Next time you go to the gym, take a look around and you will notice that the majority of people (men especially) are working their upper bodies, and NOT doing leg workouts. In fact, most people focus on training their upper bodies and neglect their lower half. Why is that??
Here are some reasons I believe people don’t train legs:
1. Leg muscles aren’t really “showy” and everyone would rather work on having a large chest, arms, and shoulders that everyone can notice. Seriously have you ever asked a guy to flex his quads?? Not usually! (Well I have, in fact, I LOVE I man with strong legs) Unfortunately, upper bodies always get the attention. The mistake of avoiding hard leg training is costly, and there are two main reasons as to why. If you have a large and muscular upper body, and under-developed legs, you would look quite ridiculous (I see lots these “golf tee” body shapes all over the gym). Think about it, huge pecs, bulging arms, cannonball shoulders, and a wide muscular back, sitting on top of toothpick legs. It looks funny, just saying!
2. The good old “doing squats hurts my knees” or “I work my legs by running, cycling, yoga, etc…” REALLY? These are EXCUSES! First of all if you’re knees hurt when you bend them you’ve got a problem (tight muscles, injury etc) and should get that checked out. Squats when done properly should not be felt in your knees, but in just about every muscle in your lower body (glutes, quads, hams, core). And yes you use your legs to walk/run/cycle but you must do resistance training (lifting weights) in order to build muscle/make your legs stronger (and look better!)
3. Training legs is so tiring! WELL YA! That’s why it’s the BEST for you! Nothing beats the feeling you get after an awesome leg workout full of squats, deadlifts, lunges, Bulgarian split squats, leg press…the list goes on…Have you noticed how stressful these leg exercises seem to be when done heavy? That’s because your legs contain the LARGEST muscle groups on your entire body and allow you to train with very heavy weights (also the best workouts for burning calories for those of us trying to lose weight). The good thing about a killer leg workout is your body will produce more critical anabolic muscle-building hormones than usual, which means greater size and strength all over your body. Yes, working your legs affects your arms, chest, shoulders, and back muscles. But that’s a long explanation so I’ll leave that for another day…just remember, training legs increases the amount of muscle mass you can gain all over, not just your legs! (has to do with increased secretion of hormones like testosterone and growth hormone during intense leg workouts)
So if you don’t already do so, include a great leg workout in your weight training routine every week. If not for the large, strong and muscular legs you will develop (who doesn’t want that?!), then do it for the overall gains you will experience in your upper body!
OH and one more thing, DO NOT AVOID SQUATS! Unless, of course, you can’t physically do them (injury, muscles too tight, etc), or you do them wrong! Have a personal trainer check out your squats before you go ahead and load up the weight on your back because you WILL hurt yourself. Barbell squats are not the only way to do squats…there are MANY other ways of doing squats which I will cover in my next post…They are such a great exercise for building mass all over your body, and can’t be replaced with any other exercise.
I believe that leg workouts really are a hidden secret to your dream physique, I hope you take my advice and start training legs!! Ask my clients how often they train their legs and they will tell you at LEAST once a week 🙂 Hopefully they will better understand why I am such a fan of giving them killer leg workouts now after reading this post 😉
I train my legs on Saturday, how about you?? I will share my current leg workout and my favourite leg exercises in my next post so stay tuned….