Strength Training vs. Bodybuilding Physique

Last Updated:

We may earn commissions for purchases made through links on our site. Learn more on our about us page.

Many look to get in shape and build a strong, healthy body. But when you set out on this goal, you’ll find that many different options can help you do this. 

Maybe as you’re looking through all the options, you’ve stumbled into the world of weight training. So many options are perfect for building a strong and toned body, among which are strength training and bodybuilding. 

While they may seem similar at first glance, these two methods have distinct differences. So which approach is for you? 

That’s what we’re going to take a look at in this article. We will look at the different forms of weightlifting and hopefully help you decide which one aligns with your fitness goals.


What are the Similarities?

Before diving into the differences between strength training and bodybuilding, it’s important to acknowledge that these two weight training methods have some similarities. Here are a few of those similarities:


  • Both involve lifting weights and challenge your body to adapt and grow stronger
  • Discipline and dedication are needed
  • It can help build muscle mass and improve body composition
  • Many find them enjoyable and empowering


So while strength training and bodybuilding may have some distinct differences, it’s important to recognize that they also share some common ground. 


What are the Differences?

So although strength training and bodybuilding do have similarities, as we just mentioned, there are some key differences between the two approaches to weight training. Here are those key differences:


  • The goals are different. Strength training focuses on building functional strength and power, while bodybuilding is more about aesthetics and creating a particular physique. 


  • The types of exercises included are different as well. 


Strength training tends to practice compound movements that work for multiple muscle groups simultaneously, whereas bodybuilding often involves more isolation exercises that target specific muscle groups.


  • The amount of weight lifted is also different. Strength training focuses on lifting heavy weights for low reps to build maximum strength. Bodybuilding often involves lifting lighter weights for more reps to create muscle for hypertrophy and definition.


  • In terms of nutrition, there are also some differences. Bodybuilders often follow strict diets and supplement regimens to support muscle growth and reduce body fat. While strength trainers often look for a more balanced approach to nutrition. 


  • Recovery is different too! Bodybuilders may produce rest and recovery, going to allow muscle growth. In contrast, strength trainers may produce active recovery and training frequency to build strength.


Pros and Cons: Strength Training vs. Bodybuilding Physique

Overall, the pros and cons of each approach to weight training can vary depending on individual goals, preferences, and physical limitations. 

It’s still important to consider the factors, though, and that’s why we put together this pros and cons list for each of the options:


Strength Training



  • Builds functional strength and power, which can improve athletic performance and everyday activities
  • This leads to increased muscle mass and improved body composition.
  • Require shorter workout times. 
  • It may improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • It can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of diabetes. 




  • It may not create the same level of muscle hypertrophy as bodybuilding 
  • It could be less effective at improving muscle symmetry or aesthetics 
  • Requires careful attention to form and technique to avoid injury 
  • Not ideal for those with joint pain or mobility issues


Bodybuilding Physique



  • It can create significant muscle hypertrophy and definition
  • Improves body composition and reduces body fat 
  • It can help improve the sense of accomplishment and improve self-confidence 
  • It may be effective for real-time muscle imbalances or weaknesses




  • Maybe too time-consuming for some
  • A strict nutrition and supplement regimen is required
  • Not ideal for improving functional strength or athletic performance
  • This often leads to overtraining or injuries if not managed properly 


Which One is More Beginner-Friendly?

If you’re new to weight training and looking to get started, you may wonder which approach is more beginner friendly: strength training or bodybuilding? 

Strength training is often considered more beginner-friendly because it focuses on compound movements and lower Rep ranges. 

In addition, strength training typically involves lifting heavier weights for fewer reps which can help beginners develop proper form and technique before increasing this weight. 

On the other hand, bodybuilding often involves more advanced techniques and requires more focus on nutrition and supplements, which is constantly challenging for those new to training. 


Which One Gets Better or Faster Results?

When getting results from weight training, both strength training and bodybuilding wouldn’t be effective, but the speed and type of results can vary depending on individual goals and genetics. 

Strength training may be more effective and faster than bodybuilding in terms of building strength and power.

Focusing compound movements and heavyweight strength training can lead to significant strength gains in a relatively short time. This can be especially true for beginners who are just starting and have not yet reached their full-strength potential.


Final Thoughts on Strength Training Vs. Bodybuilding Physique

Both strength training and bodybuilding have unique advantages and drawbacks, and the best approach for you will depend on your individual goals and preferences. 

In other words, ultimately, the most important thing is to choose a training style that you enjoy and stick to consistently over time to achieve your fitness goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 


Leave a Reply