The Differences Between Bodybuilding & Strength Training

Bodybuilding vs. Strength TrainingAre you a weight lifting newbie?  Are you unsure of what you should be doing?  Before entering the weight room, you need to have a plan.

While there are various weight lifting methods, most gym rats fall into one of two categories:  bodybuilding or strength training.  If you are just getting started, you probably don’t have a clue what the difference is.  Today, we’re going to help you out with that.

Workout Goals of Bodybuilding

Bodybuilders are interested in the visibility of their muscles.  In order for muscles to be visible, bodybuilders must reduce their body fat.  They also strive to create new muscle cells while strengthening and toning their existing muscle cells.

Workout Goals of Strength Training

Those who focus on strength training are interested in being stronger.  They strive to boost the production capability of muscle fibers so they are able to lift a heavier weight in a single repetition.

Exercise Repetitions for Bodybuilding

In order to reach their goal, bodybuilders must force their muscles to fatigue.  The best way to do this is by performing excessive repetitions with lighter weights.  At the very least, a bodybuilder will perform eight repetitions.  It isn’t unheard of for a bodybuilder to lift 20 repetitions or continue until “failure.”

Exercise Repetitions for Strength Training

Individuals who participate in strength training are interested in lifting large loads.  Therefore, they are usually only able to perform three to five repetitions (no more than eight).  Sometimes, strength trainers will only perform a heavy single (lifting the heaviest amount possible just one time).

Exercises for Bodybuilding

Bodybuilders are interested in enhancing their muscle definition and proportion.  The best way to accomplish this goal is to isolate specific muscles during each exercise.

Exercises for Strength Training

Those who engage in strength training build muscle to make every day activities easier.  Therefore, their exercises mimic common daily movements like pushing, pulling and lifting.

Workout Schedule for Bodybuilding

A bodybuilding workout focuses on individual muscle groups.  This specific attention to a limited portion of the body means the overall body isn’t stressed too much.  Therefore, it isn’t uncommon for a bodybuilder to work out five to seven days a week.  The body doesn’t need much time to recover between workouts.

Workout Schedule for Strength Training

Strength training works every muscle of the body, but emphasizes how the muscles work together to accomplish a task.  A strength training workout usually exercises the entire body.  Or, a weight lifter might exercise the upper body during one workout and the lower body the next.  This large scale workout is very stressful for the body.  As such, strength trainers only exercise three to four times per week so their body has plenty of time to rest.

Now that you understand a bit more about the differences between Bodybuilding vs. Strength Training, which workout method is right for you?  Will you be engaging in strength training or bodybuilding?  Let us know which you chose and why in the comments below!

Guest author Nicholas Allen has worked with a variety of weight lifters – both bodybuilding and strength training individuals.  On occasion, he recommends bodybuilders use weight loss injections from Trim Nutrition to get rid of excess body fat before beginning their weight lifting program.

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