Bodybuilding vrs. Powerlifting

  • Champ

    Posts: 1

    Dec 02, 2014 5:59 PM GMT
    I'm a new member, but certainly not a stranger to the gym. I've been a gymrat most of my high school days. However, I have noted, of late, a certain schism between many fellas at the gym who consider themselves bodybuilders and those who liken their training methods to powerlifting.

    Although I see we have a couple of world class powerlifters as members of Realjocks: Chris Morgan, and Master Powerlifter, Nick Shriner, there seems to be little info or concern from the RealJock editors about the sport of powerlifting. Although it IS a Gay Games competitive event, it's not listed as a sport of which to express interest, and LOL, when it is mentioned, it's generally misspelled! (Come on guys, it's one word.) And it's one of the fastest growing sport in the world--so much so that those mirror-less, gungy powerlifting gyms are sprouting up all over.

    Along with this amazing growth of powerlifting, there is also, it would appear to me who visited the World Competitions in Los Vegas last month, a general distain for most bodybuilders from most of the powerlifters with whom I spoke.

    When I first was aware that, indeed, a WORLD-CLASS Master (4-A Raw 181 lbs)powerlifter (was not only gay, but also had a membership with RealJock, I read his revealing profile. I was somewhat enlightened but still look for a balanced opinion. The following is quoted (with Nick's OK) from his profile.


    "First, a little clarification regarding the physical difference between bodybuilding and powerlifting competition. Bodybuilding competition is based on qualitative subjectivity, aesthetics. Powerlifting is purely quantitative--the criteria are about measurements: how old you are, how much you weigh and, of course, how much you can lift in strict, very strict form.

    The bodybuilders' competition emphasis is body definition--nothing to do with strength. In truth, when bodybuilders are in competition they are in their weakest state. They've dehydrated such to give the muscular deliniation, the upper body muscle mass and the small waist look that judges and fans like. The truth is that movie mythic heroes that show such strength are at their weakest. In short, in my humble opinion, bodybuilding could be called faux-building; the emphasis is shameless showing off."

    Whew! Nick adds

    "A real powerlifters' gym has no mirrors but for the bathroom. They have few, if any, machines. Machines are mostly worthless if you are about strength and getting stronger. Aesthetics be damned. We have thick waists because all of the core muscles right through the torso are developed to prevent spinal damage and herniating organs during heavy lifting."

    Nick's conclusion:

    "In short, men, if you want a healthy strong body that will take you through [your] 60's, 70's and beyond, powerlifting, though not a panacea, is damn close. But bodybuilding is short-lived glory at best. And short-lived may be the operative word here. Longevity is rarely seen in competitive bodybuilder. Sadly, my many bodybuilding friends of the 80's and 90's are gone now. And morbid fact: the more the trophies, the earlier the death."

    This is quite the attack on competitive bodybuilding--not bodybuilding as a general sport, and yet there are some negatives toward all fellas that consider themselves bodybuilders--the vain posing, the preening, the gym narcissus, the unhealthy supps, the drugs, etc.

    I'm curious what could be a balanced conclusion of both sports. What do you think? What negatives exist in the world of drug tested powerlifting?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2014 5:27 AM GMT
    I'm not sure what you're asking here.

    All competitive sports these days have their usual drug users.. powerlifters, bodybuilders, physique guys, crossfitters.

  • jjguy05

    Posts: 459

    Dec 12, 2014 5:58 PM GMT
    Well, the rivalry between bodybuilders and powerlifters is no secret. But, likewise, bodybuilders will point out that powerlifters are unhealthy. Do I really need to be able to squat 600+ lbs? When being able to squat 300 lbs has me looking great, and I have enough functional strength to push a car or lift furniture...why put stress on my knees and other joints to lift unnecessarily insane weights? Plus, bb'ers view powerlifters as fat (that can't be healthy), and as xrich points out, drug abuse can occur with any sport/activity...it can happen to powerlifters as well.

    I think much of the criticism these guys make of bodybuilding doesn't apply to the recreational bodybuilder that just wants to look good, and doesn't do the insane bulking and cutting cycles. Competition is a different monster. Additionally, I disagree that bb'ing has a short life. In fact, while athletes in other sports peak around the late 20s to early 30s, bb'ing peaks at a later age, say 40s. That's because as you enter your 30s then 40s, you can't run as fast, but you have more muscle mass and strength (assuming you've been lifting since you were younger). I think lifting of either kind will have you looking great into your 50s and beyond, and especially bb'ing. Who cares about the IFBB pros. Just look around in your gym...the recreational bb'ers that are now 50+ and have been doing this since their 20s, they all look fantastic, and that's exactly where I want to be by the time I'm 50. Guys that never lifted, otoh, achieve really scary bodies by the time they're 50. They look like their skeletons just act as a coat hanger for sagging skin and bodyfat. No muscle mass whatsoever (no traps, no lats, no shoulders, etc) to give the body shape. Ugh.

    I think if the goal is to be strong and look at least decent as you get older, both bb'ing and powerlifting will get you there. Bb'ing WILL get you strength; you need a strength foundation in order to be able to do it. You're not gonna be as strong as a powerlifter, but you'll be stronger than everyone else in the gym, and out in the real world, you're the one everyone asks for help to move a couch. And that's pretty damn aswesome.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2014 6:12 PM GMT
    jjguy05 saidI think much of the criticism these guys make of bodybuilding doesn't apply to the recreational bodybuilder that just wants to look good, and doesn't do the insane bulking and cutting cycles.

    For me, the ideal is doing stuff, e.g., weight lifting and running, for their mental and physical health benefits. That could be a third category for why one lifts weights.

    People doing those things competitively have a higher probability of having injuries or engaging in unhealthy practices.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2014 10:54 PM GMT
    Why are using someone else's picture, OP?
    The original picture is from some french guy in Paris. icon_rolleyes.gif