Weak muscle groups from an aesthetical perspective are a very irritating problem – often this is put down to a lack of genetics in the said department. Sure, genetics play a very strong role in body composition but we fail to believe that they dictate to us whether or not a muscle group can progress. They just might make it harder, not impossible. Instead of instantly pointing the finger in the direction of ‘’weak genetics’’ we wanted to outline 3 key areas where we believe people fail to make progress on in turn failing to force the muscle to grow.
1 – Strength
When was the last time you took the ‘’weak’’ muscle into a new zone of physical strength? Probably never is the answer, beyond natural progression of a beginner. That’s the issue; you do need to at some point force the muscle to become stronger. This doesn’t mean trying to nail PBs on a weekly basis because most people are not robust enough to deal with such stress. However, over an 8-10 week period getting a bit stronger should certainly kick your ‘’weak’’ muscles into the gear with a little high threshold motor unit recruitment.
2 – Squeeze!
In the words of Ben Pakulski, IFBB Pro leading athlete and general freak – ‘’squeeze the muscle like it owes you money.’’ A lot of people focus on planes of motion, moving the weight from A to B yet they often miss the bigger picture – maximised muscle stimulation. Stimulating a muscle doesn’t necessarily mean moving a weight, it means recruiting muscle fibres along the journey. To do that flex the target muscle, it will force muscle fibre recruitment to happen on new scale thus increasing overall muscle stimulation. Squeeze, squeeze and squeeze some more. Practise doing this to your muscles without any weight first, you will find that alone creates a great feeling of fatigue and pain within the muscle belly!
3 – Frequency
We often see people following the same old bodybuilder split, hitting each muscle group once a week. For a Mr Olympia contender with the genetics of a silverback gorilla, the assistance of sports PEDs and a diet fit to feed a family of 7 it might work. For an average Joe who doesn’t have these things it is wise to train each muscle group more frequently. Protein synthesis elevates for 48 hours after you train a muscle, thereafter it returns to the base rate. This means that muscle is good to go again, or at least it would be wise to consider doing so within a 72 hour window to keep it stimulated. If you don’t you are waiting 4-5 days when you really don’t need to. Instead of ploughing each muscle group into the floor once a week focus on spending a little less time on each group more often!
Weak genetics you say? Pffft, we say up your game!