It is all very well saying that you will train using a certain repetition range; however it can sometimes pay to diversify! Allow me to elaborate further before I lose you. Today I had a super back workout with a very passionate trainer, Harry Ranson. Harry actually won our Rob Riches competition back in 2011, so as I was down his neck of the woods we decided to train! It is funny because we both acknowledge that our chest development is our weakest point, which got us talking. In short, we were talking about ways to stimulate weaker body parts to force them to grow. This is much easier said than done; however we did manage to come up with a few great points which will surely help you develop your weakest areas into your strongest!
Mind to muscle connection
This is simply a matter of concentration and focussing on the muscle contracting as you would like it to. It is as simple as this, when you are performing an exercise to target your weak body part, think about every inch of the movement and try and feel the muscle working. Over time this really does enable you to get the essential mind to muscle connection which is certainly a great way to start hitting your weak muscle groups!
This is the natural progression from point one, achieving a proper muscular contraction. With any muscle group it is essential that you stimulate a proper muscular contraction with each and every repetition, but with your weak muscle group it is essential! Take Harry and I as an example, we can both do 6-8 reps with 50s on incline with perfect form. Yet, to enable us to do this we find a lot of other muscle groups are recruited which leads to a lack of muscle contraction in the upper region of the pecs. However when we took the 35s for example and did 12-20 reps using rest pause our chests were literally in agony for days. Why? You got it; we were achieving a full muscle contraction on each repetition and were not bringing our shoulders in to the movement too much!
The reason a certain muscle group may appear weak is simply because it is stubborn or genetically it has more slow twitch muscle fibres than fast twitch which is why heavy low rep training isn’t yielding results. To begin with, go for repetition ranges of 15-25, and then you can also use the Y3T week 3 principles to go for very high repetitions. Personally, I have found that by incorporating more and more high repetition training my chest which is a very weak area of my physique has progressed faster than ever before.
Less is more
There is two contrasting ways to attack a weak body part – hit it for longer or for less time. Personally, I have found by keeping the intensity very high, the rest periods relatively low (40-60 seconds for the whole workout) and concentrating on full muscular contractions I have gained very fast! It is so tempting to over train a muscle when it is stubborn, instead smash it intelligently for a short burst and see how bad it hurts the next day! That is the power of NOT over training.
Taking these four points on board I am very confident that whatever your weak body part, you can at least begin to make progress!