Here's How To Effectively Bring Up Less Muscular Lagging Body Parts
From an amateur to a professional body builder, we all have certain lagging muscle group. Nobody is born with a perfect symmetrical body and neither does everyone react the same way to workouts. Every human being is born with a different body structure and genetics which is why everybody has different lagging muscle groups. For some, it can be arms, while for some it can be legs or so on. With this piece I am going to tell you a few straight up strategies that you can implement to bring up your lagging muscle groups, based on science and my training experiences.
Identify You Weak Body Part
First of all, you need to identify the body part/muscle group that is stubborn and does not grow as easy as compared to other body parts. Now this can be done only when you have been lifting from sometime and are an intermediate. For a beginner, every body part is a lagging and his body is yet to respond completely to the existing workout stimuli. Initially you will not be able to recognize your weak body and may even misjudge it. Therefore, think about this only when you have been lifting for a while.
Frequency Is The Key
The key technique to grow any weak muscle is to increase its frequency of training. Increase in frequency means that you have to train your weak muscle more often as compared to other muscle groups. What happens is that when we see a muscle group responding well to weight training, we tend to train that muscle more often and ignore the lagging parts. This is human tendency- we tend to do something that's easier and yields better results. But this only makes things worse as it could lead to muscle imbalances and eventually musckuloskeletal injuries. This is especially true for 'mirror muscles'. Mirror muscles like arms and chest and generally trained more in the gym than back, hamstrings, quadriceps or calves.
Try to hit your weak muscle group at least twice or thrice in a week. Make sure that you have at least 48 hours of gap in between successive workout session for the same muscle. This will make sure that the muscle gets ample rest for recovery. Recovery is just as important as training. Another thing that I would like to advise you here is that if you are increasing the frequency, you will need to lower down the volume a bit. You can't train on high volume and high frequency with good muscle growth in less recovery period unless you are 'trenning hard'. So until you are planning to get 'enhanced', reduce your volume while you increase the frequency. For example, if you were doing 8 to 10 exercises with 3 to 4 sets for chest once in a week, now probably you would do 2 to 3 exercise with 3 to 4 sets every second day.
The Shock Treatment
Lagging muscles will react well to the 'shock' given to them with different strategies. When you have been training a muscle group with the same workout pattern and technique, it adapts to it and stops responding to it. These 'shocks' can take various form of workout techniques. For example, you can change the order of the exercises sometimes. Start with isolation and end with compound movements and vice versa. Slow eccentric movements are also a good way to recruit more myofibrils in your muscles. For example, while doing a biceps curl, doing a quick rep of lifting the weight (concentric) and then slowly lowering the weight (eccentric). Slow eccentric movements might not give you the best pump of your life but are a proven method of breaking a muscle plateau.
Changing Rep Ranges For Better Pumps
One more strategy that I want to recommend here is to change the rep range in which you train. Though it is true that 8-12 rep range is best for hypertrophy, a higher rep range may help you to grow that lagging muscle like never before. No, you don't have to change your rep range for every set, but you may end your workout with higher rep sets to pull in as much blood as possible and get an insane pump. Sometimes you can even start your workout with higher reps and the eventually train in the standard rep range of 8-12. This is especially true for people who never ever train beyond a 6-8 rep range. Try doing a 20+ rep one day and you will experience a better pump on that day itself. Best hypertrophy isn't just about lifting heavy at 6 reps it's also the time for which a muscle is put under tension.
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