Fitness Tips

Strongman Vs. Bodybuilder: Main Differences

Strongman vs Bodybuilder

There are many different routines, strategies, and standards in the realm of weight training, which can be super confusing for people who aren’t familiar with this world and beginners who just started out. At the gym, for instance, bodybuilders and strongmen can seem to be working toward the same objectives, yet have quite different intentions.

Bodybuilders and strongmen are fundamentally different from one another in that the former is primarily focused on increasing their physical attractiveness while the latter are simply interested in getting stronger. If you want to learn more about strongmen and bodybuilders, including exactly what they are and how they differ from one another, keep reading.


Understanding What a Strongman Is


Strongman is a type of strength sport that combines both physical and mental power. Think about mixed martial arts and combat sports. The counterpart of strength sports is a strongman. To finish numerous medleys and max rep events, you would have to be incredibly strong and powerful, as well as have excellent conditioning.

Bodybuilders and strongmen have very different goals regarding their fitness regimens. Their value is based on things outside of themselves, such as how much weight they can lift, rather than how they physically appear. Strongmen will act in a very different manner from bodybuilders because of this. For instance, a strongman is likely to consume a large number of calories daily to increase their body mass, whether it is muscle or fat, rather than aiming to lose fat and create muscle definition.

This is due to the fact that a person’s body weight determines their ability to lift a particular weight considerably more so than their level of body fat or the size of their muscles. Once again, a very active competitive atmosphere shapes the way in which many strongmen train and how they behave. Because contests are based on who can lift the biggest weight or perform an activity the most times in the shortest amount of time, there is minimal subjectivity when it comes to what constitutes a successful strongman.

Understanding What a Bodybuilder Is


Bodybuilders’ primary goal is to improve their physical look. Of course, everyone’s ideal body form is slightly different, but most bodybuilders usually aim for a few similar qualities. They will frequently strive to keep fat accumulation to a minimum and try to tone their muscles. They will also concentrate on hypertrophy, which is the process of expanding your muscles in size.

Obviously, not all of these characteristics can be obtained only through exercise, and a lot of bodybuilders will adhere to stringent nutrition regimens in order to lose fat and gain muscle as much as possible.

Competitive bodybuilders will take their training seriously because they want to compete with other bodybuilders for the best physical look. Although most people’s ideal appearance is subjective, in professional bodybuilding competitions, judges will have rigorous criteria defined for what contestants should be striving for.

Strongman Vs. Bodybuilder—Key Differences Explained

What distinguishes a bodybuilder from a strongman? A bodybuilder is solely concerned with appearance and aesthetics. They use weightlifting to promote hypertrophy while limiting the amount of fat they accumulate.

Strongmen pay little to no attention to their physical appearance and instead concentrate on increasing their total strength and power. They consume a lot of calories to increase their size and strength and lift weights to increase their raw power. Let’s examine the key differences between these two categories of athletes in more detail below:

1. Physique


It goes without saying that strongmen are among the biggest people on earth. Simply due to how tall, broad, and thick they are, they are far larger than many professional builders. Amateur strongman athletes don’t exhibit this type of size because weight classifications for local events in the sport have just lately been created. Generally, amateur strongmen are bigger and contain more body fat compared to amateur and natural bodybuilders.

Having six-pack abs is irrelevant to strongmen, who are primarily interested in how much weight they can move and lift. Bodybuilders often strive for a balanced physique emphasizing muscle growth and subsequently lowering body fat and becoming insanely slim.

2. Strength

Being able to use as much physical power as possible is the entire point of becoming a strongman. The most typical indication of a person’s physical strength is the ability to lift big weights. However, this does not imply that bodybuilders lack strength. For aesthetic reasons, their major objective is to increase muscle size and definition.

This essentially results in increased physical strength, making bodybuilders stronger than normal individuals. It is true, though, that strongmen train for strength growth while bodybuilders train for physical enhancement, making strongmen significantly stronger than bodybuilders. Strongman training results in a level of strength unmatched by any other strength sport.

That is what renders it such a desirable method of training. Usually, bodybuilding is done “for show.” The only goal of the workout is to isolate the muscles as well as possible in order to promote hypertrophy. Yet that doesn’t imply that bodybuilders are helpless. Nonetheless, you will become stronger if you lift weights. But, not as powerful as a strongman who is preparing for this contest.

3. Training

Strongman Training

Strongmen employ bodybuilding-style training as part of their programs, although having different ultimate objectives. Yet, there are no strongman training regimens used by bodybuilders. Bodybuilding exercises are used by strongmen to identify their weak places and develop the muscle they require to sustain big weights.

A strongman will use this training method more in the off-season period. Less bodybuilding training will be used by strongmen as competitions approach, and more training time will be devoted to developing their strength and event technique.

Strongman competitions are not used by bodybuilders since they don’t do anything to promote muscular growth. Mechanical strain, metabolic stress, and muscle damage—which the events often don’t provide—have an impact on muscular growth.

Those who want to gain muscle can genuinely benefit from strongman training. When it comes to the sort of weight training strongmen perform in the gym, they mostly rely on weight lifting to develop significant amounts of muscle.

The diet, however, is the primary distinction between strongman training and muscular development. In order to gain as much mass as possible, strongmen will consume far more food than normal individuals.

If you’re solely interested in gaining muscle, you should not go for the strongman diet because this mass most definitely does not take the shape of the muscle, but you can employ their training methods instead and combine them with your own specialized diet.

4. Equipment

Compared to bodybuilders, strongmen need a lot more equipment outside of a standard gym membership. Nearly every commercial gym offers training facilities and all the tools a bodybuilder needs to promote muscular growth. Bodybuilders use machines, barbells, and dumbbells as their tools for competition.

Although a strongman will also utilize this gear, you can only find a lot of specialized gear in a strongman training center or by going out and buying it. Large tires, kegs, yokes, sandbags, farmers’ handles, atlas stones, and many more items fall into this category.

If your next competition includes a truck pull event, you’ll need to find a way to get a sizable semi-truck that you can practice with. Not everything is simple to arrange. You’ll need chalk, a lifting belt, many pairs of shoes for various strongman events, and tacky in addition to strongman-specific equipment.

5. Cardio

Strongmen who have had proper training have excellent cardio for their events. They have strongman conditioning. Carrying several 100-300 kg sandbags over a 20-m distance while competing is no simple task. Yet, due to their size, simple actions like climbing stairs become difficult for them since they have to carry more than 400 lbs of load.

Low-intensity, steady-state cardio can be a part of a bodybuilder’s cut. Yet, if they want to enhance muscular growth, they won’t. Generally, a strongman has a well-developed cardiovascular system yet experiences problems due to their immense size.


Anyone who lifts weights does it for different reasons. Hence, crossovers between several disciplines like bodybuilding and strongman are widespread. If you aren’t sure where you fit in all of this, try not to be too harsh on yourself or others.

Explore several things and find what works best for you while concentrating on your own objectives. Without overly categorizing different methods and types of weight training, try new things and experiment. Once you decide what works best for you and your needs, you’ll be able to reach your goals and be the happiest you’ve ever been—just be patient, consistent, and work hard!

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