web stats

Strongmen Vs Bodybuilders: Unveiling the Differences and Benefits

The world of strength and physique training is filled with various disciplines and competitive arenas, each showcasing impressive feats of human strength and power. Two popular categories within this realm are strongmen and bodybuilders. While they may share some similarities, there are distinct differences between Strongmen Vs Bodybuilders in these two disciplines. In this article, we will delve into the world of strongmen and bodybuilders, comparing their training methodologies, goals, and physical attributes.

Strongmen Vs Bodybuilders

Definition and Goals of Strongmen

Strongman competitions revolve around showcasing overall strength, power, and athleticism. Strongmen participate in a variety of events that test their abilities in areas such as lifting heavy objects, pulling vehicles, carrying weighted implements, and even truck-pulling. The ultimate goal of a strongman is to prove their dominance in these events and emerge as the strongest athlete.

  • Training Methodology

To prepare for strongman competitions, athletes engage in a specialized training regimen that focuses on developing maximal strength and power. Their training often includes heavy compound lifts such as deadlifts, squats, and overhead presses. Additionally, strongmen incorporate event-specific training, which involves practicing the various activities they will encounter during competitions. This might include tire flipping, log presses, yoke carries, and atlas stone loading.

  • Physical Attributes

Strong men prioritize a combination of strength, power, and overall body mass. They tend to have larger physiques with significant muscle mass and higher levels of body fat to support their heavy lifting and provide leverage. Strongmen are known for their impressive feats of strength, including lifting massive weights and moving heavy objects.

Definition and Goals of Bodybuilders

Bodybuilding is a sport that emphasizes the development of muscular aesthetics and symmetry. Competitors in bodybuilding competitions aim to sculpt their bodies to perfection, focusing on muscle definition, proportion, and overall presentation. The goal is to showcase a balanced and visually appealing physique.

  • Training Methodology

Bodybuilders follow a structured training program that emphasizes muscle hypertrophy (increased muscle size) and aesthetic development. Their workouts typically involve high-volume resistance training, targeting specific muscle groups with various exercises. Bodybuilders also incorporate cardiovascular exercise to maintain low levels of body fat, which enhances muscle definition and visibility.

  • Physical Attributes

Bodybuilders strive for a well-defined and symmetrical physique with minimal body fat. They focus on developing each muscle group to create an aesthetically pleasing appearance, with emphasis on muscle size, shape, and definition. Bodybuilders often have lower body fat percentages compared to strongmen, allowing their muscle definition to stand out.

Key Differences Between Strongmen and Bodybuilders

While both strongmen and bodybuilders are impressive athletes, several key differences set them apart:

  • Goals

Strongmen prioritize strength, power, and performance in various events, while bodybuilders aim for aesthetic muscle development and visual presentation.

  • Training Emphasis

Strongmen focus on building overall strength and power, including event-specific training. Bodybuilders concentrate on hypertrophy training to enhance muscle size and definition, with an emphasis on aesthetics.

  • Physical Appearance

Strong men tend to have larger physiques with higher levels of body fat, which aids in their strength and power. Bodybuilders aim for lower body fat percentages to showcase muscle definition and symmetry.

Differences in Bodybuilding vs. Strongman Training Style

Strongmen Vs Bodybuilders training is two distinct disciplines with different training styles. Understanding these differences can help individuals choose the path that aligns with their goals and preferences. On the other hand, Bodybuilding vs Weightlifting will be helpful to know the differences between them.

Bodybuilding Training

Bodybuilding training focuses on developing muscle size, symmetry, and definition to achieve an aesthetically pleasing physique. The primary training techniques used in bodybuilding include:

  • High-volume training: Bodybuilders perform multiple sets and repetitions for each exercise, targeting specific muscle groups. This helps stimulate muscle growth and hypertrophy.
  • Isolation exercises: Bodybuilders often incorporate isolation exercises that target individual muscles, such as bicep curls or leg extensions, to achieve maximum muscle development.
  • Controlled repetitions: Bodybuilders typically perform exercises with slower and controlled repetitions to maintain tension on the muscles and enhance muscle fiber recruitment.
  • Split routines: Bodybuilding training usually involves splitting workouts across different muscle groups on different days to allow for maximum focus and recovery.

