If we talked before about the Powerlifting boom, today we bring the so-called and even more recent ” Powerbuilding “. No, it is not any kind of sport, it is not a method, nor a training system. It is a recent term, so it does not have an exact definition.

You can be strong without being muscular, and you can be muscular without being strong, but most of us want to be both.

The Powerbuilding is born right here, a sense of self, to overcome every day, the pleasure of competitiveness and to compare ourselves with our yesterday without forgetting others while remaining aesthetic. It provides an added objective to the cult to the body since it tries to fuse the training of the force (by means of the basic movements of the Powerlifting, although also other basic ones like the dominated ballasted or military press) and the aesthetic one (by means of techniques, exercises, and nutrition of the BodyBuilding, bodybuilding, etc). In short, improve strength without leaving aesthetics aside.

To improve the strength and efficiency of the nervous system we must work with high loads and low repetitions, however, when we seek to build muscle, we want to use all ranges of repetitions, since all contribute to different mechanisms of muscle growth, such as mechanical stress, metabolic stress, and muscle damage, but we must find the most efficient way to combine them minimizing interference.

Historically, the legends of the strongest men in history not only had enormous strength but also an incredible physical appearance. It could be seen how in contests / “shows” of both disciplines, each one’s brushstrokes were exchanged, such as posing together with demonstrations of strength or, even, the demonstration of physical performance related to strength (such as performing an Olympic or various objects) in the first aesthetic contests.

The PowerBuilder trains the basic movements to ranges of strength and with high loads, pays great importance to diet and body composition, trains the mind-muscle connection, works in all ranges of repetitions and all muscle groups without exception. For example, for a powerlifter, the triceps for the bench press is very important, but not the biceps, although it could influence in a certain way, they are not a main or secondary objective. A powerlifter has large quadriceps, but is not interested in losing time training his twins, strengthens the anterior deltoids a lot, but does not perform analytical work of the lateral deltoids, his abdominal work is focused on improving the strength and stability of CORE, not selective hypertrophy of the rectus abdominis, etc.

And if you are wondering, no, you are not Powerbuilder if you only do a month of strength once a year, and no, you are not Powerbuilder if after your bench press training you do 3 sets of bicep curl … What makes the difference is the sum of all the details and the constancy.

Several current examples of authentic PowerBuilder are Larry Wheels, Layne Norton, Ben Pollack or Stan Efferding (known as the “strongest bodybuilder in the world”).

Does interference cause strength train on muscle mass gains and vice versa?

The first and most important principle of training is that of “specificity” but … A larger muscle is potentially a stronger muscle, and if you get stronger in certain ranges of repetitions, you grow. Strength helps a bodybuilder to grow by breaking stagnation, we can lift a heavier weight for more repetitions, in the same way, the muscular size helps a lifter to strengthen when he reaches his limit of neuromuscular efficiency with his previous muscular mass, creating a new mass that becomes efficient and coordinates neuromuscularly. On the other hand, this must be done with a structure, and specific order mainly inexperienced athletes, since for muscle growth the goal is to induce local fatigue, reducing central fatigue (general),

Does the order matter?

Without a doubt, first you want to be great, create muscle mass and improve your work capacity (your ability to recover and tolerate volume) for later once the base is established, exploit the potential of your strength.

Train both modalities in the same session, week or block?

At one end of the scale, most bodybuilders sin never to perform periods of force, in the same way, most Powerlifters, err on not to leave throughout the year to lift heavy loads.

At the other extreme, we appreciate that there is a widespread error when structuring the training after seeing the benefits of complementing both objectives, when we say that we should touch the whole range of repetitions, it does not mean that we have to do it in all the exercises in the same session, not even in the same week.

The most efficient way to be strong while creating muscle mass, would be through periods or blocks of greater emphasis on one and then another (maintaining the benefits achieved in the previous block). This is due to the principle of directed adaptation, mainly in advanced athletes, were gaining muscle mass requires more and more time and reaching peaks of strength and overcoming a PR (Personal Record) becomes increasingly slow and difficult, as We are approaching our potential limit and physiological ceiling.


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