Thursday, May 28, 2009

Other Hazards of Leg Training

Not trying to scare anyone off, but its very easy to get seriously injured doing squats and deadlifts if you don't have the right form and try to lift a lot of weight.

So if you are considering doing them, I would recommend that you go light. Actually, scratch that – I would recommend that you do the single leg varieties. Not only is it more “functional”, it gives you the same results while reduction the chances of spinal injuries.

Another thing to watch out for is muscle balance. With me for example, possibly due to my desk job, my quads are more developed than my hamstrings. This has led to instances of me pulling my hamstrings while sprinting.

Happy Lifting.

Thoughts on Training Legs

Personally, my legs respond very well to any sort of weight stimulus. For the last couple of years my workouts consisted of full body exercises and my legs grew a lot faster than the my upper body. For comparison – my legs are 24” at the widest and my waist is ~30”.

I think this is true for most people. Simply because you can lift a lot more on a squat or deadlight than say a bench press.

Over the past couple of months I tried to restrict leg workouts to balance out my physique. I did 1 set of heavy single leg presses followed by 5 or so negatives once a week. My legs grew faster than ever. Right now, I have discontinued all leg workouts.


Over at, Rusty Moore is of the same opinion. He has a similar problem where his legs get too big too fast. He reckons that his High Intensity Interval style cardio is enough of a leg workout.

I now work out the rest of my body in the same manner as I trained my legs previously. It seems to be working, although i don’t have any results to report yet. Hey, I figured if its working so well for the legs why not try it for everything else?

The only thing that concerns me with this approach is that by not recruiting and stressing the muscle fibers in my largest muscle group I maybe limiting my Growth Hormone response (more intense workouts/fibers recruited = more GH released).

I used to ride the bicycle a LOT when growing up. Maybe that's why my legs respond quickly? I wish I did more pushups and pull-ups :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Is it all about the pump?

For the longest time, I used to workout with high weights for low reps (3-6) and medium sets (4-6) for a total of about 24 reps per exercise. I focused on compound movements and rarely did any isolation exercise.

Recently, thanks to Khalid, I've started focusing on single muscle groups, using lower weights and mostly machines for high reps (10-15) and low sets (1-3). As most of you probably realize by now: this workout goes for "the pump". Many old-school bodybuilders, like Arnold, have been big proponents of the pump.

The funny thing is, I'm seeing better results from 3 weeks of doing this than I did with 2 years of heavy weights. Now, I know its not as macho as lifting some serious heavy sh!t, but why do heavy sh!t when you can get better results with this?

I'm not sure why this works for me. Maybe it was the change of workout style - giving the body a different sort of stress to deal with? Maybe my body type is just more suited to this type of workout?
Maybe its just me? Has anyone else also experienced this? Please share your thoughts and ideas...