Physique Development – Eliminate Your Weak Link

Posted on December 1, 2016 in Alpha Physique, Physique, Sustainability

This post will detail a concept similar to goals achievement and prioritization – specifically focusing on 1 or 2 things to maximise efficiency. In the case of physique development, target your weak link for a period of time and eliminate it.

Physique Development
Targeting my weak link – arms!

This is in contrast to trying to progress in all areas and spinning your wheels as a result. When applied to weight training, gaining strength and muscle, it doesn’t matter what you do if you’re a beginner. However, beyond the 1 year mark there is a good chance that your gains will be enhanced by specialization.

I’m talking about allocating periods of time to focus purely on progressing in 1 or 2 personal weak areas, whilst maintaining the other areas. This could be in relation to aesthetics or specific strength movements such as the big 3.

This will increase your progress in your weak areas due to the fact that, as previously discussed, we all have finite willpower. We have to accept this reality rather than fight it. This is particularly important as gains start to slow down.

Mentally you will be able to apply a far stronger focus and intensity to these weak areas, and therefore a greater stimulation. You will be able to trade some of the focus from stronger areas (chest for me for example) and apply it to weak areas (arms in my case).

This is an important concept when it comes to building a well-rounded physique, or increasing your total.

Now, examples of how you could apply this specialization yourself during “x” period of time:

  • Keep the total volume for your strong areas really low. This will automatically leave a lot more room for energy and focus for your weak areas. You could potentially train them as many times as you like per week, but keep the volume per session really low. Total volume is the key here. Remember that the goal for your strong areas during these periods of specialization is maintenance. The volume requirements for maintenance are very low relative to the requirements for growth. It’s the same with any goal in life, progression is a different ball game to maintenance.
  • Hit the weak points hard. This means aggressively & consistently ramping up the volume during the specialization period. This doesn’t mean be careless and get injured, you need to make sure you are capable of recovering. But you also need to be putting in a great amount of focus and intensity into every session.
  • Perform the weak points first. This means every workout you will put the greatest amount of effort & focus into your weak links. You will be at your freshest and most motivated. Where focus goes, progress flows. Personally, I believe you should generally still perform the compounds prior to isolation work. So for me, I will still perform the biggest movements prior to direct arm work. But I do have a day specifically designated for a shoulder & arm focus. On this day, I will do shoulders and then focus on arms.
  • James

    If the volume for your weak points should be increased in contrast to your strong points which should just be maintained, how many sets should I be doing per week say for my biceps compared to my triceps?(Biceps are less developed compared to my triceps) I currently do 8 sets per week on biceps, should this be doubled and split into two two sessions, or all 16 sets done in one workout?

    • Alex

      It depends how this has been working for you so far. You need to have been doing this for at least a few months to realistically gauge how it’s working for you, unless you’re a beginner (which I’m assuming you’re not judging by your question on the previous post?).

      If this isn’t working for you, and you have been doing it for at least a few months, then I would gradually increase the volume on biceps week by week. Maybe an extra couple of sets per week spread throughout the week. This will again depend upon how long you want to allocate to improve your biceps.

  • James

    Okay that sounds like a plan. Thanks! 🙂