Ahh, leg day. The highlight of my week for sure. Every time I train legs my goal is to set a record in weight or reps with at least one movement. It doesn’t happen every time but I know that if I don’t focus with maximum mental capacity then either I’ll have a bad workout or I’ll get hurt and I don’t want either to happen. So are you ready? Good. Let’s go train legs!
Warm Up – Treadmill
I take five minutes to walk on the treadmill to warm up, get the blood flowing, and visualize how I’m going to dominate the iron. I like to set the incline high because I feel it helps stretch out the hips, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. I also like that I can burn more calories with the incline and break a sweat before the serious work begins. I never go over 3.0 mph here and five minutes is enough for me to be ready to go.
I will alternate between regular squats and front squats but every workout begins in the rack. I like switching because I’m targeting the thighs in different ways which leaves them no choice but to grow and get stronger in preparation for the next workout. I’ve always had knee issues since I was a kid so I use wraps and a belt. Five sets of five with two minutes rest in between each set helps me satisfy my craving for power. Every six weeks I max out on regular squats to see how much stronger I am.
Again, I do these different every week too. For emphasis on quadriceps, I will place my feet low and wide on the platform. To shift the focus to hamstrings and glutes some weeks, my feet will be high and close together. Regardless of the foot placement, I do three sets of 12-15 reps and rest for 90 seconds in between sets. Occasionally, I’ll do both in the same workout and really shock the muscles which leaves me sore for a couple of extra days.
Seated Leg Curl/Leg Extension Superset
I use seated leg curls because that is the only hamstring specific machine in the gym. Obviously lying leg curls work here as well. I always do hamstrings first because I feel many people throw hamstrings into their program and don’t take them seriously. Doing this helps remind me that they should be a priority. I like to do four supersets of 25 reps each. The high reps combined with the squeezing of the muscles with each rep means I don’t need much weight to pump blood into the area and that I decrease the chances of injury.
I grab the heaviest dumbbells I can find, hold them to my sides, and walk as long as I can to failure. I got this from watching the World’s Strongest Man competitions. After all those sets and movements, it can be tough to carry a couple hundred pounds and this makes a great way to blast the entire lower body. I will do it three times with one minute rest between walks.
There are two muscles that make up the calf – the gastrocnemius and soleus. To target the gastrocnemius, it takes using a movement with a straight leg. I go to the leg press, press the sled up without releasing the racks for safety and go to failure. I then drop a plate from each side and keep going. This continues until I reach 100 reps. If you start with heavy enough weight, this will wear you out quick.
Seated Calf Raise
If straight legs targets the gastrocnemius, then the bent legs must emphasize the soleus. I like to do 100 reps here too but this time I won’t do drop sets. I will use five second rest-pauses when I reach failure. This is another tactic that will make the calves burn like crazy but it is that kind of intensity that will help them grow.
I hope you enjoyed my favorite workouts here on Labrada.com. Let me know how they work for you by adding your comments below.
About the Author
Roger “ROCK” Lockridge is a writer whose work has been seen all over the world. He is most known as a writer for Iron Man Magazine and Bodybuilding.com. In 2009, he was named Bodybuilding.com Male Writer of the Year which along with the Female award is the highest award for writers in the bodybuilding/fitness world.
Roger is also known for his work against child abuse and domestic violence and he was featured as a part of the domestic violence documentary “30” as the only child survivor and the only male survivor in the film.