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Anyone heard of "Powerbuilding" ?


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Stats:

 

27 y/o female, 124 lbs, been powerlifting for 6 months.

 

No dietary restrictions, going to the gym 4-6 days a week for 45 mins - 1 hour. Just had my first powerlifting competition a couple weeks ago, now I'm hooked and training for another one on Valentine's day.

 

1 RM:

Deadlift: 286.5 lbs(during competition)

Squat: 200 lbs (194 during competition)

Bench: 94 lbs (during competition...I know it's bad.)

 

I decided to sign up for a powerlifting competition somewhat at the last minute, and ended up getting a singlet too small (in the end, it still worked, although I was worried about it ripping open at the seams at points) and bringing an illegal belt (ended up doing my attempts with no belt) - I obviously didn't know what I was doing, and one guy running it asked me "do you even lift?!" which made me feel kind of bad, but I brushed it off. I ended up getting into a lower weight class than almost all of the women (there was one lighter than me), and so I won first place in my weight class by default.

 

I never thought of myself as that slim; slender, but I always thought I had a decent amount of muscle - but I can tell as I lift more, that I want to get stronger, and as I compared myself to the other girls, I felt really skinny. I like my muscle definition, which makes me hesitant to gain more weight. I like being able to see my abs, and the small muscles in my arms as I gain strength. However, many of the other girls that were stronger than me, while being total badasses (and part of the reason I was inspired to do another competition), weren't what I, aesthetically, wanted for myself. Is it possible to keep improving at powerlifting while keeping a (I know people hate this word) "toned" physique?

 

In my search, I recently stumbled upon the term "powerbuilding," which supposedly combines powerlifting and bodybuilding. But I haven't been able to find that much information. I'm not interested in bodybuilding, but I am interested in the muscle definition. Does this come down to diet, or can I modify my currently powerlifting-focused routine to incorporate some of the bodybuilding exercises (isolated muscle exercises + higher reps, it seems like)? Will this impede my progress on my three lifts?

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“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart." - Blaise Pascal

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What's your powerlifting programming like? That's a place to start.

I was basically following the programming in Starting Strength, but then I cut out overhead press and now do squats and deadlifts for one workout, then bench and some dumbbells (concentration curls, rows, tricep extensions) for the arm days.

 

 

Diet plays a huge part. Don't get frustrated if you aren't hitting PRs as often as you would like to. Price of aesthetics.

 

 

True. I was thinking that I might just have to progress at a slower pace.

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“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart." - Blaise Pascal

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You don't have to switch over to "powerbuilding" to gain muscle mass. Why not look into doing something like Smolov and then just eating accordingly?

 

Telling me which exercises you do didn't really help, it's more the volume that you do that helps you to work towards hypertrophy than doing concentration curls. That said, the main thing is how much you eat!

 

So you want to gain weight but not move up to being a superheavy? Or do you want to stay the same weight but get leaner (and smaller)?

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You don't have to switch over to "powerbuilding" to gain muscle mass. Why not look into doing something like Smolov and then just eating accordingly?

 

Telling me which exercises you do didn't really help, it's more the volume that you do that helps you to work towards hypertrophy than doing concentration curls. That said, the main thing is how much you eat!

 

So you want to gain weight but not move up to being a superheavy? Or do you want to stay the same weight but get leaner (and smaller)?

 

Had to look up Smolov, I'm not sure it'll work for me if it's focused on squats only (I also wanna work my deadlift up from 130 kg to 135 kg by February).

 

I've been mixing up my workouts with regards to volume. I alternate days doing high volume vs. low volume, and try for a 1 RM probably once or twice a month. I'm still getting stronger, but I'm not sure if these are still "noob gains" since I've only been lifting for six months.

 

Ideally I'd like to stay about the same weight because I'm on the upper end of the 57kg weight class, and I like the way I look. But I guess it wouldn't be the end of the world if I gained 5-10 lbs if it dramatically increased my lifts.

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“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart." - Blaise Pascal

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Powerbuilding sounds a lot like a fancy label for some pretty standard concepts. People on the outside often seem to think that 'size' and 'strength' are independent of one another. This might be from Mens Health magazine and other such publications preaching the mantra 'high reps for size, low reps for strength' or whatnot, but in reality, you can't get big without being strong and you can't get strong without being big. 

Of course when people hear "You can't get big without getting strong and you can't get strong without getting big" the seem to think it's some fancy paradox where nothing can ever happen. In reality, it means you just have to train heavy (and intelligently) and eat lots. I've met a lot of people who don't get results because they are afraid of losing their ripped physique and never back up their training with the calories to affect real change.

There are a lot of programs out there by a lot of really good, really smart and really strong coaches. Pick one and do it, eat enough for it to work and then when you're as strong as you want to be, cut back enough to get your lean physique back. It's simple, but not easy, but for those who do it, the results are pretty standard.

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"No-one tells a T-Rex when to go to sleep".

- Jim Wendler

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Of course when people hear "You can't get big without getting strong and you can't get strong without getting big" the seem to think it's some fancy paradox where nothing can ever happen. In reality, it means you just have to train heavy (and intelligently) and eat lots. I've met a lot of people who don't get results because they are afraid of losing their ripped physique and never back up their training with the calories to affect real change.

 

This is a fallacy. You don't need to get bigger at all to get stronger. See Tankweazel, SpecialSundae, or any powerlifter who is restricted by a weight class (ie all of them except super heavies). It's easier to get bigger in order to facilitate strength but it's very doable without gaining an ounce of bodyweight. It's just smart programming.

