You’ve been killing it on legs this year, right? As the months go by and the weather gets cold, often your body feels older than its years. Sure, you maintain a disciplined lifting regimen and sure, you look fantastic because of it. But it seems like your legs start to feel the aches and pains that result from steady consistent training load. You don’t want to give your legs a complete rest, but you know that your outright insane heavy lifting style has to give way for a few months.
Let’s just take a month to scale back the leg training. You’ll still be spending 90 minutes per week working on your legs, but you’ll be cutting back the weight and bumping up your repetitions. This will not only limit the amount of pressure you’re putting on the non-muscle portions of your leg structure, but will also isolate and target those slow-twitch muscle fibers which are typically ignored when using standard set schemes of 8 to 12. Once you hit repetition number 21, 25, 28 and beyond, you’ll discover a new level of muscle burning that you may not have previously thought possible!
Pre-Exhaust is a method which works perfectly with higher rep leg training. You’ll be unable to control and balance heavier sets of weight, but that’s okay! The initial high repetition method is great when you isolate the legs with leg extensions for 18 repetitions, and then throw 15 repetitions of lunges or barbell squats at them!
Hamstrings First? Referring back to the balance issue, without the requirements of going extremely heavy, you can hit the hamstrings hard and early for excellent isolation and eventually, results. Start your workout with high repetition lying leg curls immediately following by seated leg curl machine. Then finish off your day with stiff legged dead-lifts. Now, it’s time to move on to hitting your thighs with that same intensity and fury.
Splitting up your Hamstring & Thighs works well with this higher repetition training methodology. A Monday front thigh workout followed with a Thursday hamstring & calf workout is the perfect way to give yourself adequate rest and recovery from each tough workout, with the ability to really isolate and give each muscle group a nice level of dedication.
30, 40, 50 and beyond? Tom Platz used to start his leg extensions, and spend literally a dozen minutes on a single set. He would complete the 20 reps until he reached failure, then he would reduce the weight by 10% and complete another 5 repetitions slowly. He’d repeat this pattern until he was down to 10 or 20% of his initial weight. Then he would move form full to half to quarter repetitions.
Training in this matter allows your very tired and sore joints and tendons to rest while delivering a new level of intensity and an isolation and targeting of your various muscle fiber types. Happy training!
For a complete training system, check out our HIIT Program