Mind Pump: Raw Fitness Truth - 2265: Why Powerlifting is Better Than Bodybuilding

Episode Date: February 5, 2024

The differences between competition and culture. (1:14) Six Reasons Why Powerlifting is Better than Bodybuilding. #1 - It’s performance-based vs aesthetics. (3:33) #2 - Workouts are more sci...ence-based. (11:34) #3 - Purely objective judging. (17:38) #4 - Discourages undereating. (22:10) #5 - Very encouraging community. (27:43) #6 - Much healthier for women. (33:15) Related Links/Products Mentioned Visit Legion Athletics for the exclusive offer for Mind Pump listeners! ** Code MINDPUMP for 20% off your first order (new customers) and double rewards points for existing customers. ** February Promotion: MAPS Performance | Extreme Fitness Bundle 50% off! ** Code FEB50 at checkout ** Mind Pump #1152: Why You Should Powerlift Mind Pump #2180: Is Powerlifting Beneficial For Women? Mind Pump #2105: How To Become A Muscle Mommy Mind Pump Podcast – YouTube Mind Pump Free Resources

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Starting point is 00:00:00 If you want to pump your body and expand your mind, there's only one place to go. Might pump with your hosts, Sal DeStefano, Adam Schaefer and Justin Andrews. You just found the most downloaded fitness, health and entertainment podcast. This is Mind Pump. Today's episode, why powerlifting is better than bodybuilding. We know this is going to cause a big upward list of's do the episode here, our points and why it makes sense.
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Starting point is 00:01:15 and now you're looking for a competition to test yourself with. In today's episode, we're gonna talk to you about why powerlifting is better than bodybuilding. For the vast majority of you, if you're going to pick a competition, choose powerlifting. This one's going to start a fight. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:01:32 I feel pretty good about what side we're on. Yeah. That's hilarious. Some tough guys, you know, but we have to, so training or workout wise, we have to be clear here. Like there are principles of bodybuilding and principles of powerlifting that are very valuable. So we're not specifically talking about like the workouts,
Starting point is 00:01:52 right? Cause like bodybuilders tend to focus on the muscle, the feel, the pump, lots of angles. They'll use more like variety in their exercises, kind of stuff. There's nothing wrong with that. Lots of value. Powerlifters tend to train heavier,
Starting point is 00:02:05 focus more on certain lifts. They don't necessarily try to feel the muscle, but rather perfect the movement. There's lots of value in that as well. This is really more about like, if you're going to start to compete, this is where things start to get really different. Cause bodybuilding competition and powerlifting competition,
Starting point is 00:02:20 super different. Not only that, but I think that we've, we've communicated this for a long time on the podcast and we, we get a lot of live caller. We just had one the last, last time we did live callers that I think we, we pushed two people in this direction. And I think we've done that a lot. I think this is an episode that we're putting together to kind of explain
Starting point is 00:02:38 ourselves, right? There's, I think there, we distilled it down to six reasons why we think that, or why we tend to push people in that direction rarely ever or maybe if ever have we ever gave someone the advice like you should go do bodybuilding. Yeah, think about that for a second of all the questions we've answered all the topics we've done all the live Q&A's that we've done. Have you ever have we ever told someone you should probably do bodybuilding. But how many times have we told somebody you should do a problem. All the time. Right? All the time. All the time.
Starting point is 00:03:06 All the time. Yeah, so this is really about the competition and the culture around the competition. Cause there's also a culture. I've been around both. I've been around bodybuilding culture and I've been around powerlifting culture. And they both have their pluses and minuses,
Starting point is 00:03:20 but in general, I'd say the powerlifting culture is I would say healthier powerlifting culture is, I would say healthier. Now I'm not gonna say healthy because there's definitely unhealthy aspects of it as well. But it's generally a better culture. But I think the first thing to talk about with this and why we tend to,
Starting point is 00:03:35 this is probably the number one reason why we recommend powerlifting over bodybuilding is it's performance based, not aesthetic based. It's about what you can put up on the bar or what you can lift, not how you look in the mirror. In this, I learned the value of this early on as a trainer when I trained my very first client who told me that they had just come out of a eating disorder.
