Bodybuilding and strength training are two popular forms of exercise. When it comes to bodybuilding vs strength training, while they share some commonalities, there are also several key differences. This blog post will explore the top 15 differences between bodybuilding and strength training.

Bodybuilding vs Strength Training

What Is Strength Training?

Strength training is any exercise that helps build muscle and bone density. This can be done using your body weight, free weights, resistance bands, or weight machines. Strength training is integral to a well-rounded fitness routine because it helps improve bone density, muscle mass, and coordination. Strength training can also help reduce the risk of injuries in other activities (such as running or basketball) by helping build up the muscles and connective tissues around joints. 

What Is Bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding is a type of strength training that uses specialized exercises and equipment to develop large, muscular physiques. Bodybuilders typically engage in intense workout routines that include weightlifting and cardiovascular exercise. Unlike strength training, which can be performed for functional or aesthetic purposes, bodybuilding is usually done with the primary goal of winning competitions.

Which one is better?

There is no simple answer to this question. It depends on your individual goals and preferences. Strength training is an excellent option to improve your overall health and fitness. However, if you are specifically interested in building enormous amounts of muscle mass, then bodybuilding may be a better choice. Ultimately, the best approach is to try both and see which one you enjoy more.

15 Differences Between Bodybuilding and Strength Training: Which is Best for You?

1. Bodybuilding is a sport, while strength training is an activity

One of the main differences between bodybuilding and strength training is that bodybuilding is a sport, while strength training is an activity. This means that bodybuilders compete against each other to win trophies or cash prizes, while people who engage in strength training do so for personal reasons such as improving their health or physical appearance.

2. Bodybuilding requires special equipment, while strength training does not

Another difference between these two activities is that bodybuilding requires special equipment, such as weightlifting machines, while strength training can be done with or without this equipment.

3. Bodybuilders follow strict diets, while people who engage in strength training do not necessarily need to

Bodybuilders typically follow rigorous diets to gain the large, muscular physiques desired in the sport. On the other hand, people who engage in strength training do not necessarily need to follow a special diet to see results.

4. Bodybuilding workouts are typically longer than strength-training workouts

Bodybuilding workouts are typically much longer than strength-training workouts. This is because bodybuilders need to spend time working on each muscle group to see results. On the other hand, strength-training workouts can be shorter since they often focus on multiple muscle groups.

5. Bodybuilders typically use heavier weights than people who engage in strength training

Bodybuilders often lift hefty weights to build muscle mass. However, people who engage in strength training may use lighter weights or even just their body weight for resistance.

6. Bodybuilding involves more isolation exercises than strength training

Bodybuilding workouts typically involve a more significant number of isolation exercises, which are exercises that target a single muscle group. On the other hand, strength-training workouts often include compound exercises, which work for multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

7. Bodybuilders typically rest for more extended periods than people who engage in strength training

Bodybuilders usually take longer breaks between exercises to allow their muscles time to recover. On the other hand, strength trainees typically rest for shorter periods since they are not lifting as heavy of weights.

8. Bodybuilding is more aesthetic-based than strength training

Bodybuilding generally places a greater emphasis on physical appearance than strength training. This is because the primary goal of bodybuilding is to build large, muscular physiques. In contrast, the main goal of strength training can be anything from improving athletic performance to gaining health benefits.

9. Bodybuilding requires more dedication than strength training

Bodybuilding is a very time-consuming sport and requires much dedication to see results. On the other hand, strength training can be done in shorter sessions and does not require as much time commitment.

10. Bodybuilding is more expensive than strength training

Finally, bodybuilding is generally more expensive than strength training since it requires special equipment and supplements. On the other hand, strength training can be done with little to no equipment, making it a more affordable option.

11. There are more bodybuilders than people who engage in strength training

There are far more people who engage in bodybuilding than there are people who engage in strength training. This is likely because bodybuilding is a more popular sport, as well as the fact that it requires more time and dedication than strength training.

12. Bodybuilding is safer compared to strength training

Bodybuilding is considered a relatively safe sport, especially compared to other sports such as strength training. This is because bodybuilders typically lift lighter weights and don’t engage in high-impact activities. On the other hand, strength trainees may lift heavier weights and engage in more strenuous activity, which can lead to injuries.

13. Bodybuilding and strength training are two completely different things

It is important to remember that bodybuilding and strength training is entirely different. They both have their unique benefits and drawbacks, so it is up to the individual to decide which one is right for them.

14. Bodybuilding is the best way to build muscle

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. For example, some people may find bodybuilding the best way to build muscle, while others prefer strength training. It ultimately depends on the individual’s goals, preferences, and abilities.

15. Bodybuilding vs Strength Training: Which one has more exercises?

Bodybuilding typically has more exercises that work on isolated muscle groups, while strength training often has compound exercises that work for multiple muscle groups simultaneously. It ultimately depends on the goal of the individual. 

Some exercises people who engage in bodybuilding might do are bicep curls, tricep extensions, and leg presses. People who engage in strength training might perform squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses.

Conclusion

Both bodybuilding and strength training have their unique benefits and drawbacks. It is up to the individual to decide which one is right for them based on their goals, preferences, and abilities. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some people may find bodybuilding the best way to build muscle, while others prefer strength training. Ultimately, it depends on the individual’s goals, preferences, and abilities. We hope you enjoyed this bodybuilding vs strength training article!

About the Author: Jason Chapman

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Jason Chapman has a degree in Exercise Science and is a personal trainer with 10+ years of experience in fitness and strength coaching. Jason spends his time with BodyCapable researching the latest strength training trends and writing science-backed, informative content. Jason likes to spend his spare time hiking, traveling, and of course training!