Built By Science Daily Trainer: Day 22, Legs

The intensification phase of Built by Science begins with an all-out leg assault utilizing classic strength movements. Leave no muscle fiber untouched!

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For the next three weeks, we're going to structure leg day around three of my favorite lower-body exercises: the deadlift, front squat, and glute-ham raise. Don't let the low reps fool you; this is going to be hard work!

If this is your first time performing glute-ham raises, be prepared for a battle. The first time I performed these, I felt like my hamstrings were going to tear off the bone, and I had epic muscle soreness for days afterwards. It was awesome. Consider yourself warned!

To perform this exercise, it really helps to have a glute-ham bench. If your gym doesn't have one, you'll have to perform this exercise the manual way, with your feet secured under a rack pin or on a sit-up bench—both of which are actually harder than doing them on a bench.

If you aren't yet able to perform this movement—and trust me, I've seen many strong people who couldn't—here's the progression I use. First, try performing the negatives alone. Get up to the top however you can, and then lower under control. Once you're confident with these, try using band-assisted descents, and from there, start mixing assisted and unassisted reps.

Keep practicing at this difficult, powerful movement, and it'll carry over to gains in your deadlift, squat, and make you a stronger, more athletic person overall. Don't give up!


Barbell Deadlift

4 sets of 5 reps. Rest: 3-4 minutes
Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift


Front Barbell Squat

3 sets of 5 reps. Tempo: 2-0-1. Rest: 2-3 minutes
Front Barbell Squat Front Barbell Squat


Dumbbell Rear Lunge

3-4 sets of 10 reps. Rest: 60-90 seconds
Dumbbell Rear Lunge Dumbbell Rear Lunge


Floor Glute-Ham Raise

3-4 sets of 6 reps. Tempo: 2-0-1. Rest: 60-90 seconds
Floor Glute-Ham Raise Floor Glute-Ham Raise


Standing Calf Raises

3-4 sets of 10 reps. Tempo: 2-2-1. Rest: 60 seconds
Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

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