Need leg training advice: I'm a fairly new bodybuilder, and I have a big problem: How do I build my legs if I can barely walk afterward?

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    Oct 29, 2009 3:38 AM GMT
    First a little background, please don't judge:

    I'm fairly new to bodybuilding. I wasn't a jock in high school, and I was very lazy from 19 through age 31 or so. By the time I decided to change my life, I was so far out of shape I was embarrassed to work out in front of people at first. I started with more of a focus on my upper body, since it was the biggest source of shame. Didn't do much with legs other than maintenance and cardio. Now I've got to get my legs to catch up to the rest of my body, so I can grow the whole package. I want to be fit and muscular all around, have good core strength and everything proportionate.

    Here is my dilemma:

    I generally work out in the mornings before work. I alternate between different muscle groups on different days, doing 3 sets of each exercise at whatever weight I reach fatigue at with 8-10 reps. I up the weight when I can do 3 sets of 10 without giving out.

    But when I try to do the same thing with my legs... I can hardly walk afterward, and if I can't walk, I can't work. I can get by on my job with tired, sore arms, but not the legs.

    I don't know if I should change my schedule so I do leg days in the evenings? But all I want to do is chill after work, so motivation is a problem.

    Or is there another method to build my leg muscles without training all the way to fatigue each time?
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    Oct 29, 2009 3:31 PM GMT
    you could train lighter... but in your situation I´d do the evening work outs. In time you SHOULD adapt so that it´s not a big deal doing it in the morning... just in the future keep your whole body in proportion, kay?
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    Oct 29, 2009 9:24 PM GMT
    Cool.
    Yeah I know... I'm not gonna let this happen again. Don't know what I was thinking but I'm glad I got my head out of my ass and woke up.

    I was leaning towards the evening workouts.. Just gotta push myself to leave the house again after I take a shower and have a bite to eat. I like to train hard, and when I'm not, I feel like I'm shorting myself. I did figure that after a week or so I'll be able to do mornings again. It's just that getting started part....

    Also, I'm going to set up a home gym when I can afford to buy some weights and stuff. That will make it a lot easier for me to do it after work.
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    Oct 30, 2009 11:36 PM GMT
    learn to enjoy that feeling first hehehe eventually it wont come around as often.

    second what lost says, maybe train a little lighter, or find the motivation to train afterwork

    Otherwise keep doing what your doing, you'll get used to it after a couple of weeks and learn your limits on how far you can push and still do a days work.

    Although personally I don't think there is much better then having legs being cripplingly sore and doing a ton of walking, lifting and hard labor, but I could be a bit weird.
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    Oct 31, 2009 3:03 AM GMT
    Well today I went ahead and did legs before work, just not so hard I crippled myself. It went ok. I think I was just freaking myself out for no reason.

    I even incorporated deliberate positions, exercises and movements into my workday to maximize use of my legs. I can do all kinds of squats and calf raises throughout the day at work, in addition to the push ups and pull ups I already do on the job.

    One of the benefits of having a job where I spend most of the day by myself, walk around a lot, and carry things.
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    Oct 31, 2009 3:37 AM GMT
    I know your pain! I'm certainly not training as intense as you. Oddly enough I find when I do legs I'm fine that day and the day after. However it's the 2nd day after training legs that the muscle atrophy really kicks in and I can hardly walk or get out of a chair. That goes on for another two days.

    Is it the atrophy that you feel immediatly after working legs? Or is it the initial weakness from pushing the heavy weight?

    Either way - wish you well and I know you'll succeed better than I in the modivation department icon_wink.gif
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    Oct 31, 2009 3:46 AM GMT
    JW61 saidI know your pain! I'm certainly not training as intense as you. Oddly enough I find when I do legs I'm fine that day and the day after. However it's the 2nd day after training legs that the muscle atrophy really kicks in and I can hardly walk or get out of a chair. That goes on for another two days.

    Is it the atrophy that you feel immediatly after working legs? Or is it the initial weakness from pushing the heavy weight?

    Either way - wish you well and I know you'll succeed better than I in the modivation department icon_wink.gif


    Atrophy from a workout? What? Get outta' here. LOL. Do you even know what the word means?

    With regard to the poster: you didn't get fat and out of shape overnight (it took years) and you won't become a regular person overnight, either. If it hurts, slow down, don't do as much, eat more, and take an extra day to recover. For many folks light activity that gets blood into the effected area makes a big difference. Listen to your body: pain means to slow down. Use common sense.
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    Oct 31, 2009 3:59 AM GMT
    chuckystud said
    JW61 saidI know your pain! I'm certainly not training as intense as you. Oddly enough I find when I do legs I'm fine that day and the day after. However it's the 2nd day after training legs that the muscle atrophy really kicks in and I can hardly walk or get out of a chair. That goes on for another two days.

    Is it the atrophy that you feel immediatly after working legs? Or is it the initial weakness from pushing the heavy weight?

