Realign your training to target your weakest muscles

Realign your training to target your weakest muscles

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By Michael Berg, NSCA-CPT

Suffer from undersized shoulders? Too-flat pecs? Lagging legs? Don’t settle for body parts that aren’t keeping pace. Here’s what you can do to bring all your muscles up to par with the priority training technique.

During the course of a day, we tend to make decisions based on our priorities. We go to work to keep a roof overhead and food on the table. We make time for our friends and family, no matter how trying some of them may be. And we work out because, well, we don’t want to have to waddle sideways through doorways or buy two seats to fly.

When it comes to our trips to the gym, priorities are likewise important.In fact, ‘priority training’ is a principle long rooted in bodybuilding circles – it’s a concept that simply refers to focusing your efforts on your most needy or lagging body parts first in your weekly training split and in your individual workouts.

The reasoning? At the start of your split (usually corresponding to the beginning of a week), you’re well rested and recuperated – the same goes for the start of your workout sessions, when you are ready to dive in and haven’t yet burned through your energy stores. Conversely, putting off your weak body parts will always leave them in a state of being unable to ‘catch up’ developmentally because they can never get the appropriate attention and workout intensity when you constantly fatigue yourself by training stronger muscle groups first.

The Self-Exam

If you’re tired of having a body with weak points and are ready to put priority training into practice, you must first critically assess your physique to figure out which areas need a boost. Take a look at the following eight muscle groups.



Arnold Schwarzenegger possessed famously small calves at the start of his competitive bodybuilding days. For motivation, he cut off all his sweatpants at the knees so they’d be exposed when he’d go to the gym, motivating him immensely to save face among his peers and train the muscles relentlessly. You might be able to keep the scissors in the drawer, but if your calves are out of proportion to your thighs and lack a solid diamond shape, prioritising them should crystallise into brilliant results.






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