"I like you just the way you are" - Mr. Rogers

 

In Br0din's name we gain.

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This is a fallacy. You don't need to get bigger at all to get stronger. See Tankweazel, SpecialSundae, or any powerlifter who is restricted by a weight class (ie all of them except super heavies). It's easier to get bigger in order to facilitate strength but it's very doable without gaining an ounce of bodyweight. It's just smart programming.

I kinda read it as agreeing with you. Tankweazel and I both eat a metric shit-tonne to maintain our weight (I remember something about her CUTTING on 3000 calories). A lot of girls underestimate how much they can eat when they're powerlifting. ;)

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I kinda read it as agreeing with you. Tankweazel and I both eat a metric shit-tonne to maintain our weight (I remember something about her CUTTING on 3000 calories). A lot of girls underestimate how much they can eat when they're powerlifting. ;)

 

It's possible I may have misinterpreted. Let's wait for Turtle's rebuttal lol

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"I like you just the way you are" - Mr. Rogers

 

In Br0din's name we gain.

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Check out T-Nation.  This is the program I'm currently using (actually the first one listed).

 

https://www.t-nation.com/training/powerbuilding-4-ways-to-get-big-iand-i-strong

 

 This was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! Have you tried the program long enough to determine its effectiveness?

 

 

Dumb question, but if muscle weighs more than fat, then in order to get stronger, don't I have to at least gain a little bit of weight? I agree with needing to eat a lot to maintain weight - I actually am eating more now than I did when I was running every day and my weight is basically the same. But for something like my bench press, which is embarrassingly low, and has been stalled for months, I feel that the only thing that I could change to expedite the process would have to be my diet. I could be wrong.

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“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart." - Blaise Pascal

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Technique tends to be a big issue with bench, especially paused bench.

How tall are you?

 

About 5'6" (170 cm). I also have scoliosis (35 degree angle; it's pretty bad) that might be screwing up my form. One side of my back visibly sticks up higher than the other.

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“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart." - Blaise Pascal

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About 5'6" (170 cm). I also have scoliosis (35 degree angle; it's pretty bad) that might be screwing up my form. One side of my back visibly sticks up higher than the other.

The height was more for weight than weights. At 5'6", you're tall for a 57.

And the form was because that's where most people lose kg with bench.

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 This was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! Have you tried the program long enough to determine its effectiveness?

Yeah...I've noticed more definition all over.  So have a few friends.  My legs are really showing some def.   I've lost a few pounds recently (due to not eating much because of depression because of recent events w/ family) and it really showed my definition.  Not sure if my lifts are going to improve or what, but I do like the program I'm doing (which is the first one on the article of heavy/med/light on the same day). 

 

That being said...If I did eat better, I'm sure I would have more gains.  That's something I'm working on for my future as well as my kids.

"A sharp knife is nothing without a sharp eye" - Koloth

"Ya can't grill it until ya kill it" - Uncle Ted

"If it ain't Metal...IT'S CRAP!!!" - Dee Snider

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It's possible I may have misinterpreted. Let's wait for Turtle's rebuttal lol

Well I guess I have to say something now :P

 

I still stand by my original statement. That's not to say that you can't get plenty strong with your existing musculature, but eventually- once you've tapped out your potential for what you've got, once you've populated all your muscle fibres with neural real estate- you'll need to add more muscle to get stronger. 

This is why every record holder in the 308lb weight class lifted something heavier than the record holder in the 123lb weight class. It's not discrimination or fallacy, it's just human physiology.  

That said, my original statement: "You can't get big without being strong and you can't get strong without being big" was probably a little vague. Of course you can manipulate your training to emphasise strength without the addition of unnecessary mass (and vice versa) but in general, and especially with women, I think it's good advice because (in my experience) the biggest pitfall women lifters run into is the double edged sword of not lifting as heavy as they can and not eating as much as they should.

/rebutted :) 

"No-one tells a T-Rex when to go to sleep".

- Jim Wendler

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Muscle is more dense than fat. If you magically gained 10 lbs of muscle while simultaneously losing 10 lbs of fat, you'd weigh the same but be smaller.

 

In theory that is great, but unfortunately it doesn't happen at the same time unless you're taking some interesting supplements which are generally not encouraged around here (and are illegal in some countries).

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Well I guess I have to say something now :tongue:

 

I still stand by my original statement. That's not to say that you can't get plenty strong with your existing musculature, but eventually- once you've tapped out your potential for what you've got, once you've populated all your muscle fibres with neural real estate- you'll need to add more muscle to get stronger. 

This is why every record holder in the 308lb weight class lifted something heavier than the record holder in the 123lb weight class. It's not discrimination or fallacy, it's just human physiology.  

That said, my original statement: "You can't get big without being strong and you can't get strong without being big" was probably a little vague. Of course you can manipulate your training to emphasise strength without the addition of unnecessary mass (and vice versa) but in general, and especially with women, I think it's good advice because (in my experience) the biggest pitfall women lifters run into is the double edged sword of not lifting as heavy as they can and not eating as much as they should.

/rebutted :)

 

Well you are technically correct (the best kind of correct). That methodology isn't for everyone though. I prefer to add mass at a slower rate and minimize fat accumulation. This does 3 things. 1. I have a more consistent physique which is helpful for my sanity and 2. I don't really have to alter the way I eat all that much. 3. Your strength won't vary. Cutting means strength loss in almost every instance as much as bulking means strength gain. If you hold at your current weight you don't have to deal with that. To each their own though.

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"I like you just the way you are" - Mr. Rogers

 

In Br0din's name we gain.

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