Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Leg Specialization - Jack Delinger

Make no mistake about it: 

Time spent in thigh training is well spent

In fact, I strongly urge every bodybuilder to undertake intensive leg training, since this not only provides him with basic power and development of the largest muscle groups of the body, but also gives him a source of INTERNAL POWER . . . power of the heart and lungs, power of endurance to undertake even tougher training and specialization for any section of the physique. 

Nothing can appear worse than a lifter with a good upper body and skinny legs. Pioneers like Mark Berry and J.C. Hise long ago stressed the importance of thigh exercise, and the effect squats have on the metabolism of the human body has pointed out the right way to thousands and thousands of novices. The gains beginners made in the days of Berry and Hise are reflected in the increasingly high physical standard of the more modern bodybuilder, and the rapidity with which he can now make progress. 

When I first began to specialize on my own thighs, I used either the squat or the leg press. 

Very good two-part article on the leg press by a Dellinger named Jan HERE:

And for Jack Delinger's take on a very straightforward approach to gaining foundational muscular bulk, go HERE: 

Every workout I'd strive to increase my training poundage by at least 5 pounds, and still get 12 reps a set. No matter how tough the set of squats or leg presses, I'd make every effort to slap on that additional 5 pounds and grind out those 12 reps! My thighs increased quickly in size and power until I was able to squat with 420 for 5 sets of 12. On one occasion I did 42 squats with 300 pounds. 

I always followed squats with leg presses, 5 sets of 20 with 700 pounds, and on just these two exercises I made tremendous gains in bulk and power. Now, I of course realize that proportionate strength and development doesn't come through the use of one or two movements for any particular group, but through the use of many exercises.

Some authorities restrict beginners to either squats or leg presses. This, in my opinion, is wrong. During my lifting career I have used pretty well every thigh exercise known, and I state definitely that complete development can only be produced by a complete thigh routine. The function of the main thigh muscle groups are fairly simple, therefore both early stage trainers and advanced men can use the same movements . . . only the intensity of the program varies. 

Beginners should start off with squats, add leg presses, then other leg exercises as they break in gradually to the increasingly severe work. In my own case I have found that I gain in bulk, power and separation only from at least three thigh exercises, and can only reach the peak of muscularity by using as many thigh movements as my energy will allow. Naturally, I have to make certain changes in diet to cope with the severity of the work, and I'll deal with this later.

The time to start a leg specialization program is as soon as you realize the thighs are under par when compared to the rest of your development. And, let me make this quite clear, the only place for a leg specialization routine in your program is right at the beginning of your workout. Common sense dictates this. The thighs are the group you are specializing on because you want to develop them to the level of the rest of your physique. A specialization program demands a great deal of energy. A thigh specialization program demands a HUGE amount of energy! This can only be supplied when you are absolutely fresh. Thus, the beginning of your workout is always best.

Take a good look at your development and see where you need the additional work. If it's the back of the legs, the leg press and thigh curls are musts. If it's above the knees, hack lifts and straddle lifts are required. If it's the outside sweep of the thigh, then squats must figure strongly in your workouts.

It's impossible to over stress the importance of diet when undertaking this kind of strenuous leg training. Make sure to gradually increase your consumption of protein-based foods, and also fruits, vegetables and grains to give you much needed energy.

Most men will find training their legs three times a week on a specialization program will be enough. If you are using a normal leg specialization course, you can start off with your thigh work and finish with the rest of the exercises for the other body parts. But if you are striving to reach your absolute peak, then I suggest you train either four or six times a week, devoting, in the first case two and in the second case three days to nothing but thigh work, performing all the exercises for the remaining body parts on the other two or three days. 

Don't make the mistake of assuming that because one man can build up a terrific thigh development with deep knee bends this movement alone will be sufficient for you to use. Personally, in my normal training I use the squat, the leg press, and the thigh curl, performing 5 sets of each exercise. These three thoroughly stimulate the thigh muscles and bring good results. Yet for the greatest degree of muscularity, bulk, and power when specializing on the thighs I have to use additional exercises. 

The thigh development of Kimon Voyages was built with sets of heavy squats. He'd perform set after set of deep knee bends, and then when when he felt he had to quit he'd do MORE squats. 

 Grimek, I understand, was another squat addict but used very heavy weights and a comparatively low system of reps. 

 Reeves, I have personally seen perform a tremendous amount of hack lifts and leg curls. 

Use the information and exercises in this article as the basis around which you can form your own leg specialization program. Never forget that your thighs have great latent power which when fully developed imparts that power to other body parts and results in overall gains of strength and muscularity. Thoroughly work the legs with one exercise before passing on to the next. 

If you don't have a leg press machine, Straddle (Jefferson) Lifts can take the place of leg presses.

"John Parillo told me that virtually every bodybuilder he's trained in the past decade has blacked out and/or heaved the first time he had to do 100 hard reps on hip belt squats."
 - Greg Zulak. 

It's easy to rig up something similar to this. Even standing on blocks and lifting a bar with a V-Handle pulley attachment will work in a pinch.

When performing squats and squat variations, don't make the mistake of keeping your feet too close together. This hampers you by putting more stress on the lower back muscles, and also causes you to waste too much energy by paying too much attention to maintaining balance, which is endangered by a too-narrow foot spacing. If development is required right above the knees, then the heels should be placed on a block of wood. Whenever you use heavy poundages press your feet firmly against the floor . . . and POUND THOSE REPS OUT. Each workout add a little weight to the exercise, even if it's as small as a 1.25 lb. plate on each end of the bar . . . even a single 1.25 plate on one end . . . but increase the exercise weight every training session and watch those thighs of yours grow!

Here's a list of movements which I recommend as essential for maximum muscularity, size, and strength. If using a normal thigh program, select only three of the exercises, one of which MUST be the squat, and perform them for 3 sets of 12, gradually working up to 5 sets of 12. When specializing, use all the exercises, performing 5 sets of 12 reps from the beginning,

Deep Knee Bends (Squats)
Leg Presses
Hack Lifts
Leg Curls
Straddle Lifts

These are the basic thigh exercises which will quickly bring your thighs to a peak of physical perfection, IF you are prepared to work hard and work often.    


No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive