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The Unilateral Strength Deficit: A Hidden Hurdle to Balanced Strength

APRIL 2024

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Why do omeletts love April Fools' Day? They enjoy practical yolks

Ahhh boy, do we love a good laugh. I don't know who loves a good joke more... Mike Campanella.....or Mike Campanella.

Seriously though.

Anyway! Spring is here and wow are we excited about it! Fun new projects are underway in the world of PEX and the motivations are running rampant.

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events at each of our locations.


Mike's Monthly Message

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The Unilateral Strength Deficit: A Hidden Hurdle to Balanced Strength

By: Mike Campanella

Balance and symmetry are not just aesthetic goals; they are foundational pillars for functional strength and injury prevention, achieved through implementing a diverse workout program that thoughtfully incorporates unilateral exercises.

Four Reasons You Can’t Lunge as Much as You Can Squat and How to Incorporate Unilateral Exercises to Hurdle the Gap...

The “unilateral deficit” describes the scenario where an individual’s strength in exercises that engage both limbs (bilateral exercises) doesn’t proportionately translate to exercises that work each limb independently (unilateral exercises).

The Gap Between Bilateral and Unilateral Exercise Strength

First, we all know those athletes who can squat and deadlift heavy weights but struggle with lighter weights in lunges, single-leg deadlifts, or split squats. Shouldn’t the strength from heavy squats and deadlifts carry over to unilateral exercises? The reality, however, is not as straightforward as you would think.

How Unilateral Neglect Drives the Strength Deficit Gap 

  1. Neuromuscular Coordination: Unilateral exercises require coordination from a greater number of stabilizer and synergist muscles due to the independent movement of each limb. In contrast, bilateral exercises require less coordination, as the load is shared across both limbs, slightly minimizing the requirement of stabilizer muscles.
  2. Muscle Weakness: Unilateral exercises recruit stabilizer muscles to a greater degree when compared to bilateral movements. Underdeveloped stabilizer muscles, neglected through a lack of unilateral exercises and/or a disproportionate emphasis on bilateral training, will not be able to perform as effectively when called to act in an isolated fashion.
  3. Muscle Imbalance: Often, individuals unknowingly favor one side during bilateral exercises, or engage one side more than the other, leading to uneven development.
  4. Core Engagement: Bilateral exercises require relatively less core engagement to maintain balance and posture. Weaker core muscles can therefore affect performance in unilateral movements.
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Negative Outcomes of Unilateral Exercise Neglect

  1. Increased Injury Risk: Muscle imbalances and poor stabilization can increase the risk of injuries, particularly under heavy loads or during dynamic movements.
  2. Compromised Functional Strength: Real-world activities and sports often involve unilateral-based movement patterns. A unilateral deficit can therefore translate to poorer performance outside the gym.
  3. Missing Hypertrophy Potential: There’s an argument to be made that skipping unilateral movements can lead to asymmetrical or incomplete hypertrophy development.
  4. Slower Progress in Bilateral Movements: The neuromuscular challenge posed by unilateral exercises can enhance overall efficiency and power, thus bolstering bilateral movements. Focusing solely on bilateral training risks missing out on these neuromuscular benefits, potentially slowing progress.

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How to Hurdle the Unilateral Deficit Gap...

Want to find out the answers? Click here to read more on our PEX Website --> The Unilateral Exercise Deficit: A Hidden Hurdle to Balanced Strength

Reading Time with Louro Training

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By: Jake Louro, owner of Louro Training

As a society, very little is required of us that is physically difficult. We don't need to stalk our prey and drag dinner back miles at a time. We don't have to go tend to the field to get our potatoes. I personally don't even do my own grocery shopping and I have 3 robot maids vacuuming and scrubbing my floors everyday. My point is, we don't experience many physically difficult things. And I'm not complaining. I hate grocery shopping, let alone working in a field all day. I believe an unintended byproduct of this ease of life is that when it comes time to do something that is difficult, we are more conditioned than ever to avoid it.

The really unfortunate part about that is all the things that, as a society, we desperately need to improve (obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.) require us to do difficult things we probably don't want to do. Sitting on our a$$, watching Netflix, and eating Five Guys is very appealing. But that doesn't undo the colossal health crisis we are living through at the moment. In fact, it makes it worse. We need to get better at sacrificing present comfort for long-term reward. This is where a very overlooked benefit of cold water immersion (CWI) lies.

