Training 101 bodybuilding to powerlifting, GVT to CrossFit

Training 101

Everyone knows that exercise makes you stronger, although, different form of weight training can produce incredibly different results. Some forms of training will increase maximum strength loads, others will increase endurance. Some techniques create almost no visible muscle hypertrophy, but create immense stores of stamina. By learning about the different forms of training, you can better benefit your training routine by using a method that produces the results you need.

Bodybuilding Types

Bodybuilding in a training routine that is focalized on one goal: making muscles grow bigger! Bodybuilders lean toward lifting 8-12 reps and train 1-2 muscles per day each week. This form of weight training is ideal for muscle hypertrophy, but not as sufficient for maximum strength. Although bodybuilder’s are strong, they aren’t focuses on the amount of weight being lifted. The attention is on aesthetics rather than athleticism.

Traditional bodybuilding

Traditional bodybuilding is more focused on self-observation and adjusting your routine as you go. Athletes such as Arnold Schwarzenegger are often thought of. These athletes didn’t use magazine routines and special diet plans such as Ketosis diets. Basic fundamentals of nutrition were used during bulk and cutting season. Athletes also trained much longer than modern bodybuilders. Some lifters would train 2-3 hours each day, sometimes training two sessions a day. The image of bodybuilding was more focused on aesthetics proportions and art. Men typically had a “Y” shaped body, having smaller legs than modern lifters.

Modern Bodybuilding

Modern bodybuilding is has become a broad sport, with various techniques and ideas about how to come “the best bodybuilder”. Some modern lifters use the classic ideas of self-observation, but others tend to use magazine “cookie cutter routines”. The sport has dipped into scientific dieting, carb loading, and attempts to body build using tactics and strategy. Unlike traditional bodybuilders, most athletes exercise for sessions lasting 45-60 minutes- they believe anything longer will counterproductive. Modern bodybuilders such as Jay Cutler and Phil Health come to mind. These new athletes are figures of bulk muscle and extreme size, having an “X” shape rather than “Y” shape. This is because of a greater demand in leg size than traditionally. In modern sport, HGH also plays on large factor on athletes shape, giving them much larger proportions. Contest judging is done more by science and measurement than the once artistic format.

Power lifting

Power lifting is the king of maximum strength training. This form of lifting is considered a brute strength sport. Unlike bodybuilders, physical appearance isn’t the goal of training- rather raw strength. Power lifters lift in the low range of 3-6 with very heavy weight.

West Side Barbell Powerlifting

West Side Barbell trains using three techniques-

Max Effect Method: lifting a max weight against a max resistance.

Each week an athlete will perform an upper and lower body max effort lift such as box squat and two board press. On max effort days you will not always work up to maximum weight, especially intermediate lifters. Those new to this technique will use a weight for a 3-5 rep range.

Repetition method: lifting a non-max weight to failure; the last reps, the muscle is subject to maximum force during fatigue.

Rep Method really isn’t about the amount of repetitions, rather about having a slow tempo and the time of contractions. A lifter will do belt squats or deadlifts for 3-4 sets of 3 minute sets. The weight chosen will be ~30% of 1RM. If this is done correctly, at a slow tempo, you will lift between 6-10 reps per minute. Resting between reps while still holding the weight is fine. It will build lactic acid tolerance and promote GH production.

Dynamic effort method: lifting non-max weight with minimum speed.

This is often called “Speed day”, where the routine is centered on fast repetitions with lighter weight. Most lifters do 10 sets of 3 reps or 8 sets of 5 reps. Each rep performed is done explosively to activate the muscle. Speed work is done using the percentages like most powerlifting.

Week 1 50% of 1RM
Week 2 55% of 1RM
Week 3 60% of 1RM
Week 4 Repeat

5,3,1 Powerlifting

5,3,1 training is a form training that uses weight lighter than your max. Typically lifters choose 3 or 4 barbell lifts they want to improve raw strength on, such as: dead lifts, squats, bench press, and military press. First, you estimated your 1 rep max (1RM) for each lift. These values will be used for the training each week. The first week you will lift each exercise 60%, 75%, and then 85% for 5 reps. The second week you will lift each exercise 70% 80% and 90% for three reps. The third week you will lift 75%, 85% and 95% for 5, 3,and 1 rep. On the third week if you feel able to lift more than the 5,3,1 reps prescribed, do so- the idea is to push beyond your previous maximum strength. The fourth week, reduce your lifts and rest to avoid over training. When beginning your cycle again, increase 90% max by ~10lbs.

Circuit Training

Circuit training is a form of exercise where various exercises are performed in a quick format. This method is used mainly for burning fat, maintaining weight, increasing endurance, cardiovascular health and small increases in muscle and strength. These exercises are light lifts, sometime bodyweight movements, done with a high range of repetitions. Circuit training is popular with fighters and wrestlers, giving them stimulation similar to the sport.

Common arm routine example:

  • Triceps Push-downs with rope or straight bar – 20 reps
  • Band Push-downs – 20 reps
  • Straight Bar Curls – 15 reps
  • Preacher Bench Curls – 15 reps
  • Skull-crushers – 20 reps
  • Bench Dips – 20 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Curls – 8 reps twist 5 count then 4 more
  • Wrist Curls-20 reps
  • Reverse wrist curls-20 reps

Once done, rest for 1-2 minutes

Repeat this for 5 sets


Isometric training is a form of resistance training unlike many others. To perform an isometric exercise, you must hold the weight or your own body weight in a single position for a given amount of time before ending the range of motion. This can be done with lateral raises, by holding the weight out straight for 20-30 seconds. This technique is a quick stamina builder and creates muscle memory. Although this exercises doses increase much visible muscle, it plays important roles in many sports. Athletes such as gymnasts, rock climbers, arm wrestlers and the like use these exercises to hold weight, or themselves for long periods of time. Using this technique of holding a contraction can be done for numerous exercises such as: wall squats, leg raises/extensions, pushups, planks, and calf raises.

German Volume Training

German volume training is similar in routine to bodybuilding but strongly centered towards endurance. This form is gradually increases strength and muscle while creating a large capacity for resistance and stamina. This technique is done by lifting a given amount of weight 10 times for 10 sets. Start with 50 to 60% of your one rep max for that lift. Every week, this weight is slowly increased-usually by 5lbs, allowing the muscle to become stronger and adapt.

The first few sets will seem fairly easy, but don’t let it fool you. By the 7th or 8th set, you’ll be in pain. Resist the urge to increase the weight after the 2nd set- you’ll feel it!

Typical Routine:

  • Monday: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps (PUSH)
  • Wednesday: Back, Biceps, Abs (PULL)
  • Friday: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves (LEGS)

*On Monday after doing intense chest and shoulder exercises, your triceps may be burnt out. Instead of 10×10, using 3 sets of 6-12 may be more beneficial and do-able- use best judgment. Remember to have plenty of rest between working the same muscle, it’s likely you’ll feel a deep sore feeling in the muscle.


CrossFit is a training method designed to make men and women equal parts gymnasts, Olympic lifters, multi-model sprinters, or sprint athletes. CrossFit trains to create the capacity of a intermediate 800-meter track runner, gymnast and weight lifter, which creates an athletes that is fitter than any just one of those. In other words, CrossFit’s training method allows an athlete to be very well rounded at every method, rather than training to be the best at once specific training model. This makes it an extremely popular sport for law enforcement and military.

Typical Routine:

  • Dynamic Warm-up- This usually starts with jumping jacks, body squats, pushups, lunges. Functional movements such as stretches and mobility work are used to prepare for exercises that will follow.
  • Skill/Strength work: On strength days, you’ll perform pure strength lifts such as squats and deadlifts. On skill days, you’ll work on creating form on lifters such as the clean and press.
  • WOD: Or The Workout of the Day. For WOD’s you’ll be asked to perform a certain range of repetitions for an exercise as fast as reasonable possible, or until failure during a time limit.
  • Break/Stretch: Afterward, you may stretch and cool down…and sometimes run to go puke!
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