When it comes to achieving an all-round aesthetic and proportional physique, it can be rather difficult. Yes there are those people who are just naturally gifted with the physique of a Greek god but for most of us, there are always certain muscle groups where we have to play catch-up.

Whether it be chest, traps, shoulders, bi’s, tri’s, quads, hammies or calves, many of us have to work that extra bit harder to see any sort of muscular gains in these areas, if any. So what on earth should we be doing to bring up these lagging muscle groups?

Well, lucky for us, Joe Weider developed ‘The Weider Principles’ which is an assemblage of training guidelines for individuals who are looking to maximize their muscle-building potential. While these were dismissed in the past as bro-science, the principles which Weider developed have actual scientific research to back them up.


One of the most popular principles for building lagging body parts is by implementing ‘The Muscle Priority Principle’.

WHAT IS ‘THE MUSCLE PRIORITY PRINCIPLE’?


According to Weider, The Muscle Priority Principle maintains that one should always work their weak points first in a workout. While this counters the common belief that large muscle groups should always be trained first, recent studies show that by training lagging muscle groups first, whether large or small, chances are that you will receive the greatest gains in these areas. The reasons for this may seem rather obvious once you have read them, but many people still don’t follow this training protocol for some reason.


WHY TRAIN LAGGING MUSCLE GROUPS FIRST?



1. ENERGY LEVELS ARE AT A PEAK.

2. MENTAL FOCUS IS STILL FRESH.


3. HIGHER INTENSITY LEVELS ACHIEVED.

4. GREATER WEIGHT CAN BE LIFTED.




At the beginning of a workout, your energy levels and mental focus are at 110%, meaning that you can give it your all with every set and rep. Because of this, you will be able to train more intensely and lift heavier weight which allows you to become stronger in that muscle group and therefore grow.




Time after time research confirms that strength gains in exercises which are performed near the beginning of a workout are far superior to strength gains achieved when performing the same exercises near the end of a workout.


Basically what this means is that it is more beneficial to structure your workout regimen according to which muscle groups need the greatest amount of improvement.

For example, if your workout routine is to train back and biceps together but your biceps are lagging, then rather start your workout with biceps; or if you are training quads and calves but your calves are lagging, then rather start the workout with calves before moving on to quad training. Yes I know it can be difficult to train a big muscle group like quads for example after tiring yourself out by really smashing calves first, but what is the point of building your quads even bigger if your calves don’t grow? Your legs as a whole will grow further out of proportion and I am sure that is not what you want.


CONCLUSION

Remember, bodybuilding is not only about size, but proportionality as well. So if you are facing an evident imbalance between muscle groups in your body, make sure that you focus on those by prioritizing them in your workout and training them first. Lagging muscle groups are often stubborn and don’t grow easily, so don’t become despondent and give up. Work hard, stay consistent, lift heavy, training intensely and most of all be patient. Changes don’t happen overnight, but over time I can assure you that you will start to see significant progress.

 



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