Lifting for max muscle isn’t the same as lifting for strength, so here’s how a bodybuilder should incorporate strength training into his routine
When you’re training specifically for strength, as I never really do anymore, you keep the rep ranges a lot lower. There’s more risk of injury when you’re training that heavy, so you don’t have a lot of room for error. When you’re training for strength, your reps are down around the 3-5 range and rest periods are generally longer because total strength is the main concern. In some instances range of motion is decreased (as in rack deadlifts or partial benches) to build strength through a certain part of the movement. This approach is much different from mass-gaining where a full range of motion is very important. Training to failure is related to bodybuilding-style training but not so much for strength athletes such as powerlifters.
Roughly one month after a contest is over, when I’ve added a little bodyfat and water again, I start getting back into it, but I have to remind you of my favorite philosophy: Your muscles don’t know weight; they know only stress and fatigue. Strength is relative.