Creating Muscle Balance with Unilateral Training
I know everyone has hit a plateau in either their training or diet. It's inevitable. These little speed bumps can be the core of frustration in any training program.
Some stalling points can last a week, all the way to a month or more. When you hit the month mark and still aren't making progress, it's time to take a look at your training and make adjustments.
One factor that leads to many plateaus is imbalanced muscle groups, such as the right biceps being stronger than the left one.
The straight bar curls and/or EZ-Curls are the primary mass builders for this muscle group. However, if your left biceps is lacking strength due to the right continually over powering it, you will never reach your full potential, and continue to stay stuck in a rut.
One way to create balance and boost training is to incorporate unilateral training. This is working one arm or leg at a time with dumbbells, machines, or cables to allow unilateral movements.
This training method can also be incorporated for the chest and back as well. It allows for more power, and strength to be created on the weaker limb or side.
Repetitions and Unilateral Training
Ways to include unilateral training is to add extra repetitions for the lagging muscle. For example, if you can dumbbell curl 20 pounds in each hand for 8 repetitions on your right arm, but can only get 5 with your left arm, drop the dumbbell in your left hand when you reach your maximum of 5 repetitions and grab a lighter dumbbell in which you can handle 3 more repetitions to keep up with the stronger arm. Do this until you can equally perform the same number of repetitions on each arm with 20 pound dumbbells. When you return to your mass building curls, you will see your strength has increased.
Sets and Unilateral Training
Another way of implementing unilateral training is to add extra sets for the lagging muscle. Give the weaker side two extra sets of moderate weight to aid it in catching up. This can easily be done by doing your normal 3 or 4 sets, then doing two extra sets for the weaker side, using light to moderate weight for 6 to 8 repetitions.
Once your weaker side has caught up you will be amazed at the progression that will follow.
About The Author
Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.
Karen has written six e-books on fitness. She also writes articles for several fitness websites, and distributes two monthly newsletters regarding weight loss and female bodybuilding.
"You Can Have A Female Figure or Fitness Competition Ready Body In Just 12 Weeks!"
Make All Your Figure Model and Fitness Competition Dreams Come True