Need some new routines for legs. All Advice is greatly appreciated.

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    Apr 28, 2009 3:55 PM GMT
    Everytime I google an advanced leg workout, I get routines with "2 sets of this" and "2 sets of that." WTF? I would like to hear from the guys that actually work out their legs and have legs to be proud of.


    This is my workout for legs. If you see any problems, dont be shy. I know that there are a few leg exercises that need higher reps than 10 but not sure which. Thanks guys.


    All SETS are in the 6-10 REP range

    Squats - 6 sets.
    Frontal Squats - 3 sets
    Sled - 4 sets
    Extensions - 4 sets
    Lunges - 4 sets
    Laying hamstrings- 4 sets, strip to achieve ten reps everytime.
    Seated hamstring curls - 3 sets
    Stiff leg deadlifts - 3 sets

    I do 7 sets of standing and 7 sets of seated calves twice a week.
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    Apr 28, 2009 5:17 PM GMT
    Mixing in a little plyo might be fun.

    Have you also considered putting in some endurance exercises like wall squats?
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Apr 28, 2009 5:27 PM GMT
    I don't think I have great legs, so take this with a grain of salt...

    Are those exercises/sets you do all in the same workout?
    If so, I would suggest that you're not going heavy enough on squats and deadlifts. There is absolutely no way I can do heavy squats and heavy deadlifts on the same day.

    What are you trying to accomplish? Muscle growth? Increased power/speed? Increased strength?

    If you're going for strength, I'd try a 5x5 program built around squats and deadlifts. I.e. do 5x5's for squats on one day of the week, with supporting exercises afterwards (hamstring curls, calve raises) and do 5x5's for dead lifts on another day of the week (again with supporting exercises, like weighted lunges and calve raises).

    If you want to increase power and speed, throw in some speed squats to your routine for a few weeks.

    If you're going for muscle growth specifically, I don't have any suggestions for legs.
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    Apr 28, 2009 5:43 PM GMT
    Well, I do have great legs, depending on the position their in - icon_lol.gif - but I haven't been to a gym for them in a while. What dwindled is coming back, thanks to Yoga. There are tons of resistance routines in yoga and I think you would find it VERY helpful. I haven't had to go back and do my 1300lb leg presses, for the little workout, since.
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    Apr 28, 2009 5:45 PM GMT
    I don't know what it is called, but when you do squats and walk across the floor with a dumbbell in each hand... that is amazing. you can feel it in every muscle in your legs.
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    Apr 28, 2009 7:07 PM GMT
    my trainer has a devious leg exercise that is fantastic. you put a decent amount of weight on the legpress and then you do as many reps as you can with good form. say you do 45, you then get 55 seconds to rest and you have to keep going. the goal is to get to 100 so say you do 30 more, you then are at 75 and you get 25 seconds of rest and then you have to do the remaining 25. you should be barely able to walk at the end of this. your rest period is always equal to the amount of reps you have left to 100.
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    Apr 28, 2009 7:16 PM GMT
    hmm,here's another one that will blast your legs..or any other body part you do it on.

    Load up the weight sled..

    do 5 reps, then bend your legs to the halfway point and hold for 5 seconds.
    do 4 reps, hold halfway for 5 seconds
    do 3 reps, hold
    do 2 reps, hold
    do 1 rep, hold.

    thats one set.

    then you go the other way and start with the one rep and work your way up to 5 reps..

    they burn by the time ur done.

    I also added weighted step ups...for glutes...it rips them.

    what I dont understand about your workout is how yo're doing deadlifts after all that other stuff. it sounds to me like you need to seriously up your weight, if you have the strength to do deads at the end.

    and try wide stance deads, or regular deads instead of straight legged ones.
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    Apr 28, 2009 7:18 PM GMT
    take a spin cycling class (it works the legs as well as cardio) or swimming also does wonders for the legs.
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    Apr 28, 2009 7:30 PM GMT
    ScottPensacola saidEverytime I google an advanced leg workout, I get routines with "2 sets of this" and "2 sets of that." WTF? I would like to hear from the guys that actually work out their legs and have legs to be proud of.

