If you're looking for stronger quads, calves or hamstrings, put these exercises, tips and techniques to use in your workout.

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.






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?


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.




Is It Okay to Run with Sore Legs?

Dear Davey,

I’ve started a new lower body workout, and it leaves me sore for a few days thereafter. I know you’re not suppose to strength train muscles that are still sore, but is it okay to run with sore legs?


Well, there are a few points that need to be made here.

First, there are two types of soreness. There’s delayed onset muscle soreness (called DOMS) which occurs 12-48 hours after you complete your workout. It’s normal to experience DOMS - especially when you start a new workout regimen.

The other, less-desirable type of soreness occurs immediately and is often asymmetrical (i.e., it occurs only in one leg or one hamstring), and it’s most-often injury related. If your soreness is injury related, then you need to avoid using the injured muscle until you’ve recovered.

If you’re experiencing a low-level of DOMS in your legs, it may be okay to do some cardiovascular training. Ensure that you do a warm-up and proper stretch before engaging in your cardio. If the soreness or discomfort increases during your cardio, then you should stop immediately - as the increased pain may be indicative of an injury.

Keep in mind that DOMS typically fades within a month or two of a new routine, so you probably won’t be dealing with issue long-term. As you become more accustomed to your routine, the soreness will dissipate in subsequent workouts. And remember: Soreness isn’t required for muscle growth.

The bottom line: If you’re experiencing a slight amount of DOMS, then it’s okay to engage in cardio so long as it doesn’t exacerbate the soreness. If your soreness is injury related, avoid cardio until you’ve healed.

5 Most Important Exercises.

There are no shortage of exercises to add variety to you workout - and switching things up can prevent a stale workout and plateaued results. By incorporating kettlebells, changing the base of stability, taking a new class or trying new exercises, it’s easy to keep you workout fresh and challenging.

Having said that, there are five tried and true exercises that every workout regime should include. These exercises have passed the test of time and have been used by bodybuilders, powerlifters and workout enthusiasts for generations.

  1. Bench press. The godfather of strength training, any gym worth your time will have a handful of bench presses. Some are flat, some are inclined and some are declined - but all are a great way to build strong and powerful chest muscles. In fact, the bench press is one of the three lifts in the sport of powerlifting. Though this exercise primarily works your pectoralis major muscle (i.e., your pecs), supporting muscles like the anterior deltoids, serratus anterior, coracobrachialis, scapulae fixers, trapezii, and the triceps are also trained.
  2. Barbell bicep curl. Of all the bicep exercises that I’ve tried, none compare in their effectiveness to the barbell bicep curl. By adding a barbell, you’re able to increase the amount of resistance that your muscles work against - and the results speak for themselves. Though you’ll primarily work your biceps brachii muscles, your brachialis (lower biceps) and brachioradialis (forearm) are also trained.
  3. Squats. Want a bigger and stronger butt? No exercise compares to the squat in its effectiveness. Also performed in powerlifting, squats primarily work your gluteus maximus, quadriceps and hamstrings. Your erector spinae, transverse abdominus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, adductors, soleus and gastrocnemius will also get some love. Proper form is essential for a safe and effective squat, so it’s important to do your homework or consult with a trainer before you jump into your gym’s squat rack or power cage.
  4. Shoulder press. Sometimes called the overhead press, there are innumerable variations of this popular exercise. In terms of building size or strength, there are no shoulder exercises that can touch the effectiveness of a good barbell or dumbbell shoulder press. Specially, this exercise is great for your deltoids - but it also engages your triceps brachii and trapezius muscles.
  5. Deadlift. Also one of the three powerlifting exercises, the deadlift is a compound exercise that engages a large number of muscles including your latissimus dorsi, trapezius, erector spinae, gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps and hip flexors. In other words, your leg, butt and back muscles will all be screaming after a good set of deadlifts. Even your forearms, to a lesser degree, and obliques will be engaged. Though the deadlift is extremely effective, it’s not for everyone. For individuals with back injuries or certain joint issues, other exercises may be a better fit.

Of course, you don’t want to do each of these exercises in every workout. It’s best to break your gym sessions out so that each workout targets different muscle groups. Incorporate the bench press on a chest day, the barbell bicep curl on arm days and so on.

In my opinion, these are the top five exercises to include in any workout regime - but I’d love to hear what you think. Which five exercises top your list? Let me know in the comments below.

Squats Vs. Leg Press: Which is Better?

Which is more effective at building stronger, more muscular legs? The squat? Or the leg press machine? It’s a controversial question that has been debated for decades.

Like so many things in fitness, there’s no easy answer - and it really depends on the individual. Ability level, body type and injuries must all be taken into consideration.

The Leg Press

The leg press machine offers a few great advantages over traditional squats.

For one, it’s easy for beginners to understand the machine - and, with a little guidance from a trainer - to perform the exercise in good form. When using the leg press, it’s important for the lower back to stay flat against the machine. At the bottom position, a rounded lower back can leave the spine susceptible to dangerously large compression loads. The leg press certainly isn’t fool-proof, but it’s easier to master than a squat.

In addition, when performed properly - and unlike traditional squats - leg press machines take the lower back out of the equation. For people with lower back issues, this can be a huge benefit. When people with back issues perform a traditional squat, their lower back may give out before the leg muscle are fatigued.


While the leg press doesn’t offer adjustments for different body structures, a squat is unique to you. Instead of forcing your body to work within the confines of an apparatus designed by a manufacturer, a squat accommodates many different body structures. As a result, exercisers are able to avoid the postural or movement dysfunctions that can result from the leg press machine.

Moreover, squats require - and thus build - stabilization. In everyday activities and in sports, stabilization is hugely important. One of the reasons that people are able to work with more weight on the leg press machine is that it does the stabilizing work for you. While the leg press eliminates balance from the exercise, it’s not eliminated from our lives - and so it’s an important skill to develop. This gives squats an important advantage.

We also know that growth hormone and testosterone are important for building muscles. It’s believed that squats are one of the most effective resistance exercises (including leg presses) for increasing those hormone levels.


Both squats and leg presses can be important exercises in any leg workout. Each exercise offers unique benefits to different exercisers - and so it’s just a matter of finding which works best for you. Personally, I like to start my leg workout with squats - and then move to the leg press to fully fatigue the muscles.

And remember, if you’re trying to build muscle, then it’s important to push yourself to higher levels of resistance. If you’re doing the same amount of weight each week - be it on the leg press or in a squat - then you won’t see the muscle growth for which you’re looking.

Which do you prefer? The leg press? Or the squat? Let me know in the comments below!