If there was one thing you could change about your body, what would it be?
Most of us have some degree of insecurity when it comes to our physiques.
A lot of guys struggle with perceived deficiencies like chicken legs or narrow shoulders. Many women will tell you they wish they had toned arms, a flat stomach, or a firm butt.
Although I only started squatting recently, I’m blessed with muscular calves due to my genetics and the fact I trained relentlessly when I was young to be able dunk a basketball.
I never quite got there–my best was dunking a tennis ball–but the work I put in went a long way to building up a good baseline of calf muscle that I’m thankful for today.
On the flip side, I’ve always struggled with a small upper body.
I can maintain my arms, but shoulders and chest have always been my weak points.
Why do we have weak points in our physique, and what can be done to fix it? That’s what we’re going to explore in this post, and by the end, you’ll have a plan to fix those chicken legs.
Why Weak Points Develop in Our Physique
Part of my problem, and I know this is true of many people, is that I failed to address my weak points (chest and shoulders) during my early days in the gym.
When we fail to train each part of our body effectively, we end up with disproportionate physiques with obvious weak points that require special attention.
It’s not really our fault when we choose to skip leg day, though.
Human beings want the best parts of their physique to shine, and for guys, that’s usually their chest and biceps. We wear muscle tees to show off our upper bodies.
That was my mentality when I was younger. I’d spend hours in the gym doing isolation exercises thinking that was the best way to get a certain muscle to “pop.”
My legs were usually covered up, so nobody would notice if I skipped leg day.
Boy, was I wrong. If only I’d known about compound lifts 20 years ago.
But the good news is that it wasn’t too late for me to address my shoulders and chest, and it’s not too late for you to remedy your weak points, either.
How to Fix Weak Points in Your Physique
No matter your weakness, you can fix it simply by repurposing your efforts in that area.
The key with repurposing is simplicity. Instead of confusing yourself with a crazy tactic like 6-day splits, you’re simply going to add a second workout each week to address your weak point.
A second workout is that sweet spot between undertraining and overtraining.
With Hack Your Fitness, you’re performing compound lifts at max effort three times a week, so you can’t afford to hamper your recovery with anything beyond one additional workout.
For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to address the following weak points:
Upper Body Workout
With my small upper body, I split my upper body workout into two sessions:
- Bench press, incline press, or flies on Monday
- Overhead press, dips, or shrugs on Friday
I squat on Sunday and deadlift on Wednesday to keep my physique well-rounded.
This split allows me to hit my upper body twice each week with space for ample rest. Whatever your weak point, make sure you allow 3-4 days rest before you work that muscle again.
Lower Body Workout
If you have chicken legs, consider adding a calf raise workout during the week.
Since you’re squatting and deadlifting once a week each (the deadlift is both a back/pull exercise and a leg exercise), you don’t want to add another squat session.
The arms are the apple of most people’s eye when it comes to physique. Most women want toned arms and most men want bulging biceps.
The problem is that for all the love it receives, your bicep/tricep is a single muscle that does little for your body (comparatively speaking) and doesn’t warrant isolation exercises.
But what if you want biceps like Arnold Schwarzenegger?
I don’t recommend it, but if you have time, you can add a bicep curl workout to your weekly routine. Just make sure you keep yourself fresh for the core lifts.
You don’t want to sabotage your gains and revert back to having chicken legs.