Starting point is 00:04:00 They had just gotten treatment for anorexia. In fact, her mom hired me. Her mom hired me and said, hey, my daughter is recovering anorexic and exercise was recommended. I'd like for you to train her. And I got in contact with this young lady's therapist because I didn't know was there anything I should or shouldn't do or say. And the therapist said, don't weigh her. Don't talk about how she looks. Focus entirely on how strong she is in the gym. And it was like a light bulb, like of course, because she's gonna have to feed herself well
Starting point is 00:04:29 if she's just looking at that. Yeah, there's just a lot more psychological benefits to focusing on getting stronger and really being diligent about mastering a few lifts. So that's the other part of this whole thing is that we've reduced it now Down to just like a very few Exercises that we're really gonna hyper focus on in practice and be disciplined with improving upon
Starting point is 00:05:04 Versus like taking on all I mean just look at the the type of volume and the type of like exercise like novelty and all this like in Comparison with bodybuilder training. It just kind of like takes a lot of that pressure of like having to know a whole lot versus like we're just going to hyper focus on this aspect. I think this is actually more about what powerlifting is not rather than what powerlifting is. Yeah. So for sure, a large portion of people that get into exercise, get into it because of some sort of an insecurity. Um, you know, you had a spouse or a friend tell you that you were fat or overweight or somebody teased you when you were growing up about being really skinny and you didn't have any muscle or, you know,
Starting point is 00:05:44 some girl that you had a crush on said something about your body or made fun of your calves or like, you know, there's all these things that, uh, that have driven a lot of people into exercising that is not the healthiest way to start your journey. And many of us get stuck in that insecurity and a lot of the motivation that gets us up to work out and what makes us choose certain supplements and certain diets is based off of this insecurity that we have. I think that was more common than it wasn't common with my clients. And so when I think of this argument, it's less about all the valuable things that powerlifting offers, which
Starting point is 00:06:23 it does. I'm not arguing that. it's more that what it is not. And what it is not, it is not this, uh, you know, is that a hyper focus on your security? Yes. It's not a challenge about how you look over image. Yeah. And I, and I actually think that this conversation and, and, and kind of philosophy around training that we all had as trainers with clients, uh, is more important today than it's ever been
Starting point is 00:06:49 because of, uh, Instagram, it has heightened this already. So that was our, this was pre-Instagram. This is the same, the advice we gave this advice pre-Instagram that this is, yeah, hey, probably better route for you to focus on. There were magazines. That's right. Right. And, and, and yet this was a major issue.
Starting point is 00:07:06 Today it's way worse. It's way worse with and today it's even more distorted because if you're into working out, one of the first things that people do is they go follow all these social media pages of, you know, people that motivate them and inspire them. But then you get this crazy skewed view of the human body that it looks like this all the time, or that these are, there's a lot of these people, or that maybe they're even a majority. Cause if I'm, if I follow a hundred people and 60 of them are fitness people, I have this weird distorted ratio of like, man,
Starting point is 00:07:43 most of the people I follow or know are like super jacked and shredded and I'm not, therefore I need to do these things. So for me, talking about this, it's more about what powerlifting is not, not what it really is because I think that's the part about a bodybuilding that's not good. No, I mean, if you were to, if you were to take two groups of clients and all the group,
Starting point is 00:08:08 you know, a focused on just getting stronger and group B focused on how they perceive themselves in the mirror, their subjective opinion of whether or not they're approving or not based on the mirror, okay? There's a lot more that could go wrong with the group who's looking in the mirror and for them to even perceive themselves as improving. In other words, they could do a lot wrong for their health, for their energy, for their performer. They could really mess themselves up with their diet and all kinds of things, but continue to think that they're, oh, I think I'm getting better. I think I'm improving. Whereas the group that's just focusing on getting stronger,
Starting point is 00:08:41 now they can do some things wrong for sure, but they can't do as much wrong. Like you can't underfeed yourself, you can't get terrible sleep, you can't malnourish, you can't over train and beat yourself up, you can't abuse your body as much and continue to get stronger. You just can't. So it's not perfect, but it's a better metric
Starting point is 00:09:00 that would encompass that you're doing more of the right things versus your body versus aesthetic. And we know this about aesthetics. We know this about how we perceive is ours. It's so subjective that, you know, you could take, and I would see this, people would lose weight on the scale, lose mostly muscle, and then be happy because they're lighter and skinnier. And not even because they're so distorted, right? How they view themselves as so distorted or people would sacrifice their health to the point where their energy is terrible.
