscular. Thinking about it like you're deciding your the fate of your entire fitness life here and now is silly.


Powerlifting is definitely more fun, IMO. I'm starting to really dig olympic lifting, as well. Being strong and powerful is much more a priority to me at this point in my life.

Either way you decide to go in the long run, I'd focus on just simply getting stronger right now if I were you. I've seen where a ton of powerlifters made an easy transition to bodybuilding, but not many make an easy transition the other way around.


A few years back on DJ's forum I was told about some guys who competed at a pro level of bodybuilding, and powerlifting. I know, sounds crazy! But it was stressed this wasn't something recent at all. Anyone know some guys like this and can throw a name or two around?

I always juggle this question around myself and I wish I could check out those guys referenced finally.


Johnny Jackson


That's totally fine. You are still a beginner and can progress in size and strength each week at this point. There's no reason you have to choose your ultimate fate at this point. Once you get to a much higher experience level the answer will reveal itself to you in one way or another. I've been training 2 years and still don't know. I'm much too weak (and small) to have to worry about that just yet.


I would suggest get strong first. Then you can always go into Bodybuilding. Your gonna get somewhat bigger getting stronger, so why not. Just dont get fat like other powerlifters or it will be a hard switch.


Start off with 5x5 or 6x4 for a while and think about it.


Do you like dieting? If not, powerlifting is the way to go.


why not just start with a major compound (deadlift,squat,bench,shoulder press)

get strong(er) on that (lower reps like 5x5, 6x4, 8x3 whatever)

choose a 2nd lighter compound lift (db bench, db press, leg press, chins,rows blah, blah) on bodypart u train

get stronger on that with slightly higher reps (5x8-10, 3x15, 6x6 whatever)

choose a isolation movement (lat raise, pulldown, leg curl whatever) on same bodypart

pump up with this, higher reps :slightly_smiling:

it a the basic concept of 531 and other 'powerbuilding' routines. im not saying do this or anything but the average beginner routine aint usually to far from this kinda set up bro, think about it :slightly_smiling:
i've been doing this lately and found back to basics is the most fun!! you get to lift some big ass weights when ur fresh and then pump up at the end as u fatigue :slightly_smiling:


Why not be a powerbulder train for strength build big strong dense muscle. Legendary bill kazmaier was proud powerbuilder. I prefer powerlifting over bodybuilding but I think strong man is the best strength sport that exists.


pretty funny I wrestled with that question for about 3-4 years. when I lifted low reps I would say this isnt doing shit for hypertrophy, then when I lifted higher reps I would say this might make me big but it doesnt do shit for rate coding. a weight training pergatory! finally I decided on powerlifting and couldnt be happier. I like to look good but NOTHING BEATS HITTING A NEW PR!!!. I learned a lot about nutrition in those days and that helps me keep my bodyfat low. but basically, I think it is best to pick one and give 100%




i know right BOTH! these lifts aint exactly world beating (no offense OP, i think u get what i mean though), im sure u can add size and strength simultaniously at this point in your life :slightly_smiling: