If you’re like a lot of recreational bodybuilders, you’ve got a favourite body part you like to train more frequently, work harder with a few extra sets/exercises and show off just a little bit more than the other muscle groups. You’ve probably got your favourite exercises you like to do…and you do them religiously! You probably even have a favourite vest or pair of shorts that shows off your best body part just right.


Then of course, there’s the body part that doesn’t grow…or is your weak spot. You hate training it because it seems pointless, it just won’t f’n grow! You cover it up with long pants or a sweatshirt so that people will only notice your strong points, perhaps its human nature to hide weaknesses that may invite ridicule.


My quads, and especially calves, were a glaring weakness during the early years of my competitive career, if I wanted to make a name for myself and achieve my dream of becoming British Champion, I had to redouble my efforts to bring up my lower body. It is great to have a balanced physique, first you need to identify your weak body part and commit to bringing it up. Not everyone competes and some recreational lifters are just fine going through life with good chest and arms and skipping leg day…then again, these are the same guys you’ll see sweating their nuts off in baggy sweat pants in the blazing summer heat, while everyone else is in shorts. To overcome these problem spots, we must adopt a new plan of action, here are 5 areas I found useful to focus on;


PRIORITIZE A LAGGING BODY PART


By prioritizing a particular muscle group, you can devote more time and energy on it. Work your weak areas first , when you are fresh and capable of generating the greatest amount of effort and intensity.


INCREASE VOLUME


Increase the number of exercises and sets you do for a lagging body part. High volume training is linked to hypertrophy, so long as you don’t over train. If you’ve got a particular area that needs attention, such as your upper pecs, its easy to add a second incline movement for it rather than doing just one. In this example, you could start with a barbell incline press for 3 sets of 6-8 reps and follow up with dumbbell incline presses for 3 sets of 10-12 reps.


USE ADVANCED TRAINING PRINCIPLES


Drop sets, super sets, FST7, GVT, I’ve used just about every intensity booster in the book, but have found what has worked best for me through trial and error. Don’t be afraid to apply such techniques as forced reps, negatives, partials, rest pause or anything else you may come across. Be sure to evaluate how you feel after using each method and remember not to take every set past muscle failure, save that for your 1-2 heaviest sets on each exercise.


EXPLORE MORE VARIATIONS OF MOVEMENTS


Some people’s legs will grow simply by looking at a squat rack…not mine! I had to explore a wider variety of exercises in my lower body routine. That means incorporating other exercises until you find out which ones make your legs respond best and keep varying your routine so that your muscles are constantly surprised by the demands you’re putting on them.


GUARD AGAINST OVERTRAINING


In your fight to bring up a stubborn muscle group, you might employ the ‘throw everything and the kitchen sink’ approach, but this strategy can be counterproductive. There will be times when a body part lags behind because you are overtraining it, hitting it so hard and so often that it never has chance to rest, recuperate and grow, remember too much can be as bad as too little when it comes to bodybuilding.


In the end, developing perfect symmetry is impossible because we can always find something to improve upon…if you think you have the perfect physique, just ask some of the ‘experts’ you follow on your social media accounts, I’m sure they’ll be all too happy to tell you what your weaknesses are! HAHA!