What is going on Gym n Japan Fam, fellow weebs and gym rats! It’s time for another blog. This week we are discussing your shitty lagging body parts and how we can bring them up the best and fastest way possible. Now, I know this isn’t everyone, but I know 90% of you aren’t training specific body parts *cough legs cough*. Yes I’m looking at you Mr. “I have 16 inch biceps but always wear grey (yuck) Champion tracksuit pants even in the scorching heat of summer.” We all know you’re skipping leg day at least twice a week. But this isn’t the only area we will talk about. Broadly speaking we will discuss how to bring up any lagging body part, but use some prime specific examples so you can get a clear picture of this.
Some of the points listed below will be discussed with real life examples of body parts which are just always lagging.
Not training at all
Not enough volume
Need to do them more at the start of the workout while the muscle is fresh
Calves, quads and forearms
This part is going to be massive (unlike your calves) because we feel this is the most neglected muscle in the gym. This ones also a no-brainer... There is no body part that is judged more than someone's calves. If you tell someone you go to the gym they are going to look straight down at your calves and ask “do you even train legs?” which can be an awkward conversation with you probably lying saying “yeah bro all the time” (thinking about that one leg press set you did last week). Obviously the calves are put under some pressure when completing a leg workout but they deserve some respect and should be isolated by completing a focused exercise or two. We recommend you add some exercises to your leg days and train them 2-3 times a week.
Calves are one of the most stubborn muscles in the whole body because they are used on a daily basis and built for endurance (Walking, running etc) so will naturally be very small/lean. For some, they are blessed with genetics that give them big calves/cows and others are what we call lucky legs (lucky they don't snap and go up their ass).. Both of us are probably in between for calf genetics but helped along by all the sports we played as kids plus gym. This is why you need to train these harder and smarter! Calves basically need to be shocked into growing and almost impossible if you don't know what you are doing.
Change is good! In order to shock your calves into growing you will need to change things like weight, reps and the exercise. Using the below exercise as an example, with heavy standing calf raises, some days you might do 30kg for 15 reps for 3 sets then next time you could do 40kg for 10 reps? Or keep the 30kg and do some 1-2 second holds at the top for 10 reps. There are honestly so many ways you can change your program. Google is your friend if you can’t think of anything, or swing us a message and we can help out.
LOOK AT THESE CALVES, they are thiccc boys!
Here are a few exercises that will help you grow these muscles:
Heavy standing calf raises: These will obviously need to be loaded up and less reps will be done! Build that strength baby! Do up to 15 reps and 3 - 4 sets. Make sure to get a full Range of Motion (ROM) and control the movement the whole way and don't bounce, same goes for the following exercises. You want to focus on contracting the calf fully in every rep.
Seated calf raises: This works deeper parts of the calf and will be essential in overall size/definition of the muscle. This exercise once again needs to be controlled the whole way so it's best to not load it up with too much weight. This can be a good exercise to do till failure, maybe 20 reps? And 3 sets with declining weight 1-2 mins rest or a longer rest with the same weight.
Unweighted standing calf raises: Without shoes for better ROM. We did say you need to shock them to grow and this exercise will help.. TRUST! With these you will need to do lots of reps and short recovery, pretty much fatiguing them. You can do up to 50 reps with a short 1 minute rest then go again for 3 sets. Yes you'll be sore tomorrow.
These muscles are definitely neglected in the gym, obviously they are trained to some degree when completing an upper body workout or a back and Bicep day. Nothing worse than completing a back day only for it to be cut short by your grip strength failing on you.. How satisfying is it to have massive forearms or be able to crush things with your bare hands? Well in order for you to maximise the gains in this area we recommend adding a small forearm session into your program 2 times a week. We don’t think this is as important as training calves but definitely important for aesthetics and overall strength when completing pulling exercises.
Exercises for forearms/grip strength:
Wrist curls (Flexion and extension)
Reverse grip curls
Abdominals/core.. We all know that you can't be stuffed completing an ab workout at the end of any session. These muscles are super important with every lift that you will complete in the gym and without a decent core you can increase your risk of injury dramatically. It will put unwanted pressure on your back which is not good at all.. These exercises are best completed at the end of any workout otherwise it'll affect your training.
Here are a few exercises:
Crunches and the list goes on..
Further we are going to just briefly point out a few, probably the more serious key areas as to why some body parts may be lagging, besides the obvious few above:
Not training at all
Things like; legs, calves, shoulders, etc. are sometimes simply neglected thinking, 'oh I hit this enough during my push or pull workout' but if it is a lagging body part, then seriously consider if you need to do it more. This then leads into...
Not enough volume
Yes you think you're doing enough, but maybe you need to do that little it extra at the start or end of the workout to really make sure you are getting in enough volumes. I would highly recommend doing these parts at the start of the workout rather than the end, which can be fine, but doing them at the start ensures the muscle is fresh and you can focus on heaver weights and better form while the muscle is not yet fatigued.
I will keep this one simple, lower the weight and focus on form. It is said to you many times before, so it is about time you listen and do it. Focus on the mind muscle connection, increase the mechanical tension on the muscle and get the most out of the exercise you are doing.
Sometimes, it can't be helped, but genetics do play, what I would call, a small role in the way a muscle grows. Yes you may have a shit back but great chest, not everyone is blessed by the swoley gods. But don't use this as an excuse, get in the gym and work at it.
Food and Patience
The biggest and hardest part of the gym...and we all know it, it is what we eat and patients. We don't go to the gym for one week and get huge. We can't eat whatever we want and expect to get huge. Be patient, get your food right and be consistent.
Maybe one cycle will help grow all these body parts? HAHA jks.. Unless..? But in all seriousness if you stay committed to growing these areas, they will eventually grow even if they are a bit stubborn.. Remember to always train your weaknesses otherwise you will never grow in the gym or in life #plusultra.
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