    Either way - wish you well and I know you'll succeed better than I in the modivation department icon_wink.gif


    Atrophy from a workout? What? Get outta' here. LOL. Do you even know what the word means?

    With regard to the poster: you didn't get fat and out of shape overnight (it took years) and you won't become a regular person overnight, either. If it hurts, so down, don't do as much, eat more, and take an extra day to recover. For many folks light activity that gets blood into the effected area makes a big difference. Listen to your body: pain means to slow down. Use common sense.


    Well thank you for the education chuckystud. Perhaps I did use the incorrect term. I don't actually mean wasting - whats the word when your muscles begin to break down and build back up? OH don't bother answering; instead be a smart ass.
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    Oct 31, 2009 5:04 AM GMT
    chuckystud said If it hurts, slow down, don't do as much, eat more, and take an extra day to recover. For many folks light activity that gets blood into the effected area makes a big difference. Listen to your body: pain means to slow down. Use common sense.


    But no pain no gain. If it hurts, I know I'm pushing my limits. that is how I have managed to progress as far as I have so far, and it seems to work.

    That said, I do know not to overtrain- when certain muscles are sore, I don't hit them again until they have healed. Usually, when I hit a muscle group hard for the first time in awhile, I get sore for a few days, then I hit it hard again, and the next time I'm rarely as sore as the first time. I expect that within a week, this will no longer be a problem.

    I push my limits every time I work out. If I don't I'm just maintaining- wasting time, for I want to grow.

    I expect nothing less from my legs than what I have been accomplishing with my chest, back, and arms.
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    Oct 31, 2009 12:10 PM GMT
    I like that wobbly feeling icon_confused.gif but if you have to train in the morning, maybe you could set aside some "cool down" time - walking or stretching? On leg day I like to have oatmeal about 90 minutes before - that's really effective for me - good luck.
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    Oct 31, 2009 5:55 PM GMT
    Oatmeal? What does that do? I'll try it. I usually have a bowl of Kashi hi protien cereal and some coffee before I go.
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    Oct 31, 2009 6:09 PM GMT
    JW61 said
    chuckystud said
    JW61 saidI know your pain! I'm certainly not training as intense as you. Oddly enough I find when I do legs I'm fine that day and the day after. However it's the 2nd day after training legs that the muscle atrophy really kicks in and I can hardly walk or get out of a chair. That goes on for another two days.

    Is it the atrophy that you feel immediatly after working legs? Or is it the initial weakness from pushing the heavy weight?

    Either way - wish you well and I know you'll succeed better than I in the modivation department icon_wink.gif


    Atrophy from a workout? What? Get outta' here. LOL. Do you even know what the word means?

    With regard to the poster: you didn't get fat and out of shape overnight (it took years) and you won't become a regular person overnight, either. If it hurts, so down, don't do as much, eat more, and take an extra day to recover. For many folks light activity that gets blood into the effected area makes a big difference. Listen to your body: pain means to slow down. Use common sense.


    Well thank you for the education chuckystud. Perhaps I did use the incorrect term. I don't actually mean wasting - whats the word when your muscles begin to break down and build back up? OH don't bother answering; instead be a smart ass.


    Actually, I think the term is hypertrophy. Easy mistake to make.
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    Nov 01, 2009 7:33 AM GMT
    bryanhard saidOatmeal? What does that do? I'll try it. I usually have a bowl of Kashi hi protien cereal and some coffee before I go.


    The cereal probably does the same thing - the oatmeal just seems to work best for me. I suppose the idea is to have ready feul (glycogen?) available for before, during and after the workout. Also - are you drinking water/hydrating before during and after? Dehydration makes me feel fatigued, and I think ample hydration may be required to deliver nutrition to the muscles and facilitate recuperation.

    btw I eat the oatmeal plain and follow it with a Pacific Health Labs pre and post workout shake - good luck - J
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    Nov 01, 2009 7:53 AM GMT
    Learn to love it! It's a sign that you have done well ;)
    Other than that; remember to stretch and eat well - sounds basic, but most of us actually fail to do so, at least sometimes.
    Last but not least: Try doing a 10-15 minute slow running/joggin on a treadmill afterwards - for some reason it always takes the edge of the soreness for me.
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    Nov 01, 2009 9:04 AM GMT
    Implosion saidLast but not least: Try doing a 10-15 minute slow running/joggin on a treadmill afterwards - for some reason it always takes the edge of the soreness for me.


