To achieve muscle growth, you must exert some tension on the muscles. Many believe that tension alone is enough to provide muscle growth, but there are a lot of factors involved. These include the duration of exercises, how frequently you do them, the tension you exert on yourself, and what you intend to achieve.
Both bodybuilders and powerlifters do a lot of lifting. Even though the exercises done by these people are similar, the goals are different. While powerlifters focus on developing strength, bodybuilders’ main focus is muscle size. That is why bodybuilders are typically bigger than powerlifters.
Bodybuilders usually are more ripped while on the other hand are powerlifters are heavier and their muscles are not as defined as those of bodybuilders. In this article, we will explain the reasons behind this difference.
1. Different objectives
A bodybuilder’s main goal is to develop muscle size while powerlifters aim at gaining strength that will enable them lift heavier weights. This means that athletes in these two categories can do the same exercises but follow a completely different routine because of what they want to accomplish. As a result, the end result is a difference in size between these athletes.
Bodybuilders do workouts that focus on a specific muscle group. A week can elapse before the same exercise is done again. Powerlifters, however, focus on lifts based on squats or deadlifts and the exercises can be conducted daily.
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2. Nutrition plan
Bodybuilders and powerlifters follow a completely different nutrition plan. The bodybuilder’s diet must factor in macro and micronutrient intake. This means that the diet is primarily comprised of proteins, carbs, and fats. Powerlifters, on the other hand, consume a diet that will only meet their daily calorie goals.
A powerlifter can eat any meal as long as it falls within the daily calorie limit. Bodybuilders, however, must follow a strict diet that will enable them gain muscles and not fat.
3. Higher reps
One of the reasons why bodybuilders are bigger than powerlifters is the number of reps they do. Bodybuilders can do up to 12 reps of a particular movement. Powerlifters, on the other hand, lift heavier weights, meaning that their rep range is reduced.
The more the reps you do, the greater the muscle size you achieve. Higher reps trigger the growth of type 1 fibers. The numbers of reps done by powerlifters are not enough to trigger the growth of these fibers.
4. Time under tension
Powerlifters aim at moving bigger loads in the shortest time possible so that their muscles are not subjected to a lot of tension. Once fatigued, they take a break and begin the next set when they have fully recovered. Bodybuilders focus on lifting weights so that their muscle tissue can be broken, hence triggering growth. They work tirelessly while taking shorter rest periods between sets.
The effects resulting from pumping are considered by many to be short-term, but when executed correctly, they can cause huge gains in muscles. Pumping causes the cells to swell, which then increases the synthesis of proteins. Pumping together with higher reps is known to increase muscle growth. Bodybuilders are usually most fond of chasing the pump and doing higher reps, making them bigger than powerlifters.
There you have some of the reasons why bodybuilders have bigger bodies than powerlifters. The objectives of lifting weights, nutrition, number of reps of an exercise that each of them does, as well as duration over which the muscles are under tension determine the difference in body sizes.