Archive for the tag - legs

In Honor of Leg Day!

What do leg day and jump rope have in common?

People often skip them.

But, as they say, you can’t spell legendary without leg day. Literally, you actually can’t.

I understand why many exercisers aren’t serious about their legs. After all, legs are not as showy as the biceps, abs or pectorals; unless you’re wearing underwear or a speedo, the hamstrings, quads and glutes tend to be a bit more subtle. Because the lower body doesn’t get as much attention (and doesn’t always see the light of day), it tends to get neglected at the gym.

Today, let’s do things differently. Let’s give legs the attention that they deserve. They’ve gone under-appreciated for far too long. It needs to stop. And it stops right now.

If you’re not a leg-lover, I’m going to try to convert you. Scroll down to begin the process.

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Gorgeous, beautiful, muscular legs. They are glorious. They are proof that there is a God, and that she loves you. They are everything.

Of course, beyond looking sexy as hell, strong legs provide a number of other benefits. For one, strong legs help with lifts and other upper-body exercises and they reduce your risk of injury. Research also shows that leg workouts lead to better cardiovascular health. And having more lower body muscle mass helps to boost your metabolism; that means more calories burned each day – even when you do nothing.

If you’re a believer in leg day, click the like button and share this important message with the world. In a world of six packs, pecs and biceps, it’s time for legs to shine.

P.S. If you’re looking for a guaranteed strategy for building muscle in your legs (or anywhere else!) download Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle.

Does Cardio Build Muscle?

Hey Davey,

I run a lot and I’m sure it’s great exercise for my legs. Does going out for a run mean that I can skip strength training my legs?

From,
Jim

254_fitness_tip_flashHey Jim,

The short answer is no.

Both cardio and strength training are important components of a well-rounded workout, but each provide unique benefits.

Strength training exercises like squats, deadlifts and dumbbell lunges help build a bigger and stronger lower body. By overloading your muscles with increasingly heavy resistance, your muscles will grow in size and strength.

In other words, a good round simply isn’t going to give you the same muscle building benefits as an effective strength training program.

That doesn’t mean cardio isn’t important. Though cardio might not be the most effective way to get that bubble butt, it gives you the endurance that you need to get through a challenging workout. If you’re too winded to get a few more repetitions, you’re selling yourself short. Moreover, regular cardiovascular exercise is important for overall health.

When it comes to creating a well-rounded exercise program, it’s important to include both cardio and strength training for the best results.

Love,
Davey

 

 

6 Common Squatting Mistakes.

No comprehensive leg routine is complete without the powerful compound exercise known as squats. Squats are performed a number of ways – with dumbbells, bodyweight, kettlebells, resistance bands, etc. – but most often with a barbell.

While barbell squats are a great exercise that can yield excellent results, there are a number of common squatting mistakes that I’d like to highlight.

  1. Resting the barbell on your neck. If your neck hurts from squats, you’re probably resting the bar on your neck instead of upper back. Resting the bar on your upper back allows you to squat greater amounts of weight and avoid injury.
  2. Not squatting all the way. While performing a partial squat is a great way to get acclimated and build confidence, it’s best to end each squat in a thigh position that is parallel to the floor. If you don’t complete a full squat, you’ll be cutting your results short.
  3. Checking your form in a side mirror. Want to know if your thighs are parallel to the floor when squatting? You can’t tell from a front-facing mirror – and twisting your neck to view a side mirror is dangerous. Instead, ask someone to monitor your form.
  4. Uneven loading. Distracted and chatty lifters sometimes load an uneven amount of weight (i.e., 75 pounds on one side of the barbell and 85 on the other). Obviously, this could result in injury. Pay attention and stay focused!
  5. Unracking in a lunge. When going into your first squat, don’t unrack the barbell in a lunge position. Doing so puts more strain on your front leg and wastes energy. Instead, unrack the barbell with both feet directly under the bar.
  6. Not staying in alignment. It’s wise to keep your knees directly over your feet when squatting. In fact, I like to see the tips of my shoes poking out above my knees when looking down at the ground. Many people have a tendency to buckle their knees inward or slide them too far forward – which can result in undue stress or knee pain.

As you incorporate squats into your routine, enjoy maximized results by avoiding these common mistakes.

Boost Your Workout: A Few Inches Can Make a Big Difference!

Going a few inches lower can yield big results...

I break my muscle groups into different days at the gym; today was a leg day. My leg workouts are relatively strong, but they feel like they’ve lost some intensity in recent months. I’ve slowly been increasing the amount of resistance that I use, but to little avail. My leg workouts haven’t been kicking my ass. Doing more of the same will get more of the same – so something needed to change.

Today, I decided to do something a little different. I do a variety of leg exercises that involve squatting or pressing with my legs. Instead of stopping where I normally stop (when my thighs are parallel to the floor or apparatus), I squatted or pressed down a few inches lower. And the difference was unbelievable. Tomorrow, I’m going to be walking bow-legged; I can feel the soreness creeping in already.

Try going a few inches lower if you feel like you’ve reached a results plateau. It’s a simple tip that doesn’t involve changing much at all – you can continue with your same program, doing your same routine. Just go a little lower, and feel the burn.

I know what you’re thinking: How did Davey Wavey manage to go this whole post about inches without the obligatory penis size mention? Ooo… well, there it is.

