Ok, I assume most of you are like me. I usually find that leg training in general can be hard to get excited about unless there's some sort of motivating factor aside from just wanting bigger quads. I've got to have some sort of goal, or better yet, a really good, result-producing routine. We seem to have come across just such a routine at the IRONMAN Training and Research Center that works equally well for all bodyparts.
Our latest routine is loosely based on a strategy used by some of the presteroid using bodybuilders of the '50s and'60s with our own revisions made with the help of IRONMAN's European research correspondent, Michael Gundhill. The routine is a lot like the effective heavy/light system except that there's reallly no 'light' day. All the weights used are pretty heavy and it's mostlythe exercises that change, and they account for whether a workout is traumatic or nontraumatic.
For the traumatic workouts we use heavy free-weightmovements and we make sure to involve a stretch-positon exercise to add extra trauma. Free weightsare considered traumatic because they're usually more severe than cable or machine movements. For nontraumatic workouts we use no stretch-position movements, and we perform most of our exercises on cables or machines. These type of movements are usually less stressful because of the friction which lessens the negative resistance.
We've just started an all-out mass-boosting phase, so the workouts are currently set up as a three-days-per-week routine, like so:
Mon.: Quads, hamstrings, chest, back, delts
Wed.: Deadlifts, traps, calves, triceps, biceps, forearms, abs
Fri.: quads, hamstrings, calves, chest, back, delts
This should really help us avoid any possibility of overtraining and allow us plenty of recovery time, as well as time to spend with our families for a change.
Here is a sample of our traumatic/nontraumatic quad and hamstring routines (for the full program and training schedule, see 'Train, Eat, Grow' in the November 2000 issue of IRONMAN):
Squats 3 x 9,7,4
Sissy squats 1 x 9-12
Smith-machine squats 2 x 9-12
Leg extensions 1 x 9-12
Stiff-legged deadlifts 2 x 9,7
Leg curls 1 x 9-12
One-leg leg curls 1 x 9-12es: Nontraumatic
That's it for quads and hams. We combine traumatic quads with nontraumatic hams on one leg day and vice-versa. It actually looks like an easy routine when it's on paper, but don't be fooled. Keep in mind that you'll have a couple of warmup sets on the major exercises, you'll be training with every ounce of intensity you have, and you're doing several bodyparts at each training session. We've found that each of the three days only takes about an hour and a half or less, but we're completely spent at the end of the routine. Three days per week may not sound like much, but you'll need the extra recovery time on those days off'to grow!
This special report was submitted by Jonathan Lawson
From the IRONMAN Training & Research Team
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