Looking for something different to shock your legs? The following is a routine I came up with when the squat rack wasn’t available. It has drawn enough attention in my local gym that I thought some of you might be interested in giving it a go. Just a warning – it is high volume and extremely taxing. If you choose to try it, please exercise good judgment and proper safety.
I start by loading the press with a single 45 pound plate on each side. I push out twenty reps and then load another plate on each side. After a short rest of about a minute, I push out fifteen reps. I then load another plate on each side and follow the cycle, resting for approximately one minute before I push out twelve reps. Then another plate is introduced and ten reps are pushed out.
Simply put, my warm-up looks like this:
90 x 20
180 x 15
270 x 12
360 x 10
My working sets follow the exact same pattern, except I stop at 8 reps, until I hit a weight where I cannot do more than six reps. Once I hit the set of six, I stay at that weight for an additional set. It typically looks like this:
450 x 8
540 x 8
630 x 8
720 x 6
720 x 6
The next step is where it gets a little tricky. With the aid of two others, one on each side of me, I push out a third set for six reps. Then a plate is removed from each side and I push to failure, usually 4 or five reps. Then another plate is removed from each side and a I go to failure again. This process is repeated until I am back down to one plate. There is no rest between these drop sets beyond the 2 or 3 seconds it take to unload the weight.
720 x 6
630 x 4
540 x 4
450 x 4
360 x 4
270 x 4
180 x 4
90 x 4
Until recently, I trained legs for two consecutive days a week, the first day being a quad emphasis, and the second being a hamstring emphasis. The leg press can be used to target/emphasize the quadriceps or the hamstrings.
To place a greater emphasis on the quadriceps and outer sweep of the leg (Vastus Lateralis), place your feet low and close on the press. I bring my feet together and place the heels of my feet along the lower edge of the press. To place a greater emphasis on the hamstrings and inner thigh (Adductors), place your feet high and wide on the press. I place the tips of my toes on the top right and left corners of the press. To get the full benefit of the exercise, be sure to bring your knees as close to your chest as possible when pressing.
I utilized this method for two consecutive days a week, once with a quad emphasis and once with a hamstring emphasis. This is in addition to the lunges, front squats, stiff leg dead lifts, extensions, and raises that followed. A neutral stance with your feet hip width apart and centered is of course another equally effective method.
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