Issues on power leg day

  • Artesin

    Posts: 482

    Sep 08, 2011 2:05 AM GMT
    Basically the title says it all, I'm having multiple problems when it comes to power lifting on leg days. Part of it spans from neglecting my legs in the past or not using proper form. Now I'm not too sure how to reverse all the damage and put on the size I want while still working around the issues I have.

    Here is my current routine

    Day 2: Lower Body Power Day

    * Pressing Power Movement: Squats
    3 sets of 3-5 reps
    * Assistance pressing movement: Hack Squats
    2 sets of 6-10 reps
    * Assistance extension movement: Leg extensions
    2 sets of 6-10 reps
    * Assistance pulling movement: Stiff legged deadlifts
    3 sets of 5-8 reps
    * Assistance pulling/curling movement: Glute ham raises or lying leg curls
    2 sets of 6-10 reps
    * Auxiliary calf movement: Standing calf raise
    3 sets of 6-10 reps
    * Auxiliary calf movement: Seated calf raise
    2 sets of 6-10 reps

    Issue 1: My gym does not have a hack squat machine, a hammer strength deadlift.

    Issue 2: With none of those machines, I can not seem to keep a good grip... may be because I forget to keep bringing gloves... Even still I can not see myself being able to hold the weight necessary while trying to fight gravity... Seems to make it feel more like a shoulder workout rather than legs just trying to hold on icon_rolleyes.gif . Any other day this isnt an issue as my hand position isnt fighting with gravity so the moves can be executed without being inhibited.

    issue 3: with squats, in order to get the heavy weight I want, a smith machine is required. unfortunately it puts added strain on my lower back, despite keeping my shoulders back, eyes front and center, and pushing up/forward with my heels/hips.

    issue 4: I have runners knee and an imbalance between my quads and calves.... Leg day in general hurts and leg extensions dont make this any better, as the mechanic behind the move doesnt reflect a real world movement... What can I do to replace leg extensions/curls and what are some good ab/adductor exercises that do not involve machines? Then when it comes to form with hack squats and reg squats is 90 degrees enough? I dont want any further damage to my knees.


    With all that being said when I work my legs on hypertrophy day I seem to be able to cope with a medium weight and higher reps, plus Im able to completely exhaust my legs by doing box sprint for 3 minutes for some added high intensity. So if it is possible to cope with hypertrophy should I do that twice a week and hope that it alleviates any imbalances I have?

    Hypertrophy routine

    Day 5: Lower Body Hypertrophy Day

    * Lower Body Power Exercise speed work: Squats
    6 sets of 3 reps with 65-70% of normal 3-5 rep max
    * Hypertrophy pressing movement: Hack squats
    3 sets of 8-12 reps
    * Hypertrophy pressing movement: Leg presses
    2 sets of 12-15 reps
    * Hypertrophy extension movement: Leg extensions
    3 sets of 15-20 reps
    * Hypertrophy pulling movement: Romanian deadlifts
    3 sets of 8-12 reps
    * Hypertrophy curling movement: Lying leg curls
    2 sets of 12-15 reps
    * Hypertrophy curling movement: Seated leg curls
    2 sets of 15-20 reps
    * Hypertrophy calf movement: Donkey calf raises
    4 sets of 10-15 reps
    * Hypertrophy calf movement: Seated calf raises
    3 sets of 15-20 reps

    usually at the end or in the middle if equipment is taken Ill add in 2-3 sets of lunges and a set of speed squats at 10 reps with some moderate weight. Though my balance when targeting my right leg sucks... what can I do to hit some of those stabilizer muscles?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 08, 2011 3:01 AM GMT
    Geez. Keep it simple..

    Squats
    Deadlifts
    Some type of calf exercise

    Leg extension/curl machines are ok, if you want to get in a light weight pump set at the end of your workout. Or even as a warm-up. But they shouldn't be a staple of your leg routine.

    Not sure why you have a "power" routine when your goal is add size to your legs. Maybe you should incorporate or substitute other exercises. Since you're a runner, maybe try running on sand or some other type of loose surface like dirt trails.
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Sep 08, 2011 6:07 AM GMT
    It sounds like you really need to strengthen your stabilisers first.

    I'd suggest weeks of single leg stuff (squats and deadlifts), doing deadlifts with a weight you can hold, strengthening the crap out of your grip and your rotator cuffs (which are related to your grip), and getting rid if using machines (smith machine especially). You could try some light weight exercises for shoulders or legs while balancing in a flipped over bosu as well.

    If you've got a history of leg problems, that might explain why you need the smith machine, but ultimately it's a crutch that allows your stabilisers to get weak.

    Prob also a good idea to talk to a good physiotherapist.
  • Neferti

    Posts: 55

    Sep 08, 2011 1:11 PM GMT
    Artesin saidIssue 1: My gym does not have a hack squat machine, a hammer strength deadlift.

    Issue 2: With none of those machines, I can not seem to keep a good grip... may be because I forget to keep bringing gloves... Even still I can not see myself being able to hold the weight necessary while trying to fight gravity... Seems to make it feel more like a shoulder workout rather than legs just trying to hold on icon_rolleyes.gif . Any other day this isnt an issue as my hand position isnt fighting with gravity so the moves can be executed without being inhibited.

    issue 3: with squats, in order to get the heavy weight I want, a smith machine is required. unfortunately it puts added strain on my lower back, despite keeping my shoulders back, eyes front and center, and pushing up/forward with my heels/hips.

    issue 4: I have runners knee and an imbalance between my quads and calves.... Leg day in general hurts and leg extensions dont make this any better, as the mechanic behind the move doesnt reflect a real world movement... What can I do to replace leg extensions/curls and what are some good ab/adductor exercises that do not involve machines? Then when it comes to form with hack squats and reg squats is 90 degrees enough? I dont want any further damage to my knees.