Starting point is 00:09:30 Or actually their muscles just attain a certain shape in their waist. You actually have that in the bodybuilding world in the actual high level competitive bodybuilding world. But you know, people would compromise their health, their energy, they'd feel terrible, but because the scale went down a little bit and they're looking in the mirror and it looks smaller with the particular type of clothes, whatever,
Starting point is 00:09:48 they're like, yeah, I'm in the right direction. Whereas, you know, if you lift more, you lift more, it's objective. There's no opinion. You know what I mean? Like, I lifted 200 pounds last week, this week I lifted 250 pounds. My subjective opinion doesn't matter. I'm either stronger or not. Right. And so performance, especially when you first get started, at a certain point you can't keep using performance because obviously you're not gonna keep getting stronger forever, otherwise, you know, we'd all be lifting
Starting point is 00:10:14 thousands of pounds by this point. But in the very, especially for the first three years, performance is a great metric because you have to do a lot of things right to continue to improve performance. But to continue to think that you're doing right with aesthetics, you can distort and twist things so much to look, this is how eating disorders exist. If you've ever worked with anybody or known anybody with a severe eating disorder, you think to yourself, like, don't they see in the mirror how unhealthy they look when they don't, they don't see
Starting point is 00:10:43 it to them. They're're like I'm doing great So the performance side of it is what makes it a healthier pursuit and it's exactly what you said Adam It's the you go into working out because you're insecure About a part of your body if you're training and you're focused on the on the visual you're hyper focusing on That insecurity and I'm gonna tell you something right now're hyper focusing on that insecurity. And I'm going to tell you something right now. You hyper focus on an insecurity. There's nothing you could do that will get you the point where you're happy because you can, man, you will, people will magnify it to the point where it's
Starting point is 00:11:14 like, I've had people tell me, do you see this like putre here? And I don't see it. I don't see what you're talking about. Uh, because, uh, and I experienced that myself as a kid. I even looking at pictures of myself when I thought I was so skinny after a couple of years of working out and I was actually looked pretty damn good for a 15 year old kid who, who'd been working out for a couple of years, but it was because of the aesthetic, you know, that was the big issue.
Starting point is 00:11:34 Um, the other benefit to powerlifting is if you were to look at all the workouts online, if you were to examine all the different workouts and you were to categorize them by workouts to make people look good. And then workouts that are accepted powerlifting workouts, especially the previous decade. Yeah. You, the, the powerlifting workouts are science-based. They have the best workout programming.
Starting point is 00:11:58 There's a big factor there, right? Because it's, it's repeatable. It's tangible. It's, it's, it works or it does. So you can actually like have a scientific process to that. You can add that there, where it's hard to do. It's more of an art, I would say, I guess is the best like eloquent way to say it for the bodybuilding side where they're experimenting a lot, you know,
Starting point is 00:12:17 in all kinds of different directions, but it's really, it's about the individual in that regard, because they're assessing their bodies shape their form like which muscles need to develop a little bit further and so it's like what worked best for them This is where it gets sticky when you get like influencers that are pushing their programming for bodybuilding because it's like a lot of times It's based off of like how they attain these results Versus like your your strength program let that they apply to Olympic athletes, this is going to hold to every single person
Starting point is 00:12:47 that goes through this process. Well, it requires, one of them is required to be scientifically based and the other one is not. You cannot get stronger without good programming. Like you're just going to have to like figure that out, especially if you're going to go win, where you could get really shredded and not have a great program. Everybody already has muscle in your body. And so,
Starting point is 00:13:08 if you just put yourself in an extreme diet, and you get rid of all the body fat you have, and you just reveal the muscle you have underneath there, and since a lot of these shows are based off of just how shredded you are, not necessarily if you have your muscle size is a certain size, it's that it's more about symmetry and how shredded you are. Well, you could do that and not have the best lifting program. You could have, you could have trained for your bodybuilding show and actually got weaker week over week and go win. You couldn't do that.
Starting point is 00:13:36 In fact, you always do. Yeah. With bodybuilding, you actually get weaker walking into a show because of the dieting and stuff. It's not that there isn't any science to bodybuilding training. There's lots of science to bodybuilding training. But the problem is, is that genetics plays such a crazy role in how you look that you could take somebody who looks incredible in spite of their crappy
Starting point is 00:13:55 workout program, but then you look at the workout program and say, that's going to work. Whereas powerlifting routines, they're duplicatable. Just like you said, you'll see a group of athletes come in and oh, West Side Barbell has, you know, their training method, for example, has produced this many, you know, champions or this training styles train has produced this many, you know, type of champions. Bodybuilding is, is because it's so much more subjective.
Starting point is 00:14:19 Workouts are not a science-based. And in fact, it becomes becomes, oftentimes it becomes a, how much you could tolerate, you know, type of deal. So if I ever had a client that came to me and said, hey, I'm following a powerlifting routine. And I'm like, oh, is it like, what do you mean? Where'd you get it?
