Ask a powerlifter what he thinks about bodybuilders and he’ll tell you they are weak and their size shows no strength. Really?
The Weak Bodybuilder
It’s a familiar argument, usually coming from powerlifters: bodybuilders have size, but no strength. Their muscles just look big! It’s all for show!
Yeah, most of what professional bodybuilders do is for show, but saying they are weak would be stretching it. A lot:
The More Sciency Explanation
What it all comes down to is the type of hypertrophy powerlifters and bodybuilders go for with their respective rep ranges:
- Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, the one that causes the muscles to store more fluid, happens more at the 6 to 12 range
- Myofibrillar hypertrophy, where the body enlarges the actual fibers muscles are made of, happens more at the powerlifters’ 1 to 5 tep range
However, as hinted in the video, the sarcoplasmic fluid takes up lodgings in the myofibrils – the muscle fibers. To store more fluid, they have to become bigger and when they become bigger, you also become stronger.
You Either Train Endurance Or You Don’t
To truly gain no increases in strength from lifting weight, you’d have to aim for a 15+ rep range, because that’s where you go into training endurance. But that also wouldn’t cause sarcoplasmic hypertrophy!
Below that, you have varying degrees of sarcoplasmic and myofribrillar hypertrophy, but you never get one without the other.
Picture courtesy of “istolethetv“.