Why Powerlifters Should Train for Muscle Gain

Why Powerlifters Should Train for Muscle Gain

My first-time training with my now-business partner Laura Phelps was a shocker. She is a world-record powerlifter and disciple of the one and only Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell fame.

We started with a HEAVY safety-bar box squat for G*d-knows how many sets for 3 reps and I thought that was it.

I was wrong.

We then did everything from leg curls to reverse hypers to a bunch of other things working in a hypertrophy rep-range of 8-15 reps. So much volume that I had developed a killer pump. 

What kind of powerlifting workout was this?

It was the correct powerlifting workout, and what Louie professed for decades, now backed by science.

This study measured the correlation between strength and many body composition variables. (1)

What I learned from the study is we can have a powerlifting meet and measure folks using a DXA scan for lean muscle mass and it would have similar results to if we had a powerlifting meet. Meaning that strongest person will most likely have the most lean muscle tissue. 

Have you noticed how strong bodybuilders are? Drug-free or not, bodybuilders are insanely strong! Note, this study was on drug-free athletes. Think about the weights moved by some natural bodybuilders throughout the years. Kurt Weidner, Brian Whitacre, Doug Miller – INSANE CORRELATION?

What is the study conclusion? Let’s quote it exactly:

“The results of the present study could guide practitioners working with athletes aged between 22- and 35-years old practicing sports with higher risks of fractures (e.g., alpine skiing) to potentially utilize the squat, the bench press and the deadlift not only to build strength in order to increase sport performance, but also to increase BMC and BMD of their athletes through heavy eccentric loading to help reduce the risks of fractures. Further studies should be directed towards interventions trying to reveal that some type of relationship does exist between BMC, BMD, and powerlifting performance and in that direction.”

Forget bodybuilders and powerlifters, let’s talk about ATHLETES or just normal human beings for a second. Being strong will improve Bone Mineral Content (BMC) and Bone Mineral Density (BMD). This means that lifting and building muscle will decrease the risk of bone fractures ending athletes’ seasons and even careers and making normal folks’ bed-ridden due to preventable injuries.

The bottom line is that we should build muscle AND strength for all humans! A good program to do that is free and can be found at powerliftingforbodybuilders.com. I wrote this and as with all of my training books, it is free, no strings attached! 

Forget the muscle versus strength debate. Get in the gym, LOAD THAT SH*T and get huge and healthy! 

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