    This is my workout for legs. If you see any problems, dont be shy. I know that there are a few leg exercises that need higher reps than 10 but not sure which. Thanks guys.

    All SETS are in the 6-10 REP range

    Squats - 6 sets.
    Frontal Squats - 3 sets
    Sled - 4 sets
    Extensions - 4 sets
    Lunges - 4 sets
    Laying hamstrings- 4 sets, strip to achieve ten reps everytime.
    Seated hamstring curls - 3 sets
    Stiff leg deadlifts - 3 sets

    I do 7 sets of standing and 7 sets of seated calves twice a week.

    Wow. That's a lot of exercises. The 6 sets of squats seem excessive. Is this all in one session?

    Here's my leg routine..

    10 minute warm-up on exercise bike. Easy pace, just want to get the blood flowing, not do a cardio workout.

    Squats..
    1 warm-up set, ~12 reps.
    2 working sets, 6 - 8 reps.

    Stiff legged deadlifts..
    3 sets, 6 - 8 reps.

    Good mornings.. (alternate every other week with deadlifts above)
    2 sets, ~6 reps.

    Calf "raises" on the leg press machine.
    2 sets, 25 - 30 reps.

    Sometimes I add a little plyometrics if I have some energy leftover.

    Ski jumpers..
    You start in a lunge position, jump straight up, switch your feet, and land in the lunge position again. I do this in rapid fire motion and try to get 30 reps each set. For variety, I hold a 20 lbs dumbbell in each hand.

    Star jumps..
    Squat down and jump as high as you can. Reach for the stars! Again, rapid fire motion. Jump, land, crouch, jump. I try to do ~15 reps, 2 sets.

    Barbell jump squats..
    These are fun. Sometimes I substitute regular squats with jump squats. I do a couple of warm-up sets, performing regular squats. And then do 2 - 3 working sets. Load the bar to something relatively light. Then squat down and jump. I usually get about an inch or two off the ground. Don't want to get too high. And usually shoot for 10 reps or less.
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    Apr 28, 2009 8:55 PM GMT
    Have you considered overtraining?
    about.com saidNumerous signs and symptoms of overtraining have been suggested. It should be noted that not all of these symptoms will be present, and that the presence of some of these symptoms does not automatically mean an individual is overtrained. The ultimate determination of overtraining is whether performance is impaired or plateaued. Listed below are some frequently cited signs of overtraining:

    Performance

    * Decreased performance (strength, power, muscle endurance, cardiovascular endurance)
    * Decreased training tolerance and increased recovery requirements
    * Decreased motor coordination
    * Increased technical faults

    Physiology

    * Altered resting heart rate (HR), blood pressure and respiration patterns
    * Decreased body fat and post-exercise body weight
    * Increased VO2, VE , and HR during submaximal work
    * Decreased lactate response
    * Increased basal metabolic rate
    * Chronic fatigue
    * Sleep and eating disorders
    * Menstrual disruptions
    * Headaches, gastrointestinal distress
    * Muscle soreness and damage
    * Joint aches and pains

    Psychological

    * Depression and apathy
    * Decreased self-esteem
    * Decreased ability to concentrate
    * Decreased self-efficacy
    * Sensitive to stress

    Immunological

    * Increased occurrence of illness
    * Decreased rate of healing
    * Impaired immune function (neutrophils, lymphocytes, mitogen responses, eosinophils)

    Biochemical

    * Hypothalamic dysfunction
    * Increased serum cortisol and SHBG
    * Decreased serum total and free testosterone, testosterone/cortisol ratio
    * Decreased muscle glycogen
    * Decreased serum hemoglobin, iron, and ferritin
    * Negative N2 balance

    The majority of these signs and symptoms are derived from endurance exercise overtraining research. Not all of these signs and symptoms have been linked with resistance exercise overtraining, due partly to a lack of relevant research on the topic, and to the fact that resistance exercise presents different physiological stress compared to endurance exercise.