P.S. The general recommendation when squatting or pressing with your legs is that your thighs should be parallel to the floor or apparatus. Higher than that, and you’re losing some of the benefit to your quads. Go lower, and you can reap additional gains.

Revealed: Davey Wavey’s Workout Routine.

Curious to know how I hit the gym? I don’t mind sharing my secrets 😛

First, keep in mind that our goals probably aren’t the same (I focus heavily on arms) – and neither are our bodies. Having said that, I divide my routine into four days. Each workout takes about 90 minutes – maybe a tad more. I exercise six days a week.

Day 1:

  • 3.75 miles on the treadmill @ 9.5 miles per hour. Takes about 30 minutes with warm-up and cool-down.
  • 20 minutes of abs (I switch between lower abs, obliques (side abs) and general core). Watch a 5-minute version of my ab workout.
  • 25 minutes of chest exercises: 4 sets on bench press; 4 sets on incline bench press; 4 sets on decline bench press; 4 sets on pec fly machine; 4 sets of pec fly with dumbbells; push-ups, if time.
  • 15 minutes of shoulder exercises: 4 sets each of 3 different shoulder cable exercises; 4 sets of shoulder press with dumbbells; 4 sets of shoulder rotation exercise.
  • 5 minutes on elliptical or stairmaster.

Day 2:

  • 15 minutes of sprinting on treadmill. I do 90 seconds at 7.7 miles per hour and then 60 seconds at 11.3 miles per hour. I repeat this cycle until my 15 minutes is complete. Takes about 20 – 25 minutes with warm-up and cool-down.
  • 20 minutes of abs (either lower abs, obliques (side abs) or general core).
  • 35 minutes of back exercises: 4 sets on lat pull down machine, 4 sets of dead lifts (occasionally), 4 sets on hyperextension machine with weights; 4 sets of barbell rows; 4 sets of t-bar rows (occasionally); 4 sets of reverse flies; 4 sets on back extension machine. I really tend to switch my back workouts up, by these are some of the main exercises that I use.
  • 10 minutes of forearm exercises: 4 sets each of various forearm cable exercises; 4 sets of dumbbell forearm curls.
  • 1-mile run (6.5 minutes) at 9.5 miles per hour.

Day 3:

  • 3.75 miles on the treadmill @ 9.5 miles per hour. Takes about 30 minutes with warm-up and cool-down.
  • 20 minutes of abs (either lower abs, obliques (side abs) or general core).
  • 25 minutes of leg exercises: 4 sets of squats; 4 sets of squat variations; 4 sets of calf raises; 4 sets each of various leg machines.
  • 15 minutes of triceps exercises: 4 sets of overhead triceps extensions; 4 sets of triceps dips; 4 sets of triceps pull-down on cable machine.
  • 5 minutes on elliptical or stairmaster.

Day 4:

  • 15 minutes of sprinting on treadmill. I do 90 seconds at 7.7 miles per hour and then 60 seconds at 11.3 miles per hour. I repeat this cycle until my 15 minutes is complete.
  • 20 minutes of abs (either lower abs, obliques (side abs) or general core).
  • 40 minutes of bicep exercises: 12 sets of various bicep curls and variations; 4 sets of bicep curls on cable machine; 4 sets of pull-ups; 4 sets of bicep curls with barbell.
  • 1-mile run (6.5 minutes) at 9.5 miles per hour.

The weight and number of reps in each exercise varies depending on my goals for that muscle group. I don’t want my tits to get any larger, so I focus on lower weights and higher repetitions. I am building my back muscles, on the other hand, so I do fewer reps with heavier weights.

Keep in mind that I’ve been working out for more than a decade. I certainly wouldn’t recommend trying my routine if you’re just starting out. Work up to it. Moreover, it may not be realistic for you. I’m a personal trainer – this is what I do. Fitness is a huge part of my life.

Let me know what you think in the comments below – I’m always happy to field your questions.

Take Davey Wavey’s Burpee Challenge!

Can you handle it? Are you game?! Take my burpee challenge and find out what you’re really made of 😛

Okay, here’s the deal: Lots of guys focus primarily on their chest, arms and (sometimes) back. But the legs usually get neglected. A powerful leg workout is one of the foundations of a comprehensive workout program – and so, I want to share one of my favorite exercises.

(And when I say “favorite”, I really mean that I hate burpees. They are tough. They are painful. But like I always say, if you dislike a given exercise, that probably means you need to be doing more of it. We like what’s easy. And burpees definitely aren’t easy.)

First, watch this video to find out what burpees are:

Now for the challenge: Beat me at burpees. I kicked my ass today by doing 3 sets of 20 burpees. That’s 60 burpees in total. It may not sound like a lot – but trust me, it is. I, Davey Wavey, challenge you to 3 sets of 20 burpees. The prize? Satisfaction, I suppose. And stronger, more powerful leg muscles.

So bring it on. Can you do 3 set of 20 burpees?

Of course, if you can’t – don’t feel bad. It’s really hard. But it’s something that you can work up to. Now you have a goal. Do what you can today, and slowly build over time. You’ll get there.

Let me know if you’re able to do 3 sets of 20 burpees (60 in total) in the comments below!