When building a house, one of the first and most important steps is building a strong and almost indestructible base. The foundation of the house needs to be strong, reliable and handle the load and structure of the rest of the house. Without a strong foundation the house would be sagging in some areas, breaking off in other areas or possibly crumpling under the heavy load of the house. Your body is your house and your legs are your foundation. Your legs are probably the most important and under-worked body part of your body which is unfortunate because the legs set up the rest of the body for a wonderfully powerful and strong foundation. I understand, nobody really likes to work legs. It is hard, very tiring, pretty exhausting and leads to people walking funny down stairs and getting in and out of chairs. Our legs need to be our foundation for our bodies and I would suggest starting with them first every time you train. I have been in this industry long enough to know how some of the workout schedules go, especially more so since moving out here to South Carolina. Let me break it down for you and see if you fall into this kind of split: Monday- Chest and triceps, Tuesday- Back and biceps, Wednesday- shoulders and abs, Thursday- legs? No I think going out sounds better, so Friday- legs? No, still hurting from going out on Thursday, I will get it next. The next week comes and they fall into the same rotation. The reasons why I don’t like this kind of program is because for any of you who know me, know I love full body workouts. You should workout your whole body every time and then take a day off to rest. We are not body builders so we do not need to isolate body parts on specific days. If you do full body workout then you will burn more calories, lower your body fat percentage, increase your metabolic rate and hopefully shred some fat and get stronger and leaner in the process. Maybe your workout routine is a little different and maybe some of you like to do a upper body lower body split which is fine. Just make sure when you lift your legs, you to start with a big compound lift like a squat or a deadlift.
How we start our fitness programs dictate how successful we are and what we want to get out of it. Start with your legs every time you workout. I always attack my legs on the days I work out. I go after them and make them pay the price because I know that it is good for me and know it will translate over to everything else I want to do. Our legs are our powerhouse and we need to work them as best as we can. Not only do I want strong legs for activities of daily life, like hiking, playing with my kids, carrying groceries, flying up the stairs and jumping around but I also want strong powerful legs because I know it is great for my golf game. I want to hit the ball longer and farther and one of the best ways to do that is to have strong powerful hips. After your warm up, pick a compound movement like front squat, deadlift, kettlebell swings or back squat and perform anywhere between 3 – 5 sets. Some of the rep ranges I have been playing around with lately is 5 sets of 5 reps. 5 x 5 is great for gaining pure strength which each set going a little bit heavier and I also like to do 3 sets of 8. Generally, I start with my main lift and perform just that until it is done and then I move on to some mini circuits where I incorporate an upper body lift and a lower body lift. It is also good to start with your legs because you are fresh and full of energy because we all know how hard it is to squat or deadlift well when you are tired or are running run low on energy.
Build your foundation and make it strong, tough and powerful. Start with your legs and and you will see great gains in your strength, your physique and your performance. Have a wonderful foundation building day.sq