Legs are the most important part of an elite body. They form your aesthetic and functional foundation. No matter your goal, your legs will carry you toward it. Your legs are where your power comes from; they're where your strength comes from. You can't build a great body without a base to stand on.
Because your legs are the largest group of muscles in the body, you'll get the biggest metabolic benefit from working them. In other words, performing leg exercises will burn a lot more calories than doing biceps curls. Training legs will result dramatic increases in your physique and performance. The harder you work, the faster results will come!
Elite Body Leg Workout
Watch the video: 17:51
Plyo Circuit: Repeat 3 times and Rest 60 seconds between each exercise
Elite Body Training Tips
For this workout, you need to get intense. When you're driving to the gym, focus on what you want to accomplish. Visualize your goal physique and personal records. Get ready to throw some weight around, set new PRs, and have some fun!
Erin calls her training style "functionally aesthetic strength training," or FAST. It's a hybrid program of meathead meets athlete. This legs workout is a combination of what she's learned from college athletics and techniques that have helped her become an Olmpia-winning figure competitor. As you go through the Elite Body trainer, you'll see improvements in your power and the fine details you'd need on the stage.
Combining explosive movements like plyometrics and compound movements like squats will target your fast-twitch muscle fibers. The advantage of training and growing those fast-twitch fibers is that they have a lot of capacity for power and growth, store a lot of carbohydrates, and end up looking really full on stage.
Although you can do whatever you'd like for a warm-up, the bike is a great choice for this workout because it gets the joints in your lower body moving before you start the plyo circuit. Joints are surrounded by fluid, and the thicker that fluid gets, the tighter your joints will be. When you warm up those joints, particularly at the hip and the knee, the fluid becomes less viscous and the joints are able to move more effectively.
You don't need to warm up very long. Five minutes is perfect. Vary the intensity of your warm-up—try doing high-intensity intervals of 30-45 seconds followed by periods of lower-intensity active recovery.
Timing your rest periods is an important aspect of this trainer. To many people, a minute of rest turns into three minutes when they're chatting with friends, putting their belt on, or checking their phones. If you actually use a stopwatch and time your rest, you're going to experience one of the most brutal workouts you've ever performed. If you stick it out for 28 days, every aspect of your legs will transform.
The plyometric exercises in this workout are essentially bodyweight jumping and leaping movements that train the stretch-shorten cycle. The stretch-shorten cycle is any rapid stretching movement followed by a contraction. The purpose of this cycle is to develop force as rapidly as possible.
Plyos serve as the bridge between speed and force. The combination of speed and force is power—and power is an most important aspect of how well you perform any exercise or sport. Increase your power and you'll improve your performance.
There are myriad benefits to doing plyos before a leg workout. You'll fire up your central nervous system, stimulate your fast-twitch muscle fibers, and you'll be nice and warm by the time you get to your squats. This activation will actually enable you to lift more weight!
Plyometrics should be challenging. Don't just to through the motions. Focus on explosiveness and power. Rest for one minute between exercises so you're not fatigued and you're firing on all cylinders. It's also important that you utilize your arms for every movement. The whole body should work as one entity.
It's easy to baby these, but don't get into that bad habit. Pull your knees to your chest and jump high. Explode off the ground. Apply maximum energy to get maximum results.
This exercise will increase your speed and quickness. It will also increase your proprioception, or your understanding of where your body is in space. Make sure you aren't jumping the same direction each time. Jump 180 degrees to the right, and then jump 180 degrees to the left.
Like the line jumps, you should jump as high as possible. Try to bring your knees all the way up to your chest. Use your arms to drive your momentum upward and focus on maximum height.
A knee-height box also works great for this exercise. When you put one foot up on the box, your thigh should be parallel with the floor. This movement might take a little practice, but keep trying. Drive the knee up and push off the floor as hard as possible. Your goal should be increasing your power production, so don't go easy!
This exercise might seem a little scary, but it's a great movement for strength and aesthetics. When you jump off a box, you experience forces on your muscles up to seven times your bodyweight. If you're loading your quads, hamstrings, and glutes with seven times your bodyweight, they have no choice but to adapt. They grow and look better, but they also get stronger and more explosive.
Use a box that's about knee height. Make sure to bend your knees when you land. To get the most bang for your buck, finish the movement in a squat position.
Squats are the king of lower-body exercises. You target your quads, hamstrings, and glutes in one epic motion. As you fatigue, drive your heels into the ground and keep your knees behind your toes. Your chest should be up and you should be pushing through your heels into the floor. You'll be tired and out of breath, but don't quit!
If you can't do a full squat with a heavy load, take some plates off and do it right. You'll be able to train longer and keep your joints healthier. Everyone should be able to break parallel with a little practice and retraining, but you can't lift with your ego.
A properly performed good morning is the ultimate functional activity for your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. The glutes and hamstrings serve to extend your hips, which is exactly what you're targeting with this movement. Doing good mornings will help you develop a nice, round butt and will make your hamstrings pop.
Use a light weight to start. Keep your chest up, your lower-back straight, and maintain a slight bend in your knee. Focus on holding tension through your entire posterior chain. This isn't an upper back exercise.
Twenty reps is a perfect range for this muscle group because the calves have more slow-twitch muscle fibers than most other muscle groups. In order to fatigue and fully develop them, you have to use a higher rep range.
As you do perform calf raises, maintain balance and squeeze at the top. Focus on getting a peak contraction and controlled stretch.
The reverse hyper is a tough exercise, but it pays huge dividends. Focus on squeezing the glutes and developing your mind-muscle connection. Your glutes may be tired from the other exercises we've done, but keep working!
Leg extensions focus purely on the quads, which extend the knee. This workout ends with a beautiful burnout set to develop separation between all four heads of your quadriceps. If you have anything left when you reach this exercise, now is the time to utilize it.
Elite Body Meal Plan
Check out the table below to see what Erin eats on a daily basis. You don't have to follow these meals exactly, but take some cues from Erin's template: Eat 5-6 times per day, eat protein at every meal, stick to complex carbs, don't skimp on healthy fats, and taper your carbohydrate intake as the day goes on. Follow these rules to build your own elite meal plan.
Because each of us has particular caloric and macronutrient needs, feel free to add or subtract calories, increase the protein, and make other adjustments. Be smart about your choices, stick to the same food categories, and try to adhere to the schedule. What you eat is just as important as what you do in the gym, if not more. There are a lot of healthy options in these example meals, so you shouldn't ever feel deprived or hungry.