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Old 08-05-2008, 04:27 PM   #11
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well mr.p do you have any problems with imbalance in your strength?
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:39 PM   #12
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^^^Yeah, what he said.

And do you just have a dumbell set that is all you have been training with? It kinda seems like it. Or did you choose to do all the DB and uni stuff for the purpose of addressing symmetry?

I mean yeah, assymetries are common but were talking SLIGHT assymetries not big ass glaring stare-you-in-the-face size differences. There has got to be a reason for something like that.

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If you act sanctimonious I will just list out your logical fallacies until you get pissed off and spew blasphemous remarks.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:09 AM   #13
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Nearly all the PREVIOUS work i did was barbell,and i have read dozens of articles saying that if you train heavy compund with barbells the weaker side stays weak as the stronger side has to work harder to compensate. This is why I have devised the abbove DB programme,to promote unilateral movement.
I think some of you must have misread my post.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:16 AM   #14
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well mr.p, i dont rememebr you writing that you had a weaker side. i remember you saying your body was not symetrical, not weaker on another side. hence the question i asked "do you have any problems with imbalance in your strength?" (i am just going off my memory so i could be wrong, you might have mentioned it, but i dont remember seeing it)

and at least from me. i was referring to leaving some barbell training in there because you were refering to getting your size to even out.


but is there a big strength difference. if so i have suggestions

and if you use barbells that doesnt mean your other half wont catch up. you just have to use weight that both sides cna handle equally then work your way up

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Old 08-06-2008, 06:20 AM   #15
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And we are talking 3 inch difference on the thighs,half inch bicep,and probably quite a bit for pecs.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:22 AM   #16
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Yeah there is a slight strnegth difference,but in varying bodyparts.
Its more abou the image,which is quite visible and has been noted by people before.
So,is there a sound DB workout you may be able to advise me on??
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:36 AM   #17
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there may be some people who have a good amount of workouts to recommend, but i am not the guy to recommend workouts in general. but i can give suggestions on what i feel like you should be doing.


in regards to trying to get your strength up. i would recommnd pushups, pullups, hand stand pushups, and alot of bodyweight excercise for your upperbody. IMO those would be good because you cant cheat on those. if one side isnt picking up the slack then you cant complete the rep. so after a while the strength in both side will equal out.

how often did you work on your legs? i would like to know that before i recommend anything for your legs.

and since im telling you to do some bodyweight excersices doesnt mean you cut out barbell and dumbell work completely, but i think you should cut down on it and use it as a supplement to the bodyweight stuff.
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:29 AM   #18
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a 3" difference is pretty significant. Any medical reason for this? Childhood injuries, congenital issues, etc? Have you spoken to a doctor about that?

As was stated before, most people see size differences in the 1/4-1/2" range. I would say that it would even be somewhat difficult to detect a 1" difference. But I can understand why a 3" difference would cause you some discomfort. Still, I can't believe that this is simply an issue of having used a barbell for too long. My work is 95% barbell oriented and I can say that even with allowing for some "compensation" I have never experienced anything like what you are describing.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:37 AM   #19
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There is probably a quarter inch difference in my arms all the time, sometimes more.

Sorry. I don't think anyone mis-read your post. You are assuming that barbells cause this and it just isn't true. Like Andrew said something else is at work here.

You won't know what will help until you try it. So try you dumbell stuff but take the advice of everyone to still include some barbell work as well.

The kind of strength imbalances that people are talking about with barbells are not the same kind of thing you are talking about with bodyparts. Not that it's the barbell's fault but it is to do with bad habits, form, faulty movement patterns, etc..that favor the dominance of some muscles over other leading to imbalance (and even injury). So unilateral work can adress that and that is what WOLF was talking about among other things.

The more complex a movement is OR, in other words, the more muscle groups involved in a complex firing pattern, the more likelihood of developing these imbalances and they can largely go unseen for a long time. It's kind of like the fact that you can do a back squat wrong for a long time and your body just compensated to get the job done...but it WILL affect you down the line as things will come to a head.

The with simple movements and especially "isolation" movements, say a barbell curl, the strong arm cannot "compensate" for the weak arm or the bar will go up un-even. That should be pretty obvious. NO, the weaker are should simply fatigue first which fosters even development. Andrew was saying something about the bar not staying parallel. But, you know, easy to correct whereas faulty firing patterns in a deadlift or something is a totally different story.

Differences like you have, as both I and Andrew have pointed out, are not that common, and it is not just because you have used barbells.

This is from an older post that I'm including to illustrate some potential things:

You know what when you're talking about single joint or less complex exercises (fewer joints) it's actually easier to even things out by sticking with barbells. Problem with db's for this is that there is a tendency to overcome strength deficits on the weak side with little alterations in form and little cheats like using momentum without knowing it.

For instance if you watch enough trainees doing standard types of db curls you will notice that on one side they will tend to put a lot of shoulder rotation into it and not even be aware of it. This is the kind of thing that actually leads to some of the small differences in size and strength. DB's can make it harder in that respect because you have to concentrate a lot on being perfectly strict. Especially with things like curls and tri extensions but even to some extent on bench press and press.

If you use a straight bar and keep the bar moving in parallel (duh) then you are automatically limited by the weak small arm. With simple movements like I described you can't make up for weakness in one arm by having other muscles take over. So simply using a regualar bar is pretty much an automatic way, over time, to even things out. Whereas dumbells can introduce complications.

The more complex the exercise becomes the more this relationship breaks down and thus the more useful unilateral things become.

I'm not saying DB's don't work. It's just that everybody tends to go straight to them when there is really nothing magical about them UNLESS you plan on doing MORE work on the weak side, which would be a mistake.

Last edited by EricT; 08-06-2008 at 12:51 PM..
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:53 PM   #20
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Eric Cressey recently had a newsletter post that reminded me of my bench problem. I think the mistake with unilateral strength discrepencies is to always assume that it is a difference in the strength between one extremity and another without assessing for other problems.

Just because, for instance, one arm goes up before another in your bench (not saying this is happening to you) does NOT automatically mean that one arm is weaker than another. Could be a scapular problem on the "weak" side and a resulting shoulder problem. Maybe the rotator cuff is overworked and shutting down on one side, say the subscapularis most likely. All sorts of things could be happening. That was a problem with my bench and all the dumbell work in the world didn't do diddly squat for that. I didn't even know what the problem with the shoulder was exactly I just deduced there were some problems from other things that were occuring.
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