They all seem to be very similar types of sports or fitness regimes, but the differences between bodybuilding, weightlifting, and powerlifting are abundant. It is understandable why some people get confused by these three at times. When you look closely, they’re all very different. One can be a bodybuilder but not a weightlifter. One can be a powerlifter but not a bodybuilder. One can be a weightlifter but not a powerlifter. What makes them different from each other? Find out below.
It’s easy to spot the similarity between bodybuilding, weightlifting, and powerlifting. Athletes and/or the individuals who practice these usually have the same physique and use the same or similar equipment too. In fact, if you train hard, you can excel in all of these at the same time.
What is Bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding focuses on building muscles for strength and aesthetic purposes. A bodybuilder trains and fatigues usually only one muscle group at a time for maximum muscle growth and works from there.
Although a very popular practice and there are plenty who build their muscles for the purpose of joining competitions, bodybuilders who work really hard in the gym cannot train for and join some large sports competitions like the Olympics. Although many believe it should be eligible for such, the bottom line is that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Planning Community (OPC) claimed that bodybuilding is not a sport. They usually join other reputable competitions such as Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe, among others.
Some of the most successful and respected bodybuilders include Flex Wheeler, Ronnie Coleman, Frank Zane, Dorian Yates, Lee Hayney, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
What is Weightlifting?
Weightlifting is a competitive sport that has only two dynamic barbell lifts—two main moves known as the snatch and the clean and jerk. Sounds simple, right? In fact, it’s not simple at all. It takes years of training since these two moves alone are very technical. One wrong move can result in serious injury. Weightlifting is that much of a serious and challenging sport that is part of the Olympics.
In a competition, weightlifting is judged according to different categories. These include the participant’s weight, gender, and age.
What is Powerlifting?
It sounds and looks very similar to weightlifting, but powerlifting is an entirely different kind of sport. While weightlifting focuses on only two disciplines, powerlifting focuses on three main barbell lifts. These are the bench press, squat, and deadlift. It is a fairly young sport and not part of the Olympics yet, but powerlifting is fast gaining its own share of competent athletes and fans.
Strength Training Precautions
If you are considering any of the above three forms of strength training, make sure that you’re taking extra precautions. Although they seem perfectly safe compared to other types of sports, these bodybuilding, powerlifting, and weightlifting can get very dangerous without proper knowledge and training. It is highly important to seek guidance from professional fitness and strength training coaches.
Bodybuilders, powerlifters, and weightlifters typically use belts to add value to their workout and prevent injury.