I always recommend heavy weights for optimal muscle growth and always will. Still, when you have a lagging body part that is weak compared to the others, that means that you are doing something wrong. Different people have unique genetics and as a result they have some stronger muscle groups that grow no matter what and some weaker ones that hardly grow no matter how hard they work on them. When you have such a problem the best thing is to try to isolate the muscle group in order to create adequate muscle engagement. The problem with lagging muscle groups is that usually you wouldn’t have a good feel for them when you train them. This diminishes the exercise efficiency and lowers the muscular adaptation afterwards. The problem not only comes as a result of poor execution, but also as a result of wrong exercise choice.
I suggest each and every one of you who has a problem with a certain muscle group to pay very close attention to what you’re doing and to think in detail about how you can improve it. In order to effectively target a muscle group you should isolate it well. Efficient isolation is a result of training focus and good knowledge of muscle anatomy. Most of the people in the gym have no idea what the best angles to hit a muscle group are and how different angles affect the muscles, so it’s important to gain basic knowledge of how the muscle functions and what range of motion it is capable of achieving. My advice for you is to start the workout with an isolation exercise that is able to engage only the targeted muscle group well and after that, if you go for a more basic movement the targeted muscle will be already worked and tired and it will fail first, so achieving failure and maximum intensity will be accomplished.
For example, if you are doing chest you can isolate it by starting the workout with dumbbell flys, crossover or pec deck machine.
The back workout you can start with straight-arm pulldown or dumbbell pullover by effectively isolating the lats.
Shoulders you can start with lateral raises (without any cheating).
Biceps you could start with concentration curls and triceps – with underhand cable extension.
Next time you realize you have a lagging muscle group make sure to think well how to activate it.
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