Love Your Legs

Posted on by BEAST Sports

I have great legs.  Years of soccer as a kid, paired with diligent training as an adult, have left me with a pretty enviable set of stems, if I may say.  I have nice separation in my quads, and sharp cuts in my hammies.  Yup, I have great legs. Except, that is, when there is a cushy coating of fat atop that chiseled muscle, resulting in what my husband [affectionately] refers to as “Tree Trunk” legs.  When I realize I’ve gotten a little “bulky,” my first instinct will naturally be to blame those heavy weights.  But those excuses don’t fly for me, any more than they do for you.  If I’ve put on unwanted size, the only thing too heavy is my carb and calorie intake.  Heavy weights WILL NOT make you bulky; heavy foods will.  Even if you’re me.  Period. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s think about our legs subjectively for a moment.  They are your largest muscle group, and we know that muscle is the only true fat burner.  So take advantage of nature, and put that muscle to work!  As women, we are so focused on size, we tend to allow ourselves to be seduced by words like “toning” and “sculpting”.  When it comes to legs, though, the only word we need to know is BUILDING.  The powerhouse that carries your bodyweight day after day, is also your best defense in the war on fat.  The legs and glutes are comprised of a complex system of slow and fast-twitch muscle fibers, so you need specialized stimulation for optimum results.  Because they are so large, they also adapt very quickly, so changing your routine regularly is key.  Below is a sample of a four week split that, when paired with proper nutrition, is guaranteed to have you rocking your short-shorts well before summer! Weeks 1 and 3 will focus on building mass in the quads, hamstrings and glutes.  This is where every bite counts, so keep your diet squeaky clean to avoid “bulking.” Using a weight that brings you to failure at 8 reps, perform 3-5 sets of each exercise in sequence, resting for 1-2 minutes in between.  Note that rest is important here, since the goal is muscle development, but don’t waste the time!  Use it to train a smaller group, like abs or shoulders, that won’t deplete too much energy.  Do this workout 2 times per week, allowing at least 72 hours of recovery in between.  After warming up:
  • Leg Press
  • Smith Machine Squat
  • Leg Extension
  • Stiff-Legged Deadlift
  • Reverse Lunge
  • Lying Hamstring Curl
  • Standing Calf Raise
Weeks 2 and 4 will focus on building power in the fast-twitch fibers, utilizing explosive movements, and little rest, to get the job done.  Perform each tri-set 3 times; resting for 1 minute after all 3 exercises are complete.  Select a weight that allows you to perform 15-20 reps (in some cases this may be bodyweight).  Do this workout 3 times per week, allowing 48 hours of recovery in between. TRI-SET 1:
    • Jump Squat
    • Step-Up
    • Curtsy Squat
TRI-SET 2:
  • Walking Lunge
  • Split Jump
  • Plie’ Squat
TRI-SET 3:
  • Box Jump
  • Single-Leg Squat
  • Cable Kickbacks
Alternate between these 2 distinct training styles for up to 12 weeks, making sure to increase the resistance as needed.  Pair that with sound nutrition and high-intensity cardio, and get ready to love your legs!    width=Erin stays busy pursuing her own fitness goals, and helping to educate and inspire those she loves to live healthier lives.  A hair stylist by trade, she manages a salon, and is chipping away at a degree, ultimately in dietetics and kinesiology.  She lives in South Florida with her husband and a “pound puppy” named Pedro.