Starting point is 00:14:35 Oh, I, you know, it's an actual powerlifting routine. I was always happy if I saw it. Like, okay, they're gonna have some good, some decent workout programming. But if they came to me and they said, oh, I'm doing a body part split, you know, and I'm doing some bodybuilding, I mean, it could be anywhere from a good workout
Starting point is 00:14:49 to a terrible workout. Whereas the accepted powerlifting ones tend to, are almost all, in fact, when I was writing Maths and a Bollack in the early days, I borrowed a lot from powerlifting because their approach was so scientific. In fact, if you look at powerlifting workouts, they tend to be based off of percentages of one rep max
Starting point is 00:15:07 and all that stuff. It's a very, very scientific approach. I still wanna go back to the original point that we made too about the insecurities because I do recognize that there's some incredibly smart bodybuilders out there that do have some incredibly great programming out there now, especially now compared to just a decade ago. But I still would make this the case of the insecurity not being great. So
Starting point is 00:15:29 even if you follow great programming, you dieted really well and you competed and you did a great bodybuilding show, I'm still not a fan of it for most of most of our clientele or most people that we talked to because it's still going to perpetuate that insecurity. If I still have this insecurity around that, in fact, what I think you see as an example. It's better behaviors. Well, some of the most famous people on Instagram in the fitness space are these, you know, champions or these bodybuilder men's physique champions. And really they've hacked into the science piece or they've figured out some of the working out of the working out piece, but they still haven't figured out the insecurity piece. That's still driving them
Starting point is 00:16:07 to to to work out. And the truth is they're okay. So they figured out how to get shredded. They figured out how to win a trophy. But as far as longevity and health and also to be teaching others about health and exercise and diet, like probably not a good person to be doing that, because they're still riddled with their own insecurities, so riddled that they've been able to bury themselves into this sport and not look up for 10 years and just go after trophies all day long. And they might have good science-based programming, but it still means it's not ideal for that person or all the people that are talking to.
Starting point is 00:16:39 Well, what you typically get to with the coaches, you know, I'm going to probably ruffle some feathers, but we get callers all the time who say, I hired a bodybuilding prep coach or I hired a powerlifting prep coach or powerlifting coach. What you typically get with a powerlifting coach is someone who understands exercise. They understand workouts, they understand workout programming. What you typically get, and here's where I'm going to ruffle some feathers with bodybuilding prep coaches are people that just over diet, there's a lot of people and make them do tons of cardio leading up to a show. They do a 12 week diet and they take their calories and they just start cutting
Starting point is 00:17:12 the crap out of them. And the workouts are somewhat interchangeable. And it's more often than not that I get, that I'm like a gasp when I see the bodybuilding prep coach routines and diets versus the powerlifting ones. Now the powerlifting ones tend to not focus so much on diet, but they do focus on kind of basics, eat your protein, you know, make sure you add equal calories, but they typically don't give them like meal plans and stuff like that.
Starting point is 00:17:33 But they do tend to know exercise. They know biomechanics, especially with the big three lifts. You know, that takes us to the part of the competition itself, which is that the judging is objective and a powerlifting competition. You know, we're talking about insecurities. Let's say you always in, you were always insecure about your butt. You thought you needed a bigger butt. You want to build a bigger butt.
Starting point is 00:17:53 So you've been bodybuilding. And let's say you bodybuild and you don't compete, right? But you lift like a bodybuilder and your friends and family members come up to you and say, you know what, your butt is actually grown. It's actually looking a lot better. You're like, you know, I'm going to go do a show. Yeah. And the judge tells you something else.
Starting point is 00:18:07 Then you go on stage and in the world of bodybuilding, let's say you get fifth place, you're like, okay, that's pretty good. You come down, you go up to the judge. This is what you're supposed to do. Hey, can I improve upon your glutes? Ooh, that insecurity got me right in there. I thought I built them up.
Starting point is 00:18:22 Oh my God. And it's like this subjective You know Like you look you are magnifying these insecurities because the judge tells you specifically What didn't look so perfect even though the real world you out. That's right now powerlifting again It's the judging is literally this is the job the the judge's job In powerlifting to make sure that you complete the exercise, the movement properly. Did you touch the bar to your chest and pause?
Starting point is 00:18:51 Did you get full lockout? That's all the judge does. The weight that you lift is what determines whether or not you win. So no, there's no judge in powerlifting that goes up to you and says, yeah, congratulations on your big list, but you need to work on your waist or you need to develop your biceps. Like nobody cares. Or the mechanic sound, did you perform the lift like you should?
Starting point is 00:19:11 And that's it. That's it. I think there's politics in everything, but I think in powerlifting compared to bodybuilding, there's less politics. And so to add on what you were saying Sal about a judge picking you apart or, you know, pointing out your insecurity is, you know, isn't good enough
Starting point is 00:19:32 to win, really could fuck with your head. Add another layer to that when you learn about the politics in bodybuilding, that there's sponsors that are involved, there's judges that are friends of the competitors, teams that have teams that are also. There's judges that are friends of the competitors. Teams that have. Teams that are also sponsoring some of these shows and giving. So there is all this and it is not like a, even though there's pro bodybuilders and stuff like that, there's, this is not like a professional NFL, NBA, or highly regulated type of thing.