If you can regularly will yourself to get into a freezing cold tub of water and sit and breathe for minutes at a time, you are getting better at doing something that you really don't want to do. You are getting better at tolerating discomfort. I don't think that has ever been quite as valuable as it is today...

Why is it Valuable...? Click here to find out --> ICE, ICE, BABY: UNPACKING COLD WATER PLUNGES

Couch to 5K Training Program with Body by Tanya and

Lauren Leonard Health

Continuing on a great run from the Fall, Tanya and Lauren will be bringing back their fun program for another round beginning on Monday, APRIL 1st. (Don't worry, there's still time to join! Email Tanya today )

Curious about this AMAZING deal and opportunity? It includes:

  • A 9-week Couch to 5K, culminating with the Corrib Pub Classic 5K on Sunday, JUNE 2nd
  • One in-person workout per week (Saturday mornings at 8:30 am at PEX Medfield)
  • Working with TWO experienced coaches
  • 9-week training plan
  • Inspiring weekly emails with videos to support your training
  • SWAG....and more!

Cost: $99 – pay via Venmo @Lauren-Leonard-32

***Please Note: registering for the 5K is separate***

Pelvic Floor 101 Workshop with Jennifer Hart Fitness and MomLife Health and Wellness

April 7th 10:15am-11:15am

Jennifer Hart, owner of Jennifer Hart Fitness is excited to partner with MomLife Health and Wellness, Medfield’s own experts on perinatal and pelvic floor physical therapy for a great introductory workshop on the pelvic floor and considerations for exercise during pregnancy and postpartum! 

Join Dr. Alyssa Demeule and Jennifer for an interactive discussion on all thing pelvic floor anatomy, changes that occur during pregnancy and postpartum, and how to continue your exercise regimen during this time.

This is a FREE event and a great opportunity to ask your questions and get guidance in a supportive environment.

Sign up at this LINK, and we look forward to seeing you on April 7!

Client Spotlight!

Eric Ayers Fitness proudly recognizes Maggie Hogan as the client of the month. Since joining PEX in 2019, Maggie's unwavering dedication has been exemplary. Her journey of growth in the gym is a testament to her understanding of the importance of exercise for health and well-being. With a particular fondness for the Barbell Deadlift and Bench Press, Maggie has not only improved her skeletal muscle mass but also balanced her fitness routine with her responsibilities as an editor, community contributor, and caregiver. Her achievements are a clear reflection of her hard work, and the trainers at PEX are excited to continue supporting her throughout 2024.

Congratulations, Maggie, on your remarkable progress!


with Body By Tanya

The private event hosted by Body by Tanya and Revival was a total success last month. We had a great workout at PEX followed by rest and rejuvenation nearby at Revival. 

Each attendee was able to try services of their choice such as Red Light Therapy, Nucalm, and Nanovi. We all left refreshed and ready to take on the day. 

Stay tuned for another event happening in May!  

Small Business Plug - Clementine

One of our favorite parts about PEX is meeting other small business owners all around the Greater Boston Area, especially when they're part of our community. This month, we are excited to highlight Lori McWeeney, owner of Clementine in Wellesley Center.

Clementine is a luxury women's boutique where everyone is committed to curating the highest standards with their exclusive collections, handpicking clothing, shoes, and and accessories.

Their passion is centered in their exceptional pieces, helping others feel confident while also elevating their closets!

Location: 30 Church St in Wellesley, MA

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 5pm

Instagram: @ourclementine

Website: ourclementine.com

Phone: (781) 235-9465

A New Addition at PEX Needham Heights

What a difference knocking down a wall can make! Recently, PEX Needham Heights underwent quite a fun project to enhance its space. We knocked down an office to make more space on the training floor.

Guess what that means?...MORE personal training opportunities...YES!


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We're Accepting Applications!

PEX is accepting applications! Know of any fitness professionals in the area looking to advance their careers in the fitness industry? Send them our way! They can fill out this form to schedule an interview.

In Conclusion

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How do pirates celebrate April Fools' Day?

They walk the prank

If anyone knows of a good joke (or prank), make sure to pass it by our good pal, Mike C.

Here's to sunshine and daylight extending beyond 7pm,


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