Being Symmetrical!

Ben is a teenage bodybuilder who's got a lot of experience and smart lifting under his belt! Get ready to learn and grow. Ben goes through some good ways of being symmetrical and not hurting yourself.
The difference between winning and losing a bodybuilding contest could by how symmetrical you look. (i.e. does the left side of the body have the same size and shape as you right side - except inverted of course).

It's annoying but it's quite natural, especially vulnerable are teenagers. They want big biceps and they spend one hour each day doing their biceps with a few rusted old dumbbells. Then they will flex all day long in front of the mirror so they can show it off to their mates. How many teenagers do you see with big symmetrical biceps? Hardly any! That's because they'll only show their right side.

If remember when I was about 15 and was only just starting to think about lifting. I was obsessed with my biceps (of course they were quite small but I still thought they were great :P). Problem was the only bicep I ever looked at was my right one - being right handed and all. The continuous flexing or my right bicep all the time, when I was just sitting around all day led to me developing a great right arm. Flexing really striates and improves the definition of your muscles - This is why I recommend people in their contest preparation flex and pose for about 45 minutes a day for about one to two months prior to the show. Not only will your posing be brilliant it'll make you look much better too! So back to the story :P. I was left with this really nice right arm and this half decent but not too special left arm.

I had a dilemma on my hands. What was I going to do? I looked stupid and had to do something quick!

Most people would quickly shout just stop all lifting on your right arm and concentrate on your left arm only. I took a different approach because there was no way I was leaving my right arm to revert back to it's previous patheticness :P

Not only is ego a cause of this, bad form also is. Ever found yourself tilting the bar towards your stronger side when the going gets tough? guess what this is packing major size onto your muscles because when it comes down to crunch time it's that time when your muscles will grow - tilting it to your stronger side will mean the stronger side is packing on the mass because it's working real hard in what I like the call the "bulk reps".

What I did was develop a strategy which would maintain or very slightly improve my right arm whilst rapidly adding bulk to my left. My bicep workout went like this:

  • Barbell Curl - 3 sets x 8
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curl - 2 sets x 8 each side
  • Dumbbell Curl 2 sets x 8 (left arm only)
  • One arm preacher curls 3 sets x 8 (left arm only)
It's simple - nothing special but I found it really effective. I'm still not perfect but to the naked eye I look quite symmetrical. The point is don't left ego rule your stronger arm. Control yourself and make sure you keep symmetrical and keep each side even - also watch your form!

in symmetry-yrtemmys,

(get the joke? :P)