A Comparison of Weightlifting Routines from Two of the Heavy Hitters in Online Fitness: Bodybuilding.com and Muscle and Fitness
In the fitness community the sheer number of voices can drown out reasonable fitness advice.
One site may encourage CrossFit, while another may suggest Olympic lifting. So how do you choose?
Today, we take a look at two of the top names in weightlifting, Bodybuilding.com and Muscle and Fitness, and compare and contrast their programs for gaining both mass and strength.
In doing so, we hope we can give some clarity in an otherwise clouded community.
Bodybuilding.com: Radical Gains: Get Big And Strong With One Plan!”
This article focuses on ways to train your body for both muscle growth and muscle strength. Generally, one would train two distinct ways in order to achieve either growth or strength.
With this program, the author claims to be able to foster both. His reasoning focuses on the recovery time of the Central Nervous System (CNS) after a particularly heavyweight lifting session.
While most literature does agree that the CNS takes a beating from heavyweight lifting, most literature also supports the idea that the CNS can recover fairly quickly with solid sleep and an appropriate amount of calories.
That being said, what advantage does this program offer?
The author suggests performing one week of heavyweight training, and one week of high-volume training, alternating each week. This training program follows the idea of “shocking” your muscle into growth.
This technique seems to be the trend in today’s fitness industry, and with good reason—it appears to work.
However, this program is clearly tailored to someone who is experienced in lifting.
It provides a basic guideline to one day’s worth of exercises, but then is ambiguous as to how to design the other days.
While this lack of detail is not a deal breaker for most weightlifters, it may be a deal breaker for a beginner.
Another downside is that is tosses around many terms that, while familiar to a seasoned weightlifter, may require significant research for a newbie (e.g. German 10×10).
Muscle and Fitness: “Training Techniques For Greater Muscle Growth”
I feel both an honor and an apprehension at reviewing this article as it was written by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Who am I to critique the master? Oh, well. I shall beat on, weights against the current.
This article focuses on three lesser-known techniques for increasing the intensity of a workout session and thus increase muscle growth:
- Partial Holds
- Multi-Exercise Sets
- One-and-a-Half Method
These techniques were mostly new to me, signaling that this article provides a window into some esoteric methods favored by the elite lifters.
What is interesting to me is that these techniques also focus on the “shocking your muscle” method of weightlifting, though are not labeled as such.
The Multi-Exercise Set method in particular suggests using multiple varieties of lifts that target the same muscle group in order to facilitate growth.
Once again, this article seems to target seasoned weightlifters looking for new ways to spice up routines. While I found it both interesting and useful, it will be completely useless to someone looking to start a new weightlifting program. This article is meant as a supplement and not as a framework.
Final Word: Bodybuilding.com vs. Muscle and Fitness
While this sampling is too small to assert a yea or nay for Bodybuilding.com or Muscle and Fitness, it is safe to say that I favor the Muscle and Fitness article for this specific purpose: strength and muscle growth.
It provided techniques that were for the most part new to me, and an author who has clear authority and knowledge on the subject matter.
While the Bodybuilding.com article throws around terms like Central Nervous System and various tried-and-true training methods (German 10×10), it does not provide the reader with anything revolutionary, and leaves the reader to do the majority of the work necessary to implement the suggestions.
The Muscle and Fitness article describes the techniques in such a way that they may be seamlessly added to any already-standing weightlifting routine.