Today training legs

During my training I have found that there are two types of people. There are those who love training legs and there are those who hate training them. Regardless of which you are, by this point, I’m sure you are aware of the benefits of training legs.

Personally I compete in bench press contests. However, I will be the first to tell you that I attribute much of my success to my leg training. A proper leg-training program can be the key to newfound size and strength. By properly training your legs the rest of your body will grow as well. In this article I am going to share some of my techniques to add size and strength to your entire body through leg training.

Lesson #1 – Pause-Squats:

  • Squats, sure nothing you don’t already now right? Well it depends on how you do them. We have all seen the guy “squatting” 405 who goes all of about an inch and a half down and does like 6 reps and thinks he has accomplished something. Besides looking like an idiot he has accomplished very little.While doing squats I believe in going just to the parallel point. Here comes the twist, and the pain. Take a flat bench or a box and place it behind you. Now for each rep come down to the bench/box and stop. Yes, actually sit on the bench box for a full two seconds. Doing this requires the quads to act in a way they are not accustomed to. This will build “explosion power”.This is similar to pausing with the bar on your chest while doing the bench press. You will build much more true power. Obviously start with a lightweight and work your way up. After doing these pause-squats for a while go back to your normal style and notice how easy it is.

Lesson #2 – Straight-Leg Deadlifts:

  • Like squats this exercise works much more than just your legs. I suggest performing straight-leg deadlifts off a flat bench by standing on the end. This will do two things. First it will improve your balance. Second it will allow for a greater range of motion. Standing on a bench is not the most secure place, so I would start fairly light with the straight-leg deadlifts until you reach a good comfort level. Be sure to pause at the top of every repetition.

Lesson #3 – Single Leg Extensions:

  • Great exercise for the quads. I view leg extension as more of a secondary exercise than a fundamental one. After performing heavy squats there is no need to kill yourself doing leg extensions, that is why I recommend doing them one leg at a time. Do these reps at a slower pace and pause at the top of each rep. This is more of a high rep exercise than squats.

Lesson #4 – Standing Calf Raises:

  • This is another exercise I do a little differently. Basically put a straight bar on your back, like squats, and then do calf raises. Make sure you do them somewhere where you can get that stretch at the bottom. This can be accomplished by doing them off the edge of a step, or you can simply stand on the edge of a few 45 pound plates stacked up on the floor. Again pause at the top for two seconds. This is another exercise to do for higher reps at a slower pace.

Sample Routine

Now that we have gone over the exercises, lets look at a sample routine. The focus off our leg day is going to be the pause-squat. Next in line is the straight-leg deadlift. These two exercises are the ones you want to do as heavy as you feel comfortable doing.

1 set 10 reps at 135 (Warm-up)
1 set 10 reps at 185 (Warm-up)
1 set 6 reps at 225 (Warm-up)
3 sets 6-8 reps at 275 (Aim for three heavy sets of 6-8 reps)

Straight-Leg Deadlifts
1 set 10 reps at 135 (Warm-up)
1 set 10 reps at 160 (Warm-up)
3 sets 6-8 reps at 185 (Aim for three heavy sets of 6-8 reps)

Single Leg Extensions
1 set 15 reps each leg at 50 (Warm-up)
1 set 15 reps each leg at 70 (Warm-up)
3 sets 12-15 reps each leg at 100 (Slow concentration reps of 12-15)

Standing Calf Raises
1 set 15 reps at 135 (Warm-up)
1 set 15 reps at 185 (Warm-up)
3 sets 12-15 at reps 225 (Slow concentration reps of 12-15)

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