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Default Leg Training! - 08-08-2011, 11:09 AM

Thought a good topic to discuss this week would be Leg Training?
What has worked good for you?
Squats or not to squat?
High reps or low reps?
Hamstrings one day quads another?
How the heck do you get calves to actually grow?
What is your favorite routine to shock your leg muscles?

This should be good!


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Default 08-08-2011, 11:45 AM

I like to keep throwing different things at them. Squats to me will always be the staple (unless my back dictates something different). I had been doing 5-6 sets of 5 ramping up the weight each set. Then throwing some high rep leg presses in to finish them off. Low box squats are coolio imo too!

On my hammies, I like hitting them twice a week. I have a hard time making them sore, so I have an isolation only day for them that I combine on my abs & oblique day.

I recently read were Emeka likes doing the leg extensions and curls prior to squatting, so that's what we tried yesterday. Other than my back giving me the blues yesterday even before the workout, it went well.

Looking forward to more responses so I can get some new ideas.


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Default 08-08-2011, 01:44 PM

Just started doing squats again but I think it is a must and the reason is, I am more of an endurance type (not skinny by any means) and I like to run (comes with the job) I have noticed since I have started squating, leg presses, curls and extensions that my legs NEVER give out like they used to, the acid build up was terrible when I ran. Now that I work the crap out of them in the gym my legs are no longer the problem.. I do squats and light presses along with ext and curls one week and light squats and heavy leg presses with ext and curls the following week....


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Default 08-08-2011, 02:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimM View Post
Thought a good topic to discuss this week would be Leg Training?
What has worked good for you?
Squats or not to squat?
High reps or low reps?
Hamstrings one day quads another?
How the heck do you get calves to actually grow?
What is your favorite routine to shock your leg muscles?

This should be good!
Good topic Tim!

For me Heavy weight and high volume in one session has worked best for me.

As for squats, i try to get one type of squat in each session. that includes Back, Front, Hack, or machine. I tend to stay away from Smith machine squats because i don't like to have my pathway restricted on such an important and critical lift.

My rep range is usually between 15 - 100. Gotta get those things pumped at any means necassary. On front and back squats i use pyramid training so i can move some heavy weight.

When i'm prepping i use two leg days to totally work the lower body. One quad heavy day and one ham heavy day. Those days are usually spaced 3 days apart.

I don't know how to get those freaking calves to stimulate but i have seen growth is them and vascularity also. My trainer Paul taught me to use slow contractions when working calves because if you rep them too fast your not actually working the calf your usually just working the tendon. So i started doing 10 slow reps with a pause at the bottom and a 2 sec hold at the top. Blood will rush into those calves faster than Jeff Gordon.

I don't really have a fav routine but i like doing 100 rep sets on the leg press. 2 maybe 3 of those sets and some leg ext and quads are done!

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Originally Posted by RickB View Post
I recently read were Emeka likes doing the leg extensions and curls prior to squatting, so that's what we tried yesterday. Other than my back giving me the blues yesterday even before the workout, it went well.
Happy you gave it a try Rick! Next wk try either forward or back wards lunges with light weight and 1/4 rep leg presses before going into you squats.

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Originally Posted by FearnonebutOne View Post
Just started doing squats again but I think it is a must and the reason is, I am more of an endurance type (not skinny by any means) and I like to run (comes with the job) I have noticed since I have started squating, leg presses, curls and extensions that my legs NEVER give out like they used to, the acid build up was terrible when I ran. Now that I work the crap out of them in the gym my legs are no longer the problem.. I do squats and light presses along with ext and curls one week and light squats and heavy leg presses with ext and curls the following week....
Do i hear a 100 rep squat challenge being taken?


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Default 08-08-2011, 02:12 PM

It's in the works brother...Just getting the joints lubed before I kill'em....lol


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Default 08-08-2011, 02:49 PM

I can't do squats. My lower back will hurt soo bad. Not a good pain either. And to be honest I personally feel like they aren't the best for building leg muscles! SUPRISE!!!
It is a great exercise and works alot of different muscles, builds speed, endurance and explosiveness, but for me they don't get my leg muscles to grow like a leg press. Most people squat and get exhausted before they even exhaust their quads. They are hard on the back, and knees as well.
The leg press is my baby! I load that thing up and can focus on one thing. Pressing! They key for my leg growth is too always do something crazy!
I will sit on that leg press for like 45 minutes straight and do all kinds of crazy stuff. Drops sets, Charles Glass routines, super-sets, partials, low reps, high reps, high tempo, slow tempo, negatives, pauses, holds, rest-pauses, forced reps, you name it. I can really focus on growing my quads without an injury and getting too exhausted and useless.
I will be posting a video of me leg pressing soon so you can take a look at how I like to do them.
Another leg exercise that I absolutely love is the adductor machine! I know what your thinking... WTH?? If you want massive inner thighs use the adductor machine. I put a full stack on there and also hang a 45pound plate on the machine. When I first started this gem of an exercise I was barely doing 130lbs! Most guys are too embarrassed to get on this, but trust me it is worth it. Try this. Do 5X10-15 with heavy weight going to failure on every set but hold each rep for 1 full second. You will hate me the next day!!


