When we lift weights, there are essentially two main objectives that we have in mind. The first one is to improve our physiques by building muscle and losing fat, whilst the second objective is to improve our strength. When we lift weights we do both, but there are ways of actually helping to ensure that we get the best of both worlds rather than a little bit of one, and a lot of the other. For example, bodybuilders train in order to build muscle, as that is their primary objective.
For that reason, they pack on the muscle, but they don’t make hugely dramatic strength gains, at least not by powerlifting standards.
On the flipside, powerlifters train to increase strength, which is why they’re strong as oxen yet not super ripped and muscular. Some of them actually carry a great deal of body fat around with them. But what about if you want to do both?
IFBB pro Stan Efferding manages to do just that, as he is a record setting powerlifter, and also an IFBB pro bodybuilder that competes in competitions.
If you want the physique of a bodybuilder, and the strength of a powerlifter, here are a few tips you should follow.
Eat plenty of the right foods
If you want to build strength and muscle, then you’ll need to seriously increase your calories on a daily basis. Building muscle alone requires an increase in calories, but if you’re training heavily and intensely like a powerlifter as well, your calories will need to seriously increase.
This isn’t an excuse to gorge yourself on pizza and ice cream or other unhealthy foods, but rather healthy and balanced foods. Get plenty of protein as this is vital for the muscles.
Increase your carbohydrate and fat intake as these are great for increasing energy, but get them from clean sources such as pasta, oily fish, organic nuts, potatoes etc. Eat every couple of hours and think about investing in a weight gaining supplement to help meet your daily goals.
Compound exercises are your best friend
To really build strength and mass, you’ll need to perform a number of different compound exercises. Compound exercises are exercises that work more than one body part at once, so barbell bench press for example, works the chest, but also the delts and the triceps too.
Make compound exercises the focal point of your training, with a few isolation exercises included towards the end of your workout.
Double your protein intake
As we said, protein is vital for the growth and repair of muscle tissue, so you need to ensure that you’re getting plenty. Generally most bodybuilders will consume 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, so a 200lb man would consume 200g of protein a day.
You however, should be consuming 2g of protein per pound of bodyweight, so if you weigh 200lbs, you should be aiming for 400g of protein per day.