Tuesday, 09 October 2012

Legs: The forgotten apendages

It's that time of year again, the gyms are roping in the masses, low fat products are flying off the supermarket shelves, and competitive figure athletes are fifty shades of Dorito.

Two things: Summer is knocking on our doors and its competition time in the fitness and bodybuilding world.

Athletes, fitness models and bodybuilders have been working towards these few weeks for months and the weekend warriors are filing into the gyms in hopes of making some changes before they strut their stuff on our beach fronts.  The common trend here is that the guys are hitting the gyms.

However there seems to be a trend in the world of the weekend warrior and a drift amongst some men, like a secret society.  Your secret is out I am afraid, we have noticed, you are not training your legs.

The reason I aim this at men is that genetically a women's fat deposits sit from the navel to the buttock to the thighs.  We know this.  We train our legs, to avoid this, amongst other things.  Men on the other hand tend to focus their training on those pecs, biceps, and abs. Those 'show' muscles.  It is the area that the opposite sex seems to be attracted to, well, so the men think.

I know men personally who have in fact never trained their legs.  Yes.  Never.

I know men who train their legs daily, then there are those men who dedicate one training day a week to the deadlift and squat.  Now, these guys who focus on the deadlift and the squat alone, are few and far between.  These men are the ones who know what immense gains are attained from performing big exercises.

Don't get me wrong, athletes and sportsmen have their chosen exercises for their legs that are effective to their needs, the squat and deadlift do have many holes in translating into everyday sports.  The topic here is training those legs in general.

90% of the figure athletes out there are doing what needs to be done to perform at their best on stage, however there are those few who somehow filter through the cracks and make it onto that stage without a leg day logged.  I shake my head in shame.  The competition is tight at this level and one should know better, as for the warriors, I take this opportunity to enlighten you.

There is nothing more monumental in your regiment then focusing a workout on the lower body weekly.

Firstly, and the most obvious reason of all, aesthetically you want to be in symmetry, which will never exist if you have a mammoth upper body and hosepipes for legs. Your balance will be completely off and more over you just look ridiculous.

Your legs consist of some of the biggest muscles in your body, by working these large groups your body impulsively excretes more natural growth hormone.  Your body needs to produce more of this to assist your recovery, which in turn aids the rest of your bodies growth, knowing this just reinforces the relative stupidity of the bicep curl/crunch kind of guy.

When training the lower body, because of the size of muscles recruited you burn a higher calorie percentage, these large muscle groups also require longer recovery periods.  Due to the length of recovery your metabolism is raised for a longer period.

In simple terms the bigger the exercise the greater the hormone production.  It's that simple, the deadlift and the squat will do more for you simultaneously, the same way a bench press will kill a chest fly, more muscle recruitment, more hormone production, more gains, bigger results.

Strong legs are the foundation of an amazing body, and friends certainly don't let friends skip leg days.

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