We've already covered what the most irrelevant question in bodybuilding is (Rule #6). Now let's examine why it is so very irrelevant.
15. If you lift like a powerlifter, you better be a card-carrying member. Otherwise, you're sabotaging your own gains.
There are two different ways to perform bench press. They are distinctly different:
Bodybuilding Bench Press:
It is intended for the development of the chest, or pectoral muscles, anterior deltoids, serratus anterior, but a variation exists for the triceps. When done correctly, this is an exercise for the chest, not the arms and shoulders.
"It is properly performed while lying on one's back with one's shoulder blades pinched together on a specially designed bench with a weighted barbell suspended on a rack. Not pinching one's shoulder blades together causes the anterior deltoids (frontal shoulders) to take over." source
Powerlifting Bench Press:
Is executed with the shoulder blades apart, making it an exercise mostly for the shoulders and back. More weight can be lifted this way, but...who cares? Bench Press is not the standard measure of upper body strength, but many believe that, incorrectly.
The real measure upper body strength is the condition of the core.
Likewise, there are 2 different ways to perform squat:
"You get greater overall muscle and strength gains from the squat than from any other exercise," says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., C.S.C.S., an exercise researcher at the University of Connecticut..."Squats create an overall anabolic environment in the body that maximizes gains from other exercises [in your workout]," says Volek. Because squats involve a large muscle group and require a tremendous amount of energy, they trigger the release of extra testosterone and growth hormone in the bloodstream. And that'll help you build your upper body, too."
The bar is removed from the rack, the lifter takes a step or two back. Feet are lined up under the shoulders at shoulder-width. The beginning position for squat is when the knees are very slightly bent, just short of locking out. This engages the quadriceps from the beginning. The movement continues (depending on the conditions of the knees) a bit past 90 degrees or is done as a "full squat," lowering oneself almost all the way down. If you are curious about your form, do front squats before you do (traditional) back squats. They're challenging, that's why you see so few doing them in the gym. Use a Smith machine.
If most of the driving force of the legs is focused on the ball of the foot, the movement concentrates on the quads. This is why some people elevate their heels with a plank or 5 pound plates, or simply do front squats. If most of the driving force is centered on the heel, the hamstrings and glutes will have greater involvement in the movement. When very heavy weights with the use of a belt are attempted, half squats and quarter squats also contribute to hypertrophy. source I recommend using a Smith machine.
A belt is not usually used so that the muscles of the core and midsection are involved. Wearing a belt on every set of squats is like using crutches on a treadmill (unless you have back problems or are trying to lift too much weight for yourself).
gradually increase the amount of weight you lift. "You want to get used to having heavy weights on your back," says LaFountain. To that end, do squats 2 days a week--1 day of 12, eight, six, four, and two repetitions with heavy weights, followed 2 days later by five sets of five with moderate weights. Repeat this regimen for 6 to 8 weeks, or until it becomes easy, and then restart the cycle, adding heavier weights."Powerlifting Squat:
if you cut your squats short, you may limit your gains. Start with the bar resting across your trapezius muscles. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, your knees straight, and your back in its natural alignment [A]. Slowly sit back as you lower yourself as far as you can while keeping a slight arch in your lower back [B]. Pause at the bottom, then press your heels into the floor as you push yourself back up to the starting position. Do three sets of six to 10 repetitions."
The bar is removed from the power rack and a spotter is used. This form of squat ends at exactly when the knees form a 90 degree angle. This maximizes the amount of weight that can be lifted back up. BUT SO WHAT? The bar is very heavily loaded with weight and a belt is required to stabilize the midsection.
Finally, there are 2 different ways to perform deadlift:
Movement begins with the weight on the ground or held in the air. An excellent exercise animation is here on this site, click on LEGS, then click on Deadlift. Then take a look at this deadlift clip. Good written description here.
Movement begins with a very heavily loaded barbell, on the ground. Rest between sets is maximized. source
Powerlifters only care about three exercises: bench press, squat, and deadlift. They perform these 3 exercises very differently from bodybuilders in order to maximize the amount of weight (a number) lifted. For them, the more rest; the better. In powerlifting, the less weight you can lift, the more of a wuss you are. Notice that one doesn't get to stop being a wuss either, because well, numbers can get very large. Infinity and stuff.
In contrast, bodybuilders perform the exercises in a way that maximizes muscle growth (hypertrophy). For them, proper form and intense burning sensations throughout the legs are the goal. In bodybuilding, the more rest you take (over 2 minutes), the more of a wuss you are.
Don't lift like a powerlifter unless you are a powerlifter.