Tuesday, July 9, 2013

You complete me

Training and eating, over a long period of time has to have a "completeness" to it.

If you get trapped into a particular mindset, or dogma, then you're going to eventually sell yourself short somehow.

For powerlifters, they often shun "bodybuilding" because it's "stupid" and "no one cares how big my biceps are when I lift X amount".

Bodybuilders will often say shit like "no one cares how much I lift when I'm on stage."

Technically, that's true. However understanding how all training methodologies can help you is a trait we should all learn how to develop.

I spent the first decade of my training mainly doing bodybuilding style work. And while my absolute level of strength was never developed, one of the reasons I feel like I am just hitting my peak in terms of strength is because of all the years I put in to build muscle mass. So the last 8+ years have really been spent training more for absolute strength, and developing my technique.

As a result of that, when I go back to doing big compound movements for reps, I move more weight for more reps. I also train "bodyparts".

This is not an ugly word.

People need to get out of this mindset that bodypart training is a bad thing. When Dan Green decided his squat sucked, he realized it sucked because his quads weren't big enough. So he grew his quads using hacks and front squats, and guess what? His squat grew with them.

A smart lifter knows that powerlifting and bodybuilding can indeed compliment each other.

Train for strength AND muscular development. This means not persecuting a training style or method. Bodybuilders have this whole "mass" thing figured out. Powerfliters and strongmen have this whole "strength" thing figured out. Instead of being close minded or dogmatic about one because you think it's "silly", take what is useful from it to get better.

Just because you decide to do some bodybuilding doesn't mean you have to slather salad dressing all over yourself and pose in a banana hammock. Just because you decide to do some powerlifting doesn't mean you have to wear a beanie and get fat.

Focus on the paradigm that makes up those training methods and how they would benefit you in the long run. Then if you decide to slather on the Italian dressing or sport the beanie, you'll be ready.


  1. This is really well said Paul. I honestly think we overthink shit due to the plethora of shit put forth on the internet. I think anything that gives the desired result without fucking a person up has some merit.

    People bash on crossfit because of its lack of focus, but if people are lifting weights and having fun who gives a fuck. At the end of the day these are not problems. This is not fucking leukemia. Do what you gotta do and just get better.

    It's fucking religion all over again. We all trifle about the petty differences when we should look at the big similarity. Don't be an asshole and things will be alright.

    Happy Tuesday Brother.

  2. Paul- I have always heard it taught the opposite way. Get strong first then bigger. They say thats how the old timers did it. Very interesting that you have found success the opposite way. Great write up.

    1. That depends on how you define strong. You can define that by 1 rep maxes or rep PR's. Both can be strong. Is 500x20 strong? Yeah. Is 800x1 strong? Yeah.

      It all depends on what you mean by strong.

    2. The example give is build the foundation through strength training first like Arnold and Franco and then train for mass through bodybuilding. The strong they are talking about is 1RM. This philosophy is promoted by the SS people.

      I just never heard it put the opposite way as you put it. It obviously worked in your case.

  3. You should really stop thinking that SL/SS is strength training. Its neither maximum strength nor maximum muscle mass its both muscle and strength thats why it works so well for beginners. I guess calling it basebuilding might give a better description :)