I will start off by saying that I've been a member of several bodybuilding/powerlifting/strength training forums for over 4 years now, and I've heard all of these things many many times before:
- Do mostly compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, OH press, rows, dips, pullups, etc....to build maximum muscle
- You're arms will grow just fine by doing heavy pushing and pulling exercises
- A good routine starts off with doing heavy compounds, and maybe finishes with a select few isolation lifts
- It is the diet that determines how you look, not the training
- Train movements, not bodyparts
Now, I've been a firm believer in all of those things for a while now, since they have been drilled in my head so many times since I have been reading all of these forums for so long. I have been following these methodologies as well.
Now I'm going to go against the grain here, and say that I disagree with following these rules to a "T" if the goal is to look like a bodybuilder. No, I'm not disagreeing completely with the effectiveness of good old heavy compound lifts and a tight diet, but I am disagreeing with following the above pointers as gospel.
I'm speaking through experience and observation of others. I watch the way the jacked and shredded guys at my gym train:
- They do one or two "body parts" per day
- They do about 3 - 6 exercises for each body part, many of which are isolations
- They train a minimum of 5 days a week
- They hold the belief that training body parts is a better way to get the "jacked and shredded bodybuilder look" rather then just doing a handful of compounds every session
- They are in agreement that HEAVY is the way to train
- They are in agreement that diet is very important when it comes to how cut you are, but the type of training also plays a very important role in how you look when cut.
The two different types of looks I am talking about here are as follows. Take 2 people, the first person trains using the first set of methodologies (the strength athlete way), and the second person trains using the second set of methodologies (the bodybuilder way). Both people have good diets, and low bodyfat:
1.) This person has a "bulkier, blockier" look. This person will not have as much of a pronounced V-taper. The person will have a huge back and torso. The arms will not be as "jacked and shredded" as that of the bodybuilder group (not to say that muscle separation and size won't be there, but this is just in comparison to the other group). This person, due to their functional, or movement based training will most likely be stronger and more athletic.
2.) This person will have a huge upper body (chest, shoulders, arms, traps, upper back) in relation to their midsection due to the higher frequency of training each individual body part, and less emphasis on the "big three" lifts. The V-taper will be much more pronounced then people of group 1. The arms, when compared to those of group 1, will have much more muscle separation due to the high frequency of training each individual muscle or "body part".
I'm not saying either way of training is better then the other. I have just observed in real life, with real people, and lots of browsing pictures on the internet, that the type of training does result in a different look. I used to train like a bodybuilder, and I looked much different then I do now that I train like a strength athlete.
With diet being constant, both "styles" of training will build size, strength, and muscle, but I honestly believe that training like a bodybuilder will result in a different looking physique then training like a powerlifter/strongman/oly lifter/football player/etc...
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My personal blog/website dedicated to giving answers on the age old question - how to escape the "rat race". I now play guitar for a living!