So this article i wrote in December of 2011, also for the Brickell Reporter in Miami. Ironically a few months later there was a very similarly written article in again faster’s magazine, even ended a paragraph with boom, haha… https://www.againfaster.com/en/blog/2012/02/09/embrace-them-thighs/ … very Interesting, and a great article talking about how crossfit is empowering women, which is awesome, but still there are more than a few similarities. But, whatever, this article and my love for legs is still very appropriate though, so enjoy :).
Who Loves Them Some Legs? Me! And Why You Should Too
Well hello grasshoppers, we meet again. Hopefully, you’re now spending a little bit more time focusing on your mobility, and your diet, and hopefully it’s paying dividends for you. What would you think if I said I can tell you how to build more muscle, boost your metabolism, reinvigorate yourself, and more greatly attract the opposite sex — or same sex, if that’s your cup of tea, hey we’re progressive here — and you don’t need to spend any money? Well it’s true, and ironically enough all you have to do is focus a little bit more time working out that one area it seems gets neglected the most, despite being the site of your greatest amount of muscle mass. Yup, if the title didn’t give it away, I’m talking legs, your posterior chain. Let’s build some callipygians, Boom!
Now I’m going to get into the technical details but, I’ll start by addressing the fun stuff about building your legs. First of all, we are here in Miami, Skin City, where the body is a temple to be viewed and appreciated. Ladies, you’re born with the breasts you’re born with, but your legs? You can naturally build works of art of out those babies. Now I can’t speak for everybody, but I think am a fair representative for the men here when I say that nothing is quite as fine as some great legs, you just gotta love ‘em. I hate to see you leave but love to watch you walk away, that old adage is referring to some mighty fine legs. Don’t be afraid of the weights ladies, some squats and deadlifts can do your body a whole lot of good, which the elliptical simply just cant match.
Now guys, a lot of us spend a lot of time in the gym building up your arms, chest, shoulders and back, but when you get to that legs day, you somehow get busy and don’t make it to your workout. I got news for you Jack, ladies like legs just as much as men. You’d be surprised how many women simply watch football games to see a bunch of athletic men running around in tight pants, seriously. So fellas, you gotta give the ladies what they want. I mean, you don’t have to, but that will just open up the door for someone who will, I’m just saying.
Now we’ve got the aesthetics covered, so what else is so great about building your legs, and why is it so great? Glad you asked, because I’m about to drop some brutal knowledge upon you. A few weeks ago a client at my box, Reebok Crossfit Miami Beach (shameless plug, I know) came up to me and told me that we should advertise that crossfit improves your sex life because since starting crossfit, he and his wife have been going at it like juvenile dogs in heat. He said he didn’t know what but something about all the squats and thrusters he was doing just turned up the heat in his bedroom. After getting past the fact that this was more information than I really cared to know, I thought about things from a more scientific standpoint. With crossfit we are always incorporating legs into our workouts, be it squats, lunges, wall balls, deadlifts, squat cleans, squat snatches, burpees, thrusters, I could really continue with this list for an entire paragraph. Long story short, we hit your legs, almost if not every day.
In Lehman’s terms, when you lift weights, you are creating tiny tears in your muscles, which forces your body to rebuild them stronger. In order to rebuild these muscles your body produces more of the growth hormone testosterone. Your legs are the largest muscles in your body. Soooo, when you lift weights with your legs you are going to naturally start producing more testosterone than you would by focusing on any other muscle group. What of it, you ask? More testosterone, leads to a plethora of goodness. Increased testosterone levels in your body will lead increases in muscle growth all throughout your body, not just your legs. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so your metabolism will speed up, in turn burning even more fat. Testosterone also plays a role in, we’ll say mating. It leads to increases in libido, and for men, it also is connected to the release of pheromones. So more testosterone, greater sex drive; more pheromones, more women, or more attention from your woman. Play your cards right and, well, you should be able to connect the dots, slugger.
So now you know you should spend a little more time working your walkers, but what to do? One key is to remember to be balanced. If you crossfit, then you’re awesome and you already know what the deal is, you just keep doing what you do. If you’re pretty cool but not quite awesome, then make sure you dont solely focus on just pulling or pushing movements. What do I mean? Pair squats or lunges (movements where you are pushing against the ground), with deadlifts, cleans or snatches (movements where you are pulling or lifting weight up, off of the ground). You can do them on the same day or different days, just as long as you make sure to balance movements. In order to get accustomed to incorporating legs into every workout I would say start each workout with a lift incorporating legs. In addition to ensuring that you don’t skip over your most important muscle group, starting with your legs will jump start your system, b/c of the aformentioned increase in testosterone production. Also, focus more on the functional, compound yet irreducible lifts, squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc. Don’t waste your time with leg extensions, and curls, those machines look fun and all but really, what are you doing? You’re being lazy because those machines look safe and squats and deadlifts look scary, well they’re not, they are amazing, like double rainbows, and wrought with the aforementioned whole body benefits. If you need more proof, remember Rocky IV, Rocky was doing functional lifts like flipping wheelbarrows, while Drago was doing leg extensions, and who won in the end? Need I say more?
When you use machines, you are locked into a fixed range of motion, so all that you are improving is your ability to move in that fixed range of motion; and the machine is stabilizing the weight for you, so your body doesn’t work as hard. What sense does it make to go to workout but not work too hard? It makes no sense, so snap out of it fool! Let’s take a look at squats and leg extensions. You know what you’ll be great at by improving your squat? Going from seated to standing, and any movement which involves leg and/or hip extension, like jumping, running, and kicking to name a few. You know what you’ll become great at by working on your leg extension? Doing leg extensions, and that’s about it.
Want one exercise that gets everything? Squat cleans will hit virtually every muscle in your legs. Add a push press or push jerk to it and you have a total body lift. If you walk into a gym and complete 30 squat cleans at about 75% of your body weight you just completed one hell of a workout, and you will feel it in every muscle of your body. If you’re real nasty, Squat Snatches are the best lift for developing total body explosive strength. In case you were wondering, the saying is true, nothing feels quite like a great snatch.
Now let me post-face the previous paragraph by emphasizing that before you do any of these lifts, squats, lunges, deadlifts, cleans, or snatches, be sure that you know what the correct form is and that you are capable of consistently maintaining the proper mechanics. You have to walk before you can run. You may have to start with just your bodyweight or some light dumbbells. And that’s totally okay; as “The Mayor” said in “Do the Right Thing,” you just “gotta do the right thing,” and mon cher or mon frier, you will be well on your way.
Well kids, I hope you’ve found this informative and entertaining. Have a safe and happy holidays. Be active, mobilize, eat healthy and do something good for someone else. Peace