Dear Mr. Fitness:
I'm right-handed, -footed, etc. Should I do more weight-training repetitions or weight on my left side in order to compensate? I'm not doing anything but trying to stay in shape as I get a little bit older. Thanks.
-- Weak Southpaw
Dear Weak Southpaw:
If you are a guy trying to get into shape, I would say no, you don't have to do extra on your left side. Everyone has a dominant side. If you are only beginning to train, this dominant side will be, well, dominant! Dominant means stronger, faster, better balanced and better coordinated. It will be noticeable at this early training stage that you may be in. (I'm assuming it's early on.) If so, don't worry. Remain consistent when working out and this large difference will abate quite a bit.
I have trained many athletes such as tennis pros, golfers and baseball players. These athletes heavily favored one side of their bodies. The dominant side, of course.
If an athlete did not incorporate any weight training into their workout program, they would indeed work the weaker side with many more repetitions. Not only more reps, we'd see more sets. But those cases were the exception, not the rule. Highly specialized individuals have become so dominant through rigorous training in their particular fields that their weak sides actually atrophied.
This condition of atrophy left some of them unbalanced and affected their performance. Less performance for these guys means no money. World-class athletes need to have an advantage to remain at the top of their sport. We would at times spend an entire training session on the less dominant side to compensate. This was early on in personal training. Now, everybody works the entire body all of the time. We used to do this only once weekly. The other training sessions included the whole body. Things are done quite differently now, which is good.
As I stated earlier, this is not the rule. These were and are exceptionally skilled humans. I would not recommend you embark on such a routine. It probably is not necessary for you. No need for you to involve yourself with this type of specialized program. Continue to work out with regularity, training the entire body equally. This will produce superior results for someone looking to slow down the aging process.
-- Mr. Fitness
Tony Wagner, aka Mr. Fitness has more than 30 years of fitness and nutritional expertise. A certified personal trainer and fitness author, he has helped thousands of people get into and stay in shape. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook or stop by Bodyzone Fitness Center, 2740 N. Roosevelt blvd., 305-292-2930.