For anyone looking to improve their physique, taking pictures or videos can really help your development. Pictures capture your image so you can look at your body in its entirety much easier than looking in the mirror. For example, if I am doing a front lat spread, it is hard for me to look at the entirety of my physique, or literally both sides at once. A picture or video will allow this. Also, “before and after” pictures are great to really bring out the progress you have made and make it visible, since physique changes are subtle over time. But if you look at pictures of yourself after an extended period of dieting and training, you can really see the difference and improvements that you made (or should I say earned!).
Some of the advice I got and observations I made myself that I have already used to modify my training included:
· I need to make my lats thicker. My back simply needs to get wider to catch up with the rest of my body. My lats were not muscles that have developed easily for me (compared to, for example, my chest) and in reality, my best progress has been made in the past 2 years.
· My left lat is lagging in comparison to my right lat. My right lat is quite bigger and wider and this clearly visible in the pictures of my back.
· My left quad is much bigger than my right quad. However, conversely, my right quad has better definition due to superior muscle separation between the individual muscles that make up my quadriceps.
· When doing my lat spread, I allow my left shoulder to droop, which makes me left lat look even smaller (since I can’t bring it out as much).
· My right pec looks bigger and more developed than my left pic. This observation is true, but slightly off. If you take a look at my pictures, you can see that the muscle structure of my right pectoral is totally different than that of my left pectoral. Basically, my left pectoral has no muscle in the bottom portion of the muscle, while the right one does. There is nothing I can do about this. It is just my genetics and how the muscle is structured. It really ruins my symmetry and I have always been self conscious about this. And contrary to what the pictures may show, my left side is actually dominant on my pressing exercises. My right pectoral is actually flatter, weaker and not as developed as my left pectoral.
· Some people thought I looked too defined for being three months into a bulk. I explained I was coming off of a very low body fat level and was not looking to dirty bulk or “fulk” (basically, massively overeating and putting on weight too fast which results in lots of fat gain). I also explained that as an advanced lifter, my muscle growth is going to be a slow process and I did not want to put on more than 2 pounds per month of scale weight, of which I hope half a pound to a pound are muscle. Even heavy steroid users or complete beginners only put on muscle mass at a rate of about 2-3 pounds per month. For both, as the level of muscle mass the body holds goes up, this rate will go down.
I have modified my training in order really to deal with some of the muscle imbalances that were pointed out in my body by adding in the following exercises:
· Single Arm Dumbbell Rows (to hit each side of my back, specifically each lat individually)
· Single Arm Cable Pullovers (to isolate and hit each lat individually)
· Dumbbell Chest Presses (to work each side of my “push muscles” (pectorals, front deltoids, and triceps) individually
· Single Leg Leg Presses (It is hard to do much single leg training, since squats and dead lifts are really the bread and butter of leg training. I already do single leg Bulgarian Split Squats and don’t prefer to do much in the form of machine leg exercises, both because they are far inferior to free weight exercises such as squats and I don’t have optimal equipment. Additionally, one machine leg exercise I typically avoid is leg extensions, which of course can be done one leg at a time. Leg extensions put more torque on the knee joint than any other exercise, even squats (which people commonly avoid for fear of hurting their knees, which, if done properly is unfounded)).
So there it is guys! I have made a lot of progress over these past 3 months and hopefully I can make more over the next 3 months. I will of course provide another update at the beginning of April. My current plan is to bulk through March and then starting in April I will begin a cut phase to take off the body fat I have put on and get ripped for summer!
Thanks for reading guys and if you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below!