So I want to talk about strength training vs bodybuilding from the perspective of someone who is solely interested in the long term health, longevity, and fitness factors of strength training. When I typed in “strength training vs bodybuilding” into google search engine and I got TONS of results back with gym bros talking about bodybuilding. From a normal person's perspective I want to say this, and I want to put a huge emphasis on it – strength training is for everyone and is good for everyone! Bodybuilding is honestly just for a small percent of the population. In truth not a lot of people want to spend hours of their week to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, that's just the truth of the matter.
When I am talking about strength training vs bodybuilding, the biggest difference is that I am truly interested in showing individuals that absolutely everyone can benefit from strengthening their muscles! You can also check out a testimonial from one of my clients, Lori, who is seeing fantastic results in her own life. We are talking about every day life getting easier for us normal people, like less back pain, being able to stand up without using your hands, there are so many huge benefits that really come out of strengthening our muscles. For me, I was able to strengthen the muscles around my knees and I can go through daily life without pain anymore, it's been incredible!
When it comes to comparing strength training vs bodybuilding I like to make this observation as well, the same observation pointed out in the first chapter of my favorite fitness book, Body by Science. When we see Olympic swimmers, their physique and the way their bodies are built we generally make an assumption – that if we do swimming constantly then we can build the kind of physique that they have. People assume, “don't lift weights or you'll build huge muscles like a bodybuilder, swim so you'll build lean muscle like a swimmer.”
There's a lot of misconceptions there, the biggest of which is assuming a casual relationship between activity and appearance. The truth is that most swimmers naturally have bodies that are just the right structure to swim faster and better than other people. A lot of this really comes down to genetics, truly. I'm gifted with some genes that truly give me strong leg muscles like my father. I have clients in their 70's that can lift more in their upper body than me, while my leg press is maxed out at the highest setting possible.
So my biggest point of this short article was to say that strength training is VERY different from bodybuilding. Very few people are actually naturally able to build muscles as large as bodybuilders without some form of “enhancement”. I hear clients sometimes saying that they don't want to get big and bulky, and the good news is you really won't by incorporating a high intensity strength training program into your life. But you WILL increase the quality of your life, looking at the science behind high intensity strength training and the benefits of strength training, everyone can benefit from strength training!
The bottom line here, strength training vs bodybuilding – strength training is for everyone, bodybuilding is for bodybuilders. There is nothing wrong with wanting to build huge muscles, it's just not the goal of the program that I instruct with my clients. Strength training is for absolutely everyone that wants to improve the quality of their lives!