    If overtraining from resistance exercise has occurred, several simple steps can be taken, including:

    * One or more recovery days should be added to each training week.
    * Periodized training programs can provide the necessary training variety to avoid overtraining.
    * Avoid monotonous training.
    * Check that training volume and training intensity are inversely related.
    * Avoid too great a relative intensity (percent 1RM) for extended periods.
    * Avoid too great a training volume (number of sessions, exercises, sets and reps) for extended periods.
    * Avoid performing every set of every exercise of every session to absolute failure, with no variation.
    * Avoid incorrect exercise selection (overuse of certain muscles or joints).
    * Avoid excessive use of eccentric muscle actions.
    * Take into account the cumulative training stresses from other forms of exercise (i.e., cardiovascular training, sport-specific training, etc.)

    Overtraining is of growing concern; more research is necessary for full understanding. It is clear that the exercise prescription is critically important to avoid a problem. Periodized training allows variation and is important for best results. Periodization includes phases of high training stress and planned periods for recovery and restoration. This applies to elite athletes well as to individuals exercising for general health and fitness.

    Reprinted with permission of the American College of Sports Medicine, "Overtraining with Resistance Exercise," www.acsm.org. .
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    Apr 28, 2009 10:05 PM GMT
    My initial impressions were similar to others´: too much for one session, break into several routines and up the weight. And rest.

    I love working my legs, it´s my favorite part.

    I have three different routines at the moment. In my body weight I do
    pistols
    bulgarian split squats
    jumping squats (looks like a frog jumping).

    Pistols are the real killers http://www.powerathletesmag.com/pages/pistols.htm

    Another combo I quite like are super sets of leg extensions and leg curls, and another of leg press and calf raises. The thing I don´t like about this is that it´s on machines and I´m not the greatest fan of isolating. But still: 10 leg extensions followed by 10 leg curls for 3 or 4 sets is pretty fun.

    My favorite is probably
    squats
    deadlifts
    weighted lunges

    I am still at the stage where I am doing light weights as my weak link is my lower back and that needs to get strong before I can start lifting the sort of weight that my legs are capable of. Even with very light weights this is still hard work. I suspect that once I am lifting heavier then i will reorganise.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 28, 2009 10:45 PM GMT
    I also think you're overtraining. Generally, if you're working a specific muscle group, you don't want more than 20-30 or so total repetitions for it. 5 sets of 6 reps each would max you out, but you're doing more than one exercise per muscle group, and doing more than 6 reps often.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 28, 2009 10:58 PM GMT
    You failed to state your goals.

    Google up on hypertrophy and tailor your program towards your goals.

    There are just so many way to work legs, arms, back, chest, shoulders, abs, and calves. That's how resistance training is.

    Any exercise that works the target muscle / muscle group through a full range of independent motion is generally best. (Dumbbells, and no esoteric crap, with perhaps the exception being deadlifts, squats, and various leg presses.)

    Once you define your goals, you'll be more prepared to develop a plan for success.

    You also failed to state your frequency. I.e. if you're only doing the workout above once a week, you're likely not over-training.

    Attention to detail is a good thing to think of when requesting advice / consultation.
  • torontoguy222...

    Posts: 410

    Apr 28, 2009 11:04 PM GMT
    Do you do all those exercises in one workout?? If so, that's way too much!

    I never dedicate a whole day to legs. I don't know your workout routine and whatnot, but my instincts are telling me that after doing 3 or 4 leg exercises there no way you can properly do anything more.

    I'd stick with the big compound movements, and switching things up between workouts. For instance, I don't squat and deadlift on the same day-- I think it's too much strain not only on the lower back but the possibly the legs as well.

    Here's my sort of hierarchy of leg exercises that I do: (I know there are others but I don't do all of them).

