When you have been training at the same place for so many years and you always end up with a good size crew, you have to get creative and always mix things up. Today was no different. We are fortunate at Elite fitness that Cornelius has done a great job bringing in some new equipment since he has been here. We have a new Hammer Strength leg press and a seated leg curl as well as our old staples: a Nebula leg press, Flex hack squat, Body Master squat press, multiple racks for squatting as well as a great Smith machine. For hams we have lying leg curl, one legged leg curl and the seated leg curl. Basically if you are into training legs, Elite has you covered!!
I almost never know what I am going to put together Sunday mornings for legs; I just know that I have 3-5 guys relying on me to punish them and push them to brink of passing out or puking…which, by the way, doesn’t mean all that much. What does mean a lot is to push yourself as far as you possibly can in each workout, to a point where you are uncomfortable and have to dig deep both mentally and physically. The body adapts quickly and more stress and creativity is needed to recruit and stimulate more and new muscle fibers, especially for large muscle groups like legs. Leg training is truly what separates the men from the boyz!
We focus on range of motion and higher rep schemes typically. My goal is always to stretch and contract the muscle while maintaining constant tension. There are plenty of guys and girls in the gym moving weight, but to truly improve a body part or muscle group requires something much more specific (most of the time). You need to target the muscle group you are working on and properly lift and control the weight, not just move it from point A to point B. Higher reps and then super sets and drop sets keeping the weight as heavy as you can while AGAIN controlling it (and not letting it control you!) is the best way destroy any body part.
Here is what we did today:
We started with seated leg curls superset with barbell stiff leg deadlifts (100lb and focusing on purely stretching the hamstrings). We did seated leg curls for 6 sets of 15 reps working to heaviest weight where 15 reps could be completed with a little help, if necessary. Each of the 6 sets was super set with the stiff leg deads.
One final set of seated leg curls was done with a triple drop… each set to complete failure with a training partner helping with the last 1-2 reps then drop weight and repeat for 3 more drops. THIS SUCKED!!
On to quads… now this was truly something I had not done before. We did Smith machine squats and then super set them with reverse hacks. On the reverse hacks, this was one of the only times I say lock your legs and squeeze the quad hard; normally I don’t want to lock the knees but just contract the muscle at the top of the movement. This, along with lighter weight after the Smith, made for a sick pump and pretty painful set. After the first 3-4 reps it really sucked as well!! We did 2 warmup sets on the Smith and then did 225 for 15 reps right into reverse hack for 2 plates a side (reversed with the deliberate lock and squeeze). We did 4 full sets of this.
Next was leg extensions… 3 sets of 15 reps using the heaviest weight you can handle with a big stretch at the bottom. On the up movement (again, this is another rare exception) I had the crew lock their knees where it’s almost like you hyperextend your leg to get a nasty contraction at the top. Again, use the heaviest weight you can handle doing the reps in this fashion: slow, controlled and peak the contraction at the top safely. The weight was probably 120-130lbs (about half the stack); this is plenty if you are doing it correctly. The 4th set was another nasty drop set with 3 drops. We did 10 reps, drop 10 reps, drop 10 reps.
The last quad exercise was the Hammer Strength leg press. We put the seat up close to the platform and used very controlled, full range of motion reps. You bring your knees all the way back, almost to your chest, and then drive forward till just short of lock out and squeeze the quads and repeat. We did 4 sets of 15 reps with 3 plates per side. (This machine is great to go heavy on when doing it earlier in the workout because it isolates the leg and is very safe… and 5-6 plates a side is very heavy and no joke!)
We finished it all off with 2 sets of lying leg curls to complete failure. We had 4 guys today, and there is not really any rest. Once it is your turn, you go. We move quickly and keep the intensity high. On the super sets, trust me, when it is your turn you are always like ‘damn already!!’
Short and maybe not so sweet, but a very effective leg work out; give it a try!!!
COMMITMENT, DISIPLINE, DEDICATION.
6x15 reps Seated Leg Curl super set with 6x15 reps Stiff Leg Deadlifts (this is to stretch hams, not work back)
1x30 reps Seated Leg Curls drop set 10x10x10 with forced reps on the last 1-2 of each drop
2x20 reps with 135lb Smith Machine Squats (warm up)
4 x 15 (225lb) deep, controlled reps Smith Machin Squat super set with Reverse Hacks 2 plates a side 4x10reps done in the fashion described above.
3x 15 reps Leg Extensions
1x30 reps Leg Extensions with 3 drops 10x10x10
Hammer Strength Leg Press - 4x15 reps; we did 3 plates a side with a very controlled big stretch and drive and squeeze
Lying Leg Curls - 2x to failure
Don’t forget to stretch at the end of your workout for both your hams and quads. ENJOY, and let us know what you thought of this one!
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