Many writers in the bodybuilding industry, including myself, have preached tirelessly about the need to strive for symmetry, or proportional development of all the major and minor muscle groups. It’s a message that needs repeating because it’s always tempting to train only those bodyparts that deliver instant rewards in growth. We’ve all seen guys walking around the gym who have nothing but a big chest or arms or whatever. Let’s assume, however, that you’ve worked hard and have finally achieved a proportionate body. To do it, you probably had to hold back on one or more bodyparts that seemed to have a life’and a set of DNA’of their own. Why not indulge that bodypart’s potential now and see how far you can take it?
Before you start objecting that it flies in the face of everything you believe in, consider this: Would the bodybuilding world have been better off if Tom Platz had decided in the mid-’70s, ‘Jeez, my legs are getting way too big for the rest of me. I better stop training them so everything matches.’ Or what if Dorian Yates had questioned his expanding lats and traps? ‘Bloody hell,’ the Shadow might have said, ‘this back of mine is getting too freaky. No more chins and rows for this bloke. And that Nautilus pullover machine in my living room would make a nice coat rack.’
Let’s face it. Only a few of you reading this right now are going to be professional bodybuilders anyway. Why not play to your strengths? New York bodybuilder Tony Diglio found he had the genes for a monster chest and capitalized on it by putting all his efforts into realizing his pectoral potential. As a result, he’s been featured in all the major magazines and has a successful chest-training video. I’ve always had the potential for monstrous quads but wanted my upper body and hamstrings to match. After years of holding back on my quad training, I’ve finally gotten everything to match. Now I’m ready to see how far I can take those wheels.
I bet you have at least one bodypart that you know could be incredible if you took the chains off, trained it with 100 percent intensity and let it grow free of constraints. Maybe you’ll never win a big contest, but odds are you could become well-known for having awesome arms, calves, shoulders or whatever. That’s an honor in itself because it inspires others to reach for higher standards with that bodypart.
Purposely curtailing the improvement of a bodypart that you know is capable of wild growth is a hard thing to do. It goes against the reasons we became bodybuilders. Consider this your permission slip to let loose and blast that muscle or muscle group to the limits. Are you excited? You should be. You’ll soon be known for something extraordinary about your physique, and that’s a hell of a satisfying feeling.IM
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