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Body Building and Power Lifting Myths

"The prevailing belief that powerlifters target the nervous system more so than the muscles by using low reps is yet to be proved by science. It is clear that heavy load around the 1RM causes higher fatigue and requires longer recovery periods than a lighter load. The high fatigue experienced is not just due to nervous system fatigue alone; disruptions in the contractile system are equally responsible (5,6). Powerlifting, often seen as a "little-to-do-with-muscle-event", has been shown to indeed be a function of muscle mass, and lifting performance has been shown to be limited by the ability to accumulate muscle mass (3). And once these elite lifters hit their genetic limits with regard to muscle mass, strength increases are marginal at best (7)."
Quote from http://www.avantlabs.com/page.php?pageID=336&issueID=27
All of the powerlifters you see are much bulkier and massive than body builders - they look heavy, massive, and bear-like. So what are these myths floating about that state hypertrophy is not related to strength, and that higher rep weight lifting sessions will put on more muscle than low rep weight lifting?

Look at any power lifter and you will see that power lifter's have more mass than a body builder. Where did the power lifter's muscle mass come from? Hypertrophy. Their necks and legs are huge and beast like. Those that claim you can gain significant strength without gaining any bulky mass are liars. You can train your muscles to become more skillful and more optimized (smaller mitochondria for heavy lifting, larger mitochondria for endurance sugars), while not gaining any mass - but eventually, you must put on mass to lift heavier weights. Read the quotation above over again.

Body builders have defined muscle with a defined look, but power lifters are huge and heavy men. It is most likely pure myth/rumor that high rep sessions develop more muscle hypertrophy. Powerlifters develop the most muscle mass, but since the muscle is less defined it is not as muscular looking. The power lifter has bear-like figure with heavy and distributed muscle mass (even muscles in his face and on top of his knuckles), versus the body builder who has defined and flexed muscle.


A lot of body builders also go to tanning machines, shave their body hair, and put oil on their body during competitions. A lot of power lifters could care less about such things, and walk around with pale white skin and hairy bodies. Hence, power lifters look like big bears, not pretty boys. If you put a power lifter in a tanning machine and put some oil on his skin he will look a lot more defined less like a big grizzly bear. Don't be fooled by the body builder's aesthetics. Aesthetics alone can make one look stronger. Body builders are NOT stronger nor have they expereinced more hypertrophy... they just look PRETTY because they have a tan and toned muscles.

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