In the past, I have never enjoyed leg day. In fact, against all the grains of bodybuilding, physique building, & overall aesthetics, I have even gone long periods of time where I’ve skipped training legs over the years… I know, I know, you don’t have to tell me, I’ve heard it all:
- “You can’t legend without leg day”
- “Friends don’t let friends skip leg day”
- And all the stuff about how training your legs releases natural, free testosterone into your body and causes the whole body to grow better…
If you haven’t heard about the importance of training your legs, then research it. Leg day can have a strong effect on overall muscle growth in general. It is true that it makes you stronger, gives you endurance, and raises testosterone. I really believe all of that is fact.
Even though I believe it though, I still skipped it. Why? Leg day is taxing on your body: Physically and mentally. It’s not exciting in the beginning to imagine your twig legs getting bigger, because all you care about are mirror muscles and body parts that will be seen most.
Over the years, I look back at logs I have of the body part I trained each day and I see that I went in spurts. I would train legs consistent for a month or even 3 months and then skip them for equal that much. [How productive, I know…] And on top of that, looking back on those workouts, I realize now that I wasn’t even pushing hard.
Recently [as in November 2013], I started doing legs with a friend that has always taken leg day extremely serious and is an excellent motivator. I know it’s only been almost 3 months which is usually when I bitch out, but this time I can 100% tell you that I am sold on the seriousness of leg day now and will never go skipping them again. Why this time? I have realized the potential I have in my skinny legs. They are growing. I am actually pushing them as hard as I can to failure, to the point of being miserable every workout, and it sucks, but it is the most accomplished & miserable feeling ever when I wake up the next day and can’t bear the thought of walking up or down stairs.
In this short time that I have been taking leg day the most serious I have in my life, I have seen my squat go from around a 245lb. max, up to getting 335lbs. X 2 reps the other day. I know my max isn’t anything worth bragging about but I am thrilled with that improvement in such a short time. Not to mention that seeing such an improvement has actually made it so fun, that I somewhat look forward to training legs every week [NEVER thought I would say that]!!
Beyond the physical strength I have gained, the mental strength I have gained is equally impressive. Not much compares to the feeling of ‘breathing squats’ or the split half second of doubt you may get when you un-rack a heavy amount of weight on the back of your neck and step back. But you learn to wipe your mind clean of any doubt and choose confidence & focus to overcome any negative feelings and push through the set.
I am enjoying improving at the many different exercises [front squat, back squat, straight leg deadlifts (one of my favorites)], and experimenting with different types of workouts [20-rep breathing squats, heavy sets, Smolov, etc…]. I started Smolov today and am very excited. It is a Russian workout that claims to commonly add 60-100lbs. to squat max & involves training legs anywhere from 1-5 days/week. I am anxious to see my progress and will finish it out and let you know what I thought after it’s over.
When you really think of the fact that many of us spend 4-6 days in the gym splitting up each muscle group of our upper body [50% of your body split into 4-6 days] and then commonly just 1 day/week training our legs [another entire 50% of our body and just one day devoted to it], it is absolutely ridiculous to skip leg day.
Question: Do you ever skip leg day?
Don’t lie to me.
Thanks for reading!