“The legs feed the wolf”
This is a quote I heard the other day when I was watching the movie miracle on TV. In the movie, it is used to explain how team USA is going to need to out skate their opponents to win. They are the tool that makes everything become possible. To relate this quote to my fitness journey, legs are foundational, if you take care of them, they will take care of you, and make your goals possible.
When you look at leg exercises, the majority of them are compound movements. When you are doing these, you are also working out secondary muscle groups that get activated to deal with the weight and maintain form. These movements scorch calories and give you a cardio workout even though you may not notice this. Cardio is thought to be the best for breaking a sweat and fat loss, but I challenge you to do a set of squats then follow this up with lunges to see if you’re not breaking a sweat. Legs for me is one of the best forms of short burst cardio that also builds strength. A good little trick is to slow down your reps and do pause reps. If I am doing 10 squats in a set, I don’t rush through to get the ten then re-rack the weight. I’ll try and have the weight on my body for 45 seconds to a minute. For those ten reps, I’ll do them slow to increase the time the muscles are under tension, which is great cardio and builds strength.
Another advantage of working legs is the effect that it can have on your hormones. Testosterone is one of the most important hormones when it comes to building muscle. Two leg workouts specifically are great for boosting testosterone levels. Heavy squats, and heavy deadlifts are known to increase and regulate testosterone levels. Since I’m no doctor I don’t want to give advice on this topic when it comes to hormones and science and such, but I am good at research, so I have linked some great sources for information that pertains to testosterone production and working out your legs. The legs are the largest muscle group in the body, so don’t ignore them. Take care of them, and they will take care of you.
Johnny’s Must Reads:
- Stair Climber for 5
- Lower body static stretch
- Shoulder stretch
- Squats: 135 for 12 for 3 sets, 155 for 8, 175 for 8, 185 for 5 for 2 sets, 205 for 2, 225 for 1, 135 for 6
- Leg Press: 180 for 15, 270 for 10, 360 for 8, 450 for 5 for 3 sets, 180 for 12
- Lunges: 50 pound barbell walking for 15 steps each leg. 3 sets
- Quad Extention machine: 50 for 10 each leg for 6 sets (Rest every 2 sets)
- Calf Raises: 70 for 10 for 3 sets
- Calf Raise Machine: 115 for 8 for 3 sets.
- Hip abduction machine: 145 for 15 for 3 sets
- Hamstring Curls (one leg): 50 for 12 for 3 sets
Soon to be “Johnny Two Plates”