Building The Ultimate Garage Gym: The Weightlifting Sports You Can Focus On

So you’ve maximized your efforts and you’ve built a dream garage gym that even the best athletes in the world would envy. Then you get done pounding out a set of squats, only to look at yourself in the mirror and ask, “why am I doing all of this?” It’s a valid question when you consider the effort, hard work, blood, sweat and tears, and not to mention money, into being your physical best.

For some, it’s just the goal of going to the beach, taking off your shirt and having a physique that turns so many heads that the chiropractor’s appointment book is full of neck alignments the following day. But for others, the reason they put the time in the gym is for competition efforts. To beat others and to be considered the best at what they do. In this content, we’re going to take a look at four areas that your training could potentially lead you.

Lets take a look at what you need to know if you plan on competing in a body building, CrossFit, powerlifting or Olympic Weightlifting competition. These sports will help you even further maximize your ultimate garage gym.

Here we go!

Bodybuilding: Develop one’s Musculature


The Goal Of Bodybuilding

Every muscle, every striation and every fiber is important when it comes to bodybuilding. It’s about size, definition and the symmetry of your muscles, when you are on a stage and posing down with your competitors. For bodybuilders, this is the perfect sport for those who enjoy being lean, defined and having a physique that others are in awe of.

After months of dieting properly, training sometimes as much as three times daily, and working on your poses and picking out your competition trunks, it’ll all come down to a 24-hour period for those interested in bodybuilding competitions.

On the first night, you’ll have to shave your entire body and begin applying a tanning solution. No matter how naturally tan you already are, an added tanning solution will help you look darker on stage, which will make your muscles come out more.

Then, on the morning of your competition, you’ll be expected to show up early and come out with your specific weight class. Most typically, these classes included bantamweight, lightweight, middleweight, light-heavyweight, heavyweight and super-heavyweight.

What class you want to train for will probably depend on your natural body size and how easily it will be for you to reach your goals. Keep in mind that with body building it’s not just about being jacked, but instead about being shredded. So you’ll want to consider water weight and fat that you’ll lose, when trying to decide what weight class is for you.

How To Train

The best way to train for a bodybuilding competition is through a variety of different methods. There is no doubt that you’ll want to maximize your training and work on lifting insanely heavy amounts of weight. After all, the more weight that you lift, the larger that your muscles will grow.

However, preparing for a bodybuilding competition should also included plenty of exercise days when your goal should include lower weight and higher repetitions. By mixing it up like this, your muscles will begin to look more define and hard, instead of just the larger look that comes from lifting heavy weights for only a few reps.

When training for a bodybuilding competition, you’ll also want to make sure you are doing high intensity cardio as much as possible as well. We’re talking an hour on the treadmill, Stairmaster, or even the bike. No matter what you choose to do, you should aim for about an hour of cardio, which should burn up about one-quarter of your daily caloric intake.

Dietary Considerations

Speaking of calories, you’re goal should be to keep things as lean as possible with what you are eating as you prepare for a bodybuilding competition. We’re talking plain chicken breast, rice, potatoes, vegetables, oatmeal, eggs, fish and that’s about it.

Unlike some of the other competitions on this list, your fat intake needs to be as minimal as possible, which is why whatever you eat should be as clean as possible. One of the hardest parts of training for a bodybuilding competition can often be the food that you eat. However, if you can overcome this obstacle, you’ll be set for shredding up and leaning out, while getting some insanely definitive muscles.

CrossFit: Muscular Strength and Cardio-Respiratory Endurance


The Goal Of CrossFit

For some, the idea of alternating your diet in such extreme ways that all you are allowed to really eat is plain chicken breast and rice can be a bit too draining. After all, whatever sport it is that you decide to train for, you want to enjoy it so that you can keep doing it and wanting to go back for more. That, and some people also don’t like the idea of hopping on stage in a speedo in front of thousands of strangers. So for those who don’t like the idea of bodybuilding, CrossFit is a solid alternative.

