One of the most effective techniques that I started implementing a few years ago to build muscle, strength, and maintain muscle definition is power development. This is probably not a very popular concept for some, while others may be familiar with it and incorporate power development into their training. In short, this technique can be defined as a mix between bodybuilding and weight lifting. Although some compete in both bodybuilding and weightlifting, it is often thought that you should focus on one or the other, but not both simultaneously. This might be partially true for some if you are at a professional level (although IFBB professional bodybuilder Johnnie Jackson has been known to compete in both, however this is rare). And it is a fact that most of their great bodybuilders claim that lifting weights in their early days was responsible for building their size and dense muscle. On the other hand, not many weightlifters compete in bodybuilding because the bodybuilding nutrition plan can compromise their strength and power where a lot of calories are needed.
There are many weightlifters who want to be big and strong, which defies a calorie restricted diet, but they also want to be somewhat defined (I know this sounds obvious). Or put it this way; they want more muscle definition than most weightlifters have. For me, since I’ve never had an interest in competing in either, powerbuilding has helped me get the best of both worlds, bodybuilding and weightlifting. What has worked for me is starting my workouts with a heavy compound movement doing a lot of weight and lower reps in the 4-6 range. After that, I will do the remaining exercises with more reps (between 8 and 12) and will focus on the muscle contractions and feel the muscle instead of the power.
Here is an example of one of my chest workouts to increase power:
Bench press – 5 x 4-6: focus is on power
Incline Dumbbell Press – 4 x 8-12: Focus on power for the first few reps and then muscle contractions
Cable crossovers – 4 x 12: focus on muscle contractions
As you can see, I only do 3 chest exercises; you may want to add another exercise (or add another exercise and two and reduce the sets to 3 instead of 4 after the bench press). Either way, I hope you understand the concept here. Also, don’t use doing more reps on the remaining exercises to use light weight. You still need to lift heavy weights to stimulate the muscle, but make sure it’s a weight that you can use good form with and feel the muscle working. If you want a mix between bodybuilding and weightlifting, you will adapt well to this bodybuilding technique.