Does Explosive Lifting Build Muscle?

Recent discussion on SoSuave Health & Fitness:

“You can go your whole life without doing explosive strength training and have the greatest looking physique on the planet.

But no matter how much explosive training you do, you’ll never achieve a bodybuilders physique unless you incorporate bodybuilding training and diet. Compare Mr. Olympia Coleman with Olympic Weightlifter Rezazadeh.”

Coleman vs. Rezazadeh

Pyrros Dimas, three times Olympic Gold winner, does explosive training. But I bet he’s not strong enough to curl or press the same weight or reps as an amateur bodybuilder.

His explosive training made him good at lifting heavy resistance from the floor overhead in a static hold. But he lacks upper-body muscle conditioning for training using reps. At least not as well as a body builder.”

Coleman & Rezazadeh.
First. Coleman can have his physique. I’d never want to look like that. And he doesn’t look like that 12 months a year neither.

Next. Rezazadeh doesn’t care about looks. He cares about lifting weights. The +110kg class he competes in doesn’t have an upper limit. The more mass the more strength. He could drop weight, but then he’d lose strength.

Explosive Training & Muscles.
Strength training builds muscles and you should lift explosively. Period. Muscle definition depends on diet.

I agree you’ll never achieve a bodybuilder physique through weightlifting. But the physique you’ll build will make most of us happy. All muscles work during Olympic lifts:

  • Calves. Full extension of the pull where you get on your toes.
  • Legs. Pull & squat movements involve your legs.
  • Lower Back. Pulling from the floor is a modified Deadlift.
  • Core. Keeping the weight overhead works your core.
  • Traps & Upper-back. These are the muscles pulling from thigh-level.
  • Shoulders & Triceps. The Jerk is an explosive Overhead Press with a dip.

Chest & Biceps are not worked directly. But of course, your body works as one peace. Try an Overhead Squat, the catching position of a Snatch, and tell me if you’re not tightening every muscle, including chest & arms.

Here are some weightlifters & their physiques. I don’t know their names, but I’m sure Brent will recognize them.


Explosive Training & Strength.
Who cares if Pyrros Dimas can not curl as much as an amateur bodybuilder? He did a +200kg clean & jerk. You need power, speed, strength & technique for that. Don’t compare it to a biceps curls.

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