The difference between Bodybuilding, Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting

When you hear about the three sports, you might be confused at the very fact that they are different from each other. And why not? To the untrained eye, all the three sports would look the same, with athletes doing the same thing in each – lifting heavy weights with aggression until they grunt, and finally dropping the weights to the floor even more aggressively.

But don’t worry. You would not need to have a closer look and work out the differences between the three of them, because this article is going to do exactly the same for you.


Although bodybuilding requires lifting of heavy weights which would naturally require a lot of strength, the sport is mainly aimed at enhancing the aesthetics of the individual rather than strength, which may just be a desirable by-product. In simpler words, it is designed to give the body an attractive and pleasing look, which is appealing to the eye.


The training associated with powerlifting, and the sport itself, purely focus on increasing the overall strength of the muscles. The athletes are not at all concerned about the appearance or shape of the body as long as they are able to lift as heavy as possible. So as opposed to bodybuilding, cardio and other swift movement exercises which give the body a lean look often find themselves taking the back seat.

Olympic Weightlifting

As the name pretty well suggests, athletes can be seen performing this type of lifting in the Olympic games. We have seen how players in bodybuilding and powerlifting focus on gaining looks and strength respectively. But in Olympic Weightlifting, participants do not focus on any gains as such. Instead, their primary focus is perfecting their technique associated with the lift. This yields them valuable points allotted to each minute detail of the technique, and the player with the most number of points takes home the Gold for his country.

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