Why is One of My Arms Bigger Than The Other One?


question-icon-newI train my arms 3 times a week and my left arm seems to be developing more than my right arm. I have noticed that the biggest difference is in my biceps. It’s a little embarrassing since they are noticeably different and out of proportion. Is this normal and what can I do to bring them up to the same size?

answer-icon-newFirst off, you really should not be training your biceps three times a week. Since your biceps are a very small muscle group when compared to the rest of your body, you only need to train them once per week for the best results. Any more than this and you will risk overtraining the muscle which can lead to plateau issues where you will stop getting bigger and stronger since your body is screaming for rest and recovery. Your biceps also do not need to be trained with a ton of sets.

I see a lot of guys in the gym who do far too many sets for their arms and they really do not have impressive muscle development to show for it. Your overall goal for a complete biceps workout should only be about 6-8 total sets for your entire routine. Remember that this will be a very high intensity training session where you will be going super heavy and placing maximum tension on the muscle with the most basic mass building movements like barbell curls and preacher curls where you can stack a bunch of weight on the bar which provides the highest level of resistance to overload the muscles of your biceps.

single-arm-biceps-curlsIn terms of your arms being out of proportion and unsymmetrical, it’s actually fairly common to have one muscle group that responds better to resistance training. Many people have an arm or leg which is a little bigger or stronger than the other. You might try using single limb movements in your training routine and work the weaker muscle group more intensely with either more reps or a heavier weight to see if that helps. Dumbbells work great when training biceps in this way since you can simply grab a heavier dumbbell for your right arm which is the one you want to bring up to par with the left.

If you use a barbell, it will be impossible for you to adjust the tension since you have both hands on the bar at the same time as you perform the exercise. So just focus on strictly using dumbbells when training your biceps and give yourself a solid 6-8 weeks to start seeing any noticeable results in your weaker arm. You can also use single arm training on some of the machines in the gym. Just grab the bar that’s attached to the machine with one hand instead of both of them and do a set for each arm.

The thing you want to avoid doing is lowering the overall resistance on your stronger arm to help it become proportional with your weaker one. Training in this manner will just make you lose size and strength since you are reverting backwards versus focusing your attention on using more weight and additional reps and sets on your weaker arm to bring it up the same level of musculature and strength that your stronger arm is currently at.

Be patient and work hard at this over the course of several months to see real improvements. You probably also want to track your progress by measuring your arms and taking photos of your them each week to make sure you’re progressing. It’s amazing how the mind and your eyes can play tricks on you when you see your own physique in the mirror every single day. This is why taking progress photos each week is crucial for monitoring your results to make sure you are getting closer to reaching your ultimate physique goals.

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