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Default 08-08-2011, 02:54 PM

I play sports and run a lot so I guess the squats are good, but I can for sure see your point on the squats...


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Default 08-08-2011, 04:12 PM

I like your attitude with the abductor machine. Most guys don't like it because they think it is a woman's machine but that machine does what it says. When using the abductor you use muscles that you don't normally use on leg press or even squats. Good call.


My whole thing with leg training is this. You have to bombard them with weight. They have to be stimulated more than most muscles since they are the largest of the muscles I believe they take the most to stimulate them.

I do believe the squat is the staple of a good leg program but it has been proven that leg press can build just as big as legs as the squat can. I also believe it has a lot to do with genetics on how big your legs can get and how much muscle your going to carry on them.


I like using the leg press as a secondary exercise ( when I'm in shape.) either as a secondary or the hack squat as a secondary. Now. I like using the squat as a primary and then finishing them off with the leg press. I don't like using the leg extension for nothing more than a warm up machine to get some blood in the quads.

I will how ever have to start using the abductor machine like Tim suggested from now on as my third exercise for quads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimM View Post
I can't do squats. My lower back will hurt soo bad. Not a good pain either. And to be honest I personally feel like they aren't the best for building leg muscles! SUPRISE!!!
It is a great exercise and works alot of different muscles, builds speed, endurance and explosiveness, but for me they don't get my leg muscles to grow like a leg press. Most people squat and get exhausted before they even exhaust their quads. They are hard on the back, and knees as well.
The leg press is my baby! I load that thing up and can focus on one thing. Pressing! They key for my leg growth is too always do something crazy!
I will sit on that leg press for like 45 minutes straight and do all kinds of crazy stuff. Drops sets, Charles Glass routines, super-sets, partials, low reps, high reps, high tempo, slow tempo, negatives, pauses, holds, rest-pauses, forced reps, you name it. I can really focus on growing my quads without an injury and getting too exhausted and useless.
I will be posting a video of me leg pressing soon so you can take a look at how I like to do them.
Another leg exercise that I absolutely love is the adductor machine! I know what your thinking... WTH?? If you want massive inner thighs use the adductor machine. I put a full stack on there and also hang a 45pound plate on the machine. When I first started this gem of an exercise I was barely doing 130lbs! Most guys are too embarrassed to get on this, but trust me it is worth it. Try this. Do 5X10-15 with heavy weight going to failure on every set but hold each rep for 1 full second. You will hate me the next day!!


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Default 08-08-2011, 04:57 PM

Actually a little relieved to hear your take on squats Tim. I have been advised to stay away from them for a couple of weeks after the misery I put myself through yesterday. So, I'll have to do my 10 x 10's on the leg press for a couple weeks at least.


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Default 08-09-2011, 08:39 AM

I love squats and pause squats are one of my favorites, but squats are only part of my leg routine. Box jumps give explosive power and match winning endurance. Kicking exercises for martial arts give flexibility and balance, and donít forget the squats twin brother from a different workout the DEADLIFT. IMO no matter how strong your legs are without strong hip flexors itís hard to tie your leg strength into the rest of your body.
Last and maybe most important for my lifestyle cardio, running and bicycle ridding. I like to run or cycle 3-5 times per week for 30 minutes per session. I doesnít kill my knees and it helps my legs {good for the heart and lungs too}.


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Default 08-09-2011, 08:59 AM

You really tie into something there Kick......

Most people do not stretch enough after a good leg workout. and that is so essential to building growth. Most work so hard and then just walk out of the gym with their tail tucked thinking they have just hammered away and think they have gotten such a good leg workout. Well, that is true but if you don't properly stretch then in my opinion you are just opening up yourself to injury and non growth. Sure there is going to be some growth but think about if you stretch correctly each and every time the amount of growth and recovery you will get.

Just wanted to throw that in.



Rick I'm in total agreement with staying away from them if you have killed your hamstrings like you have done. It does not have to be the be all to see all staple in every workout. That was the one thing in the Slingshot Training I just could not grasp was always sticking to a one exercise regiment and staying with just those exercises for all of eternity. LOL. I really do believe mixing it up is so essential in Growth. The human body is so adaptive that the only thing that will get it out of it's rut is to change it up and trick it so to speak.

Good thread going here.


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Default 08-09-2011, 09:00 AM

Oh and another thing about squats.

It can be such a cardio workout that doing cardio on those days are just not going to happen.

For me anyway that is one of the reasons I do squats.

The mistake I see with people doing squats is they rest to much in between sets and the heart rate goes back down and the blood goes out of the legs and really does not do any good.


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Default 08-09-2011, 09:15 AM

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The mistake I see with people doing squats is they rest to much in between sets and the heart rate goes back down and the blood goes out of the legs and really does not do any good.
Well I think the rest time really depends on your goal. If you aren't looking to make it a cardio session, and wanting to maximize your lifts, then I wouldn't consider long rest times a mistake. But I understand what you are saying and it's a good tool for how you are using it as well.


