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5 Best Exercises for Powerbuilding

As its name implies, powerbuilding is the amalgamation of the concepts of POWERlifting and bodyBUILDING. It is a training discipline that combines the principles of both powerlifting and bodybuilding. powerbuilding has gained its prominence in the world of strength-oriented workout programs owing to its training principles. powerbuilding programs primarily focus on two objectives:-

  1. Promoting strength gains using periodized compound movements.
  2. Promoting aesthetics with the use of specific and isolation-oriented accessories.

The unique blend of the principles of powerlifting and bodybuilding in a good powerbuilding workout routine aids in providing you with enhanced results. In simple words, powerbuilding facilitates strength gains on one hand and promotes overall physical aesthetics on the other. Powerbuilding programs are effective for those lifters who want to get stronger and ensure betterment in their body composition. A well-structured powerbuilding workout program can be said to be an ideal program for a regular gym-goer who is willing to get stronger, gain size and improve his body composition.

A powerbuilding workout program can be structured into a typical “Push-Pull-Legs” or an “upper-lower” split. It can also be structured based on the individual preferences of a lifter. For instance, some lifters gain better results by training antagonist muscle groups in a single session and accordingly structure their workouts.

The most highlighting part of a powerbuilding program is the placement of “strength and power” and “building” focused days. The prime purpose of a powerbuilding program is to promote both strength and hypertrophy. But at the same time, the program is structured to lean towards any one of the two. It depends on the individual goals of the lifter, his training experience, and his individual requirements.

The powerlifting part of a well-programmed powerbuilding routine makes you stronger whereas its bodybuilding part promotes hypertrophy gains. It provides you with the best of both worlds. The powerlifting aspect trains your fast-twitch muscle fibers whereas the bodybuilding aspect focuses on the slow-twitch muscle fibers thereby enhancing the lifter’s strength endurance.

In a powerbuilding program, the desired repetitions for each set is structured taking into consideration based on the requirements of both types of muscle fibers. Fast-twitch muscle fibers that get involved while performing powerlifting related compound movements are best targeted with a 3-5 rep range. On the contrary, slow-twitch muscle fibers that get involved while performing bodybuilding related accessory movements, are best targeted with a 6-12 rep range.

  • In an effective powerbuilding program, compound movements like bench press, squat, deadlift, and overhead press are performed with a relatively lower number of repetitions. It usually falls in the range of 3-5 reps. On the other hand, when it comes to accessory movements that mostly involve a single joint in their execution, a 6-12 rep range is recommended. The accessory movements include curls, laterals, raises, and extensions.

You can view the concept of powerbuilding as a training protocol that lets you gain strength along with making provisions for overall size and muscle gains. 

There are some exercises that form the crux of an effective powerbuilding program. Performing them involves a greater number of both fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers that promote strength and size gains respectively. Let’s have a look at those exercises:-

Squats

Squats are regarded as the undisputed king of all the exercises. Irrespective of which kind of training/workout program you choose to go for, squats would certainly be a part of it. This is so because squats are one of the oldest functional movements that have been known to mankind. Squats hold a prominent position in lifting-oriented sports too. 

Squats are one of the most important exercises that should surely be present in an ideal powerbuilding workout routine. They not only aid in strengthening the lower body muscles but also promotes the release of testosterone and HGH which helps in developing overall musculature and strength of your upper body. Squats are a movement that can’t be avoided if you are looking out for a well-developed physique. 

Bench Press

Bench Press is one of the most popular upper body exercises that is performed by all kinds of lifters. Being a compound movement, it primarily trains up your pectorals along with training your triceps and your anterior deltoids. Bench press promotes both strength and size gains in the upper body. You can use either barbells or dumbbells to perform this horizontal pushing movement. However, it is recommended to go with a barbell as it allows you to lift more weights as compared to dumbbells.

Including bench press in your powerbuilding workout routine will make sure that your upper body gets a good amount of resistance that it needs to get stronger and muscular. While performing the bench press it is imperative that you execute it with a full range of motion; all the way up and all the way down. This will keep the unnecessary stress away from your joints.

Barbell Rows

Barbell rows are a horizontal pulling movement that effectively trains the posterior muscles of the upper body. It primarily exercises the latissimus dorsi and the upper back muscles along with hitting your rear deltoids, rhomboids, and mid-traps. If you want a wide and thick back, including barbell rows in your powerbuilding workout routine is imperative.

Barbell rows also help in training the explosiveness of your upper-body which further helps you in getting raw power. While performing barbell rows, you get bent at the hips which thereby teaches you to execute proper form on other exercises that require you to bend over. Also, as you get stronger at performing the barbell rows, the strength gains get carried over to other major compound movements including bench press, deadlift and power cleans.

Overhead Press

Overhead Presses have been considered to be a true mark of strength from time immemorial. Right from the earlier days of bodybuilding and weight-lifting, the strength of an individual is usually determined by the amount of weight that he can lift over his head. Overhead presses target all the heads of your deltoids, primarily focusing on the anterior head. Being an effective push movement, it also trains your triceps to some extent.

If you are looking out to get 3-D cannonball deltoids, performing overhead press is a must. It makes you stronger on one hand and trains a greater number of muscle fibers on the other. It would certainly be no exaggeration to say that overhead presses are like the grand-daddy of all the shoulder exercises. So including overhead presses in your powerbuilding workout routine helps you in getting both stronger and muscular. It also targets your core muscles to some extent as you have to maintain an upright body with a tightened core while performing them with heavier weights.

Deadlift

If squats are regarded as the king of all the exercises, deadlifts would undoubtedly acquire the position of the prince. The deadlift is a hip hinge movement that is preferred by the lifters to gain overall strength and muscle mass. Its execution starts from your lower body and gradually gets to your upper body. Deadlifts train both your lower- and upper body in the most efficient manner.

Deadlifts when executed correctly with a strict form primarily target your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, lower back, and trapezius muscles. All you need to take care of is to keep your back straight while performing them. The strength gains that you derive from deadlifts further gets carried over to enhance your grip strength and explosiveness.

The concept of powerbuilding presents a very holistic approach to the training protocol of lifting weights. Following a well-structured powerbuilding program will make sure that along with looking massive and muscular, you also have the strength.

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Written by George K.

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