Originally posted by ElPietro
One point I will add...unless you are competing, what is the point of a big "power bench?"
Good point. I have often wondered this myself. Guys will profess to be a bodybuilder, but never compete in the sport. Then will ask how to get a big bench, and when a powerlifter (who benches way more than the other people answering) gives his opinion, everyone wants to jump in and say, "Well a powerlifting style bench press is not the best way to build pecs!!!" Well no ****!!
Building a big bench, and building a big chest is not always the same thing. In fact, it is rarely the same thing. I have never held myself out to be a bodybuilder. I have never competed in bodybuilding, nor do I have any desire to do so.
I was a weight trainer for a number of years before I took up powerlifting. And guys, I have a shocking announcement for you. If you go to the gym but do not compete in some sport, then you are a weight trainer too. Bodybuilders compete in the sport of competitive bodybuilding. You know, oil, tanning, speedo's, stages, posing routines, that sort of thing.
Powerlifters compete in powerlifting competitions. They use an arch, a shirt, belts, wrist wraps, and whatever else they can to lift the most weight possible, in an effort to set personal records and occasionally win a powerlifting meet.
People who go to the gym and train, are weight trainers. I don't care if you have 20 inch arms and a 30 inch waist, with a far better physique than I will ever sport, that does not make you a bodybuilder till you enter a competition. And I don't care if you can bench press 600 lbs or squat 800 lbs, until you enter a powerlifting meet, you are not a powerlifter.
So, if you are a weight trainer, and your major focus is on having the biggest bench possible, then it would make sense to me to train in the same manner as the people out there who have the biggest benches, and lo and behold, those people are powerlifters.
The flip side of that token is, that if you want to look like a bodybuilder, and having a good looking body is your primary focus, then you should train like the people who have the kind of body you desire. i.e. bodybuilder style training.
I rarely post here, and this is why. When someone asks how do i get stronger, I post. I never post on how do I prepare for a bodybuilding contest threads, cause I don't know jack about that. But people ask how to get strong, I tell them the truth about it, and I end up with a ton of people saying one of two basic things.
1. Well, that is not the best way to develop hypertrophy. (when I am talking about increasing strength)
2. Well that is not the conventional way of doing things, so I don't buy it.
Guys, bodybuilding is not the same thing as gaining strength. Strength sports such as olympic lifting, powerlifting, strongman, highland games, and field events (hammer, shot, discus, javelin) are not remotely the same thing as bodybuilding. In many ways strength sports and bodybuilding are diametrically opposed.
Strength sports is about moving the most amount of iron with the least amount of bodyweight, while bodybuilding is honestly, not much different from runway modeling. By this I mean, it is all about looks. Who cares how much Ronnie Coleman can squat, or bench? It doesn't make any difference at all. What he looks like is all that matters on contest day, while in strength sports, what you can do, not what you look like, is all that matter come contest day.
I think there would be a lot less dissention on this and many other boards if people would realize there is a vast difference between looking good/big/like a bodybuilder, and being strong and athletic.