Posted 2 months ago

Developing weak body parts

Do you find yourself frustrated with your progress (or lack of!) in certain muscle groups? Are the same muscle groups lagging behind other areas that are growing quicker?

Don’t worry – you’re not the only one, and most of us have come to this realisation at some point in our physique development journey!

If this is the case though, here are some key considerations you should make, as well as some simple strategies you can implement to ensure you continue to make progress in those weaker areas.

Frequency
Frequency is a variable that often gets overlooked, especially when someone uses a “bro-split” when training. If you’re only training a lagging body part once a week, how do you expect it to grow?

Lagging body parts are often those smaller muscle groups such as the lateral delts, arms or calves, which can be trained multiple times across the week. One easy way to increase the frequency at which you train them would be to program it in at the end of a workout. For example, I often program direct arm work at the end of lower body days for my male clients, or lateral delt work for my female clients.

And it doesn’t have to be LOADS of volume – it could simply be 3 sets of DB lateral raises: 1 heavy loading set and then 2 lighter, high rep sets. This combination allows for the muscle to be stimulated for growth but does not cause a huge amount of breakdown. As a result, it will not impact any direct work you’re going to do for delts the following day.

Therefore, by tagging on three sets of one exercise for your lagging muscle group at the end of an unrelated workout (i.e. training biceps after leg day), we can increase the frequency we train that muscle group across the week, which will inevitably lead to more muscle growth.

Execution

“How” you train is just as important as “how often” you train.

Here’s some questions for you:

When you are working the area that is weak, are you consciously contracting it throughout the movement? Are you turning the muscle ON (initiation) as the move begins and trying to recruit every muscle fibre you can?

If you have a lagging body part, it is more than likely that the answer will be no.

So, here’s my advice: after reading this article, I want you to go away and focus on squeezing every muscle fibre of your lagging areas when training. Not only will you feel contraction you’ve never felt before, but after a few weeks you’ll also see yourself progressing in those areas.

Motivation/Intensity

You don’t need me to tell you that a set of bicep curls isn’t as exciting as a set on the hack squat. I know it isn’t. HOWEVER, they are both exercises that stimulate muscle growth if and when the muscle is trained hard enough.

But I know that if it doesn’t excite you, the motivation to train hard can be low. It can be all too easy to slack off on those last few exercises, but if we are looking for a well-balanced physique, we must endeavour to train those weaker areas just as hard as we train those strong areas. If you combine this with increased frequency and execution, the area WILL respond.

In summary, bringing up lagging body parts is actually quite simple. Those muscles respond just like any other muscles, but we must look deep into how often we are training them, how well we are training them, and how hard we are training them.

If you’d like to know more about the strategies I use with my clients to bring up weak body parts check out the free program we have available to download.

Vaughan Wilson Bsc Hons