Best Option for a Lagging Bodypart

Since I “monetize” everything I’ll continue to share free stuff with you guys. Things that I’ve transitioned about in my thinking over the years.

Used to be, I fell into the thinking that you’d want to dedicate a lot of volume to a lagging bodypart and train it at a ton of different angles in order to bring it up to par and maximize the development of it.

But that honestly, doesn’t make a lot of sense when you start to break it down. It’s like taking someone who sucks at driving a car, and putting them into a formula 1 or Bugatti and telling them to go at maximal speeds through the Nurburgring. Does that make any f’n sense?

Generally with a lagging bodypart you’ve not developed efficient neural pathways to it, which is why you can’t really “feel” it working. Even with movements that are designed to maximize output by that muscle. You’ve maximized the development of muscles around it, or at minimum they have better neural pathways, and are much more dominant than the weak one(s).

Over time I developed an “ah ha” moment from when I was trying to bring up my traps. I started with the paused shrugs, where I focused only simply shrugging up, holding the contraction for three seconds, and focused on that two or three times a week.

That ALONE brought my traps up. Then I got to where my traps became dominant and I could feel them working in just about anything. Thus, better neural pathways.

Instead of throwing a shit ton of volume at a bodypart, which has crappy neural pathways and is under developed, the key is really to find 1-2 movements that you can use to get it into a very shortened state, and pound those 2-3 times a week with quality volume, i.e. not a ton and not too little either. 3-5 quality sets of 1-2 movements that put it into a fully shortened position should do the trick.

Once you’ve gotten really good at that, then you just increase loading over time and bring progressive overload back into the mix so that you’re overloading the correct tissue each session.

So if you have a lagging bodypart, then stop trying to do 100 different exercises for it, with a shit ton of volume. This is literally a backwards approach to being efficient.

2 movements that put it into a maximally shortened position -
Get really good at those -
Do them 2-3 times a week -
Start loading -

There you go.


Thanks for this Paul.
And when the lagging part are calves, how would you approach that if you are a person with long legs and thin calves that seem to no respond to training(andby training I don’t mean high speed moving up&down while watching TV in the gym)

How’s your ankle mobility?

Really good, excellent. I’ve worked for a long time on that and now for years it is really good.

Your calves being long and thin and you being tall don’t change the advice.

Thanks for the tips, Paul. Just to make sure, when you say ‘get really good at those’, do you mean ‘get really good at contracting the given muscle/establishing a good mind-muscle connection’?

Also, would you suggest longer isometric holds in the beginning to make sure one has properly established that connection? Kind of like what you were saying with the three second holds on the shrugs. Lately I’ve been doing ring tucked lever holds (10-15 seconds) to really feel my lats working.

Finally, kudos for the tip you gave in one of your recent articles about focusing on the target muscle to establish a good mind-muscle connection. Really helped me (especially when I close my eyes).

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  1. Yes. Get really good at achieving a strong peak contraction

  2. No, don’t overthink this.

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Now, if only my front delts could read this :rofl:

Seems like you and Scott are on the same page. More volume isn’t always the answer.

But he also says do not train to failure

Yes, but this shape and size does not making them very blessed for growth, so this advice goes also for calf muscle group? Being genetically most “set”, would it also work for them, in your experience?

LOL I’m not sure how many different ways I can answer this other than “yes”.

Ok, thanks coach :slight_smile:

For shoulder, wich exercices you choose ??

What division of the shoulder?

There’s no 1 movement that hits all three heads the same.


The standing Y-raise is the movement that fully shortens the medial delt.

What about triceps and biceps?? Shitty arms genetic

How long have you been training?

Started in 2013 but got serious since 2015