Starting point is 00:20:01 This is like definitely kind of thrown together and a lot of behind the scenes under the table type bullshit is happening where there's people that are hanging out that shouldn't be hanging out that are making decisions on who's going to win or not win in these shows. So then you add another layer of complexity with your insecurities like I'm already insecure there. Maybe my glutes were good or maybe I was, maybe I was good enough to win, but then I get told I'm in sixth place because these other guys or girls were, you know, they've been competing and they're part of a team that's friends with the coaches that's friends with the sponsors, the show. Like, and so I get thrown in sixth place when maybe I should have been second,
Starting point is 00:20:38 maybe I would have been first, but now I get told that now I'm really fucking with myself. Like God, I thought I did everything right. I thought I, I brought the right, I got it. When I look at myself now I'm really fucking with myself. Like God, I thought I did everything right. I thought I brought the right. I got it when I look at myself and I look at these people, I feel like I should win, but wait, maybe I'm all distorted. Maybe I don't look as good as I mean, you just start to go down the rabbit hole. So yeah, very dangerous when it comes to, uh, like your insecurities and then being judged by somebody else around those insecurities.
Starting point is 00:21:03 Yeah. If somebody's, if you's, if you're like struggling with some body image issues, like you go compete in bodybuilding, you are going to add so much gasoline to that fire, it's not even funny. Just because, just for the simple fact that you're being judged on your insecurities, you're literally standing on stage and saying,
Starting point is 00:21:22 look at my insecurities and tell me how bad they look. And that's what they do. And it just, whereas when you compete in a powerlifting competition, you bench, squat or deadlift. That's it. You go, unless you're big in security is that you can't deadlift a lot or something like that, which is rare. Right.
Starting point is 00:21:37 That's not as common because social media and society at large doesn't put that on people. Nobody walks around and says, you can't squat twice your body. Like people don't talk that way. So unless that's your insecurity, then really it's just I lifted more or I lifted less. And that objective part of the judging is just, it's so much more satisfying because so many,
Starting point is 00:21:59 if you've ever been to a bodybuilding show, you'll see. Like very, it's not often that there's a super clear winner. And sometimes there is and that person doesn't win. And then you're like, what is this? Yeah, what's going on? Now, the next point is that now people will argue and make jokes about powerlifters and say how they're fatness and that there's weight classes and powerlifting. But yes, powerlifting, they don't care how lean you are. That's true. But that in my opinion, for a lot of fitness fanatics is a
Starting point is 00:22:25 positive because it discourages under eating. Here's a common thing that a lot of people don't realize. When people get really serious into working out, especially when they first start working out and get serious, and because most people's goals is weight loss, a lot of people, the fanatics, people who start to become fanatical about it, they start to under eat and they do this consistently, under eat, under eat. And then because the scale moves down and they see a new striation, or because they're, they're watching, looking themselves in the mirror and the subjective opinion is of course subjective.
Starting point is 00:22:57 They ignore the low energy, they ignore the hormone changes. I haven't got my period or I'm weaker. Doesn't matter. It's all about how I look type of deal. Now with powerlifting, if you under eat, you won't lift more. I mean, that's just a fact. You have the best, you know, programming in the world. You will not get away with under eating for very long.
Starting point is 00:23:15 So for people who have a bad relationship with food in that sense, who tend to restrict and try to under eat and whatever, you're not gonna do with powerlifting. Yeah, I mean, I'm sure people are wondering like, wait a second, you know, I thought you said there's no diet stuff or they don't give out much diet advice in the powerlifting world, but it's, it's not that. It's not that they're giving you advice about eating more or under eating. It's simply that if you're in a caloric deficit for an extended period of time,
Starting point is 00:23:37 meaning days, weeks of being in a diet like that, you're going to get weaker. It's just a fact. You're going to get weaker by doing that. And so by making sure you stay fed or making sure that you are chasing those PRs or getting stronger, you're going to want to be fed and you're going to want to be feeding your body enough protein. So you recover and things like that. By the way, even, even when, uh, cause I've also seen this powerlifting has weight
Starting point is 00:23:59 classes. So you could, let's say I enter a competition. I don't know what the weight classes are. It's the taper that off cause you might push out of your weight limit. You might, you're right. So unless you're super heavyweight or unlimited, right? Let's say you go into a class, you look and you say, okay, I weigh, I'll just make up a number.
