The Reasons For An Asymmetric Body (Part 1)

asymmetircal body

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned good stuff.

When I look in the mirror, I see that my right biceps is bigger than my left biceps. And I also see that my left calf is bigger than my right calf. I think you too, you have weak points and an asymmetrical body like me.

I tried several technique to clear the weak point of my left biceps by doing more reps or lifting heavier with my left arm. But it didn’t work as I thought and I realized that there were even more factors that caused my asymmetrical body.

You have to know that there are real weak points and false weak points. And yes, there are 2 type of weak points.

Past sports

sports

These are the sports that you have done regularly before you train seriously at the gym. For exemple, I played soccer for 2-3 years so I developed a lot of my legs and calves. I have been doing karate, kung-fu and taekwondo for years (I have more than 15 years of martial art) so I developed a lot my back, my arms, chest and my abs. My past sports allows me to develop all these muscles (calves, legs, back, arms, chest and abs) even more easily.

Now I’m going to tell you about the difference between a real weak points and a false weak points. In my case, I have nice abs, nice, chest. My arms are correct (I have one arm bigger that the other) and my legs are correct (I have one leg bigger than the other).

For example, a soccer player or a cyclist will use his/her legs and calves more often. A boxer will use his/her arms, back and abs more often. This shows that the past sports is important in muscle development because people developed more rapidly the upper body’s muscles rather the lower body muscles or the reverse.

So don’t worry because absolutely everyone has an asymmetric body (if you know a person who has a 100 % symmetrical body, attention, it’s a robot).

Genetic

genetic

It’s the moment to go to the higher level. Now, you understood that there are people who can easily develop the upper body’s muscles rather that the lower body’s muscles or the reverse. In both case, there is the same problem : an asymmetry.

We’re human beings, we are not perfect and that is normal. Professional bodybuilders also have an asymmetric body like you. It’s for everyone like that. When we look at the mirror, we have a more developed part than the other.

Here are the causes.

Bone

bone

Because of your bones, there is one side of you body that can lift easily heavier weights that the other. So the side muscles that can lift easily heavier develop faster.

A) clavicle length

We all have a longer clavicle than the other. Take you time, check the length of your clavicles, you will be surprised. When the clavicle is longer, this affects the leverage when you lift weights. This means that it boost your strength and your muscular growth.

But, there is a solution to avoid that there is a big difference between the 2 sides. It’s learning to isolate and feel your muscle. I use a technique called « magic touch ». Before doing a set, I touch with my fingers the muscle that I have to work. This allows me to be focus and stay focus on muscle sensations. This is to create the connection between my brain and my muscle.

This is why it’s important to take light weights to learn how to perform a movement to learn the muscles sensations. For example, bench press. There are people who use too much shoulders when the arms are straight. Bench press is an exercice to work mainly chest and not shoulders. So pay attention to your muscles sensation when you to an exercise and adjust.

B) Short and long muscles

This is really a genetic case. There are people with short muscles or long muscle. Take as an example a short biceps and a long biceps.

A short biceps responds slowly to training because the muscles is less close to insertion with the joint.

A long biceps respond quickly to the training because the muscle is closer to insertion with the joint.

As you can see, there are some similarities with the clavicle’s length. When the muscle is long, it’s easier to develop the muscle.

This is something you can’t change and doing an operation to lengthen your muscle is useless. It’s your genetics that decides whether your muscles are short or long.

dorian yates

Wait, it’s not over yet, there’s still plenty of other things in the genetics that influence muscle development. In your training, you can use several techniques to stimulate your muscle fibers like « High Intensity Training » . Dorian Yates (6x Mr. Olympia), used this technique during his career as a professional bodybuilder. This technique stimulates muscle fibers even more that hypertrophy .

There is also nerve genetics. It’s the ability to isolate and feel the muscle you’re working on. It’s an ability that improves only with experience and time.

Here is the end of the Part 1. The Part 2 comes soon.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Back To The Source Of Equipment (Part 1)

source water rhone

I read a Nerd Fitness articles  and I learned good stuff.

When I began, I went is a small gym at Sous-Moulin . It was a gym in sport center for volleyball, basketball, soccer players. There were only machines (because people stole dumbbells) and when we were 10 people, the gym was full.

2 years later, I went in a real gym. I’ll not lie to you the first time I was alone and I was afraid to the free weight section because I was afraid of hurting myself. But I had so much desire to have the 50 Cent’s body that I watched several times exercice’s video on Youtube and I did it.

On internet, there is a lot of excellent video that explain how to do squat, deadlift, etc. I downloaded videos of my workout program on my smartphone to heard instructions in the gym to do it right. It’s funny, I still have these videos on my smartphone and on my Cloud.

Now I feel good in a gym, I share with you gym’s basic principles and equipment that you’ll see most often. You’ll not have a loser’s head like me the first time.

