Powerbuilding Workouts are great for beginners and expert lifters alike. They offer the chance to dip your toes into both strength and bodybuilding styles of training by providing limited parameters on exercise, sets and reps. You’ll focus on compound movements – like the squat, bench press and deadlift – for low rep ranges to build strength and a strong foundation before moving onto accessory exercises that target specific muscle groups such as biceps, triceps and shoulders with moderate to high reps.
Most people who follow a powerbuilding program are intermediate level lifters. They’ve built a solid strength base and have an understanding of how to train safely for their own personal goals. As a result, they can safely push their training to higher levels of total volume without risking injury.
The main advantage of this approach is that it allows you to bridge the gap between bodybuilding and powerlifting. In most other types of training the focus is either on strength or aesthetics – it’s all about getting big and lifting heavy weights – so your diet and workout plan revolve around that. But what if you wanted a bit of both?
Fortunately for you, there is a solution. Powerbuilding is a style of training that incorporates both the high-rep lifts used by competitive powerlifters to develop strength and the bodybuilding-style exercises that help develop muscle size (hypertrophy). This provides an excellent foundation for any goal that you can dream up in the gym and will get you on the path to reaching it.
It is also an ideal approach for athletes who want to maintain both their strength and fitness abilities. You’ll still be able to hit your peak strength for the upcoming season while training with a powerbuilding program, which can then be transitioned to more sport-specific training closer to your event.
A good powerbuilding program will incorporate a four-day split that balances both hypertrophy and power movement days. On power days you’ll do the big compound lifts such as squats, bench press and deadlifts, targeting your 5 x 1 or 3 x 5-rep max. You’ll also include tempo-based accessory exercises such as biceps, deltoids and shoulders with moderate to high reps for the best mix of both strength and size.
On the hypertrophy days you’ll keep the volume high but add some variety with techniques such as supersets, drop sets, forced reps, partial reps and cluster sets. This will challenge the muscles in a different way than your powerlifting days and will encourage more muscle growth through increased time under tension.
As with any training, there are no one-size fits all programs – but this is a very good option for anyone looking to increase their strength and muscle mass at an intermediate level or above. The workouts are well-structured, the progression is clear and the results will speak for themselves. So give it a go! You never know, it might just become your new favorite training method.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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