If there’s on group of strength athletes that seems to be stuck in the late 60s -70s when it comes to their training approach, it’s bodybuilders. Some might argue bodybuilders are physique athletes versus strength athletes per se, but I’m defining strength athlete as anyone who lifts progressively heavier weights in an attempt to get stronger and or larger as their primary focus. Whether they do that to be able to diet down and show that work on a stage or to hit a new PR at a competition is irrelevant to me. So from here on out, I’m placing bodybuilders in the category of strength athletes along with power lifters, strong men competitors, Olympic lifters, etc.
If you spend time in a serious power lifting gym, you’ll find modern power lifters following what’s the most effective and efficient training methods for them to move forward in their sport. Obviously they apply their own approaches and methods, but understanding and utilizing concepts such as periodization, planned progression, de-loading, and so forth, is the common approach by successful modern powerlifters. You’ll find the same for O lifters, strong men, and others as the common theme. What about bodybuilders? Go into a bodybuilding/physique oriented gym, and you’ll see people doing the same thing they have always done, pretty much the same thing bodybuilders were doing since the 70s, which is linear training minus any periodization, planned progression, de-loading, and so forth, ignoring approaches that would greatly improve their progress while reducing their chances of injuries. Prehab work, mobility work, and other useful modalities that improve recoup from tough workouts and reduce the risk of injury, also foreign concepts by and large in the bodybuilding community, and that needs to change. It gets downright depressing. Contrary to what some readers may think, with a few exceptions, it’s no different among the bodybuilding elite either.