Weight training vs. body building or strength training is a misunderstood area of weight workouts. Many people use the terms interchangeably but this is in fact incorrect. Strength training is NOT body building. The goals of the various disciplines involving the lifting of weights are all different.
The number one goal of body builders is to develop a proportionately muscled physique. Male and female body builders have increased muscle mass, with appetites to match. Men are usually very heavily muscled, while the women are highly muscular with chiseled figures.
In power lifting the goal is to primarily build strength and the ability to move heavy objects relatively easily. The word relatively relates to the definition of heavy object. Some people want to move trucks and others just want to move the furniture when they are cleaning the house.
When considering weight training vs body building, you probably really don’t want either extreme. You probably want the best of both worlds – a muscular body that is toned, trim and athletic with functional strength.
The weight training vs bodybuilding debate is quite controversial. There are those that believe that body building is the worst thing that could have happened to strength training. They believe that the muscle size is huge compared to the strength achieved. They think the body builder’s muscles are over-developed and less effective.
On the other hand there are those body builders who don’t see the point of pushing themselves to the limit with heavy training if they can’t see the visual impact on their muscles.
The controversy actually comes down to functional training vs. cosmetic training – or training for athletic ability vs. body building for cosmetic or artistic reasons. By definition body building is cosmetic or artistic because in competition bodybuilders are judged by how they look, not how they perform. The measures are qualitative rather than quantitative.
The definition of weight training vs body building then incorporates functional strength training which emerged from sports conditioning and rehabilitation. In functional training the participant uses a well-rounded program to achieve a more efficient and safer performance of sports activities. This may help them to overcome previous injuries by making the core stronger and more resistant to strains.
When considering weight training vs. body building the participants must weigh the options available to them and their desired goals. However, weight training, functional training and body building aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, body builders who understand the basic tenets of their sport also understand that their body must be balanced and they must avoid over-training. Using functional training and weight training vs. body building will decrease the risk of injury, avoid over-training and produce a more balanced and stronger body.
What becomes interesting is that by adding functional training into the mix you often also add FUN. This keeps the participant motivated and increases the chances of success. Whether you are weight training vs. body building or strength training adding FUN into the workout will make the training sessions more challenging, more exciting and more motivating.
Although the movement of body builders to incorporate more functional weight training can enhance the schedule of the body builder, the reverse is not true. Referring back to the original goals of the different sports it will become obvious that the body builder will benefit from further strength training, coordination and flexibility while the athlete who is strength training for sports performance won’t benefit from bulking muscles up for cosmetic reasons.
When you evaluate the differences between weight training vs. body building take into account your goals, interests, time limitations, long-term desires and the motivation you have to achieve those goals. Once you know exactly what you want write your goals down and stick with them!
Graham Bray has had a lifelong interest in fitness and weight training, and is a scientist and educator by profession. His passion is to demystify the processes involved, and to get more people effectively following a healthy lifestyle. To learn more about weight training and body building please visit http://weighttraining4life.com/ where you can access other FREE articles to help you build the body of your dreams.
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