Not quite sure what you mean by "more effort". There is always more effort on the upshift than coming back down through the gears. Or are you talking about the "honda clunk" you get sometimes when shifting? Perhaps you can give us a little more to go on..
If you have a heal toe shifter and the pivot point on the shifter has never been cleaned and possibly bushing replaced then you might have trouble getting 3rd gear. This happened to me on my kuryaken heal toe shifter. Once the inside was cleaned I have had no more problems. If you do have this kind of shifter then loosen the 4 screws on the front bushing of the shifter and give it a 1/4 turn. Hope this helps.
One other thing about the heel toe shifter bushing. Mine was a tad too large so I took my dremmel and shaved it down just a wee bit when I re-adjusted the bushing (12:00 & 6:00 positions for the screw allignment). Good bye sticky shifter!