Starting point is 00:24:14 I weigh 195. I can either compete in the 195 to 200 or the 190 to 195. So let me try and lose some weight. Now here's the difference between dieting for powerlifting versus dieting for bodybuilding. I'm trying to maintain as much strength as possible. And you see this a lot with powerlifters. Well, they actually try to drop a weight class so they could compete against people lighter than themselves, but they have to play that delicate balance of caloric deficit, but I'm also not so low that I get too weak or whatever. Or I'm in this weight
Starting point is 00:24:44 class, I'm in the upper limit of it. I'm building strength. I got to make sure I don't overeat because I'm going to go in a new weight class and now all my, the weight that I lift is going to be competing against people much bigger than me. So there's actually some interesting checks and balances there that work out pretty, pretty well. What happens though is that people get the image of the super heavy weight
Starting point is 00:25:02 power lifter and that's where there's a oh the fat powerlifter Whatever, but the reality is with the weight classes and the strength it actually encourages a healthier outlook It's built in there if you're trying to like get into a lower weight class Where you know and you're focused on maintaining that strength There's a muscle preserving benefit to that because you're still lifting You know these these heavy lifts, but at the same time like you got to feed just enough to make sure you're stimulating that muscle. Well, listen to the advice you just gave. It's that advice that we always give, like your goal is to not lose too much
Starting point is 00:25:32 weight or not gain too much weight, but stay strong or get stronger. I mean, that's the advice we always give. If we're talking to somebody who's trying to lose weight or build, it doesn't matter with the goal. We're slowly. Yeah. We're always telling people to go slow as possible. You don't want to lose too much weight. You don't want to lose too much weight.
Starting point is 00:25:45 You don't want to gain too much weight. You want to stay strong or get strong is the ultimate goal. And so that when you think about that, those are those natural checks and balances you're talking about that just don't exist in bodybuilding. Bodybuilding, it is get shredded at all costs. Yeah. By all means get as lean as you possibly can at all costs. It doesn't matter.
Starting point is 00:26:03 How does it matter? It doesn't matter how you feel? It doesn't matter about hormone levels. It doesn't matter your weight class. It doesn't matter any of that stuff. It doesn't matter if you get weaker. All that matters is that you look a certain way for the, for the stage, which is a terrible idea for 99% of the population, but what's nice about the power
Starting point is 00:26:19 lifting, so long as you are in a normal weight class and not the super heavy weights, right, which is unlimited. Everybody else has these guidelines of, oh, okay, I've decided here. So I want to kind of keep my weight about the same or maybe a little lower or a little higher, but I don't want to move too much and I want to try and get stronger, which is exactly how we take a client. So if a client comes to me and they want to lose 40 or 50 pounds or more of weight, the very first thing I tell them to do is I don't want your weight to go down. I don't want your weight to really go up. I want to kind of keep your weight the same, but I want to get stronger and increase calories and make better food choices.
Starting point is 00:26:53 Like that's the goal at that time. I mean, that's literally what we would do with someone who's trying to lose weight, which is interesting because powerlifting naturally kind of does that. And then slowly what happens, and I've had clients do this, I've had clients who wanted to lose weight who took on powerlifting and then clients that want to gain weight who took on powerlifting naturally kind of does that. And then slowly what happens, and I've had clients do this, I've had clients who wanted to lose weight, who took on powerlifting, and then clients that want to gain weight, who took on powerlifting. Now gain weight part, that's easy, right? They just eat more calories, kept it clean,
Starting point is 00:27:12 so that they didn't just gain a bunch of body fat, going to a weight class that were, they were leaner, more muscular people than them. So they gained good lean body mass. But the people who cut, it was great because it was such an incredible check and balance. If they lost weight too fast, their strength plummeted, and then they'd have to bump their calories a little bit and kind of play that game. And it created this nice metabolism preserving
Starting point is 00:27:35 effect because they were testing themselves with strength, which is exactly what I would do with a client that's not competing in powerlifting. It's the same thing that I'm looking at. So it tends to encourage that. Now, the other part, which, you know, I think part of this has to do with the dieting that bodybuilders go through when they lead up to a show. But if you've ever been to a bodybuilding show, and if you've ever been to a like backstage, like I don't mean just like watching like from the audience,
Starting point is 00:27:58 but like backstage, I had friends that competed, I'd go backstage and see what the environment was like. And I've also been to powerlifting competitions. The culture and the community at powerlifting competitions is so encouraging. Bodybuilding is weird. You know, like people are weird backstage, you know, I've been to somewhere, there were some friendly people, but they're kind of keeping themselves in quiet and it's kind of strange. And I don't know if it's because of the diet and they're so like tired and irritable,
