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  1. #1
    Registered User Lizzy3200's Avatar
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    Power lifting to bodybuilding muscle gain

    How much more solid muscle can a intermediate to advanced power lifter gain if they were to switch to a bodybuilding style of training?

    For instance, let’s say for someone that has trained for 4 years and has put up relatively big numbers on the bench press (1.5-1.75xbw), squat (2-2.5xbw), etc. since power lifting works a lot with how you use the muscles (more nerve connections, faster contraction times, more muscle unit recruitments) rather than a deliberate focused effort on building the muscle size itself, how much unrealized gains are on the table?

    Do any of you have experience with doing this switch before?
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    If you are thinking that different training builds a different type of muscle, that is not the case. From research we've seen that there is a difference in amount of sarcoplasm in different people - but it is caused by genetics not by the type of training you do.

    https://www.strongerbyscience.com/sa...ophy-relevant/

    You will gain muscle if you do powerlifting since the most important way of building strength for an individual is muscle gain - but it will be more localised to the sets of muscle fibers that are specifically used for the big 3.
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  3. #3
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    If you are thinking that different training builds a different type of muscle, that is not the case. From research we've seen that there is a difference in amount of sarcoplasm in different people - but it is caused by genetics not by the type of training you do.

    https://www.strongerbyscience.com/sa...ophy-relevant/

    You will gain muscle if you do powerlifting since the most important way of building strength for an individual is muscle gain - but it will be more localised to the sets of muscle fibers that are specifically used for the big 3.
    I think what he's asking though, is that if you already do powerlifting and have achieved respectable stats there, and then switch to bodybuilding, would the different emphasis of training actualize unrealized gains even in the same muscle groups primarily utilized in the big 3.

    Like, if you're benching 365 or something, and almost all of your presses are oriented towards the bench itself, so you never program a burn out on flyes or cable crossovers, then you switch to doing these primarily at the expense of as much bench pressing, is this likely to result in hypertrophy even in the very same muscles primarily used in benching.

    It's somewhat of a campy issue here, it seems.
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    Registered User Filmbuff81's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    I think what he's asking though, is that if you already do powerlifting and have achieved respectable stats there, and then switch to bodybuilding, would the different emphasis of training actualize unrealized gains even in the same muscle groups primarily utilized in the big 3.

    Like, if you're benching 365 or something, and almost all of your presses are oriented towards the bench itself, so you never program a burn out on flyes or cable crossovers, then you switch to doing these primarily at the expense of as much bench pressing, is this likely to result in hypertrophy even in the very same muscles primarily used in benching.

    It's somewhat of a campy issue here, it seems.
    As someone who bounces between, I’d say you’ll see lagging areas explode and then maybe a little extra growth to areas hit by PL style training.

    Mainly because you’re now doing more variations and more overall volume probably and taxing some fibres that aren’t really hit during the bench.

    Namely more of a peak contraction and more of a stretch.

    Research shows using more than 1 variation for a muscle leads to more even development of that muscle.

    I think you’d also see more upper body growth in general since powerlifting can lead to a bit of a bottom heavy aesthetic.

    Hence the whole “powerbuilding” idea which tries to marry things with a little more variety and isolation work at times.
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  5. #5
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    I don't know why people always ask how much muscle they'll gain if they do xxxx. I mean, just try it. Building muscle isn't a formula that works the same for diff people, the best way to find out how much gains are on the table for you is to try it.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Sinfinia's Avatar
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    No one can really answer that question.

    Having to necessarily work with heavy weights calls for more intelligent programming (because you have to get both volume and practice with heavy weights, and still manage fatigue), as well as longer sessions (warming up, carrying plates, hitting your heavy sets, then doing back offs... Meanwhile a bodybuilder can do 4, ultra hard, but still just 4 sets on a machine instead).

    Having to necessarily focus on S/B/D means you have less freedom to choose exercises that can focus on your target muscle with less fatigue on everything else.

    So yay for more freedom in programming, and yay for shorter workouts, and yay for spending more time on tools that can focus your work on your target muscles more comfortably...

    But no. One can't really tell how much "more muscle" you are going to gain. And it takes time anyways. It's not like you going to explode all of a sudden just because you started training like a bodybuilder.
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    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    I gained nothing after making the switch. Now I respect that genetic limit.

    However I’m that person who doesn’t require lots of isolation exercises to grow. I built my arms with heavy pressing and pulling.
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