HIT - Dominant and Non-Dominant Considerations

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HIT - Dominant and Non-Dominant Considerations Empty HIT - Dominant and Non-Dominant Considerations

Post  Fitness Scientist on Sun May 09, 2010 12:43 pm

Dominant and Non-Dominant Considerations

By Joe Mullen
Fitness Scientist

As a bodybuilder, you goal is to improve you total body balance by improving the elements of body balance between the right and left sides of your body. I've explained the procedure as if you want to test for one-rep-max and then test for muscle endurance within the same workout; however the best way is to test only strength in the first workout. Then, rest as you would and then one your next workout day, test for muscle endurance.

Use the five exercises listed below. Typically you would do them with both arms and both legs. The only difference is to accomplish this in a one arm or one leg fashion. The exercises to use are:

1. Leg Extension
2. Bench Press
3. Pull-down to chest, palms towards the face.
4. Overhead Press.
5. Two Arm Curl.

Initially you performed these using two arms or two legs. This time you will follow the advice but using one-leg or one-arm movements. First, testing for one repetition maximum repetition. Then, using a percentage of the maximum to determine what is your maximum muscle endurance.

Follow this procedure:

1. Begin with the leg extension. Choose an amount of light resistance to use with your dominant leg, to warm up the muscles and joints for a one-minute continuous movement.

(a) Then, start to add a small increase in weight and perform only one repetition, then, increase the weight slightly to perform another one repetition with your dominant leg. Continue this sequencing until you reach your one repetition maximum lift.

(b) After you establish your one rep maximum strength level with each leg, the next step is to determine your muscle endurance with a percentage of your max weight.

Choose between 50 percent up to 80 percent for this test. After a short rest, load the amount of resistance you will use for the test and perform as many controlled, full range repetitions as you can.

(c) Now, you have determined the strength and muscular endurance of your dominant leg. Write that information down on your chart and get ready to test the non-dominant leg in the same way.

When testing your non-dominant leg exactly follow the procedure in paragraph 1, and the sub-paragraphs a, b, and c as written above.

Be sure to use the same percentage of the maximum one repetition resistance with the non-dominant as you did with your dominant leg. Do not be surprised if you perform more repetitions with you non-dominant leg. This leg may test weaker in strength but it will test higher in endurance.

We believe: The so-called non-dominant body segment gets a semi-rests on a day-to-day basis, because the dominant side does more work during the day.

It appears that rested muscles are more capable of producing more prolonged work than muscles, which are partially fatigued.
Retain the valuable data for future reference. You will be vastly surprised when a retest is given and you experience the results.

We will share one great training method you might employ, which, as many concepts we share with you, seem contradictory to your present knowledge base. At least until you experience the truth of our research. Training for, and attaining body balance requires a different dedication and approach to exercise than is used in a standard HIT workout approach.

It demands the discipline to exercise the present non-dominant elements towards improvement, and to exercise the dominant parts in a way that seeks only to maintain the present fitness level, making no effort to improve them. Until you close the gap between the right and left sides of your body.

Here is what that would look like when following a HIT Body Balance Protocol. This procedure directly relates to the baseline data you generated, when you tested each body area, in an individual way and have arrived at a one-rep maximum and a maximum muscle endurance level.

This approach determined the true dominant, non-dominant elements of dominant strength side and dominant muscle endurance of each area; however, the dominant strength may be (as an example) on the right side and the dominant endurance may be on the left side (as an example).

Your initial data may look something like the following example of the leg extension data:

One Rep Max Muscle Endurance with 70% of Max

Right side: 100 lbs. 14 repetitions
Left side: 60 lbs. 21 repetitions

This data indicates that the right side is 100 strong and develops 14 repetitions of muscle endurance. The left side is only 60 strong (40% less than the right side) and produces 21 repetitions (seven reps more endurance) than the right side.

Self-evident truth in this example is the strength dominant right side. So, exercise this side to produce more muscle endurance and not more strength -- until the left side strength closes the gap, and becomes stronger in relation to the right side.

It is also clear that; the non-dominant; left side muscle endurance; is superior to the muscle endurance of the right side and is not a problem at this point.

We say "no problem" because as you train to improve the strength level of the left side, following the Balanced Body protocol, the muscle endurance gains will be in balance to the strength gains. Eventually, as you balance both sides of the body, and begin to exercise body sides together, all strength, and muscle endurance gains coexist together.

Your program design, using the above example, would be to determine an amount of weight to use on all strength dominant sides that allows 15 repetitions. Stay with that resistance and that amount of repetitions. If you use more weight, even though you probably could, you will increase the dominance. As areas balance out begin to increase the resistance. This is a temporary body-balancing attempt.

Left side exercises are exactly as indicated, increasing the resistance at the right time. Before long, in about one month, both sides closely balance. Then, you begin to work both sides for maximum increases.

The genesis of this approach is proper training for strength increases at the same time as the muscle endurance levels. The opposite is not true, one cannot train to increase endurance and have the strength increase at the same time. That is just the way the human body functions.

We have often tested the strength and endurance levels of long distant runners who dislike strength training. They continue to exercise only to increase cardio-endurance. When we retest them months (sometimes years) later, there is no increase in strength levels. In fact, they are usually weaker than during the previous test. This has proven to be true in all cases.

Finally, after following these procedures, for one month, conduct a retest in exactly the manner you did to compile your initial baseline data. If everything tests out to only a 8 percent difference between body parts, it is OK to begin training in the standard way.

Actually, here is the kicker. For continued maximum gains to insure muscular balance, you should continue an exercise program in which you exercise each side of the body independently of each other.

This would mean you should continue to do exercises allowing each side to lift a certain amount of resistance, independent of the other side helping with the attempt.

Joe Mullen
Fitness Scientist
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