T Nation

Soon to be FFB Needs Advice


#1

Ok, I may be a little long winded here, but I need some help. I started working out late, but I did start. I started about 8 weeks ago at 6'1" 280 lbs. I am now 235 lbs. I have been doing tons of cardio and lifting. (Leaning how from here) My diet consists of 15 g of sugar or less per day, 150 g of carbs or less per day and about 180 g of protien a day. Of course tons of greens.

About 2 weeks ago I decided to start with some supplements. I have; Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein, Jack3D and Xtend Intra-workout drink. I have to admit, these have really helped my workout. I am able to do cardio longer and push heavier weights.

Now my problem is; When I am in front of the mirror, (in my own bathroom!!!) and I flex, to see the results, I have a huge muscle discrepency between the right side and left side of my body. I am right handed and the right side of my body is stronger then the left. However, The definition on the left side of my body is far greater (larger and more defined) then the right side of my body. My chest, sholders, and biceps. Is this a normal thing? Am I doing something wrong? Is there something that I can do to fix this? If someone could please help and let me know it would be greatly appreiciated.

Thanks
James


#2

first off, congratulations on finally starting on your road to physique manipulation. better late than never.

second, what does your training look like?

third, and this will seem really obvious... where is the light source when you are looking at yourself?


#3

My training is currently 6 days a week. I take Saturdays off. I do about 45 minutes of cardio in the morning Sunday thru Friday. I go back to the gym at night after work Monday thru Friday. At night I start with 30 minutes of cardio and then move on to free weights and machines. I do Chest and triceps, and quads day one. Back, bi's and hamstrings day 2. sholders and calves day 3. The rest of the days, I do all of the same just on a much lighter scale. I do light weights with as many reps as possible till failure. Take Saturday off and do the same thing the next week. The weights are the same amount and reps for each side of my body. If I feel that one side of my body is not pushing its fair share, I lower the weight so that the form is proper.

The light source is coming from directly in front of me. I have lights on the wall to the sides of the mirror. I have also asked one of my friends to look while I flex and he has noticed the same thing with the muscle discrepency.


#4

free weights - dumbbells or barbells?

machines - are these the isolateral type that work one side at a time?

when you go lighter on one side to focus on form, do you notice it happening to one side more than the other?


#5

Free Weights: Barbells; helps me keep my form and not cheat. I find that with barbells I compensate for my weaker side.

All of the machines I use are isolateral. I have tried the machines that do both sides at the same time and I find myself compensating for one side or the other especially as I get tired.

I always use the same weight on each side. When I go to lower weights to keep proper form, I still use the same on each side. (from 40lbs to 30 lbs) If I can't keep my form even at a lighter weight, I assume that I am too tired and I stop to avoid injury.


#6

I'll refer you to this post in bodybuilding:

http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/hammer_strength_shoulder_press

I believe that Bonez makes the point well enough.


#7

I watched the video and it is informative, however, the problem I am facing is not form or one side weaker than the other. I have an issue where the muscles are forming differently from one side to another. My left side is more defined than my right. For example, my bicep on the left side has a peak and is starting to show definition between the sholder and the bicep. The right side bicep seems to be growing out rather than up. The peak on my sholder on the left side is seen and defined, while the right side is bulky, but not defined. Similar problem with my chest from left to right.

I was trying to find out of there is something that can be done to address this, or is this just a malformation of my muscles on the right side that I will have no control over?


#8

I'm a a formerly fat bopy lifter, not a body builder. I'm right handed.

As I have grown muscle it has come in more defined on my left side. I think it is because prior to lifting I was larger on the right side, but it was fat... So as the sides even out size and strength wise the additional fat on the right side hides the muscles...

I read in one of Arnold's book's the suggestion to use the non dominant side to carry and load plates and such as a way of offsetting all the additional work the dominant side gets all the time.


#9

you say that you go lighter on one side when form starts to suffer. if you can equalize both the weights and reps used between both sides, I believe your problem will be solved. ie bring the weak side up to match the strong side. working on your MMC (mind muscle connection) should help also.


#10

I am sorry, I must have mis-stated. When I get tired, I lower the weights evenly on both sides to eliminate bad form and possible injury. Each side will always be the same weight.


#11

right, so what you are doing is not letting your weak side progress to be on par with your strong side. you're perpetuating the imbalance.


#12

Congratulations on starting :slight_smile:

I'm no expert by any means but I think its quite normal to still be stronger in your dominant arm/leg after training for 8 weeks - you have spent your lifetime doing more work with your dominant side so its not going to balance out that quickly.

I was a lot stronger in my right arm and leg when I started lifting weights and its a trend I've noticed with everyone I have worked out with as a beginner. I never did anything to correct it and within 6 months it balanced out for me and for my training partners.

One thing I would recommend is to use dumb bells where possible as when you use a barbell you can allow your dominant side to take over more than its share of the weight. In general both DBs and barbells are far superior to machines.

I also remember reading an article on here quite recently that said that when working out one side at a time (ie DB rows) you should always do your stronger side first and then follow with your weaker side and make sure you match the reps, even if it means pausing for a second to allow you to squeeze out the last rep or two. I haven't tried that myself though.

I think that it should clear itself up within a relatively short period of time though, keep at it :slight_smile:

Hope that helps


#13

Sorry just re-read and saw you said your dominant side is smaller than your weaker side - I thought you said bigger...I have no experience of that. Ignore my ramblings!