Hello guys and gals, today’s post is all about legs. I never skip leg day and I always walk funny when I go out of the gym after a leg day :). As you may know, right now I am hitting legs once a week and I have a full day just for working out my legs – as part of the push, pull, legs day program I am doing at the moment.
I am not super happy with the fact that I hit my legs just once a week while the other body parts get worked out twice a week but I will make sure to focus more on legs when I change my training routine.
So, here is what I typically do in the gym for my legs.
Leg day routine
- Squats – 5 x 5 reps @ 143 lbs. / 65 kg
- Leg press – 5 x 12 reps @ 375 lbs. / 170 kg (3 plates on each side)
- Leg curls – 3 x 12 reps – 90 lbs. / 40 kg
- Calf press – 3 x 12 reps @ 286 lbs. / 130 kg (2 plates on each side)
- Seated calf raises – 3 x 12 reps @ 66 lbs. / 30 kg
- Lunges – 1 or 2 x 50 reps @ body weight plus a 25 lbs. / 12.5 kg barbell
I try to keep the volume and intensity high in order to compensate for the fact that I am hitting legs just once a week. I will do a separate post about training frequency and how it affects muscle growth for you shortly.
I do not go easy on legs days for two reasons:
- Quads and hamstrings are the biggest muscle groups in our body and they need a lot of weight and volume to grow. Smaller body parts require less volume.
- My legs have plenty of time to recover before the next leg day. For example, after an intense workout, if I do legs on Wednesday morning and I get sore muscles until Saturday or even Sunday. That means it takes 4 to 5 days for my muscle to recover and repair. It would be effective to hit them again before they are completely healed. That is why on the other body parts that I hit twice a week my volume is not high.
Going back to the exercises I do for legs, I am not completely happy with the weight I am lifting and I work on getting stronger especially on the squats and leg press because I feel that my legs are lagging behind a little bit.
I sometimes replace some of the above mentioned exercises with deadlifts or seated leg extensions depending of how I feel or if I would like to focus more on quads or hamstrings.
Also, I never include any cardio after a leg training. As I said, leg days are pretty intense and I feel like I am actually doing my cardio during my weight training. This is because the rep range for legs is on the higher side. You notice that I do around 12 reps (sometimes even 15 reps) for most of the exercises. The reason for this is because bigger muscles need higher volumes.
Before I close this out I wanted to remind you three simple things:
- stay hydrated all the time
- breath correctly while lifting, don’t hold your breath
- have proper form and proper neck/head position
All of the above will allow you to perform better in the gym, to lift heavier weights and to progress, while minimizing the risk of injury. I actually got what they call an exertion headache while doing leg press for the simple fact that I did not take care of the three things above. This injury kept me out of the gym for more than a week. Luckily I was able to recover 100%. You can read about my experience with exertion headaches here. Don’t do the same mistake.
So, stay safe in the gym and hit them weights hard.
Over and out,