Starting point is 00:28:24 or if it's just, just this. And I don't know if it's because of the diet and they're so like tired and irritable, or if it's just just this weird, I don't know, but the powerlifting, you know, it reminded me of, if you've ever been to a marathon and you're at the finish line of a marathon, no matter how, you know, slow people are, everybody's cheering, and especially marathons that raise money for things like cancer research or whatever. It's an incredible environment. I'm not even into marathon running, but it's a great environment. Powerlifting environments like that too. The competition is everybody's cheering for everybody. In fact, the beginners get the biggest cheers. The people who go up there have never done it before or getting everybody
Starting point is 00:28:53 super and helping in the advanced lifters, helping them out, you know, try and do this and grab the bar this way and get tight there. It's just, it's just great community. So of the six things that we listed, this is the one that I'm neutral on because I, I mean, I can make the case that that's how I felt in bodybuilding too. There's a really good sense of community there. And I think that there's always an asshole in every sport. So it doesn't matter what sport, there's going to be somebody in powerlifting, there's going to be somebody in bodybuilding that's, you know, to themselves or in an asshole
Starting point is 00:29:21 or not nice, but generally speaking, the community was always really welcoming and positive. And so it's less for me about that powerlifting is better than body building in this aspect. It's just that it provides this, right? There's an incredible community. I think you can make the case that there's an incredible community inside the bodybuilding world also. Yeah, I'm talking primarily about the competitions. The community itself is... Yeah, I mean, I guess maybe... Like backstage, I gotta go. I mean, backstage was...
Starting point is 00:29:49 I mean, it depends. Like when I was brand new and I was just getting into it, like I was kind of the person who isolated himself. I didn't have a team, right? So I was kind of doing my own thing. But you know, it's a small click, right? So once you come back to your second show and you get recognized by the people, oh, hey, man, I saw you at the last one.
Starting point is 00:30:07 It begins, it becomes very friendly. And I, I never felt like there was any animal. And afterwards, I mean, we were just at the last, um, Olympia. I mean, you saw it, Seabomb and the other two guys hugging each other and like, you know, it's like, I don't know, I feel like there's good community there too. So I think they both have that. I think that I think power, but that's just another plus four powerlifting.
Starting point is 00:30:28 I don't think it's necessarily a negative of bodybuilding. I just, but I do remember this of the bodybuilding community is there is a lot of people that are not doing healthy things. And so a lot of the conversations around the drugs and the dieting were unhealthy. Now they didn't realize that they thought they were being friendly and nice by sharing all this stuff. But that was one of the things that was really glaring for me
Starting point is 00:30:55 was I'm sitting here listening and I'm like, oh shit, that's terrible advice. Oh shit, like that's not good. Or like, you know, and so I think a lot of the information that they're sharing in their community is not the best information when it comes to diet and drugs related to the sport. And so that part of the community I wasn't a fan of.
Starting point is 00:31:12 Yeah, I think, yeah, I think you're probably right for the majority of it. I think there's probably some aspects of that alludes to what you mentioned before in terms of the politics of, you know, how they end up like scoring and judging and like animosity in that regard versus like, that's true, sort of the purity of like, I'd got these numbers and it was like objective, you know, it's, it's not like, you know, the, the competitors like really hold that against the other person maybe as much, but, but yeah,
Starting point is 00:31:37 I feel like everybody that's kind of going in the trenches and they understand the work it takes to kind of present, you know, on stage or, or, or, you know, do the work to actually lift really heavy weight. It's like, you know, everybody's there and kind of celebrating that. There's that mutual respect. Like either, either category went through some serious grind, consistency and sacrifice to get there. And there is that mutual respect. Now I will say bodybuilding and powerlifting gyms are all very supportive.
Starting point is 00:32:04 Everybody's working out. Everybody's. Yeah. And I've beenlifting gyms are all very supportive. Everybody's working out. Everybody's yeah. And I've been to gyms that are both. Have you guys have worked out like where you see, you know, both power? Yeah, I know. That's great. So, and it's all about the serious people staying in the community conversation. I also think that's part of what makes the bodybuilding thing a little dangerous
Starting point is 00:32:19 is because I actually think that people do find great community in it. And a lot of, a lot of people that maybe weren't accepted or have these massive insecurities get surrounded by a bunch of other people that have these massive insecurities also and are similar. And then they, they bond with them and part of what keeps them in stuck in there is that you found, you know, misery loves company, or you have these other people that are suffering from the same body dysmorphia as you are. So it normalizes this, which is dangerous. Cause it's just like, Oh, they're just as fucking obsessed with their tricep separation as I am. Oh, I'm not that weird.