CrossFit is insanely popular right now, which makes it a great activity that you can take part in with friends. Or you can go do it on your own, and you’ll quickly learn that the CrossFit community is a strong and supportive one where you’ll be sure to make a bunch of new friends.

If you start to fall in love with the sport of CrossFit and decide that you want to do more than just go to the gym with your friends, then you can begin training for a competition.

CrossFit competitions consist of large events where CrossFitters from around the nation come to compete. The games consist of individual events that athletes must show off how much of a certain exercise they can do, how quickly they can do it, and how much faster they can do it before their opponents.

There are many different CrossFit competitions that take place, so you are likely to find one that’s great for you no matter your current skill level.

How To Train

When it comes to training for CrossFit, you should be preparing your muscles for a variety of different situations that they may come across. Unlike some of the other competitions on this list, CrossFit throws a variety of different obstacles at you, and it’s best to have your muscles ready for whatever comes your way.

Throughout our Ultimate Guide To Building The Perfect Garage Gym, we showed you a variety of exercises equipment that is perfect for CrossFit Training. That includes ropes, rings, barbells, dumbbells, and platforms, just to name a few.

Unlike with bodybuilding, where it’s about your efforts towards how your body will look, CrossFit training is going to want to maximize your muscle strength and endurance. When you are doing these exercises, you should be concentrating on high repetitions and working your weight up as well.

With most CrossFit training, you’ll want to find out what your goal is, which is typically the rules stated by the competition that you are taking part in, and then working towards that. So if your goal is to do ‘x’ amount of pull-ups, you had better start training on the pull-up bar to get better. Your training should be quite diverse, with the exercises that you’ll be doing in the competition as the main efforts that you aim towards.

Dietary Considerations

Your diet for CrossFit should be a bit different than from bodybuilding. With bodybuilding, you want to minimize fat and other unessential ingredients. However, with CrossFit, you are likely to be burning through so many calories, that some of these added nutrients may be helpful. Now, this doesn’t mean it’s okay to go load up on cake if you are training for CrossFit, but the restrictions are much less severe than with bodybuilding.

With CrossFit training, your goal should be to have about 30% of your daily total to be of protein. The protein will help with muscle rebuilding and regeneration.

You should then include approximately 40% carbohydrates, preferably low-glycemic carbs that are healthier for your body to break down. These carbohydrates will give you energy and keep your body going.

CrossFit even has room for fat, as long as it is monounsaturated and only consists of about 30% of your daily intake.

You may have heard of the Paleolithic diet, which is what many CrossFit athletes say is the best for the sport. This diet consists of little more than meats, potatoes and other vegetables. Instead of Paleolithic, some people call this the caveman diet, which comes from the limited amount of things that can be eaten. If you want to try out the caveman diet, be sure that you consider all of the changes in your diet that will occur and how that will affect your body.

With CrossFit, you are looking for lots of energy and lots of strength, so your diet needs to be accommodating to fit this requirements.

Powerlifting: Going To The Maximum Weight


The Goal Of Powerlifting

For some, the idea of CrossFit might be great for lifting weights, but the idea of running an obstacle course or doing certain exercises may not be of interest for them. Instead, powerlifting may be a better option for athletes who like quick burst of energy where they attempt to lift as much weight as they can.

Keep in mind that, although similar, powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting are different, though they may seem a bit similar. The best way to keep in mind the difference between the two is that powerlifting usually relies on squat, bench press and deadlift, while Olympic Weightlifting typically relies on athletes to do the snatch and clean and jerk exercises.

The ideal powerlifting body is typically an endomorphic figure that may have a more difficult time shredding weight for a bodybuilding competition, but someone who can lift a lot of weight and put on muscle easily. After months of training for a powerlifting competition, athletes will be required to lift take part in an event where they perform the squat, bench press and deadlift exercises. There total from the all of those lifts is then tallied and the most total weight is assigned the winner.

