A Pro’s Guide to Fixing Your Weaknesses
Learning how to identify and snuff out physique imbalances is critical to building a better overall physique.
By Brandon Curry, IFBB Pro
[Q] What’s been a tough bodypart for you to bring up and why?
[A] Quads have been one of the toughest bodyparts for me. As an athlete, my focus in the gym was always on muscle performance and not muscle breakdown. I was of the mindset that in order to grow a muscle, you had to get it stronger and that forced me to stray from good control. It wasn’t until I lightened the weight, focused on the tempo and began controlling the weight that I was able to prevent other muscles from aiding in the lifts. That’s when I started seeing better results.
[Q] Brandon, what’s the best way to identify a weak bodypart? Do you just go by appearance or by how a muscle group performs for you in the gym?
[A] With bodybuilding, it’s always appearance. The only way you know that is to get onstage and compete or to be judged by someone you trust. But you should look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. You probably already know. In this sport, the strong muscles aren’t always the best. It’s definitely appearance.
[Q] What have you found to be the best solution for attacking a weak bodypart? More volume? More intensity?
[A] Whatever tool you use, it’s always about quality. It’s not necessarily about strength levels. The ability to control the muscle and break it down properly is what allows it to grow. In bodybuilding, it’s the ability to display what you’ve worked on. You have to remove ego. There are so many people who would say that you have to do more of everything and I’ve tried that approach and it didn’t work for me. My muscles were inflamed and hurt all the time. When I did the reverse, I started finding success. If it’s a weakness, you need to treat it like a weakness by removing ego and starting at square one.
[Q] How do you keep a strong bodypart from dominating your physique? Do you train it less frequently? With less weight?
[A] My arms have always been very strong, so now, as I work on better symmetry and balance, my training for them is less intense. I do just enough to get some good blood flow and stimulation. For a dominant bodypart, you may just want to work it every other week. You have to pace yourself with muscles that are genetically gifted. I know that’s not an issue a lot of people can relate to
Here’s the routine that Brandon used to address his lagging quads. This program focuses on lighter-than-normal weight loads in traditional, muscle-building rep ranges. For each exercise, Brandon aims to control the weight slowly on the way down before exploding on the way up.
Leg Extension: 3 Sets x 10–12 Reps†
Barbell Squat (heels elevated): 3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
Barbell Hack Squat (heels elevated): 3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
Leg Press (on toes)‡: 3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
Leg Press (traditional): 3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
Machine Sissy Squat: 3 Sets x 10–12 Reps
† To flush his muscles and joints with blood for the work ahead, Brandon performs this as a triple drop set, performing reps to failure, then dropping the weight 20-30% and continuing to failure each time.
‡ Brandon performs these with his feet low on the platform. Only his toes touch the platform as he descends into each rep, as in a sissy squat. When his knees hit 90 degrees, he reverses the motion.