Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Thigh Specialization

First Six Weeks (Plus 2-week break-in period)
Foundation Building


Many persons, and often some of the more responsible ones, may tell you that you can build big strong legs without the use of the regular squat. 


While it is  true that you may gain some strength and muscle without the squat, it is equally true that you will gain a helluva lot of muscle and strength if you do employ the squat. 



Work as hard as you can here for this first six-week period.
You will amaze yourself. 

Do the following:

1) Take a full week completely off from whatever type of training you have been doing. This is most important, and it will give your body a chance to replenish itself.

2) Forget about training that week and enjoy yourself with other pursuits. 

3)Take a thigh measurement with a tape measure, about four inches down from your groin. 

4) Obtain a training log book so that you can write down your workout in full, recording your poundages, sets and reps.

5) Spend the first two weeks learning the style and feel of the exercises outlined in the course, and slowly get your poundages up to a reasonable level without really pushing yourself too hard. 

For the next six weeks do the following on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

1) Situps and Leg Raises
30 to 50 reps total. To get you a little warmed up.

2) Parallel Squat 
1 set of 20 reps (plus 2 warmup sets). This will be the one that'll make you grow. 
Step under the  bar, which should be on a pair of squat racks, and hold the bar low on your shoulders. Use a block under your heels or weightlifting shoes if you prefer. Fix your eyes on a stationary object in front of you at eye level, and then slowly lower yourself to the parallel position. Return to starting position and keep the back flat.

Do your first warmup set of 10 reps with a weight about 50% of your best 20 rep poundage. Do these reps nice and slowly with heap big concentration.

Do another warmup set with about 75% of your best 20 rep weight, and now you're ready to get to work. 

Pile enough plates on the bar so that you can just get 15 reps. Your first 10 reps should see you doing each rep with only one breath between each squat; but the weight should be so heavy that you're forced to take 3 or 4 breaths between each rep for the next 10 reps.

You must always FIGHT to get those last reps no matter how hard it is or how many breaths it takes you to believe you can get them.

Add weight to the bar. 
If at all possible.

This one set should leave you wiped out, breathing hard, and wondering just what it is you ever liked about this lifting disease. You may find yourself cursing the lifter or builder who inspired you to begin this whole affair, this fiasco, this knuckle-headed debacle. Rest for a while longer while gathering the inner troops and go on with - 

3) Front Squat
Using a two inch block under your heels hold the bar across your shoulders as if you had just cleaned the weight. Keep you back flat, squat down to well below parallel and return, but don't quite lock out your legs. Keep your elbows high at all times. 

Do an all-out set of 12 reps, take 20 pounds off the bar and a short rest, then do it again. 

Don't lock out. 

4) Leg Curl
3 x 12. Rest no more than 20 seconds between sets and work hard. 

For the rest of the body, do the following:

5) Dips 2 x 10 supersetted with ->
Chins 2 x 10.

6) Seated Press 2 x 12 supersetted with ->
Side Dumbbell Laterals.

7) Curls 3 x 10 supersetted with ->
V-Grip Pressdowns 3 x 10. 

Eat good. Eat a lot. Eat a lot of good food.

After six full weeks of thrice a week workouts take a week off. 

Second Routine 
(1 week break-in and then 6 weeks hard training) 

 This routine consists of an EVERY OTHER DAY SPLIT ROUTINE, but you train the thighs EVERY WORKOUT. 

1st day - train thighs, calves, shoulders, biceps.
2nd day - rest.
3rd day - thighs, chest, back, triceps.
4th day - rest.
5th day - thighs, calves, shoulders, biceps.
6th day - rest.
7th day - thighs, chest, back, triceps.
8th day - rest.
9th day - repeat cycle.

So, this means you are training your thighs at every workout, but you get one day's full rest between each workout. 

In order to break yourself into this routine and to get used to the exercises, train from Monday to Saturday the first week, doing one course one day and the other course the following day. Rest Sunday, and then, commencing the following Monday do this:

1) Situp -> Leg Raise superset, 2 x 25.

2) Parallel Squat - 5 x 5.
Pick a weight 100 lbs below your best 5 rep poundage, and do 8 slow warmup reps. 
Do a second warmup set of 5 reps with 50 lbs below your best for 5.
Now, go to your best weight and do 5 hard reps. Rest one or two minutes.
Do another set of 5 with 10 reps less on the bar. Rest another two or three minutes.
Reduce the weight by 10 lbs and do a final set of 5.
When you can get 6 or more reps on your first heavy set increase the weight by 5 lbs next workout.

You should be able to work up to some heavy iron, and your legs will show it.

3) Leg Extension - 2 triple drop sets of 6,6,6.
Pile enough weight on the machine so that you can just do 6 reps in good style, which means slowly, pushing the weight out, and trying to hold the extended position for 2 seconds.
As soon as you can't do another rep have someone take 15 lbs off as quickly as possible, and then continue for another 6 reps.
Do this once more for another 6 reps and you have performed one triple drop set of 6,6,6. 
Put the weights back on and do the cycle again.
6 reps is only a guideline, do as many as you can.
When you can get 8 good reps on the first set increase the weight next workout.

4) Hack Squat (or Hip Belt Squat) - 3 x 12.
Go straight into a set with your heaviest weight for 12 reps. As you squat down in either exercise, try to lean back, and move your hips forward. Do the reps with continuous tension, i.e., do not lock out at the top. 
Using the same weight, do another 2 sets with 40 seconds rest between each set. 

Take a 5 minute rest and finish with the following:

5) Standing Calf Raise superset Seated Calf Raise - 3 x 15.

6) Up and Down the Rack Dumbbell Press - 2 cycles.
Work up the dumbbell rack doing 6 reps per set until you get to your heaviest possible weight, then work back down again. 

7) Incline Dumbbell Curl superset Seated Barbell Curl - 2 x 8.

Rest the following day and then do the next part of the course the day after that:

1) Situp -> Leg Raise superset, 2 x 25.

2) Front Squat - 5 x 5.
Exactly the same as the regular squats, and keep pushing the poundage up.

3) Leg Curl - 3 x 12.
Without using your hips to assist you, raise the pad up, contract for a second or two, and then slowly lower. 
Rest no more than 30 seconds between sets. 

4) Leg Press - Perform a fairly rapid set of non-lock presses for about 25 reps.
Immediately put 20 lbs on the machine and do another set.
Continue like this until you can't get 6 good reps.

Rest for 5 minutes and finish off with:

5) Bench Press - 4 x 10

6) Bentover Rowing - 4 x 10

7) Pressdowns superset Dips - 3 x 10. 


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