Sunday, 25 September 2011

Think Foundation. LEGS!

I'm sure you all have heard the sayinglegs that you build a house from the ground up. To many times I've seen top heavy guys in the gym wearing tank tops and long pants. Guess what, they are not making a fashion statement they are covering up those chicken legs. Their work out routine usually consists of chest, arms, back, shoulders and repeat. What happened to the legs guys? Is NPC Men's Physique promoting this type of behavior? Well, the way it was explained to me was that it was a way to separate us from the Body Builders. I say this to you upper body only work out warriors, I wouldn't be surprised if we start to see shorter shorts in next years competitors in an attempt to add additional judging criteria. So I'm going to give you a basic routine to add some size to those sticks you call legs.

Here is a sample split that includes some basics that should be in your leg routine. Get the legs warmed up by doing some light cardio, 5 minutes is all you need. Adjust the weights in this program so that you can complete all the sets without sacrificing form. You should nearly be failing at the end of the last rep on each exercise. All exercises should be completed with a count of 2-3 seconds on the way down and 1 second explosion on the way up. Rest time in between sets depends on your physical capacity. If you can complete all sets and exercise taking only a 30 second rest you're not going heavy enough, but don't take longer than a 2 minutes to get back under that weight.

Squat 315 lb, 6 sets of 10reps. Answer this question before you proceed. What is the first thing that should move when you start your descent? If your knees move first you are setting your squat up for failure from the get go. The key to a good squat is to start at the top. Your hips and butt should move back first, followed by the rest of your body traveling in a smooth motion until your legs hit the parallel mark. Arch your back and remember to keep head and chest up. I believe in deep squats and if performed right your knees will not suffer. At the bottom of this movement your knees should never go past your toes and the driving force of all the weight sits in your heels.

Leg Press (8 plates each side) 720 lbs, 5 sets of 12 reps. Foot positions may vary but, I would set my feet in the middle of the pad with your toes tweaked out a little wider than your shoulders. While performing this exercise don't lock out keep the tension on the muscle. Make sure your heels are the driver of this exercise as well.

Sumo Dead Lifts 225 lb, 4 sets of 15 reps. If you don't know this one research a video on you tube but it’s basically an exaggerated foot position. Place feet wider than your shoulders and really angle out toes on this. Hold the bar in a close grip position and perform the exercise while keeping the bar close to shins. Some find it easier on their back than regular dead lifts. Same speed as previous, pull up on a 1 count and down on 2-3 count. As far as letting the weight hit the floor on the way down, I don't tap. I either count each rep as 1 and start over or I keep a constant motion. I usually look to do this exercise on an agility step as well so I can really stretch out the leg muscles.

Leg extensions or leg curls 3 sets 20 reps. I choose one of these exercise depending on which ever one I feel is less likely to burst at this point. All these reps are in continuous motion. I perform somewhat of 3/4 rep range just to activate and burn out the muscle.

Think 60! All sets add up to 60 for each exercise. If you do this right you should be completely depleted and have no energy so make sure to get those calves in on another day. Good luck and give me feedback on this. Should make you soar make sure to stretch out that lactic acid that you are sure to build up over the next few days. Here's a concept... if you are really behind in your leg development start the week off with legs so you don't have any excuses. Think foundation first!.


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