September 30th, 2009
by Jodi · Filed Under: Training
No, I really mean it!
Man, I wish I had a calorie free chocolate cup cake that tasted oh-so buttery topped with guilt free vanilla cream cheese frosting and washed down with calorie free and artificial sweetener free Raspberry Lime Ricky soda for every time a woman told me they wanted nice legs or a tight bum. But you know what I am going to say…nothing that good comes that easy unless you are A) genetically gifted or B) working in a morgue and you took matters into your own hands (yikes).
The pursuit of hot legs/tight bum for some women is almost a full time job with most of them honestly just wasting a lot of time in the gym doing useless workouts and following the advice of girls with already nice legs! Biggest mistake you could ever make: asking the hot girl in the gym what she does for her legs. That’s like asking a six foot woman what she did to get tall! Leave that chic alone! She’s about as helpful as a one armed man at a cup stacking contest. Who you need to be asking is the girl who has slowly but surely come into the gym—your gym—month after month consistently looking better. Right now you don’t think too much of her, but in 12 months she’ll probably be your hero.
Lower body takes time to change. Period. In fact, if you do not have at least 18 months to spare you might as well stop reading now and head back to the morgue looking for a ready made pair of legs. It also requires consistency far more than any other body composition trek that you may be on. Yes, getting rid of saggy tummy skin is tough (and a post I will do some time soon) and so isn’t adding muscle on a not-so-muscle-ly-girl, but nothing beats ridding the bum of cheese and adding shape to your quads.
So let’s jump right into it:
Besides talking to the 5’9” hot mama with gazelle like legs thinking she’s going to impart some world knowledge on you, not lifting heavy enough. In fact, this is the mistake women make for all body parts. If you cannot say that you have had at least one training session where you lifted lower body and farted, you have no idea what it is to lift heavy. I know what you’re thinking: I don’t have a spot. I am worried I am going to hurt myself. I don’t trust lifting the weight by myself.
Slowly increase your weight per set and per workout (by 2.5# per set) until you reach a point where you could let go and fuel a small bio/green peace type community with one whole set. I am not kidding. Shoot for a rep max of about 4 to 5 reps and really do some damage. Stop messing around with the 15 pound weights and the ten hours of walking lunges. WASTE OF YOUR TIME. Either buy yourself a can of beans or man-up and lift heavy! It’s not that hard!
Rep Range= 5 to 15 reps most of the time at 70 to 95% max weight.
IF ONE WORKS, THEN 5 WILL BE AWESOME!
I am not sure when this started but it had to be in the over-indulgent 80’s. There was just something about that era that screamed “excess” (maybe the hair…or the black eyeliner phase…who knows?) and made people believe that if something worked by doing it one time, then doing it X amount of times had to be that much better! This brings us to plyometrics.
I love plyos. I am a plyo loving and plyo giving whore. I won’t lie to you. The only thing I love more than plyos are sprints. You want nice legs, these must to be in your program…but not 5 days a week. The minute you tell a girl that plyos will shape her legs or that sprints will tighten her bum, she will all of a sudden transform into Tigger right in front of you and then proceed to bounce her way into knee issues and a sore back before you can say, “Bonita Applebum!” Whoa Tonto!! Get a hold of yourself. Doing plyos 3 days/week and sprinting twice is NOT going to get you the bum you want. It will, however, get you some shrapnel—formerly known as your legs.
Never forget: You do not grow, change, lose weight or what have you when you work out. You do it when you recover. A true workout=workout plus recovery.
Plyos= 1 time/week Sprints=1 time/week
TAKING IT A BIT TOO FAR
Now you know I really wasn’t joking about how heavy I truly want you to lift but I also do not want to come across as if I am telling you to throw caution to the wind and blow out your low back. Use common sense here. One of the easiest ways to do this and to stream line your legs at the same time is to do everything unilaterally. Single leg everything!
Single leg training truly allows you to target your glutes better because you can go deeper in the exercise with less risk of injury and it ensures that one leg is not taking over. Also, your peak weight with one leg is clearly less than your peak weight with two legs so you are not going to release this big torrent of growth hormone and therefore make “bigger” legs. (Who truly knows that that wouldn’t happen anyway?) Instead, you are going to wipe out your legs enough to encourage a rebuild (aka tightening) but stop short of being Arnold. You also double the amount of work that you are doing. So if a leg workout is a killer and causes you to sweat like Ruben Studdard on an 80 degree day, you are going to reap twice the benefits in one workout without going overboard. Sweet!
Great weapons of choice: lunges, bridges, deadlifts—all single leg
Next week we’ll actually put this together and see what it looks like for real. It’s great to have parameters but having your week laid out for you is completely fabulous.
Until then, lift heavy…eat clean…and enjoy life. And avoid all hot girls with training advice…bwahahaha!!:o)
P.S. No, you are not crazy. I have doubled posted today. I am aiming for posts M-F now because you folks are demanding it. I am so appreciative of all the people reading the blog now and how many of you hunt me down and request topics as well as telling me how much you like it. I missed putting the Perform Beautifully series on yesterday as planned so I tossed it on this morning and bumped this one up to the afternoon. Enjoy!