As a bodybuilder, a mirror is a tool which you can use to tell your progress in weightlifting. Sometimes you do stand in front of the mirror and say to yourself, ‘Well, I need to work on my triceps, I need to work on my deltoids’ and many more. The next thing which you will do is to carry out the exercises which will help you build those muscles which you need in your body. However, one of the things which you need to know is that most of the popular heavy weightlifters go beyond building their muscles and emphasize on building their symmetric strength. They will pay attention to developing each of the body parts so that it is relative to the other.
A common excuse you will hear from a recreational weightlifter is, ‘Oh, you know I don’t think that symmetric strength is important for me at this point, I will get into it when I grow big’. Such statements are inaccurate and wrong. Symmetric strength is something which you need to be concerned from the first day you get into the gym. It is not for the pros as you might think. Having a good body which is all around developed is important since it will help you resist a number of strains when you are lifting the weights.
In this article, you will learn the various ways through which you can work on your symmetric strength. The article will also provide different strength standards which you can use to gauge your progress when lifting the weights.
What is Symmetric Strength?
Symmetric strength refers to having a balanced physique in which all the body parts are evenly developed. As identified previously, one of the key requirements towards bodybuilding is increased muscle size. However, an increased muscle size without a symmetrical body is like having many squat benches in the gym and only two weights. Of course, the potential is there but there is one thing missing and it is good planning. Hope you get my point. It can also sometimes be embarrassing for you to have an asymmetrical body. Imagine having one part of your body more developed than the other? How will it look like?
Why do I Need Symmetric Strength?
A body with evenly developed muscles is regarded as symmetric. In fact, one of the greatest critique points of the popular bodybuilders is the lack of symmetry which most of them possess. Lacking a balance between your left and right arm would play a great role in determining whether you are a winner or a loser.
Having a symmetrical body will also prevent a number of injuries which might happen to you. One muscle group cannot compensate for another muscle group which is weaker. This means that overburdening the weaker muscle will cause injury.
How do I Measure my Symmetrical Strength?
There is a certain set of strength standards which has been set. You can also use symmetric strength calculator to accurately get your strength standard and comparing it to the strength standards. However, there are also various issues which are associated with the strength standards which have been set.
- One of the problems with the strength standards is that they do not take height into account. Let us take the example of two people who weigh the same and one is 180cm tall while the other is 150cm. The taller person will be a skilled lifter than the shorter one. You height influences the weights you can lift.
- Another issue with the strength standards is that they are not based on any actual data. They are more subjective and they are based on the opinions of other weightlifters.
- They also lack the strength standards for women.
How Do I Improve on my Symmetrical Strength?
If you are looking out for ways through which you can develop symmetrical strength, they are within you. When I say they are within you, I mean you need to begin by carrying out an audit of your body. Which are your weaker points? Follow the following steps to improve your symmetrical strength.
Begin by Self-examination
The first step towards solving the issue is by identifying the reason why some part of your body is disproportionate to the other. Remember how long you have been training the body part and the recent training on the body part. Using a training log will play a great role in examining the way in which you have been training the given body part.
It will also involve bringing together your thoughts and remembering the way in which you have been lifting weights to build the specific part. Here are some of the body parts you can check out on.
Upper and Lower Body
At least you know those guys who have a body which looks like that of a chicken. Such bodybuilders will avoid leg workout and focus on building their upper body. When this happens for a long period of time, they will be chicken-legged. If you know such guys or you are one of them, begin working on your legs regularly.
Imagine having a bigger arm than the other. Will that not be embarrassing?
Look at your right and left legs. There are some people who have one leg stronger or larger than the other leg simply because they focused on that leg so much. Avoid such mismatches.
Biceps and Triceps
One thing you need to know or you have heard from your gym instructor is that the triceps make up the majority of your arms. Do not just emphasize on building your biceps. Focus on building an arm which is stronger.
Collectively referred to as deltoids, the shoulder muscles need to be proportional. One of the mistakes that people make is focusing on building the front delts If you are such a type of person, begin working from the rear, side and front delts respectively.
Traps will make a bodybuilder stand out from a crowd. However, if you ask heavy bodybuilders, they will inform you that focusing more on the traps muscles only will create a narrow shoulder. Now, do you want narrow shoulders with big traps? Of course not. So do not emphasize so much on your traps and forget other parts of the body. They are also important.
Calves and Arms
As a bodybuilder, in order to have a good physique, the calves should measure the same as your upper arms which are triceps and biceps. So check on your arm size and also the calf size to see if they are matching. If not, there you go.
Train One Part at a Time
If you have one body part which is dominant than the other, one of the ways through which you can solve the issue is by training one part of the body at a time. If one part of the body is doing greater work than the other, then body symmetry will not be achieved.
Begin by isolating each of the exercises one at a time. For example, instead of carrying out 20 barbell curls together, consider isolating and work with 10 barbell curls on one side and 10 on the other. Be smart on the way in which you work and you will reap great benefits.
Make Use of Mirrors
There are different mirrors at the gym and the work of these mirrors is to make sure you have maintained your form. When carrying out your regular workout, take time off and look yourself in the mirror to assess how you are building your muscles.
It will play a great role since you will identify the issue early enough and you will look for ways of resolving the issue before it escalates. You can also have an honest training partner so that they will give you honest feedback on the development of your body.
Take Regular Measurements
Using your eyes or your gym partner alone is not an accurate tool for measurement. If you are looking out to achieve a symmetrical body, carrying out regular measurements is very important. Measurements will give you the exact body part which you need to work on so that you can improve it.
Carrying Out Pose Practice
If you ever thought that posing is just for the competition, then you might be very wrong. Posing can help study on the symmetry of your body. Carry out the pose in front of the mirror or take a picture while carrying out the pose. Take as many photos as you can and keenly study the photos. You will identify the parts of your body which are balanced and the ones which need to be attended to. It will also play a great role in preparation for your practice since it will make it easier.
Have a Consistent Work Intensity
If it is time to work on your arms or the deltoids, train on the part consistently and at the same intensity. Avoid rushing when you are working on each of your body muscles and have a training routine which will best fit you.
Why You Should Avoid Comparing Yourself with Others
One of the greatest challenges that most of the weightlifters have is comparing themselves to the others. In this digital world, people will brag online about the weights that they can lift. However, it might not be true. So practicing what you hear from a fellow age mate may not work as you expect. Here are the reasons why you need to avoid comparing yourself with others.
Steroids and Genetic Make-Up
The use of steroids and the genetic make-up of another person is not the same as yours. Someone who is using steroids will come into the gym and lift light weights for a short period of time and they will surely grow their body well. If you have ever seen someone big and muscular coming to the gym and lifting light weights and leaving the gym, you know why.
If you start looking at such people when they come to the gym, you will, of course, begin wondering whether you are lifting heavier weights than you should. Of course, the above scenario is laughable and unfair. To avoid comparing yourself with the other weightlifters at the gym and instead focus on building your muscle strength.
There Some People Who Are Stronger or Weaker than Others
One of the things you need to know is that there some people who are generally stronger or weaker than the other. Comparing your strength with the other people you see at the gym will make you feel bad about yourself.
So instead of comparing yourself to the others at the gym, make your weightlifting goals and stick to them.
In most cases, it can become difficult to charge your progress when you are past the newbie level. If you chose to compare yourself with the others, you have to be very specific about the benchmark aspects you want to get from them. Also, take your time to understand them before trying to compare yourself with them. Building your symmetrical strength will be easier if you pay attention to the above guidelines. The guidelines are intended to put you on the road map towards having a symmetric body which is so important.