    Yeah I've heard from other guys that a cardio cool down is thier favorite - My brother does it, but he's younger than I am. When I finish my legs (if its a good workout) I'm spent.
    Anyway I've read that what's good about the cool down is that the body is not only delivering feul & protien to the muscle - it's also flushing waste. I mention this because we forget how much the body is doing when we're not training. It's still working.
    Chuckystuds' advice to slow down may allow your metabolism time to catch up to your new regime.
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    Nov 01, 2009 10:11 AM GMT
    I won't touch this. Some good advice and some dumb advice. Very little based on any scientific studies. All, or if not all, based on what works for one person and not the other. This worked for me and that worked for me. Not the best way to learn what works. But, my personal goal is to keep you all from looking as good as me. So I will keep my advice to myself. JK
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    Nov 01, 2009 10:20 AM GMT
    I have never tried my pain went away after a year or two of regularly working out but it used to be bad, i'd dread climbing the stairs the next day

    A power lifter in my gym once told me he shovels a spoon full sodium bicarbonate into his water bottle and drinks while he works out and swears it dispenses with helps with the pain the next day
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    Nov 01, 2009 11:06 AM GMT
    Does anyone just do the hard work anymore or do they just asks for advice about how to make the hard work easier?

    Drink this, do that, do these few little things so the can have big legs or big arms without doing the work?

    Big legs and big arms take work. To get them you need to lift heavy weights, over and over and over again. You need to be be in the gym and lift heavy time and time again. It has nothing to do with the supplements you take. It has nothing to do with vitamens.

    Want to get bigger? Stronger? Do the work. Do the work.
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    Nov 01, 2009 4:27 PM GMT
    MsclDrew: Bicarb? Far out. That's a pool chemical. I'm a pool boy, so I use that stuff all the time. Never thought about ingesting it !?! Doesn't sound healthy... but then it does seem a lot like baking soda.

    Triggerman: "Want to get bigger? Stronger? Do the work. Do the work."

    I couldn't agree with you more. I push hard, I push heavy. I go to the limit and then some. I'm just trying to learn how to do the work better and more effectively.

    I appreciate the variety of advice I have gotten on here. I know my body. I know how to sift through it to figure out what might be best for me.
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    Nov 01, 2009 6:32 PM GMT
    bryanhard saidMsclDrew: Bicarb? Far out. That's a pool chemical. I'm a pool boy, so I use that stuff all the time. Never thought about ingesting it !?! Doesn't sound healthy... but then it does seem a lot like baking soda.

    Triggerman: "Want to get bigger? Stronger? Do the work. Do the work."

    I couldn't agree with you more. I push hard, I push heavy. I go to the limit and then some. I'm just trying to learn how to do the work better and more effectively.

    I appreciate the variety of advice I have gotten on here. I know my body. I know how to sift through it to figure out what might be best for me.


    Your fine... baking soda is bicarb, so are indigestion meds and it's a food additive to regulate acidity in nearly all processed foods> it's like half a spoon of baking soda in a litre of water

    I wouldn't go drinking the industrial sort you dump in the pool though
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    Nov 01, 2009 8:22 PM GMT
    Getting off the topic, bicarbonate is a performance enhancing drug.icon_eek.gif I don't know how well it works for DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) associated with eccentric exercises like squatting. Here is a link to an article from the Times of London, I found last year. There are several other performance enhancers mentioned.

    http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/body_and_soul/article4539000.ece
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    Nov 01, 2009 8:45 PM GMT
    I used to have the same issue... train your legs at night so they can recover while you sleep. Once your endurance picks up, start to play with your schedule a bit more.
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    Nov 01, 2009 8:54 PM GMT


    Hi, this is not uncommon. Your legs are just not yet adapted to going to failure. The key is to do some conditioning sessions for the next 4 to 6 weeks - that is 3 to 4 different exercises for your legs, light weights, 15 reps. Preceed this with 5 mins on the stairs at high intensity. So the programme is:

    warm up

    circuit - stairs, resistance exercises, 3' rest, repeat 3 or 4 times

    cool down

    stretch - 30s for each muscle.

    Do this on alternate days and upper body on the other days.

    Work out for 6 days and have a days rest.

    good lck.
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    Nov 02, 2009 10:06 PM GMT
    FirstKnight saidGetting off the topic, bicarbonate is a performance enhancing drug.icon_eek.gif I don't know how well it works for DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) associated with eccentric exercises like squatting. Here is a link to an article from the Times of London, I found last year. There are several other performance enhancers mentioned.

    http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/body_and_soul/article4539000.ece


    Errrmmm.....Your article is titled
    Is bicarbonate of soda a performance-enhancing drug?

    is not the same as

    Bicarbonate of soda is a performance-enhancing drug

    That and your article also indicates coffee, chocolate milk, honey, and cherry juice as performance enhancing "drugs"

    Which suggests to me that it's total Crap

    By the way I'm angry at what fuckwad Murdock has turned what was once a respectable british newspaper in to, not you icon_confused.gif

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    Nov 17, 2009 1:14 PM GMT
    I think it just needs a getting use to. I was once a noob with an intense leg workout (ATG (ass to grass) squats, deadlifts, GHRs...) legs feel like they're being ripped apart. But soon, after a few months, recovery became faster. There are benefits to muscles being pushed to their limits (power, strength). Hypertrophy does not necessarily mean that you have to exert maximum rep max each set (to failure). Hope it helps.