Gyms filled to the maximum of equipment but you don’t need to use all of them to do an effective strength training. I’ll talk to you about basic equipment.

First time

first time

It’s easy to lose your mind the first time when you go in a gym. There is a lot of things and everyone seems to know what to do.

The most of gyms have :

  • Cardio zone (treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, etc)

  • Free weight zone

  • Group fitness room

  • Locker rooms

There are gyms that have pool, sauna, jacuzzi but it depends.

The fist time you go in a gym, it’s normal to ask for a visit. It’s important to do it because even if you’re used to gyms, you don’t know where are equipements you want to use. It would be a shame if you miss something. I don’t really remember but it was 6 months that I was in a gym and I discovered by chance, hidden in a corner, a machine to work calves.

Free Weight

free wieghts gym

During the visit you’ll see a lot of equipements. Personally I find that the gym’s staff concentrates enormously on machines and cardio during visits. It’s a shame because it’s the least interesting part. Let’s go to the free weight zone.

Barbells can have a size from 1.2m to 2.4m (4’-8 feet) long and a diameter from 25mm – 51mm (0.98’’ – 2’’).

Olympic bar

olympic bar

It’s the standard training barbell (Olympic men’s barbell). This bar is 2.2m (7.2 ft) long and weight 20kg (45lbs). The Olympic bar has bearings that make it spin nicely to help assist the Olympic lift, snatch and the clean and jerk.

There are also gyms that have « woman bar » is 2.1m (6.9 ft) long and weight 15kg (33lbs). There is also smaller bar to lift weight between 4.5kg – 13.6kg (10lbs – 30lbs).

Fixed weight bars

fixed weights bar

This is a small barbell with weights already fixed on it. They’re usually located next to dumbbells.

Dumbbells

dumbbell

There are several dumbbell’s design but it’s just for the style. Weights are from 0.45kg to 90kg (1lbs – 200lbs).

Ez-Curl bars

ez-curls bar

This bar is special because it is short and it has « W » form. This bar is only use for curls. I use this bar to do curls because with a normal bar, I have wrist pain, it’s my morphology (read this article). So if you hurt when you do curls with a normal bar, use that one.

Trap bar

trap bar

You can also name this bar « hex bar ». This bar has a hexagonal shape and allows you to be in the middle to lift weights with a neutral grip. This bar allows you to do deadlift and shrugs but it’s not an indispensable bar. Olympic bar is indispensable.

Safety squat bar, Cambered bars, Apollon’s axe, Strongman logs (and others)

safety squat bar cambered bars strongman logs

Theses bars aren’t necessary but it doesn’t mean that it’s useless to use them from time to time. If the gym specialized for Powerlifting, you’ll find these bars.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. To read Part 2, click here.

Meet People In Shape

meet people

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

This has been scientifically proven that we look like the 5 friends we see most often. Think about your 5 best friends :

  • Are they successful ?

  • Are they happy ?

  • Are they healthy ?

  • Do they to exercices ?

When you see a friend’s group, they all have about the same state of mind. When a person of this group want to change, it becomes complicated. Once case that has all happened to us is that on the day we decided to work to be healthy, we were the only person in the group to do it.

And when you’re the only person who want to have a better health, it happens :

  • You decrease your consumption of sugar => your friends complain that you’re in a good physical condition and force you to go eat in a fast-food

  • You go to train at lunch => your classmates or co-workers make fun of you because you’re weird and force you to go eat at the best restaurant in the town.

  • You have a new pullup record => your friends complain that you didn’t come to the bar after school/work.

Don’t worry, these situations also happen to me. It’s hard to reach its goals when people around you want you stay like them. But be healthy is one of the best goal in the world and you aren’t the only person to know this pressure.

This is the moment, yes, it’s the moment to meet people who want to be healthy. Be surrounded by people who are healthier, stronger and faster than you is extremely motivating.

How to find people in shape

how to find people

Here are some tips :

  • Google

    Do a search like : « your activity + your town » and see results. It’s easy and effective. You want to do Tai-Chi, Taekwondo or badminton, you’ll find about 20 clubs in your town.

  • MeetUp

    It’s really cool. Do a search of your activity within 4-8km (3-5miles) of your town. You’ll find about twenty clubs. In 5 minutes, you subscribe on MeetUp.com  and you find 20 interesting clubs, easy !

  • Ask a person who is in a good shape that you see regulary

    This can be a classmate or a co-workers or on Facebook. You can start the conversation with : «  Hey, you’re in shape, what’s your secret ? ». This person will tell you his/her sport and his/her days of training.

    You need to do a training session with this person, even if you don’t like his/her sport. Imagine that during the training session you meet a person who share the same interests as you. You would never have met this person if you hadn’t done this new sport, right ? In the beginning, it’s important to say « yes » to have new contacts.

