Strongman vs Bodybuilder [KEY Differences]

It may be overwhelming for anyone who is new to weight training to see all of the various forms of training that take place before lifting weights.

What’s the difference, after all, if they all look tall and carry big weights?

And, for so many common weight-training techniques, how do you know if you’re doing it correctly? Which design is the most appropriate for you?

Sticking to the fundamentals is perfect at the beginning, and it’s better not to box yourself in with categories and prejudices.

Your ambitions and priorities are likely to evolve as you advance, which will have an effect on your weight-training path.

If you don’t want to get swept up in misconceptions, it’s useful to understand the fundamental distinctions between a bodybuilder and a strongman so you can better understand how these two competitors approach weight lifting.

What’s the difference between a bodybuilder and a strongman? A bodybuilder is solely concerned about his or her looks. They raise weights for hypertrophy and aim to avoid gaining so much body fat.

A strongman concentrates on increasing total strength and control while paying less attention to his outward image. They raise weights to increase raw power and consume a large number of calories to increase height and intensity.

Let’s have a deeper look at the parallels and disparities between these two groups of competitors.


We will get a clearer understanding of what the word “bodybuilder” implies by looking up the definition in the dictionary:

an individual who uses strenuous exercise to improve and expand their body muscles.

This is a broad term that encompasses a vast spectrum of individuals.

Lifting weights isn’t even included in the dictionary; it just refers to “strenuous workout.”

As a result, this may apply to virtually everyone who wants to strengthen their body by adding muscle. From a rugby athlete trying to improve his strength or stamina or an aging person seeking to stay active and stable while they mature.

Even a strongman competitor falls under this category, making it a little more difficult.
But, for the purposes of this article and to keep it easy, we’ll concentrate on professional bodybuilding and compare it to strongman.


The strongman technique combines practical activity behaviors like moving, dragging, and pressing to have real-world use, even though the items are ridiculously large. Here are some of the movements that you might hope to see in a standard Strongman workout:

  • Farmer’s walk.
  • Metal log overhead press.
  • Distance walking / running with kegs or stones.
  • Overloaded single-arm dumbbell press.
  • Giant tire flipping.

Strongman fitness culminates in a series of obstacle-based activities for athletes, like lifting Atlas sticks, hoisting a log over the head with a clean and push, and completing a farmer’s walk with overloaded dumbbells.

However, after the tournament, your stamina, aerobic endurance, and abilities can just help you in your daily life. Strongman preparation will help you bend correctly, raise loads without injuring yourself, and move items from point A to point B in actual life scenarios.

Difference Between Bodybuilding and Strongman

strongman vs bodybuilder

1- Goals and Ambitions

As a professional bodybuilder, the objectives and ambitions listed in the introduction are solely aesthetics and presentation. All are based on the body’s visual side.

The aim is to produce the “ideal” body, similar to how a sculptor might create a statue of a Greek deity.

The amateur bodybuilder strives to master poses that better display his or her body, and judgment is focused on symmetry, muscularity, and conditioning.

In the case of the strongman, regardless of physique, his target is sheer strength and force.

It is not always about 1RM strength, but about power in general. A strongman competition consists of a set of events that test intensity in various areas in order to decide who is the most dominant in all areas.

As a result, the strongman’s aspirations and aims are to become powerful in all aspects of lifting.

2- Training

Dumbbells and barbells are used by competitive bodybuilders much like pencils and paints are used by artists. Weightlifting is virtually unavoidable.

The name of the game when it comes to weightlifting is hypertrophy (muscle growth).

This involves focusing on optimal muscle contraction and time under tension rather than the amount of weight actually lifted.

Generally, this involves slow, purposeful repetitions that make good use of the eccentric and eccentric aspects of the exercise for comparatively large reps of 8 to 12.

In contrast to strongman, compound movements are the name of the game in strongman tournaments, involving maximum body power. Traditional exercises such as the deadlift, squat, chest press, and bench press are included, as well as atlas sticks, sandbags, Super Yoke, farmer’s walks, and the Log Press.

That said, almost all competitions involve some type of deadlift and overhead press, so powerlifters with huge backs and shoulders are not uncommon.

3- How They Eat

Food is merely a way to an end for a competitive bodybuilder. It’s just a source of fuel for muscle formation. In general, they’ll want to hold fat losses to a minimum while maximizing muscle development.

This is accomplished by following a strict diet regimen and paying close attention to macronutrients and calorie intake.

The greatest distinction is that for many strongman competitors, overweight isn’t as much of a problem. Most people consider weight gain to be a positive thing because they associate it with power improvements. This is particularly valid in the “open” genre of strongman, where the 400-pound monsters can be found.

Muscle formation, healing, and hard workouts necessitate a lot of energy, so calorie-dense meals are popular.

Why Do Strongman Look Fat? – [Here’s Why]


Are strongmen stronger than bodybuilders?

Many “strongmen” are generally much heavier than the Strongmen; as a result, the Strongmen are much tougher than bodybuilders since they train for maximum power, while bodybuilders only show off their sculpted bodies.

Are bodybuilders actually strong?

Bodybuilders are, in fact, very powerful. If the bodybuilding sport does not emphasize weight, muscle is muscle. And, on average, bodybuilders are much heavier than the average person. Lifting heavy weights to grow the muscles is a big part of bodybuilding.


You may have come across this post because you’re uncertain where you belong on your own lifting path.

Finally, everybody is special, and weight lifting is a really specific exercise. Although basic strategies and expertise will help you gain muscle and stamina, it is up to you to figure out what works best for you.

This is valid with objectives and expectations. All who engage in weight lifting do so for a variety of motives. As a result, crossovers between disciplines such as bodybuilding and strongman are not unusual.

Experiment with various methods and types in weight lifting without placing so many marks on them. Finally, this is about the ride, so enjoy it.

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