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50-50 Method At-Home Challenge

This 8-week "mini-challenge" will help you bring up whatever lagging body part you have.

fix lagging body parts in 8 weeks

Do you have a lagging muscle group you want to improve? Maybe under-developed biceps or triceps, a stubborn pair of calves, or shoulders that aren't quite as thick and wide as you'd like them to be?

Then try my 50-50 Method for the next 8 weeks – even if you're stuck at home. This "challenge" doesn't require any heavy weights or a commercial gym setting. The weight you use with the 50-50 Method will be light, but the reps and training frequency will be high... and the results will be impressive.

By investing just a few minutes every day in your weak muscle group, it will be a much stronger body part by the end of 8 weeks. Here's how to do it...

50-50 Method Overview

My 50-50 Method is a technique I introduced in my book Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength. It's a pretty simple concept:

  • Pick one muscle group you want to bring up – biceps, triceps, pecs, quads, delts, calves, traps, forearms, etc.
  • Pick one exercise for the chosen muscle group – i.e., curls for biceps, pressdown for triceps, lateral raises for delts, etc. 
  • Every day, do 50 reps of that exercise at two separate times during the day – 100 reps total per day – with the two 50-rep sessions spaced about 8-12 hours apart (i.e., in the morning and in the evening or nighttime). 
  • The 50 reps should be done consecutively, not broken up into multiple straight sets, so you'll be using a relatively light weight. (More on weight selection below.)
  • No warm-up required for the 50 reps. Get right into it, and after you've completed the 50th rep, you're done.   
  • Do the two 50-rep sessions of that one exercise seven days a week for 8 weeks, in addition to whatever other training you're doing at the time (like one of my full-body programs on JimStoppani.com). Do it on your "off days" and even the days you're also training the target muscle group in your regular program. Every day

Why the 50-50 Method Works

The 50-50 Method is effective because of its high frequency (doing the 100 reps every day). By doing so many reps so often, you enhance the endurance capacity of the target muscle. Enhanced endurance is facilitated by an increase in capillary density in the muscles. Capillary density refers to the number of capillaries (small blood vessels where nutrient and gas exchange take place between the blood and the muscle cells) a muscle is supplied with.

By using the 50-50 Method, you can boost the capillary density of a muscle, and therefore enhance the delivery of nutrients, anabolic hormones, and oxygen to the target muscles. You'll also increase the removal of biomechanical waste products from the muscles, which results in bigger muscle pumps, more rapid recovery of the muscles, and ultimately a greater potential for growth. 

50-50 Method Weight Selection

The key to getting the most out of the 50-50 Method is picking a weight that's not heavy, but not too light either. 

Select a weight for your one exercise that challenges you but is not so heavy that it causes full muscle fatigue/failure too early in the set. 

A good rule of thumb is that when you reach the 50th rep, you should feel as though you can complete more reps. If you feel like you could do, say, another 20 or 30 reps, it's too light. But if you're failing early in the set, the weight is too heavy. That said, if you find you can't get 50 reps straight, do rest-pauses to finish the 50-rep set. 

Best Exercises for 50-50 Method

As I said earlier, you don't need a gym to use this method and do the challenge. Because the weight used will be light, you can use any number of things you have lying around at home for resistance – a light dumbbell, water jugs, a sandbag, whatever. If you have resistance bands, definitely use those.

You can use virtually any exercise for the chosen muscle group when doing 50-50. Here are my personal recommendations, with an emphasis on training at home using bands and other light weights.

Muscle Group Best At-Home 50-50 Exercise Choices
Chest Push-ups (any variation); presses or flyes (one-arm or two-arm).* 
Back Lat pulldowns, rows, straight-arm pulldowns, or straight-arm pullbacks*; inverted rows (bodyweight). 
Shoulders Overhead presses, lateral raises, bent-over lateral raises, or upright rows*; pike press (bodyweight).
Quads Band leg extension; squats, lunges, or step-ups.* 
Hamstrings Exercise ball prone hamstring curls; Romanian deadlifts*; reverse hamstring raise (bodyweight). 
Triceps Band pressdowns; band overhead extensions; kickbacks.* 
Biceps Standing curls, hammer curls, high curls, or preachers curls.*
Forearms Wrist curls or reverse curls.*
Traps Shrugs or band behind-back shrugs.*
Calves Standing calf raises (bodyweight; one-leg or two-leg version); standing calf raises or seated calf raises.*
Abs Crunches; reverse crunches, lying or hanging knee/leg raises. 

*Using bands, dumbbells, or household items like a backpack, water jugs, or a six-pack of soda bottles.


Eight weeks to bring up your lagging body part, day by day. Go get it!


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