Bodybuilding vs Weightlifting: Can You Do Both?

Jeff Baldelli
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What is Bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding is a sport. It’s frequently confused with weightlifting, but there’s a distinct difference between the two. Competitive bodybuilders go out of their way to achieve low body fat levels, hoping to display a physique that is lean, ripped, and muscled to the extreme. Frequently, men who are bodybuilders strive to be as muscular as possible without putting on much, if any, fat mass. Females who are bodybuilders try to sculpt their body to reduce fat and emphasize their muscles while still attempting to be feminine.

Bodybuilding is a competitive sport that can demand long, grueling training sessions. Nutrition is an important part of competitive bodybuilding, and competitors will often develop specific diets to help them reach their desired lean body mass. Weight loss, muscle gain, and maintenance can be all be achieved through proper bodybuilding diet and training.

Bodybuilding is a big part of the fitness and sport industry. Of course, you need to be a competitor in the sport of bodybuilding to earn a large paycheck. But bodybuilding has a significant impact on the fitness, health, and wellness industries. You can’t go anywhere without seeing advertisements for “bodybuilding supplements.”

What is Weightlifting?

Weightlifting was developed as an offshoot of gymnastics and was first introduced in the 19th century. The word “gymnastics” derives from the Greek word gumnos, which means naked. Because weightlifters would lift without clothing, the word was chosen.

Its true beginning, however, can be traced back thousands of years to ancient Egyptian culture, with references in hieroglyphics and sculptures.

Weightlifting is actually a collection of separate exercises designed to work each of the major muscle groups, along with other smaller muscle groups. The exercises are made up of compound movements “ those that combine multiple joints ” and isolation exercises, which move individual joints and use resistance.

Weights, machines and bodyweight (such as push-ups and lying leg raises) are all used. The main difference between weightlifting and most other forms of exercise, including other forms of weight training, is the point of focus.

Weightlifting emphasizes competitive exercises performed in a high intensity. It also emphasizes lower repetitions with heavier weights designed to maximize strength and power.

In the Olympics, weightlifting is the only form of competitive exercise in which women and men compete against each other. In the United States, it is also the only exercise that pays prize money at the Olympics.

What is Powerlifting?

Powerlifting is a sport involving three lifts “ the squat, bench press, and deadlift. It involves training at your ability level for maximal lifts.

Powerlifting as a sport originated around the 1930s. This is when people needed to figure out a way to compare their strength with others.

It involves three standard lifts “ the squat, bench press, and deadlift. The competitor’s highest success in each lift is added together, which is then recorded.

Unlike bodybuilding or weightlifting, powerlifting requires a higher weight on each of the lifts, and all the movements must be done in a controlled way. This is required for optimal safety.

Those who compete in powerlifting do so in the following categories:

  • <ul>
  • Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Deadlift
  • Total
  • </ul>

The highest absolute total possible is 4374.2 kg (9,710 pounds).

Which is Better?

Weightlifting or Bodybuilding?

When you hear the word “bodybuilding,” you probably get an image of Arnold Schwarzenegger competing in the late 1970s or you think about yourself pumping iron in the gym. If you are like many new weightlifters you probably think you are training for bodybuilding.

Whether you truly are a bodybuilding enthusiast or just someone who wants to get into shape, you should know the difference between bodybuilding and weightlifting before you start.

There’s a pretty big difference between bodybuilding and weightlifting. It’s a difference between looking aesthetically good and building strength and stamina.

Bodybuilding is all about looking good, and it’s more about aesthetics than building up your overall fitness. The way bodybuilding usually works is that you have a trainer who instructs you on the proper exercises and diet needed to build muscle, and then you follow his or her advice to the letter. Bodybuilding routines are very regimented and focused.

Weightlifting, on the other hand, has a little less emphasis on how you look. Weightlifters, also known as powerlifters, aren’t trying to be a specific size or shape, they are trying to be the strongest person in their category. So, weightlifting routines focus more on building strength than building muscle.

Choose Bodybuilding for Aesthetic Appeal

There are a lot of misconceptions about bodybuilding and weightlifting. A lot of people are confused as to how these disciplines are so different while still being considered “exercise”. People often wonder whether bodybuilders and weightlifters do the same thing. Actually, the two have a lot in common and are sometimes even associated with each other.

Bodybuilders Work out to Build Bigger Muscles

Bodybuilding is a discipline in which participants build muscle and aesthetically appealing bodies through a combination of exercise, hydration, and a strict diet. It’s a very goal-oriented approach for workout purposes. People who like this style like to work out to build large muscles and increase their strength. They like to use special equipment to isolate and target specific muscle groups. They also like to change up their routine.

