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Lift like a bodybuilder not powerlifter

Focus on the muscle group you’re targeting, and the burn will blow you away.
Photo credit:
Grant Foreman Fitness

This kind of “number counting” extends to my clients who feel they aren’t doing lifts that are worthwhile if the lift isn’t what they consider to be “heavy”.

Numbers like this would all be relevant if you and I are powerlifters, competing for who could move the most amount weight.

But I’m not; are you?

My goals are esthetic (I want to look and feel good naked), as well as functional (I want to feel able to move about in the world and competently handle what comes in my path). 

The way to accomplish this is not with a focus on the biggest numbers, but rather how you make movement more difficult to increase effectiveness (breaking the muscle down so it can build itself stronger.)

This is lifting like a bodybuilder, not a powerlifter.

What this looks like in a gym is this:

Instead of bench pressing 135# for three times, you bench 95# for 10 times and count to four as you press up and four again as you press down (slow up and slow down). 

You just made the movement harder by going slower (momentum is great to get heavy things up quickly/efficiently but that’s a power/Olympic lifter’s goal). 

This is only one method of adding volume to a move without adding weight. 

By making lighter weight more fatiguing you’re also saving a ton of strain on your joints; over the course of years this will most likely be important to you as your ego wains and touting big numbers pails to longevity.

So slow it down, focus on the muscle group you’re targeting, and the burn will blow you away. 

Every three weeks or so go back and try for heavy numbers again. This will be a good changeup and get you sore all over again. 

Remember every day isn’t game day. 

Train in various ways to make things harder before you go big, and then go back to practicing.