Starting point is 00:32:54 Or they're just as obsessed about the striation of their glutes as I am. And so what's dangerous about that community is they, they do find each other and they, and they are very welcoming, accepting. And then what ends up happening is that they normalize an unhealthy behavior and think it's normal because they've got 100 friends now that are just as obsessed as they are. Yeah. Now, the last point, this is generally true, not always true, but generally speaking, I would say for most women who are getting into strength training, first off, most of the goals are for weight loss.
Starting point is 00:33:27 Um, most of them are going to be healthier if they pursue a powerlifting and then pursuing bodybuilding for all the reasons that we said earlier, right? Discourage is under eating. It's performance based. So you got to feel good. You can't do a lot of things that are too damaging. Otherwise you wouldn't get stronger. The objective aspect, uh, is good because it takes your focus off of, you know,
Starting point is 00:33:49 how you look in the subjective part. And so my female clients, this became for me, this became my secret weapon. When I would get a female client who was really, really starting to get serious and would consider, Hey, I want to do some kind of like, you know, test myself type of deal. I push them towards powerlifting because I always got better outcomes. Now the reason why this, oh, sorry, hey, I want to do some kind of like, you know, test myself type of deal. I push them towards powerlifting because I always got better outcomes. Now the reason why this, oh, sorry, Justin, go ahead.
Starting point is 00:34:10 Oh yeah, no, I was just going to say like, two, I just don't think it comes intuitively in terms of like the focus of strength, like even culturally or like this was always like something that was like a selling point that I always had to present to some of my female clients. But once they really like caught on to focusing on that strength drive, it becomes, you know,
Starting point is 00:34:33 this rewarding experience and it's an empowering experience on top of that. But really, again, to all the behaviors that we mentioned earlier, just how it kind of reinforces a better outlook in terms of like you're eating and then also to what to really focus on. I 100% agree this is a healthier move for women and a lot of that has to do with the culture shift that we're a part of that, you know, for the longest time, you know, muscle mommy, get strong for women. It was build muscle. Those were just, yeah, those terms did not exist yet.
Starting point is 00:35:08 All very, very good in powering, good, metabolically things that these, that they should be doing. And so I think that powerlifting is so much healthier for them to be focusing on getting strong. And a lot of that has to do just because of what they're coming from because they're coming from this terrible messaging of tone and skinny, and you don't want to be bulky and like, oh, it's not about lifting heavy weights, do lightweight, let more reps. And so that has been the culture around exercise and fitness for women for so long. But I think powerlifting is one of the things that could save women in this
Starting point is 00:35:44 case. And if the more than that do that, the more of them that join that community, the better off all of us are going to be. Well, what percentage of women do you think lose their period getting ready for a bodybuilding show versus what percentage of women lose their period getting ready for a powerlifting show? Yeah, probably none for powerlifting. None. In fact, I've gotten women to get their periods to come back because they started powerlifting and started reverse dieting. Bodybuilding, uh, you see a lot of this hormone dysfunction because the extreme dieting and the, in the overtraining, it's just a healthier pursuit.
Starting point is 00:36:11 Now it doesn't mean it's always a healthy pursuit. Can you power lift and be unhealthy? Absolutely. You know, you could do a lot of things unhealthy, um, in powerlifting, and you can get too obsessed with performance to the point where you hurt your joints and your, in your body and all that stuff. But if you had to choose one or the other to compete in, uh, for most people,
Starting point is 00:36:27 power of things. Yeah. I think that's the major takeaway. This conversation is that, you know, there, there are people, I'm one of those people that, um, love competition and competition helps me set goals and follow through on my goals. And so I can totally relate to the, the, the man or woman that is considering, you know, doing one of these things because they want, they want that goal, right? And I can respect that.
Starting point is 00:36:52 But I think the point of this was to encourage you to go in the powerlifting direction first, not to say that maybe you're not at a place with your body, your body image that you could do bodybuilding. I did bodybuilding, right? So how can I tell other people that they can't do it? I think I was just at a healthy place when I decided to do it. It was later in my life. I had worked through a lot of those insecurities I had as a young man and a young trainer. So if you're considering one of those two things because you like competition, I think I would urge you to move in the powerlifting direction.
Starting point is 00:37:22 Look, if you like the show, head over to mindpumpfree.com and check out all of our free fitness guides. We have a lot of free guides there that can help you with most of your fitness goals. You can also find us on Instagram, Justin is at Mind Pump, Justin, I'm at Mind Pump to Stefano, and Adam is at Mind Pump Adam.
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