Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Rules of Leg Day

From the archives:

The first rule of leg day is that you do not talk about leg day. The second rule of leg day: you DO NOT talk about leg day. The third rule of leg day: when someone says stop, goes limp or screams "HELP!", the set is over. The fourth rule of leg day: only two guys to a squat rack. The fifth rule of leg day: one set at a time. The sixth rule of leg day: no belt, no wraps. The seventh rule of leg day: sets go on as long as they have to. And the eighth and final rule of leg day: if this is your first leg day, you have to squat.

Source: Fight Club, of course.

Explanation: As I may have mentioned in passing, I like to lift weights. And, in spite of what the "big" guy at the gym who does bench presses and curls every workout will tell you, the core of every weightlifting regimen should focus on leg work. Leg workouts are hard. Not only do they involve several of the largest muscle groups in the body - they also tax the central nervous system like no chest or bicep workout ever will. That's why you'll see so many guys at the gym with huge upper bodies, but they'll never wear shorts because their legs are so scrawny. You know, guys who look like Jonny Bravo:

Anyway, back when I wrote the Rules of Leg Day, my Bosnian lifting partner and I were lifting at least three days a week. All easy workouts and a leg day. Six days a week, I didn't care what we were doing, I was just grateful that it wasn't leg day. But the seventh day? Well, I distracted myself from the impending pain by writing stuff like this.

I was reminded of this post this week because I tried something new on my leg day. I decided to give one-legged squats a try. Combine those with sumo deadlifts, and I couldn't get into my car the next day. As I struggled to get my body that low without using any of the muscles that I used to squat, I was reminded of the time I blew my back out in the gym and had the same problem, but for different reasons. When I blew my back out, I was miserable. Now I'm thrilled. Why? Because this is the good kind of pain!

Special Blog Bonus: Your special bonus today is that I am not ranting about the myth of spot reduction. I will someday. You just wait.

No comments: