Saturday, May 11, 2013

You're Doing It Wrong!: Leg Training

Not training legs at all, not training legs first in the workout, doing less productive leg exercises like leg extensions, leg curls, inner/outer thigh machine, lunges, smith machine squats, neglecting to train calves, thinking running is enough of a leg workout, and any butt blaster machines are all doing it wrong!  Most if not all of your leg training should consist of barbell squats, stiff legged dead lifts, and the occasionally leg press machine if you have access to a good one. After building up your strength in those three exercises over a period of time, then you can add in some of those other leg exercises like the extensions and curls.

Most men avoid leg training all together because we're wussies and like to put our effort into the beach muscles e.g. the chest and arm workouts.  We love chest and arm day...hate leg day! Most women focus on the cute exercises they see in the fitness magazines like the butt blaster machine, lunges, inner/out leg machine etc.  

What you should do:

Stiff Legged Dead Lifts and Squats
Do squats and dead lifts as the first exercises in your workout.  This way you'll be fresh and be able to put the most energy into the most productive exercises.  It also gets it out of the way for those of us that hate leg training. Not only that, hitting you legs hard stimulates your metabolism and helps you burn fat fast than any other exercise.

If everyone who went to the gym dropped every exercise they did and only focused on squats and stiff legged dead lifts they would have the best physique in the gym.  Men would add more muscle to their body than any other exercise, you get a big chest and arms by doing squats not chest and arm exercises.  Women would have the best, I'll say it again, THE BEST butt-legs-thighs ever just by doing squats and dead lifts.

Why? Because squats and dead lifts are the hardest exercises for the whole body not just your legs.  They stimulate the most muscle and they tell the rest of your body that it needs to keep up.  In the next few blogs I'll talk about form and technique to get the most results with your leg training.


  1. These are the core of my leg workout. If I do extensions, curls, lunges, it's just to add a bit more.

    1. Absolutely! Extensions, curls, and lunges are great. Everything works! Although lunges are a great exercise especially for getting the heart rate up, I personally don't like lunges for the fact that it's hard to measure progression and go to failure. Every workout I do I have to measure it against my last workout and all factors need to be equal. I'll tell you what I mean, take for example that your doing a set of alternating lunges. One leg is resting while the other is working for the most part, there may be more of an amortization phase on one leg than the other, you may not go down all the way as your getting tired, etc. Also it's a challenge to do them to failure as you'd be failing in a compromising position for most people.

      I love squats as a base to get very strong and gain a ton of size. If you combine them with leg presses, extensions, and curls you have a combo that hard to beat. Especially if you have some great equipment to do them on.

      Thanks for the comment! If you have a way to do lunges and have it be measurable in terms of progression, let me know. I'm always looking for new things to do!