    1. Squats
    2. Deadlifts
    3. Lunges
    4. Weighted Step-Ups
    5. Hamstring Curls
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2009 10:09 AM GMT
    http://www.exrx.net/ go work it out for your self..
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    Apr 29, 2009 10:10 AM GMT
    Thanks for the advice. BTW it is one workout, once a week, and heavy deadlifts at the end. At the end of the workout, Im pretty much dead for the rest of the day.

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    Apr 29, 2009 10:25 AM GMT
    advice from both wyrln and Lostboy = solid.

    I had stopped working on my legs for years. I do a lot of running and walking around the city, and figured that was more than enough. Boy, was I wrong.

    I was unable to gain any mass and had hit a plateau that I thought I'd never overcome until a couple of month's ago, when a VERY kind RJer sent me his workout routine. It included crippling leg exercises. I started doing them (sans the crippling aspect) and cannot believe the sudden transformation.

    However, I overdid it a few times, so watch out. You don't want to be counter-productive. Why not split the routine into two times per week and steer clear from the overkill? You might be better off.

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    Apr 29, 2009 1:45 PM GMT
    "However, I overdid it a few times, so watch out. You don't want to be counter-productive. Why not split the routine into two times per week and steer clear from the overkill? You might be better off."

    I did that too when I started proper deads and squats. Do not be ashamed to lift really light to get the form absolutely right and also to strengthen the weak links that your body may have. I´m adding a kg every time I lift. I am in no rush. I want to get stronger and bigger, not stroke my ego and get injured.

    OPer
    "Thanks for the advice. BTW it is one workout, once a week, and heavy deadlifts at the end. At the end of the workout, Im pretty much dead for the rest of the day."

    I´d suggest maybe breaking it in two. Either chose a core exercise (squat and deadlift being the biggies IMO) and do ONE of those with a bunch of other stuff, Or, if you are still lifting light like me (or if you SHOULD still be doing that hehe), then have those two each time and change all the supporting exercises. Lunges are also great. I find that as they go beyond 30lb dumbbells that I don´t like the walking ones as it gets a *little* more edgy (I´ve sometimes felt I was going to injure myself). I just do 10 on one side, then change and do 10 on the other side, which may be harder.
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    Apr 29, 2009 1:54 PM GMT
    Jump on a bike and do like 20+ miles....
    TRUST ME! you'll feel it!!
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    Apr 29, 2009 2:31 PM GMT
    dtothes84 saidJump on a bike and do like 20+ miles....
    TRUST ME! you'll feel it!!


    In high gear...
  • emailaddress

    Posts: 313

    Apr 29, 2009 2:55 PM GMT
    chuckystud said
    dtothes84 saidJump on a bike and do like 20+ miles....
    TRUST ME! you'll feel it!!


    In high gear...


    yep thats good too, HIIT with it.
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    Apr 29, 2009 3:22 PM GMT
    My routine is....

    Warm up: Deadlifts --> 5x5 or 3x8

    Squats: 5x5 of 3x10 (and the last set is a drop set)
    OR
    Signle Leg Squats: Same as above

    Calf Raises: 3xfail (and the last set is a drop set)

    Leg Extensions/Leg Curl: 5x5 (or else Ill do like 4x6 and superset them).

    I do IT band/groin/butt stuff: 1 minute each leg.... I need to find a link for it

    And thats the routine... now, I do it twice a week, so one workout might be lighter.... thoug hi"m gonna keep the stress up for about 3-4 weeks, and then go to a more relaxed circuit based leg day with lighter weight.


    Does anyone do cardio on leg days? (I feel like when I do, my legs are gonna fall of, so I just do my Interval stuff on days I don't do legs.)
  • vabud

    Posts: 2

    Apr 29, 2009 5:56 PM GMT
    I'm always worried about my legs not getting big enough too. But they are. Genetics helps a bit. I actually have found that the leg workouts in the muscle building workouts on RJ are amazing. It's less about the amount of weight and more about working the muscles in different ways.

    Each week there is normally one leg workout. I also spin at least 3 times a week. Trust me, that really works them. Spinning has helped a lot, as well cycling outside. I think you need to actually do a variety of different exercises to really add shape, size, and strength.