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What is Powerbuilding?

Beth Bradford

Jul 16, 2023

If you like lifting weights, put the best of powerlifting and bodybuilding together.

Weight training for overall health will typically involve busting out 10-12 reps of a weight that’s heavy to you. Of course, that could be 10 pounds or 100 pounds, depending on your goals and level of fitness. At a minimum, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises doing this at least twice each week to keep muscles and bones healthy. This is especially important as you age.

If you’re a bodybuilder, you might do a tad more than this (at least, this was my experience as a former figure competitor). Bodybuilders seek to alter their shape and enhance their body's symmetry rather than concentrating on maintaining powerful muscles. They follow a particular diet to make sure their food adequately nourishes their bodies and promotes weight loss. It's all about aesthetics, really. Who doesn’t love seeing great delts popping out of a t-shirt?

On the other hand, powerlifters are looking for raw strength and are concerned with the amount of weight they can put on the barbell. Powerlifters concentrate most of their efforts on the deadlift, bench press, and squat exercises. Powerlifters seek to increase their one-rep max for these lifts. They accomplish this by performing numerous sets of these low-rep lifts. The key is developing maximum strength.

By combining these two strength training techniques, you can increase your strength and muscle mass. It is referred to as powerbuilding. Powerbuilding is the practice of increasing both strength and muscle during the same workout.

What is a powerbuilding workout?

A powerbuilding workout will begin with one of the three main lifts in powerlifting, such as the barbell deadlift. You'll perform five sets of two reps using a weight that is heavy enough to lift five times after a few warm-up sets. This portion of your workout involves powerlifting. You'll next move on to workouts like the Romanian deadlift or other ones that use the same muscles as the barbell deadlift. Here, you'll adopt a method more geared toward bodybuilding, using three to four sets of higher reps.

Muscle & Fitness advises focusing on free weights during your workouts. You won't perform supersets, which may be a bodybuilder's go-to move, but rather stick to six to eight repetitions throughout the entire workout. Use the pyramid method to get to your one-rep maximum, which involves starting with 10 repetitions of very modest weight and then gradually adding more weight until you can only do four.

The advantages of powerbuilding

Powerbuilding can prevent boredom in the body. It's crucial to switch up your workout approaches because your body will frequently adjust to your exercise routine. Powerbuilding encourages the body to be continually challenged, which increases strength and muscle growth. Powerbuilding also provides a bit more flexibility in strength training. Although the bench press, deadlift, and squat remain the three basic lifts in powerbuilding, you get to pick the other workouts that complement these core movements.

Powerlifting is not just for the boys. Powerbuilder Stephanie Sanzo chooses this approach because it places less emphasis on how her body appears and more on its capacity for performance. Sanzo's life was changed by powerbuilding, and she now hardly ever engages in cardio beyond walking. She claims that powerbuilding can help you feel more confident in yourself, even though it does need some dedication.

Whether you want to build strength, power, or muscle mass, it's critical to hit the weights a few days a week. You'll keep your metabolism humming, your bones strong, and your body injury-free.

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