It’s nearing the middle of the week, and it’s time for most of us to demolish our legs! So for those of you who are going to the gym for your 3rd chest session, here’s a little piece on why training your legs is crucial to attaining a ripped and muscular body!
We all want a great physique right?
A plate like chest, shoulders like boulders, a mountain peak of a bicep, chiseled abs and the list goes on. Bottom line, we all want to rock up to the beach this summer and look like we are etched in stone!
But how many of us train legs… PROPERLY?
To be quite honest, whenever I enter most commercial gyms, I can almost guarantee the squat rack will be empty. If not, some gym rat is using it to do bench press or bicep curls!
WHY YOU MUST TRAIN YOUR LEGS
- To achieve an aesthetic, well-proportioned and shredded physique, we must train our legs! If our upper body is noticeably out of proportion to our legs, you will receive nothing but ridicule come summer time when your chicken legs are exposed. You can’t hide in track pants forever!
- GROWTH HORMONE RELEASE! Now girls, before you tell me I don’t want to get big and bulky, let me finish! As our legs are one of the biggest muscle groups, our body will need to excrete more growth hormone (GH) in order to recover, helping other body parts grow as well. Now growth hormone doesn’t only increase muscle mass, GH promotes what we call “lipolysis”- increased fat loss. So before you get all hung up on claiming that “heavy weights make you bulky”, and “I want defined legs, not big legs” type arguments, remember you don’t have enough testosterone (male hormone) to get big and bulky!
- We all want to be lean do we not? Well, training your legs uses much more calories than other body parts due to their size and the time it takes for them to recover. As your legs take longer to recover, your metabolism will be raised for a longer period of time.
- Our body is an extremely clever machine. It wants your muscles to be balanced and proportionate. So when you build muscle on your torso, it recognizes this and tries to remedy the imbalance by slowing down the growth of lean body mass on your torso to match up with your legs. Basically, if your legs aren’t growing proportionately to your torso, you’ll struggle to pack on mass on the upper body!
- The big ‘T’! Yes testosterone! Again, ladies before you fall off your chair, hear me out. Testosterone is a powerful muscle-building hormone which men produce more of than woman. This hormone is responsible for increasing muscle size and strength, as well as decreasing overall body fat. When we train smaller muscle groups, like our biceps and triceps, yes our body releases testosterone, but in small amounts! Now when we train our quadriceps, a much larger muscle, a greater amount of testosterone is released! So guys, you want big biceps right? Then train legs! Oh and girls, take note: Woman have around 1/7th of the testosterone men have! This amount cannot go over your baseline level without synthetic hormone treatment. Yes, you heard me girls, you will not grow a beard or back hair, look like “Arnold” or develop an Adams apple simply by training your legs and by increasing what little testosterone you have!
PROPER LEG TRAINING 101
Now some of you may have read this piece so far and thought, great, a few leg extensions and a few calf raises right? WRONG!
Some quick definitions for clarity:
Isolation Exercise: single joint movement, using only one muscle- i.e. Leg Extension, Bicep Curl
Compound Movement: Multi joint movement, using several muscles i.e. Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press.
Whilst isolation exercises are great for shaping or sculpting our muscles when have already achieved low body fat or tons of muscle mass, they remain inferior to BIG COMPOUND MOVEMENTS!
- Compound exercises stimulate more muscle fibres than isolation exercises.
- Because compound movements place the greatest stress on your muscles, which in turn stimulates the “endocrine system” for more hormonal release, which is vital to muscle growth and fat loss!
- Compound movements help maintain muscle balances throughout the body. Think of your body as a kinetic chain, a milt link system. Compound exercises ensure that our bodies operate the way they should, using different muscles simultaneously!
- Less Time- compound movements will help us keep our time in the gym to a minimum. For example, if we want to train our quads and calfs, if we use isolated movements we would need to spend a longer time training than we otherwise would if we incorporated a compound exercises hitting both muscle groups!
Hopefully this piece has shed light on the numerous reasons why leg training is pivotal to all training regimes! Guys, train legs and you will grow like monsters! Girls, train legs and your physique will be firm and lean!
Happy legs training!