    #1 - Why not switch hacks for leg presses on power day? It will be easier to load more weight on and gives your lower back a rest.

    #2 - Hacks are a difficult movement for me when I go heavy on them. Not to mention with the bar hitting me in the back of the calves. Try wrist straps if your grip is giving you problems and switching to the leg press isn't an option.

    #3 - Why do you have squat in the smith machine? It's not a great idea and I stay away from it. It causes too many problems with the knees and lower back. Learn to free bar back squat starting with your next session and you'll never miss the smith machine. Hire a trainer if you need to for a few sessions to help you learn. But honestly Mark Rippetoe has some great videos online of how to squat that you should be able to teach yourself.

    #4 - If you're already doing two pressing movemenets (squats and leg press) there is no need to throw in leg extensions as well. You can drop them. For leg curls you can also try replacing them with back extensions that will give you some hamstring stimulation.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 08, 2011 2:37 PM GMT
    xrichx saidGeez. Keep it simple..

    Squats
    Deadlifts
    Some type of calf exercise

    Leg extension/curl machines are ok, if you want to get in a light weight pump set at the end of your workout. Or even as a warm-up. But they shouldn't be a staple of your leg routine.

    Not sure why you have a "power" routine when your goal is add size to your legs. Maybe you should incorporate or substitute other exercises. Since you're a runner, maybe try running on sand or some other type of loose surface like dirt trails.



    agreed

    does your gym have a leg press machine, its pretty good at building size

    not sure why you are doing legs twice a week, if you hit them right once a week is plenty
  • Hunkymonkey

    Posts: 215

    Sep 08, 2011 7:01 PM GMT
    I my opinion, smith machines squats are just plain dangerous. I have found that they do not give me the flexibility to alter my back position as I rise. More than once, I have thrown my lower back because of that, leading to weeks of layoff and lost leg training. I will never, ever as long as I live do those again. Instead, I do free squats and deadlifts and have zero problems of that sort.
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    Sep 08, 2011 7:18 PM GMT
    For your grip issue on deadlifts, alternate your hand position by putting one hand over the bar and one hand under. This will keep it from rolling out of your hands every time you try to go heavy. As long as you do an even number of sets and alternate which hand is over/under you won't cause any imbalance. If you're looking for a leg extension/curl replacement I would consider doing lunges every workout -- great compound movement that hits glutes, quads and hams. My routine is very similar to yours. The other thing that I do that you don't do is hip abductions. My selfish reasoning for doing them is because they make my butt bigger icon_twisted.gif , but in addition, I noticed that all my big compound movements felt a lot more stable after I incorporated them. Hope this is helpful.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 08, 2011 7:21 PM GMT
    Oh, also, for the grip issue, get a pair of these: http://www.gripad.com . They are MUCH better than gloves.
  • Neferti

    Posts: 55

    Sep 08, 2011 7:33 PM GMT
    _solid_ saidFor your grip issue on deadlifts, alternate your hand position by putting one hand over the bar and one hand under. This will keep it from rolling out of your hands every time you try to go heavy. As long as you do an even number of sets and alternate which hand is over/under you won't cause any imbalance. If you're looking for a leg extension/curl replacement I would consider doing lunges every workout -- great compound movement that hits glutes, quads and hams. My routine is very similar to yours. The other thing that I do that you don't do is hip abductions. My selfish reasoning for doing them is because they make my butt bigger icon_twisted.gif , but in addition, I noticed that all my big compound movements felt a lot more stable after I incorporated them. Hope this is helpful.


    I think he was saying his grip is giving out on hack squats. It's too tricky to hold the bar with a mixed grip on them.

    One additional option is to set up a weight belt like Steve Reeves did with hooks on the back to hold the bar. Here's the most beautiful and perfectly developed man to ever live doing them:

    med_1219331153-Reeveshacksequence.JPG
  • Artesin

    Posts: 482

    Sep 10, 2011 2:27 AM GMT
    Thanks guys, any advice is always appreciated.

    Though theres just a few things I wanted to point out for a TLicon_biggrin.gifR version.

    I train every body part twice a week because Im following the layne norton theory of power/hypertrophy... Power compound/isolation days to strengthen and hypertrophy split days to rip more fibers.

    Youre right in that the smith machine was a crutch.. On hypertrophy days I do use a leg press and lighten the weight so that it isnt an issue on grip. On power days I just cant hold onto that 3-5 rep max without some slippage, which really wears on the joints plus it's frustrating as the workout, along with the time, feels wasted.... So I was confused on how I could train heavy w/o the proper machines and still up my max weight, as the power days werent necessarily for creating size.

    Though, I probably will just take a break from power days and just do my 3 rep max on leg press before the workout just to try and release more HGH. Will probably alleviate most of the issues I'm having if I ease into it.. which has always been a problem... in more ways than one icon_cool.gif .

    I will look into those grips, they look interesting either way. I think the gloves just gave me a placebo effect that affected my perception on my toughness icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 10, 2011 12:50 PM GMT
    Gloves are very helpful. I couldn't lift the 70 pound dumbbells for shrugs x 12 reps until I consistently wore them to help my grip. Same thing for deadlifts.

    And my calluses are getting better.