  • Think different

    Don’t be afraid to think differently to do different activities. There are clubs of soccer, dance, ice-hockey, yoga, etc. Chose something that interests you and give a try. If it’s an activity you’ve never done before, it’s even better. How can you know if you like something if you have never tried ? This is exploring, adventure.

Say « YES »

say yes

It’s important to say « yes » to everything when you do a new activity. Let’s me explain, all these activites have events with social media. Say « yes » to participate to these events to meet more people and have new opportunities or discover a new activity that is implanted in.

Now, I’ll tell you the truth. It’s important to say « yes » more often than « no » if you want that people continue to offer you new activities.

Imagie that you offer regularly to 2 of your friends to do new activities. Your 2 friends always answer the same thing and that’s it :

  • Friend A : « Ooooh no, I can’t today. I have a lot of things to do. Maybe another time ».

  • Friend B : « Mmmmmmmh, what is that ? Ok, we go there together of we find ourselves there ? »

After a while you’ll not propose anything to Friend A and you’ll only talk to Friend B. So for yourself, you want to be the Friend A or the Friend B ?

Go to a MeetUp alone

meetup

When you go to a MeetUp arrange you to go with somebody to stay motivated. But be careful, this often prenvents us from having new contacts. If it’s not possible, you need to be prepared to go to a MeetUp alone.

If you don’t usually go to events on your own, there are skills you can learn like confidence and social interaction.

Here a plan to have new conctacts during a MeetUp :

  • Smile

    This is the most crucial thing. Who like to talk to a scared person and who has a closed face ?

  • Don’t look for another person alone

    It’s easier to talk to a person alone than a group but there is a trap. This person is like you and is to shy to talk to someone else and you’ll spend the rest of the time to talk together in a corner without meeting anyone.

  • Make eye contact, give them a firm handshake and introduce yourself

  • Ask «  Are you here for the _______________ MeetUp ? »

    Continue the conversation with : «  Ok, cool. I signed up yesterday and I didn’t know what to expect ».

  • Ase open questions

    « What brought you here ? » or « Where are good places to do this activity in the city ? » or « Why did you start this activity ? »

  • If the conversation starts to be annoying

    Ends the conversation with : « Great to meet you. I’m gonna run to the bathroom/grab a dring ». You do the thing you said and you go to the another group.

Note

In a Meetup, you’re surrounded by people who want to meet people. Don’t do the anti-social and profit to have new contacts. Here a video  and an article  of Ramit Sethi to help to improve social skills.

Proactive

proactive

It’s not with magic or thniking very strongly (Mmmmh, The Secret ?!?) that you’re going to have new activites or meet new people in shape. It’s for this reason you need to do the first step because they are not going to come to seek you, it’s up to you to be the hunter.

It’s worth looking for them because they’ll help you reach your goals, encourage you to be healthier, be stronger and be faster.

Then goes hunting for people in shape

How it went when you joined a new club or met new friends when you decided to be healthier ?

-Steph

P.S. Do you want a platform with free training programs ? Click here 

Smartphone apps :

To track my calories, I use MyFitnessPal 

To track my training program, I use Jefit 

Body Acceptance

body acceptance

I like your body, doesn’t change !

This guy must be stupid, he nearly have a bodybuilder’s body.

Give this girl a burger ! She’s too skinny !

Every day you hear someone with that kind of comment. It’s as if everyone knew how the human being’s body should be.

Accept his/her body is the first step to better health. Shame of being overweight or being too skinny ? No matter, accept your body.

You should have a body like that

bodyfat percentage

Whatever the body you have now and the body you’re having, there will have always some detractors (everywhere) to let you know that you’re different.

They say one of two things :

  • I’m interested in this type of person and you’re different. You should change.

  • I have this look and you have a different look. I have to change your look to make me feel better with my look. (Sometimes it’s also « I want your look but it’s too hard, then I’ll arrange to feel myself better »).

You’ve seen that. People like to tell others they preferred them when they were bigger or skinner. This comes from trolls on Internet, friends and family !

I saw that « Dad bod » is sexy. The belly full of beer and junk food is sexy. Hmm, that’s a joke! This is ridiculous and it has to stop.

Things to stop saying

stop say

  • «Strong is the new skinny ». This phrase is often with a picture of a sexy skinny girl and perhaps physically strong. The truth is you’re skinny, you’re strong, not both simultaneously. You saw how is hard for a thin person to gain weight. Matrix, stop your bullshit.

  • « This person needs to eat ». This is for skinny people. Many people have no problem to say « this girl needs to eat something ! » when she’s skinny but they never say « this girl needs to eat less ! » when she’s overweight. We all have different body types and people are naturally skinny. Girls or boys.

