Do you know what happens to your body if you only train one side for 90 days?
That is the story of Tom Gray, one of the Gray Brothers. The Gray Brothers is a YouTube channel in which Tom and James show their fitness journey. They are both passionate about workouts and occasionally do a few challenges to see the results.
But it’s not like he decided to train one side of his body just for the sake of experimentation. Tom Gray, a dedicated fitness enthusiast, found himself facing an unprecedented challenge after a shocking injury during his debut gymnastics competition at Loughborough University.
The distinct rip in his arm marked a ruptured distal bicep tendon, leading to a cascade of events that would redefine his approach to training. Undeterred by the setback, Tom made a bold decision—to train just one side of his body for 90 days.
See it all unfolding in the paragraphs below.
What Happens to Your Body if You Only Train One Side for 90 Days?
Contrary to expectations, this experiment yielded astonishing results. Despite initial concerns about creating an imbalanced physique, Tom discovered unexpected benefits. Delving into the scientific concept of cross-education, Tom found that training the non-injured side could cross-transfer benefits to the injured side. This revelation led to a profound mental and physical transformation, challenging conventional notions of training symmetry.
The journey unfolded with Tom undergoing surgery and facing the challenges of an immobilized arm. However, his commitment to fitness and a thirst for knowledge drove him to explore the potential advantages of focused, unilateral training. Embracing the limitations imposed by his injury, Tom engaged in rigorous leg and core workouts, maintaining a relentless dedication to his fitness goals.
As Tom navigated the complexities of recovery, the Osa brace provided a glimmer of freedom. Despite the physical constraints, he continued to push the boundaries of what seemed possible, training the uninjured side with a newfound focus on form and technique. This journey not only built a robust mind-to-muscle connection in his left side but also sparked subtle improvements in his physique.
The turning point came when Tom removed the cast after 45 days, revealing a shocking transformation. His left arm had shrunk from 16 inches to 12 inches, demonstrating the tangible impact of even a brief hiatus from training. Undeterred, Tom embarked on the final phase of his experiment, rebuilding lost muscle with remarkable efficiency.
The key to his success lay in the scientifically proven concept of cross-education, showcasing the interconnectedness of the human body’s muscular system. “Studies showed that training the non-injured side is scientifically prove to cross transfer over to the injured side. So training with one side, actually helped with my recovery,” Tom says.
Tom Gray’s 90-day experiment stands as a testament to the resilience of the human body and the potential benefits of strategic, unilateral training. This journey goes beyond physical appearance, highlighting the intricate relationship between training, recovery, and the pursuit of holistic well-being.
You can watch his transformation and his training, plus the results of training only one side for 90 days in the video below.
Strength training is the use of exercise to build muscle strength and endurance. It is a vital part of any fitness routine, as it has a wide range of benefits for both physical and mental health.
Here are 10 of the key benefits of strength training:
- Increased muscle mass and strength. This is the most obvious benefit of strength training, and it is also one of the most important. Muscle mass and strength are essential for many everyday activities, such as carrying groceries, lifting objects, and climbing stairs. They also help to protect your joints and bones from injury.
- Reduced risk of injury. Strength training can help to reduce your risk of injury in a number of ways. First, it can help to strengthen your muscles and tendons, which can help to absorb impact and prevent injuries. Second, it can help to improve your balance and coordination, which can also help to reduce the risk of falls and other accidents.
- Improved bone density. Strength training can help to improve your bone density, which can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis and other bone diseases. This is especially important for women after menopause, when they are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Improved cardiovascular health. Strength training can also help to improve your cardiovascular health. When you strength train, you raise your heart rate and increase your blood flow. This can help to strengthen your heart muscle and improve your circulation.
- Weight loss. Strength training can help you to lose weight and body fat. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, so when you have more muscle, you burn more calories at rest. Strength training can also help to increase your metabolism, which can help you to lose weight and body fat even faster.
- Improved mood and mental health. Strength training can also help to improve your mood and mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Strength training can also help to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Improved sleep quality. Strength training can also help to improve your sleep quality. Exercise can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can both interfere with sleep. Strength training can also help to tire you out, which can help you to fall asleep more easily.
- Reduced risk of chronic diseases. Strength training has been shown to reduce the risk of developing a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
- Improved functional fitness. Strength training can help to improve your functional fitness, which is the ability to perform everyday activities without difficulty. This is especially important for older adults, as it can help them to maintain their independence and quality of life.
- Increased confidence. Strength training can help to increase your confidence. When you are stronger and more physically fit, you feel better about yourself. This can lead to increased confidence in all areas of your life.
How to get started with strength training
If you are new to strength training, it is important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time. It is also important to learn how to perform exercises correctly to avoid injury.
Here are a few tips for getting started with strength training:
- Start with bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, and squats. Once you have mastered these exercises, you can add weights.
- Use a variety of exercises to target all of the major muscle groups. This will help you to develop a well-rounded physique.
- Focus on compound exercises, which work multiple muscle groups at the same time. Compound exercises are more efficient than isolation exercises, which only work one muscle group at a time.
- Lift weights that are challenging but allow you to maintain good form.
- Perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for each exercise.
- Rest for 1-2 minutes between sets.
- Strength train 2-3 times per week.
Safety tips for strength training
Strength training is generally safe, but there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk of injury:
- Warm up before each workout with 5-10 minutes of dynamic stretching.
- Cool down after each workout with 5-10 minutes of static stretching.
- Use proper form when performing exercises.
- Lift weights that are challenging but allow you to maintain good form.
- Listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.
To conclude, Strength training is an essential part of any fitness routine. It has a wide range of benefits for both physical and mental health. If you are new to strength training, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time. Be sure to learn how to perform exercises correctly to avoid injury.