This means the training bodybuilders undergo doesn’t reflect a particular result in time or length, as with track athletics. Moreover, the bodybuilder doesn’t care how much he lifts during a workout, or consider it to be more important than how he lifts and trains; therefore he only cares about the way he looks aesthetically. So the iron sport, unlike powerlifting or Olympic weightlifting, is about training smart and is a sport of demonstration, based on looks. The training is not about reps or kilograms you lift; it’s about lifting smart and looking muscular, with proportions, symmetry, balance and being as lean as possible.
In explosive sports like sprinting or throws, execution of exercises with barbells is based on speed. On the contrary, in bodybuilding training we focus on slow, eccentric contractions and squeeze during peaking. Therefore, it’s a totally different perspective and approach, thus the result is much different too. There is no other sport like bodybuilding, with such extreme training under a low caloric state and such ripped physiques with such big muscularity. Bodybuilders don’t necessarily have to be strong but need to have large muscles, while strongmen are much stronger but with a higher body fat percentage and far less impressive muscularity.
Training of bodybuilders includes isolation exercises, not just basic multi-joint ones. It also includes a wide variety of methods such as supersets, drop sets, giant sets, etc. Comparing an Olympic champion at 100 kilograms of weightlifting with a professional bodybuilder of the same body weight and height, we realize basic differences. An Olympic weightlifter has smaller quads and is less ripped that the bodybuilder, but his squat is much heavier, while his gluteal muscles are more prominent. However, his muscle separation in the quads is way less defined that the bodybuilder’s. It’s all about methodology of workouts, along with specialized nutrition and supplementation. Strongmen, on the other hand, develop resistance in strength and lactate tolerance through their training. Bodybuilders don’t focus on maximum strength and one rep, or even more reps than the classic eight to 12. They care about sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and not myofibrillar hypertrophy. In bodybuilding, the way you train reflects on the density, the detail and the size your physique has.
It’s well known that free weights with dumbbells and barbells stimulate more muscle fibers and secondary muscles that provide stability. Neuromuscular conjunction develops more efficiently with free weights, rather than machines or cables.
Eight-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney (1984- 1991) said that bodybuilding is 70 percent nutrition and 30 percent training; however that 30 percent of training is really important and makes the difference. We know the brutal, heavy-duty workouts of high intensity that Dorian Yates followed during his Olympia dynasty (1992-1997). Or even the kind that Ronnie Coleman did with his unbelievable lifts in basic movements during his dynasty (1998- 2005). Hard work paid off, undoubtedly. But no training is efficient, if no fuel exists. So you can miss a workout, but never miss a meal, as Shawn Ray said. A bad training session is a waste of time, like it’s never done. Missing meals is like missing the building blocks (bricks) to build the house. Also, overtraining is major mistake and a drawback to progress. So one has to listen to his body and give it rest to grow. We break our muscles in the gym, we feed them in the kitchen and we grow them in bed. Generally, the heavier we lift, the more time we need to rest and the harder we train, the more time we need for recovery.
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