It happened again today. I went to the gym early to get in a workout before leaving for the 2006 Boise Fit Expo in Idaho. It was leg day, the day that separates men from boys.
There I was, at one leg press station with a 45 and a 25 on each side repping out 20 reps unilaterally, barely. Next to me was a sight to be seen. This young man had about 9 plates per side, complete with the funny sweat pants and knee wraps to match. After wrapping his knees up nice and tight, he sat in the leg press machine and proceeded to lift the weight off the pins. He then let out a mighty scream and lowered...
Well - he didn't really lower it, actually. He went down about a quarter of an inch and then locked it back up. I guess that would have been a full rep if he was 3'5" tall. But this was a normal-sized guy standing about 5'9". Upon unwrapping his knees and exposing his "wheels," the look I gave him probably resembled the look given to a not-so-well endowed flasher by his victim. I did not laugh, but instead thought of this article, and being from Southern California, shiny rims came to mind.
Scivation Director of Research and Development, Chuck Rudolph and I have discussed this many times. In order for legs to grow optimally, you need two things:
- Proper form
- High reps
What we will discuss today is the high-rep part of the equation. Too many people focus on getting strong, thus they use low reps and weight beyond what their form can sustain. The problem is that unless you are a powerlifter or strength athlete, this is not what we have witnessed to be most effective in gaining lean mass.
We recommend a more unorthodox, high-rep leg workout, one that would make most mortals puke. The results we have seen with this program have been outstanding and also realize that if you are trying to maximize fat oxidation, this workout will mobilize more fat stores than Star Jones on a treadmill!
Here is the leg workout that will have you shot callin' and big ballin' with your new, beefy wheels.
3 sets x 20 reps
This is to get your legs warm and toasty for what is to come and also help pre-exhaust the target muscles. Leg curls provide a nice contraction on the hamstrings and also compliment the exercises that follow quite well.
3 sets x 25 reps
Go for the burn around the 18th rep. Keep the weight nice and light and use a slow and controlled motion. This will help get your knees nice and lubricated for what is to come, as well as pre-exhaust. Well, why not do these at the end like it is usually recommended? The answer is that this is not the bread and butter of the workout and also you'll be too tired to do these at the end!
Stiff Leg Deadlift
3 sets x 15 reps
This is the hamstring-master. Take a shoulder-width stance and come down nice and controlled, focusing on pushing your hips back rather than bending at the waist, with a very slight bend in the knees. Come to where your upper torso is parallel and come back up - smooth and controlled.
4 sets x 20 reps - each leg
Yes, you read that right. 40 total reps for 4 sets. I am man enough to admit that I use the bar only. You can either do walking lunges or alternate stationary lunges. If large, toned legs and a shapely butt are goals of yours, these must be done! Who doesn't want a great butt?
One-Legged Leg Press
4 sets x 15-20 reps - each leg
This takes a lot of pressure off of the lower back and really hits the whole leg nicely. Place one foot on the floor and the other on the platform and perform the movement. After the lunges, your quads and glutes will be on fire!
4 sets x 15-20 reps
The king of all exercises. Go light as you will be a bit unstable by now and rep it out. Come just below parallel in a smooth, controlled motion.
Standing Calf Raises
4 sets x 25 reps
Drop the weight and rep it out! Smooth and controlled with a full range of motion. These will burn really bad.
Did He Just Say Cardio?
We recommend 20-35 minutes of low intensity cardio at 120-140 heart rate to facilitate recovery and nutrient flow. Yes, even after this hellish workout!
Click Here For A Printable Log Of This Hellish Leg Routine!
Leg Day Nutrition
You want to provide your body with what it needs to recover before, during, and after training. This does not mean you need to down 100 grams of fat-producing carbs. Thus, we do not recommend a pre- or post-workout shake containing carbohydrates unless:
- You are a performance athlete who needs to recover to compete the next day.
- You are an ectomorph who has trouble putting on mass.
If you are like most bodybuilders and physique enthusiasts, you weight train for 30-60 minutes and do maybe 30-45 minutes of cardio. This expenditure does not require the post-workout (PWO) shake to recover and the spike in insulin will be detrimental to most bodybuilders' goal of being Lean and Hard. Well, Scivation wants to help getcha Big and getcha Hard!
What's The Catch?
But here is the catch...
We recommend drinking a combination of branch chain amino acids (BCAA's) and whey protein isolate (WPI) - pre, during, and post workout.
Scivation makes a product just for this called Xtend that contains BCAA's, Glutamine and Citrulline Malate.
Primaforce makes Substance WPI whey protein isolate. The beauty is, they both come in grape and watermelon flavors for a refreshing, anabolic workout drink!
Dosing should be 1 scoop of Substance WPI along with the equivalent of 0.17 grams per pound of bodyweight of BCAA's mixed in 24 ounces of water. This would be 10 scoops (5 servings) of Xtend for a 200 pound person. (The recommended serving size of Xtend is 2 scoops [11.5 grams], which yields 7 grams of BCAA's.)
Drink 1/3 of this mixture pre, 1/3 of this mixture during, and 1/3 of this mixture post workout. Start drinking the preworkout portion 15 minutes prior to training. When you get done training, go home and eat some food.
Remember, it is not the preworkout meal that provides the energy and fuel for training, it is the many meals the days before the workout that matter.
Daytons on the curb."
That's what you'll be thinking when your chromed out 26's, also known as your newfound quads and hams, are bumping into furniture due to their enormity. When rollin' in your '64, let your large ego shine through. But when it comes to leg training, check your ego at the door, lighten the weight, and rep your way to big, defined legs!