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Default 08-10-2011, 09:46 AM

@Kickboy- good reply man! Running is good cardio and not too bad on the knees if you are avoiding lateral movements. I love sprints man! They absolutley SCORTCH your metabolism, raise GH, test, and build amazing cardio. And YES deadlifts are a great sister exercise, but to be honest I feel trap bar deadlifts and machine deadlifts are more of a natural movement that allows you to use your legs alot more. Sumo deads are great too!
@Mac- I don't care what anybody says the more your stretch the more blood you can get into those legs! Plus sure does wonders to prevent injury. EVERYONE thinks that you stretch first then warm-up. Not good! Lee Haney said this once that muscles are like rubber bands. Every stretch a cold rubber band? SNAP!!! I always warm-up first then stretch in between sets. I am a stretch freak!
I see alot of people totally butcher sqauts. Resting too long makes your leg muscles recoup when you need to keep breaking them down. I used to rest like 3-5 minutes between very heavy 80-95% 1RM sets and it worked great for my strength and test levels but not for growth.
One thing me and workout partner like to do is set up two leg presses. One for torture and another for near death experiences! One is set with very heavy weight for 8-10 reps. After a set we will IMMEDIATELY hobble over to the other leg press and bang out a set of 50 reps. Takes like 3 tries just to reach the 50 mark with really some pretty light weight. SICK AS HECK!! A set like this will give you post traumatic stress syndrome!! lol


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Default 08-10-2011, 10:22 AM

what I mean by mistake is they take longer than 5 minutes.

Tim kinda answered my response above.

Even in strength goals the session you are going for legs. Either squats or Leg Press is to break down the muscle fiber by stressing it, and of course a good warmed up muscle is much more pliable and strong for the work that is ahead.

When the blood has time to go back out of the muscle all that is left is toxic Lactic acid that starts to set up and then it cools down. Injuries can be obtained at this time as well. Cardio health in doing squats is essential as well because you will be more conditioned in the shorter Rest times.

My primary rest times should be no longer than 4 minutes if you are working with a partner. Of course wraps and stuff like that will delay some of this but keeping it moving and like Tim said stretching in between the set will keep that muscle nice and pliable warm and ready for a heavy work load.
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Well I think the rest time really depends on your goal. If you aren't looking to make it a cardio session, and wanting to maximize your lifts, then I wouldn't consider long rest times a mistake. But I understand what you are saying and it's a good tool for how you are using it as well.


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Default 08-11-2011, 08:03 AM

I rotate my main squat exercise every week. Thats why i only end up doing back squat about once maybe twice a month. But because i'm working a variation of squat exercises by the time i get back to squats, i'm usually a little stronger.

Week 1 - Front Squat
Week 2 - Back Squat
Week 3 - Leg Press
Week 4 - Wheels from hell routine/challenge/something new and exciting

I think i'ma try doing tri sets for my next wk 4 routine:

Leg press -> Leg extensions -> Hacks - 5 x 20

2min rest

Stiff leg deads on cables -> Seated leg curls -> Lying leg curls - 5 x 15

2min rest

Toes presses 5 x 30 -> Seated calf raises 5 x 20 -> Standing calf raises 5 x 15

Still tweaking it...


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Default 08-11-2011, 10:28 AM

@Emeka- Stiff leg deads on cables? Hmmmm. Might have to try that. Yeah I was talking about back squats specifically. Sometimes I do what they call the Charles Glass Routine, I saw Dennis James doing these. Start with 12 reps, rest 10 seconds, do 10 reps, rest 10 seconds, do 8 reps, rest 10, and go all the way down to 2 reps. This is a great burnout but you have to go just heavy enough to make this very brutal!


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Default 08-11-2011, 11:28 AM

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@Emeka- Stiff leg deads on cables? Hmmmm. Might have to try that. Yeah I was talking about back squats specifically. Sometimes I do what they call the Charles Glass Routine, I saw Dennis James doing these. Start with 12 reps, rest 10 seconds, do 10 reps, rest 10 seconds, do 8 reps, rest 10, and go all the way down to 2 reps. This is a great burnout but you have to go just heavy enough to make this very brutal!
Yeah doing stiff leg on cables helps me keep the stress off my back and squeeze the ham's much better.

I like that CGR. Note taken! I will do those. Keep the weight consistent?


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Default 08-11-2011, 02:32 PM

Emeka- yes keep the weight the absolute same! Another thing I do is what Ronnie Coleman does. Drops sets- dropping a plate off each side till you get down to just a couple plates on each side. To tear up the leg muscles you got to do crazy stuff like that. That is why is pays to have awesome endurance/conditioning. You got to have enough of it before your are wiped out before the muscle is!!


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Default 08-13-2011, 11:16 AM

Tim,

This thread has made me really think about squats. They have been effective for my leg growth and definition, but they are not the only way to get there. I think for the people that are competing, do whatever gets you the results you want. We all have different bodies, strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. A true competitor will find what works for them and run with it. FORGET what everybody else says you should/could do.....
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