How To Train

If you find yourself being naturally strong, particularly in the chest and leg areas, then you may have the perfect body for being a powerlift athlete. These athletes are also typically shorter in height, as that makes it easier for them to get in a full rep for the competitions. After all, the longer your limbs are, the further you have to go in order to get credited for the lift in a competition.

Athletes that are training for bodybuilding competitions will typically work on a variety of different exercises for their body in order to keep their entire body looking even. CrossFitt athletes usually do exercises that are mostly found in CrossFit gyms. But as for power lifters, the idea behind training is to lift and to lift as much heavy weight as you possibly can.

Some of the alternative workouts aren’t as necessary for powerlifting, but instead training should revolved around the three powerlifts that will be used in the competition. Not only does practicing these lifts help your body adjust to heavy amounts of weight, but they also help you better prepare the muscle memory needed for doing these lifts.

In order to properly prepare for powerlifting competitions, you’ll want to consider many of the fitness gear suggestions found in our Ultimate Guide To Building A Garage Gym. Be sure to check out that area for more insight into the perfect gear that powerlift athletes should have.

Dietary Considerations

When it comes to the food you consume as a powerlifter, the restrictions are much less than that of other sports. With powerlifting, you aren’t worried as much about your physique or your stamina, as much as you are your ability to quickly burst out certain exercises. In powerlifting, it’s all about strength, so you need to refuel your body in ways that will contribute to that strength.

In most cases, your protein should match your weight in a grams-to-pounds ratio. Carbs should also be heavy, and you can often will want more carbs than your weight. And with fats, you can keep this still part of the diet, but keep them as healthy as possible.

Keep in mind that while powerlifters don’t take their shirts off like bodybuilders or CrossFit athletes, you still need to maintain healthy habits for the overall betterment of your body. Keep the food lean and healthy, but don’t be afraid to continually be fueling up with good choices of protein, carbs and fat.

Olympic Weightlifting:  Athletic Discipline


The Goal Of Olympic Weightlifting

Lastly, but certainly not least, we are taking a look at Olympic Weightlifting. As mentioned in the preceding section, Olympic Weightlifting is a similar to powerlifting, though the exercises that you are judged on do vary.

Where Olympic Weightlifting is similar to CrossFit is in the type of exercises that take place. Namely, the clean and jerk and snatch are exercises that you will find in both athletic sports. However, while CrossFit is more about repetitions and long-lasting exercises, Olympic Weightlifting is more like powerlifting, in the fact that you do each exercise for only a few explosive reps.

How To Train

If you have taken the steps we’ve suggested for building the ultimate garage gym, you are going to have a setup that is ideal for Olympic Weightlifting. Ideally, you’re going to have a set of platforms to lift weights on, as well as barbells and bumpers that are required for lifting. Olympic Weightlifting also requires other pieces of equipment, such as dumbbells and squat racks, so the more you have, the better off you’ll be.

In order to train for Olympic Weightlifting, you’ll want to work on the snatch and clean exercises. You’ll also want to do plenty of squats to make sure that your lower body has tons of strength, and also military presses and other should exercises to assure that you can lift your bar like is necessary for this sport. Having a heavy emphasis on core strength is going to help you the most with Olympic Weightlifting.

Dietary Considerations

Olympic Weightlifting diets are similar to that of powerlifting diets. You want to keep your calories up, including healthy amounts of protein and carbs, but it’s also okay to bring in some healthy fats.

Unlike bodybuilding, where chicken is the best way to go, Olympic Weightlifters can still eat red meats like steak and hamburger. You can also enjoy dairy and other naturally-fatty foods that some other athletes may want to steer away from.

Go Get It!

The reason you lift may be different than the next person. But the reason that everyone enjoys training is to look, feel and perform better. If ever the time comes that you feel less motivated to go to the gym, simply because there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, consider the athletic options listed here. They will give you goals to strive towards, as well as a new hobby to enjoy. Plus, you’ll also likely meet some really great people along the way to share your experience with.

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