By Nick Nilsson
Author of Mad Scientist Muscle
Everybody has (and wants to fix) stubborn, hard-to-develop bodyparts.
For me, it's shoulders, calves and biceps. For you, it may be chest and triceps or perhaps hamstrings and quadriceps. No matter what the part, the solution to it remains the same: specialization.
Specialization is a technique that provides highly-targeted training overload to one or more bodyparts.
This can be in the form of additional training volume and/or training frequency, i.e. do more sets for it and/or train it more often. Just like medical doctors specialize in certain areas of medicine, you will learn how to specialize on a particular bodypart and excel with it.
I'm going to show you a particular specialization program that I've found to be EXTREMELY useful for developing stubborn bodyparts. It's not hard to do and it doesn't take long to do but it has the potential to shatter plateaus in hard-to-develop bodyparts.
How To Do Daily Specialization:
The name of the program is Daily Specialization and, as the name implies, it's done on a daily basis. It's very similar in concept to the "grease the groove" style of training by Pavel Tsatsouline.
In a nutshell, you will do just 1 set of 1 exercise for 1 bodypart twice a day, every day. It's very simple but very powerful and it can be done with any bodypart you like!
I will use dips as an example here but you can use any exercise you like. Choose an exercise you can do at home for your selected bodypart to make it easier and more convenient to do (chances are, you're not going to be going to the gym twice a day to do 1 set of 1 exercise!).
If you have weights at home, it will broaden your selection but I find that bodyweight exercises (that use your bodyweight for resistance, e.g. dips, chin-ups, push-ups, etc.) are most effective.
Using dips as the example, on Day 1, very soon after you wake up, do as many dips as you can. Go to failure, doing as many reps as you can then stop. That's your morning workout. You're done.
Do everything else in your day as you normally would, even your regular workouts for that bodypart if they're on your schedule. This program exists completely outside your regular workout schedule.
At night before you go to bed, do another set of dips to failure. That's it. When you wake up the next day, do another set of dips to failure, just like on Day 1. Keep this up for as long as you like - anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the results you want and whether you want to switch to another bodypart or not.
This is the entire program!
As a quick note, you can add a third set in the middle of the day on non-training days in order to speed results. It will give your body a little extra stimulus for that bodypart. Also, do only one bodypart at a time with this program. If you add in more parts, you will dilute the training stress and diminish the effects of the program.
The key to success with this program is consistency. You MUST do it consistently every day, twice a day, without fail to provide that constant training stimulus to the body. Even if you don't feel like it, do it. Even if you're tired and you don't get nearly as many reps as usual, do it. Even if your muscles are sore, do it. The only exception to this rule is if you're sick or injured. Do this, and you WILL get results.
Why Daily Specialization Works:
Physiologically speaking, the body becomes its function. If you run long distances, your body will have a tendency to become smaller and lighter to be better able to cope with the stress. If you lift weights, your body will have a tendency to become more muscular in order to deal with the resistance.
We target this highly-efficient adaptation process by training stubborn bodyparts with very high frequency. Your body quickly learns it needs to build up that bodypart in response to this constant workload. Your body will very quickly start allocating recovery resources towards rebuilding that part bigger and stronger.
You keep working it and your body will keep building it. This program harnesses the adaptive power of your body and channels it into a specific bodypart for maximum results. The results are consistent and phenomenal!
Let me give you my experience with Daily Specialization.
I used this program for my shoulders, doing handstand push-ups. At a bodyweight of 200 pounds, when I started I couldn't do a single full rep, only a few partial reps.
After 12 weeks of consistently doing handstand push-ups morning and night, I was able to perform 40 full reps at the very same bodyweight. If you think about this for a moment, it's actually quite shocking! Could you imagine barely being able to bench press your bodyweight one day then, 3 months later, being able to press it 40 times!
I eventually used this style of training to work up to a set of 50 reps of the handstand push-up.
The results came little by little but on a consistent and daily basis. Over the 3 months (which were going to go by anyway, regardless of whether I did this program or not) this resulted in HUGE gains in muscle development and also carried over to strength in exercises such as shoulder press and bench press.
You can easily achieve powerful results like this with the Daily Specialization Program.
One of the greatest benefits I found with this program wasn't even the improvement in strength and muscle development. Working the stubborn bodypart twice a day to failure actually made my stubborn shoulders not so stubborn anymore.
The constant workload, in addition to building strength and muscle mass, also greatly increased the circulation/capillarization in the muscles. Poor blood circulation is one of the biggest causes of lagging muscle development. This greatly-improved circulation meant more nutrients could get into the muscles more easily, which means easier muscle growth in the long-term.
Not a bad result for a few minutes of effort every day.
I want you to pick a lagging bodypart, pick an exercise for it and try this program for yourself. I guarantee you will see consistent results. Your body will simply have no choice.
Interested in learning more about other Specialization Programs and how you can use them to shatter training plateaus?
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