People who work out for aesthetic appeal often have clear goals and a very rigid routine. They dedicate a lot of time to their workouts. They know exactly what they need to do and when they need to do it. They take their diet and rest periods extremely seriously. They have a lot of discipline from the get-go. Every workout is planned out and nothing is left to chance. They do their research and know what results they are looking for. They also like to use steroids and other banned substances to help them achieve their looks.

Perform Weightlifting for Overall Good Strength, Mobility, Flexibility, and Power

The answer is yes. Bodybuilding is about building muscle while weightlifting is about building strength.

“My goal is to build muscle,” you might say. But if you take a look at your body, you may find that you are weak, uncoordinated, and lack strength.

Perhaps you can barely do a pushup or fail to successfully squat your body weight.

Weightlifting can help you gain strength while maintaining your bodybuilding routine.

Both achieve different goals. Bodybuilding is a sport that relies on isolation exercises to build specific individual muscles. Low weight and high repetitions are used to pack on lean muscle and shred fat. But strength training can be performed using compound exercises that work the entire body and provide results similar to bodybuilding.

Bodybuilders’ routines are geared towards bulking up. Strength training is geared towards building strength and power. You don’t want to give up your bodybuilding routine if you want to put on muscle.

Strength training is important for everyone. It helps to prevent common muscle and joint injuries, provides a strong base for bodybuilding, and enables you to engage in more challenging activities, such as carrying heavy objects.

If you are not satisfied with your current bodybuilding routine but want to maintain muscle mass, try adding weightlifting to your routine.

Select Powerlifting for Brute Strength

After years of doing the same things, even avid fitness fanatics tend to become bored. That can be a big reason for people to have extra body fat and not be as fit as they should be.

To combat this, you need to make changes in your regular workout routine. And if you want to experiment with new exercises and workouts, powerlifting and bodybuilding are the two areas you should focus on.

Both bodybuilding and powerlifting work your muscles, muscles that are involved in moving your body and keeping you fit. But the goal is different when you focus on each. Bodybuilding has more of an appearance focus, although bodybuilders are often quite muscular. Powerlifters are concerned with increasing strength.

Powerlifting follows a particular competition pattern. It is an Olympic sport, and athletes compete in three disciplines including the squat, bench press, and deadlift. You need to be at least sixteen years old and have some experience in weightlifting before you do powerlifting.

The sport also follows rules, and its popularity has been growing among people who are into bodybuilding. There are many events held all over the world, and you can join with friends to participate in all powerlifting events. It is also an excellent source of muscle mass for people looking to turn their bodybuilding efforts into a competition.

Can I Train for Both Weightlifting and Bodybuilding?

When you think of bodybuilding and weightlifting, you generally think of them as sport and training…two different beasts entirely. While this is true to a point, you can definitely train for both if you so desire.

You can go about it in two ways:

You Choose One Goal, and Train for That

Many people choose to specialize. Some people specialize in weightlifting, and go on to compete at the national and international level. They focus on training to improve their power, speed, and strength. If this is your goal, you can absolutely improve your physique in the process.

But there are limits on what you can achieve, and if you’re going into this with the goal of becoming a bodybuilding champion, it may be a little disappointing. There are people who focus primarily on bodybuilding who are quite muscular. That level of muscularity is not everyone’s cup of tea. It can become almost grotesque to some people, with the exaggeration of body parts, and everything is just a bit too ripped.

Make Your Choice Based on How You Feel and Your Goals

When you’re working with weights, one of the first things you need to think about is whether you want to practice bodybuilding or weightlifting.


This is the art of training your muscles to grow and shape them over time. In short, it’s more about the aesthetic appeal of your form when other muscles are involved. There are two ways that people practice bodybuilding.

Classic bodybuilding: This method uses a moderate amount of weight, 8 to 12 repetitions. These sets are repeated in a circuit. The next sets are not begun until the previous one is completed. Classic bodybuilding also takes into consideration the time you should rest between each set.

Powerlifting: This method focuses on maximum strength and technique. A power bar is lifted over your head, and there is more focus on the way the muscle is used than on how much it weighs. Powerlifting considers the maximum amount of weight that the muscle can use over the entire set, while another practice, CrossFit, is a combination of strength training, Olympic weightlifting, calisthenics, gymnastics, and endurance exercises.