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Started By Joey (Brisbane, qld, Australia)

Started on: 11/16/2005 11:17:51 PM, viewed 2419 times
Is your right arm smaller than your left?

This excerpt is from Darden’s book “The New High Intensity Training”.

“If you watch closely at a major bodybuilding championship, you’ll notice something interesting. Almost every right-handed bodybuilder will have a left arm that’s larger than his right. This is because the left arm of a right-handed person must work harder to perform its share of an equally divided workload. The left arm doesn’t work more, and it doesn’t work differently. It simply works with greater intensity. And it responds by growing larger than the right arm.

Let’s say that you’re right-handed. Your right arm, obviously, is better coordinated than your left. So your balance and muscular control are less efficient in your left arm. Therefore, your left arm works harder, and its response to this increased intensity is to grow larger.

In fact, in tests of strength that don’t involve balance or muscular coordination, the left arm is almost always stronger than the right, as well as larger.

When this interesting fact is brought to the attention of most bodybuilders, their response usually is “Well, in that case, I’ll do an extra set of curls and extensions with my right arm. Then it’ll grow larger too.”

Which of course brings us back to the point of this book: To achieve growth, you need harder exercise, not more exercise.”

This Topic has 80 Replies: Displaying out of 80 Replies:

Joey (Brisbane, qld, Australia) on 11/16/2005 11:31:59 PM

The question is why is the left arm of a right handed trainee stronger? Because it’s grown bigger. It didn’t increase neurally, it increased in size. Why didn’t the body balance things out and just increase neurally so it’s AS strong as the right arm, without any hypertrophy?

Joey (Brisbane, qld, Australia) on 11/16/2005 11:50:31 PM

Darrell asked a very good question that Ferrari brought up.

gIf gaining strength doesnŒt mean the muscle is getting larger most of the time, how come doing something LESS will make you stronger? YouŒre not practicing as much, so you wouldnŒt have as much skill. I think Ferrari really nailed things when he asked that question. The answer to me is that the muscle IS getting larger, and this is why youŒre stronger with less frequency and exercises (even when the same exercise is performed FIRST in the routine). Plus, fitness SHOULD be worse, so that should make you even weaker, which isnŒt the case.h


Volume trainers get a lot of practice with their multiple sets and high frequency routines. So they are the ones that should increase neurally not trainees that practice HD.

Olympic lifters get a lot MORE practice of a VERY limited amount of exercises compared to bodybuilders who train using WAY MORE exercises. In my opinion the Olympic lifters/power lifters are not using as many exercises as bodybuilders and only stick to the ones they need to practice for competition (with some accessory exercises as well but again not many). So these type of trainees (Olympic/power) would have the highest amount of neural adaptations out of the 3 types (HD, BODYBUILDERS, OLYMPIC/POWER).

smanjh (somewhere in, the USA, U.S.A.) on 11/17/2005 1:58:07 AM

As for your initial post…Exactly. Most of the people who try HD have no clue what hard excersise is about. Thes guys stop when things get somewhat hard, they do not push themselves nearly as hard as they should. If they could be convinced that this is the one true system of bodybuilding instead of just a theory that ′most likely will not work′ then they would train within an inch of their lives, where the 30 minutes after the set is in no way close to the 30 minutes that came before. The would know true total muscular failure and then some. I promise that everyone who tried this and said it did not work did something WAYYYYYY wrong…PERIOD.

As for your second posts…I agree one hundred percent. The claim is that your CNS is evolving so that you can push yourself harder and harder without an increase in muscular size. Well I have news for people…If you somehow put 100 pounds on a big compound lift with the SAME form and the SAME reps, you WILL be bigger. There is no other way around it. The CNS will adapt that way first because the body does not want to add muscle unless it does not have to. Eventually it MUST though, or the weights will not increase and increase to where someone is squatting 500 pounds for 20 reps. No way in hell would that happen.

So yeah, this nueral gain garbage is the excuse of certain people who refuse to cope with their genetics. I understand the whole idea of this all too well, trust me on that, as noone wants to admit their dream really is out of reach. So they stumble from training program to training program, hoping the next one is ′it′. Well no, getting really, really strong for reps is ′it′. Whether for one set or multiple sets, the theory still holds true.

Ferrari (Gatineau, QC, Canada) on 11/17/2005 7:58:10 PM


I understand the point that you are trying to make about power lifters doing less exercises than HD and bodybuilders and for the most part it is true but don′t forget that some of us are down to a handful ourselves.

I think that the biggest difference between power lifters and the rest of us is the way that we do our sets.

Power lifters are concerned with lifting the weight or even throwing the weight. Skill in the pure sense of the word is probably more important than strength to them. Although no one can argue that strength is not a factor in the clean and jerk, the faster you can throw the weight up the easier and less energy it will take during the lift.

We on the other hand try to avoid throwing the weight at all cost. In fact, we call it cheating when you lift too quickly. Although there is skill involved in lifting a weight in 3-4 seconds it is not the same thing as a power lifter′s skill.

Skill is the reason that power lifters do a lot of sets. Skill and high speed also keeps them from depleting energy the same way that we do, which is why they can do more.

Of course, our objectives are different. They live on the edge hoping not to get too many injuries and we train for strength and hope never to get one.

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