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Lift Weights Like a Powerlifter to Look Like a Bodybuilder?

By: Anabolic Insider

Q. A buddy of mine said that the only way to pack on muscle mass as a bodybuilder is to become a powerlifter. I know what he means, but doesn’t powerlifting pretty much screw you for bodybuilding because your joints are shot after a few years in the gym of doing maximum weight/ single rep lifts? I know the basics are good, but do you think there’s truth to that statement?

A. Personally? Yes, I do. I don’t think you have to compete at powerlifting or train in the gym like a powerlifter 24/7, but I do believe that weight training like that in the early years is the way to have a muscular physique that will stand the test of time.

Plus, the point isn’t to always do single rep lifts using your max weight—particularly as a bodybuilder. In fact, I think that’s what turns people off to the word powerlifting, apart from the sort of physique that many people develop as a result of years of engaging in only powerlifting. The point is to build density through heavy, basic lifting, and through learning correct form.

Powerlifting doesn’t have to mean that you’ll develop a powerlifting physique. However, if you’re the kind of bodybuilder who has an aesthetic physique, but you have never truly lifted heavy weights, you probably have never had to understand what correct form actually is, and probably have gotten away with less than perfect form throughout your years in the gym.

I think that’s the cornerstone of powerlifting—the ability to lift heavy weights utilizing the correct form at all times. If you weren’t able to do this, you’d get injured. Believe me, the prospect of injury is a good motivator for learning proper form. To me, a powerlifting cycle also means a temporary backing off of cardio exercise and eating at least 1/3 more calories than normal. Heavy weight training + increased calories = growth.

Just remember one thing… Before you ever begin a powerlifting program, you’ll need to engage in a conditioning phase to prepare yourself for heavier lifting. Easing into it is the only way to remain injury-free. Then, you’ll want to include the following exercises into a 2x/week routine:
Bench Press, Incline Barbell Press, Deadlifts, Good Mornings, and Squats. I suggest doing squats on Monday, Bench and Incline Press on Wednesdays and Deadlifts and Good Mornings on Fridays. Remember to lift at 80-85% of your total weight max, for 4-8 reps per set (more if you can), take plenty of time between sets, and employ proper weightlifting form at all times.



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