  • « Real girls have curves ». A real girl has a heart (I can’t believe I said that), it’s the only thing that matters. Real girls have curves or they’re skinny or she’s big or they’re small. This isn’t because she doesn’t look like the girl next to you that she isn’t a real girl.

  • « This person is too athletic. It’s useless ». It’s easy to make fun of the most muscular guy in the gym or the most muscular girl or afraid to have a bodybuilder’s body. But people don’t make fun about people who are good at soccer, cooking or drawing. Fitness is also a hobby (powerlifting is a sport like soccer).

Apparently the world has determined that it’s good to be in shape but not too much. If you’re a boy you can be muscular but not much. If you’re a girl, it’s cool to be muscular, but if you can lift heavier than a boy, it’s not well.

But why they always train ? They have a beautiful physique, it’s done ?!?

Who determines the body a person should have, right ?

Accept the body

love yourself

We’re all created differently. People have big bones and others are super skinny. Being big, skinny, tall or small doesn’t matter because we can work to have a healthier life.

You can see a person on the street and say : « This person haven’t a healthy body », but you don’t know that this person has already lost 45kg (100lbs) and continues to improve his body. And you will never know !

We don’t choose our genetic but we decide what we want to make at 100%. Once we accept our starting point, we’re responsible of our evolution.

  • Do you get a clean bill of health with your doctor ? You can be proud of your body but if you’re overweight and unhealth, things must be changed.

  • Are you working to be better ? For some, it’s a heavier weight for deadlift or a slimmer waistline or lose/gain 4.5kg (10lbs), each has its purpose. What is important is that you compare yourself to you from yesterday and work to progress.

This society, the Matrix wants us to be negative with our neighbors but it’s a waste of time, energy and effort.

We’ve a responsibility to be happy ourselves. We’ve a responsibility to do with what we have and challenge ourselves to be better and to do things to improve our lives.

I have two questions for you now :

  • Are you using one of these phrases to insult a person to make you feel better ?

  • Are you getting a clean bill of health or you use « I’m proud of my body » as an excuse to have an unhealthy lifestyle ?

-Steph

Choose The Gym

choose gym

You know, it’s important to choose the gym to achieve your objectives. Often I was training in gym that weren’t well equipped to help me evolve. And do you know why ? It was because of the price.

Later, studying the professional bodybuilders lifestyle , I found that they could spend $ 1,000 per week only for food. This is clearly more than the annual subscription in a gym, it’s awesome, right ? This is what Jay Cutler spends on food.

centre sportif sous-moulin

Listen, I started with a bench and two dumbbells in my bedroom. Then in the gym of the sports center « Sous-Moulin ». It was really, really cheap, CHF 200.- per year. But there was no dumbbells, no barbells. There were 2 bikes, 4 upper body machines , 1 Leg Press, 1 cable machine, one treadmill. It wasn’t a bodybuilding gym but it was for players of soccer, basketball, volleyball and ice hockey. After 1-2 years, I lifted almost all the weight in the machines.

Then I changed to go to the gym « Silhouette » which is equipped for bodybuilders but it was CHF 800.- per year. It was next to my work. After I moved, changed jobs and I go to another gym « Silhouette » but it cost CHF 1,200 per year. After 6 months, I hadn’t paid for everything so they blocked my access.

silhouette

For 2 years, I’m not trained because I really had money problems. But I missed it so much (my 2 dumbbells were too light) I told myself that now I will make an investment on my body as I make an investment with my studies.

I returned to the sports center « Sous-Moulin » (they changed nothing) and the same, 1-2 years after I changed. This time for the gym « Non-Stop Gym », CHF 550.- per year. Everything was fine, the heaviest dumbells were 32.5kg (71.65lbs), I thought I was going to take a long time before use it. After 6 months, a gym’s member tells me that I look him bad. People stop us, calm down.

non-stop gym

1 month after, he seemed to attack me by surprise, people stop us but he insists aggressively. I do what I have to do, the gym’s staff watch the video and tell me I did more than defend myself, our subscriptions are terminated.

In disaster, I find a gym « Fitness Park » after the border which costs me EUR 350.- per year. I’m in the gym since 1 year and I lift 34kg (74.95lbs) dumbell benchpress. « Non-Stop Gym » hadn’t 50kg (110.2lbs) dumbbells. Right now this « Fitness Park » grows and attracts more and more bodybuilders and Crossfit athletes.

fitness park

I decided to make a Men’s Physique competition in 2018 and this gym is perfect for me to achieve this goal. But have you seen my journey, when I took the decision to invest in my body as my studies, I focused on the equipment’s quality to reach my goals.

An investment have results in the long-term, choose a gym, it’s similar. The sports center « Sous-Moulin » was a waste of time and money.

And you ? How do you choose your gym?

-Steph