Strongman Training

Strongman training focuses on developing overall strength, power, and athleticism to excel in various strength-based events. The training techniques commonly used in strongman training include:

  • Compound exercises: Strongmen heavily rely on compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, such as deadlifts, squats, and overhead presses.
  • Event-specific training: Strongman competitors train for specific events they will encounter in competitions, such as tire flips, log presses, atlas stone loading, and farmer’s walks.
  • Heavy lifting: Strongman training involves lifting heavy weights to build strength and power. This often includes incorporating progressive overload principles, such as increasing weight or repetitions over time.
  • Functional training: Strongmen focus on training movements that mimic real-life activities, enhancing their overall athleticism and physical performance.

Differences in Bodybuilding vs Strongman Exercise

While Strongmen Vs Bodybuilders share a dedication to physical fitness and an impressive level of discipline in their respective sports, they diverge in their training methodologies, goals, and physical attributes. Strongmen strive for sheer strength and power, participating in events that test their abilities in various ways. The choice of exercises differs between bodybuilding and strongman training due to their distinct goals and training styles.

Bodybuilding Exercise Selection

Bodybuilders prioritize exercises that promote muscle growth, symmetry, and aesthetic development. Common exercises include:

  • Chest: Bench press, dumbbell flyes, cable crossovers.
  • Back: Lat pulldowns, rows (barbell, dumbbell, or cable), pull-ups.
  • Shoulders: Military press, lateral raises, upright rows.
  • Legs: Squats, leg presses, lunges, hamstring curls.
  • Arms: Bicep curls, tricep pushdowns, hammer curls, skull crushers.
  • Abs: Sit-ups, planks, cable crunches.

Strongman Exercise Selection

Strongmen focus on exercises that enhance overall strength, power, and event-specific performance. Common exercises include:

  • Deadlift variations: Conventional deadlift, sumo deadlift, trap bar deadlift.
  • Squat variations: Back squats, front squats, overhead squats.
  • Overhead pressing: Log press, axle press, military press.
  • Carry exercises: Farmer’s walks, yoke walks, sandbag carries.
  • Loading and throwing: Atlas stone loading, keg toss, hammer throw.
  • Grip and pulling exercises: Axle bar holds, truck pulls, rope climbs.

Benefits of Bodybuilding and Strongman Training

While bodybuilding and strongman training have their unique characteristics, there can be benefits to incorporating elements of both into a training routine.

  • Well-rounded physique: Combining bodybuilding and strongman training can help develop a well-rounded physique with both aesthetic appeal and functional strength.
  • Strength and muscle growth: Strongman training can enhance overall strength, which can translate into greater muscle growth potential during bodybuilding training.
  • Athletic performance: Strongman training emphasizes athleticism, explosiveness, and functional movements, which can improve overall athletic performance.
  • Mental toughness: Both disciplines require discipline, dedication, and mental resilience, and combining them can help individuals develop a stronger mindset.
  • Variety and enjoyment: Combining different training styles can add variety to a routine, preventing boredom and keeping motivation high.

FAQ About Strongmen Vs Bodybuilders

Can bodybuilders compete in strongman competitions?

While bodybuilders can participate in strongman events, their training focuses on different goals, and specific strongman training is necessary to excel in these competitions.

Do strongmen have better overall strength than bodybuilders?

Strongmen are generally known for their exceptional overall strength due to their training emphasis on heavy compound lifts and event-specific exercises.

Can bodybuilders benefit from incorporating strongman training into their routines?

Yes, incorporating elements of strongman training, such as compound lifts and functional exercises, can help bodybuilders enhance their overall strength and athleticism.

Are bodybuilders stronger than strongmen?

Bodybuilders focus on muscle development and aesthetics, while strongmen prioritize functional strength and power. Therefore, strongmen typically have greater overall strength.

Can bodybuilders and strongmen inspire each other?

Absolutely! Bodybuilders and strongmen can inspire and learn from one another, as both disciplines require hard work, dedication, and a commitment to physical fitness.


Bodybuilding and strongman training differ significantly in their training styles, exercise selection, and goals. Bodybuilding focuses on muscle development, symmetry, and aesthetics, while strongman training emphasizes overall strength, power, and athleticism. However, there can be benefits to combining elements of both disciplines to achieve a well-rounded physique, improved strength, and enhanced athletic performance.

Ultimately, the choice between Strongmen Vs Bodybuilders training depends on individual preferences, goals, and aspirations. Bodybuilders, on the other hand, focus on sculpting their physiques to achieve aesthetic perfection and showcase their muscular development.

Scroll to Top