After two good workouts in as many days, I’m excited to walk into the gym, which is a strange feeling on leg day. My goal for the day was to focus on form. Form is something I’ll admit to struggling with in regards to my leg workouts. It’s easy to focus on form and dial it in when the weight is comfortable. But once you get into heavier and heavier weight and you start to push yourself, form starts to deteriorate.
Using squats as an example, since this is a compound movement that has a variety of different mechanics to it, as you get into heavier weight, if one of the mechanics goes, then it causes a chain reaction. If your knees track in because the weights to heavy, your back and hips will try and compensate which throws them out of alignment as well. This is why squats are one of the hardest exercises to perfect. Making a conscious effort to watch your form can lead to lifting more weight, making weight progression quicker, and limiting chance of injury.
In this workout session, I focused attention on my breathing as I did my exercises. It is a common misconception that you should be breathing as you go through the motions of workout, but this is a myth. For exercises like the squat, you should be taking in a big breath at the top and use the air inside you as a stabilizer of sorts. You can get the most drive when you are holding your breath. Taking in a breath at the top then hitting the squat and then exhaling at the top adds to the mechanics of the lift. Adding breathing helps slow down the lift and gives you time to focus on each squat, you don’t want to rush through the lift because chances are you’re not focusing on the stretch and contraction of the muscle. You don’t just want reps, you want good reps.
- Stair climber for 5 to get the blood flowing
- Lower body stretch, shoulder mobility stretch to ensure arm can get behind bar comfortably for squat
- Squats (pyramid up and down): 95 for 12, 135 for 8 for 3 sets, 155 for 6, 155 for 6, 175 for 4, 175 for 3, 195 for 1, 155 for 6, 135 for 8
- Leg Press: 360 for 6 for 4 sets
- Quad Extension (drop sets) 60 for 10 then drop to 40 and go till failure. 4 sets
- Hamstring curls: 50 for 8 for 3 sets
- Calf Raises (plate machine): 70 for 10 for 4 sets
- Walking Lunges: 50lbs barbell on back, walk for 10 sets each leg, turn around then walk back
- Hip Abductor machine: 175 for 12 reps
- Foam Roll to help with recovery
- Quick leg stretch to aid in recovery
Soon to be “Johnny Two Plates”