Think Like a Body Builder & Train Like a Powerlifter

Think Like a Body Builder & Train Like a Powerlifter

Whether you’re a seasoned bodybuilder or just someone who’s having a hard time putting on muscle mass, and you’re interested in trying out your favorite pro bodybuilder’s new super something routine… we’ve got a suggestion for you…

Don’t do it!

Some of the granddaddies of bodybuilding with names like Schwarzenegger, Draper, Columbu, Platz, and Olivia all had one thing in common and that’s the style of training they did during their off season.

Strong Bodybuilding Female

These legends added powerlifting training into their weight gain or mass cycles and for good reason…because there are certain metabolic benefits that go hand in hand with powerlifting exercises.

The off season training routine

The off season is the time of year when a bodybuilder builds new muscle mass, and this routine features power movements that can be incorporated quite easily into a mass building routine.

The three main exercises that you’ll add into your mass building routine include:

  • Heavy Benchpress
  • Deadlifts
  • Heavy Squats

These three basic movements are the core of any powerlifting routine, and when you add them to your regular bodybuilding workout routine you’re combining the best of both worlds.

Before we delve into a routine incorporating these movements, let’s take a look at a crucial benefit that we derive from these added movements…

The metabolic effect

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about weight training in general and what’s been called the Metabolic Effect. In basic terms intense weight training, the kind where you tax your body’s limits is the best way to promote the optimal metabolic effect in your body as you workout.

This metabolic effect occurs when your exercises are strenuous enough to raise the metabolic rate of the person going through their routine.

The one rep max

When performing powerlifting exercises, large groups of muscles are involved in performing these movements and after several warm up sets, a “One Rep Maximum” is attempted using the maximum amount of weight the person can use to perform the movement for one rep.


This one rep max attempt is where also brings into play another body part that many of us almost certainly leave out of the workout routine equation.

The Mind/Body Connection

It’s almost certain that you’ve heard the mind/body connection mentioned many times in the past, and when you’re doing this type of training it’s a very important factor.

The reason it’s so important is because in your mind before you actually attempt your one rep max lift, you’re visualizing the whole movement. From your grip on the barbell to actually performing the movement, you’re seeing yourself perform the lift in your mind… before you actually do it!

The Workout

This workout is designed to give you the maximum results over a four month training cycle. It breaks down this way…

Two days of training one major body part and one smaller muscle followed one day of rest, and then back to training for another two days followed by two days of rest and then starting the cycle again.

Bench press

Day 1 – Chest & Triceps

Bench press-3×6 reps and 1 set max rep

Close grip bench press-2×5 reps and 1 set max rep

Day 2 -Back & Biceps

Bent Barbell Rows-4×6 reps and 1 set max rep

Barbell curls- 3×5 reps and 1set max rep

Day 3 – RestDay 4 – Legs

Squats-6×5 reps and 1 set max rep

Deadlifts – 1×5 reps (deadlifts are more taxing for your body!)

Standing calve raises-4×5 reps and 1set max rep

Day 5 – Chest & Triceps

Repeat first workout

Days 6 & 7 – Rest

This routine should be done twice every month and then the other two weeks of training should be regular weight training exercises going for more reps and more sets.



It’s a well known fact that the first 30 to 60 minutes after your workout is the best time for your body to utilize the protein that you put into your system.

So when you’re trying to build muscle mass you want to feed your body the best sources of protein you possibly can, so that means lean sources of protein and you also want to eat simple carbs that your body can easily break down and utilize quickly.

steak from a beef

The rest of your meals should include breakfast, lunch and at least two snacks to fuel your body throughout your day.

In conclusion:

This may seem like old school training to many of you, and it is. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an effective workout routine because it is. If you’re consistent with your training and your diet, you will see an increase in your body mass over time.

You’ll also be building on your strength and your bone structure as you put greater stress on your body when you follow this basic routine, so try it out during your next mass building cycle and reap its benefits.