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Brains and Brawn… Attacking your weakness

BY CHAD SALYER

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. You have probably heard that you should play to your strengths in life, but this isn’t a good idea when working out.

Too often an athlete loves to work a certain body part too much and focuses on this almost to the exclusion of others. An asymmetric body can result from this approach.

It will be much more beneficial to you as a weightlifter or fitness athlete to focus on your weakness instead of your strengths. This will lead to a more well-rounded physique and a more complete level of fitness.

The classic example of focusing too much on a single exercise is the “California” body type. This is when a weightlifter has a huge upper body and a poorly developed lower body.

Sometimes a person in this category will be identified as a person that “skipped leg day for their whole life.” I have seen many examples of lifters who bench press and curl literally every time they come into the gym.

A good bench is impressive for sure, but this one feat doesn’t make you a complete strength athlete.

Another, far more unusual, type of lifter who suffers from an overly focused program is the type that has a very impressive lower body and an unimpressive upper half.

These “squat bros” might be seen in the squat rack early in the morning wearing baggy hooded sweatshirts and short shorts. They are often looking for someone to spot them as they cast about with a slightly crazed look.

These guys take the squat day seriously, maybe too seriously, and their physique suffers as a result.

A better strategy is to “attack your weakness.” Take an objective look at your development and identify where you need improvement the most.

Set that body part up as your first workout of the week and concentrate on it more, not less than the others. This would equally apply to many other workout strategies in addition to weightlifting.

As with most things, the first step is admitting you have a problem. If you have skipped leg day for a long period of time, or you have not hit your upper body recently, you might be one of these types.

If this is the case, I advise you to rethink your workout and find a complimentary workout partner.

In my twenties, I was a person who focused on upper body work too much. I didn’t realize this until I got a workout partner that was a “squat bro.”

I encouraged him to hit the bench press hard and he had me working on the squat like never before. Together we helped each other focus on our weaknesses and both of us benefited considerably.

It took several years, but what previously was a weakness became a strength.

So, friends don’t let friends skip leg day, or skip upper body day for that matter. Get your workouts on track and attack your weakness.