July 31, 2015 | John Paul Catanzaro
These days competitive bodybuilding seems to be experiencing a bipolar disorder. On the professional end it’s all about size. The more massive you are, the better your chances of winning. On the amateur end it seems to be more about definition. The more shredded you are, the better your chances of winning. The problem is that you have huge pros walking around with distended bellies and rather small amateurs that look like walking skeletons. It’s unrealistic, unattractive, and quite frankly, unappealing. The sport is suffering because of this trend.
There was a time, however, when bodybuilding was more about symmetry and proportion. Don’t get me wrong, the guys had size and definition as well, but everything seemed to be in balance. Bodybuilders from the golden era had a look that was appealing and attractive. They looked good and they looked healthy. As a result, the sport was at an all-time high in popularity during that period.
How to get that “look” back…
On page 106 of The Elite Trainer, I outline a simple strategy to help you improve your muscle symmetry and proportion. Simply rate the development of each major muscle group on a scale of 1-10 and focus most of your training on the lagging muscles.
Feel free to get feedback from others. In fact, I encourage it. In Pumping Iron, for instance, you saw this sort of thing happen in the gym all the time. With cell phones and the internet these days, all you need to do is take a few photos and share it with others for their opinion.
Once you gather a consensus of what’s lagging and what’s not, work more on your weaknesses and less on your strengths. Double the volume for the two lowest rating muscle groups and cut the volume in half for the two highest. Do this for a 3-month period and rate again. Put the before and after photos side by side for comparison. Repeat the process above until you achieve the desired look.