Thomas J Salzano: What is the Difference Between Bodybuilding and Strength Training

The aspiring bodybuilders generally get confused with the goal that is muscle building or developing functional strength, says Thomas J Salzano a professional bodybuilder. It is important to understand the difference between massive muscle building and working on developing real functional strength as both are different.

In this articles today Thomas J Salzano will explain the difference between bodybuilding and strength building that each aspiring bodybuilder must know before setting his/her training goal:

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What is Bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding is all about size. The bodybuilders lift weight to increase the size of their muscles, and not develop functional strength. But while working on the size of the muscles they will develop strength along, which is the effect of the training rather than the main focus. The main focus in bodybuilding is increasing the size of the muscles whereas a side effect of the training is developing strength. The training involves weight lifting.

The bodybuilders working on their muscles will usually work for the “pump” it is when the blood in the body brings blood and the important nutrients to the muscles and gives a sort of high. The training for increasing the size of the muscles forces the body to repair the muscles and expand the storage capacity. This type of lifting done by the bodybuilders to increase the muscles is meant to create microscopic tears in the muscles. 

When the size of the muscles increases, they are able to hold more energy, resulting in the exertion of greater force. But the true fact here is that the energy stored in the bulky muscles is not a real strength, which means the bodybuilders are weaker than they look with those giant muscles.

Bodybuilders generally work on their muscles, to make their body look good on a stage as there is no physical strength competition involved in bodybuilding.

What is Strength Training?

In strength training, the main focus is to increase the amount of force your muscles can produce to lift heavy objects/weight. The size of the muscles has no role here, as the main focus is now building strength.

For developing strength the training usually is done with low reps and high weight. The focus of this training is teaching your central nervous system how to efficiently motor units when lifting heavyweights. The goal here is strengthening your muscles, hardening the bones, reinforcing the joints, and developing strong connective tissue.

The ones working on developing the strength will usually have a higher body fat percentage, with a solid body structure. They will have more functional strength & endurance as compared to the bodybuilders that have a focus on increasing the size of their muscles.

Thomas J Salzano

How to be a Strength Trainee Tips by Thomas J Salzano:

  • Never Lockout your joints
  • Don’t aim for maximum weight rather aim for perfect form
  • Never jerk, swing, or cheat. Use slow and precise movements in your training for strength development. This may require lowering your weights, so do it if required.
  • Control the lowering (eccentric) motion as much as the raising (concentric) motion.
  • Slower lowering motion can lead to serious muscle development.

Thomas J Salzano says before you start your training keep your goal clear, either it should be increasing the size of the muscles or gaining muscle strength. Generally, the young generation is more focused on increasing muscle size, making bodybuilding popular among the youngsters.

Whatever may be the goal but safety is important, do not exert yourself to see immediate results. For beginners’ continuous assistance from a professional trainer is recommended to avoid any uncertainty and injury while training with weights.