The first thing I ever did was body building, and it was out of chance rather than out of choice. A friend of mine who body builds showed me his way of lifting, and since I was clueless at that time I proceeded to take his advice and routines. Luckily for me he had plenty of experience in lifting and showed me proper form and important areas to prioritize to avoid injury such as your lower back. His routines where tough to keep up with, but I wasn’t that far away from his level strength. Rather he was a bit stronger from the waist up than me, and we where just about the same in strength from the waist down.
He had the typical Arnold build which further encouraged me to trust his routines, and take his advice. The first thing about body building that he taught me was-not to over work the muscle- otherwise you will burn it out and this will stop its growth. Body building is about size and shape not necessarily about strength. Although to body build you are still required to lift heavy weights, the nature of the routines is more about repetition. You pump the muscle, and the heavier you lift while being able to do many reps will encourage this growth process. To do a minimum of ten reps for the heaviest that you can lift without over burning out the muscle, rather pumping it. A pump is the effect of doing many reps with a comfortable amount of weight targeting each muscle group. Blood rushes to the muscle which inflates it to a pump.
So, the muscle should tear and therefore grow with an intense amount of heavy reps, followed by, successively decreased weight and increased reps. You can continue this process endlessly until you reach your desired volume.
While lifting with my coworker I reached my desired muscle mass which didn’t take very long, probably a month going to the gym about thrice a week. I use to think there wasn’t any other way of lifting, until now.
Power lifting is about getting stronger, you lift heavier and heavier every time and you don’t necessarily gain large muscle mass. You remain slim but strong. Eventually though, the heavier and heavier that you lift will make the muscle grow either way. It will just take longer. You will develop a different type of muscle that compared to body building is not stocky or bulky. The muscle will be slim but solid. I recently started power lifting and I honestly think its better than body building if I had to compare, but the truth is that they are both necessary. The reason I say this is because I tried them both, and it happened to be in the correct order.
You could say I discovered a glitch in the matrix.
Body building is good to shape the muscle to a desired volume and reach an appearance goal. Power lifting will make the muscle stronger and will gain strength at a faster rate because the muscle already has enough “experience”. After you pass the threshold of growth in power lifting the muscle will remain the same size (for the most part) and will only grow in strength. The combination will give you a great advantage if you really want to be on top of the fitness game. All you have to do after that is focus on reaching your goals. How strong do you want to be? or, how strong can you possibly get considering your height, and body type to reach a healthy fitness peak.
Body building is about shaping the body, and power lifting is about making it stronger. The combination of both would be ideal. Starting with body building will also prepare your body and mind to gain experience in form and the first stages of weight lifting. Also, developing proper habits and routines with body building will prepare you to move on to lifting heavier weights. The form in body building and power lifting are essentially the same. The weight and amount of repetitions are the main differences between the two. Coupled with a proper nutrition you should be well on your way to your desired physique.