T Nation

Operation: Jacked Legs


#21

Starting to see juicier quads and hammies!! But here’s the thing – I want better legs AND a gorilla butt.

The thing about firming up the legs is that you still want a spectacular behind. So with lower body training, I don’t know about you, but I’ve got to make sure that quads and hams aren’t taking over on the compound stuff.

I don’t want to dwarf my glutes by focusing too much on hams and quads, so on lower body days I’ve been starting with the glutey stuff like deadlifts and Bulgarian split squats then carrying on with the rest of the workout.

My last superset of today’s leg/glute workout was a combo of heavy hack squats and bodyweight split lunge jumps. Kinda fun and kinda brutal to combine plyo with heavy-ish stuff.


#22

Looking good!


#23

Check out number 6 in this article, 8 Reasons You’re Still Weak or Fat: http://www.t-nation.com/training/8-reasons-youre-still-weak-or-fat.

TC talks about systemic muscle growth: “…given sufficient stimulus, muscle growth happens all over your body instead of in one teeny location. As such, doing work that puts a big load on the whole body – putting a big load on the spine – will cause more growth…”

This makes SO much sense to me. No wonder my entire body got weak and soft when I stopped training lower body. No wonder I feel like a machine everywhere - upper body included - now that I’m training legs again and using big compound movements.

Imagine if I had continued following that same bad advice (not training legs) post-competition and allowed my lower body to continue atrophying in the off season. Not only would I have shapeless sausage legs, I’d get fatter and weaker all over.


#24

I just want to give a quick feedback:
I do cluster sets and super sets for my legs since two weeks now (after my heavy lifting). I love it! Thanks Dani! It seems as if I can already see a change in the mirror :wink:


#25

How cool, yesssy! I’m addicted to those things for leg day – it always ups the intensity.


#26

[quote]Dani Shugart wrote:
Starting to see juicier quads and hammies!! But here’s the thing – I want better legs AND a gorilla butt.

The thing about firming up the legs is that you still want a spectacular behind. So with lower body training, I don’t know about you, but I’ve got to make sure that quads and hams aren’t taking over on the compound stuff.

I don’t want to dwarf my glutes by focusing too much on hams and quads, so on lower body days I’ve been starting with the glutey stuff like deadlifts and Bulgarian split squats then carrying on with the rest of the workout.

My last superset of today’s leg/glute workout was a combo of heavy hack squats and bodyweight split lunge jumps. Kinda fun and kinda brutal to combine plyo with heavy-ish stuff.[/quote]

The Bulgarian squats are great for the glutes. Since I started added more weight in my Bulgarian squats and lunges I’ve had significant improvements in my squat strength.

Another great exercise to work on your glutes is to incorporate some sumo deadlifts into your program. I’m using both Olympic deadlifts and sumo deadlifts. If you play around with your stance you can put more emphasis on specific body parts. Also, weighted hyperextensions are also another excellent exercise… Make sure to squeeze your glutes like no tomorrow when you do them! A 2-5second pause at the top should give you a nice burn :slight_smile:


#27

LOL, shapeless sausage legs. I love this thread. It’s going to be interesting to follow your progress here!

When is your next competition? (You probably mentioned this before but I have a bad memory)


#28

I’d say the quads are coming along nicely! Hashtag ProwlerPower.


#29

:slight_smile:


#30

[quote]Bron Sapir wrote:

The Bulgarian squats are great for the glutes. Since I started added more weight in my Bulgarian squats and lunges I’ve had significant improvements in my squat strength.

Another great exercise to work on your glutes is to incorporate some sumo deadlifts into your program. I’m using both Olympic deadlifts and sumo deadlifts. If you play around with your stance you can put more emphasis on specific body parts. Also, weighted hyperextensions are also another excellent exercise… Make sure to squeeze your glutes like no tomorrow when you do them! A 2-5second pause at the top should give you a nice burn :slight_smile:

[/quote]

These are such great tips, thank you Bron!!


#31

[quote]Bron Sapir wrote:

LOL, shapeless sausage legs. I love this thread. It’s going to be interesting to follow your progress here!

When is your next competition? (You probably mentioned this before but I have a bad memory)

[/quote]

I’ve been thinking about competing again but haven’t decided on a date. Maybe early 2015? What about you?


#32

[quote]Dani Shugart wrote:

[quote]Bron Sapir wrote:

The Bulgarian squats are great for the glutes. Since I started added more weight in my Bulgarian squats and lunges I’ve had significant improvements in my squat strength.

Another great exercise to work on your glutes is to incorporate some sumo deadlifts into your program. I’m using both Olympic deadlifts and sumo deadlifts. If you play around with your stance you can put more emphasis on specific body parts. Also, weighted hyperextensions are also another excellent exercise… Make sure to squeeze your glutes like no tomorrow when you do them! A 2-5second pause at the top should give you a nice burn :slight_smile:

[/quote]

These are such great tips, thank you Bron!!
[/quote]

I really need to start making some more videos, I have been doing a lot of cool new things. My butt is sore still from 2 days ago, I did a glute-ham raise and deadlifts with a pause just under my knees… Fun times over here!


#33

[quote]Dani Shugart wrote:

[quote]Bron Sapir wrote:

LOL, shapeless sausage legs. I love this thread. It’s going to be interesting to follow your progress here!

When is your next competition? (You probably mentioned this before but I have a bad memory)

[/quote]

I’ve been thinking about competing again but haven’t decided on a date. Maybe early 2015? What about you?[/quote]

I haven’t decided on a date yet either but I was thinking about a spring show possibly. For now I’m concentrating on the next powerlifting meet… I’ll be doing the wpc world championships this November in Florida and I need to get stronger!!


#34

I do legs twice per week too. One day I focus on quads and calves (front squats, leg presses, hack squats, seated calves, standing calves). The other day I focus on hams and booty (low bar back squats, RDLs or good mornings or back extension thing focusing on not swinging at all but really contracting through the glutes, lunges, hamstring curls).

I feel like if I try to do quads, hams and booty all on the same day then something will get underworked because I just don’t have the darn energy to really hammer those heavy muscle groups all in one workout.

Hope this helps!


#35

[quote]soshdog wrote:
I do legs twice per week too. One day I focus on quads and calves (front squats, leg presses, hack squats, seated calves, standing calves). The other day I focus on hams and booty (low bar back squats, RDLs or good mornings or back extension thing focusing on not swinging at all but really contracting through the glutes, lunges, hamstring curls).

I feel like if I try to do quads, hams and booty all on the same day then something will get underworked because I just don’t have the darn energy to really hammer those heavy muscle groups all in one workout.

Hope this helps![/quote]

This is a really cool strategy. I haven’t yet tried to split up lower body days like this. Thanks for the tip!


#36

[quote]Bron Sapir wrote:

I haven’t decided on a date yet either but I was thinking about a spring show possibly. For now I’m concentrating on the next powerlifting meet… I’ll be doing the wpc world championships this November in Florida and I need to get stronger!!
[/quote]

Go Bron! That’s awesome. Keep us posted on how it goes!


#37

Let’s talk about big beautiful legs.

The CrossFit Games last weekend was a wake-up call I needed. Watching all these women who built powerful bodies without giving a flip about “symmetry” was so inspiring. It shattered my perspective about what’s attractive and sexy. Those women wouldn’t dream of letting an entire muscle group atrophy for the sake of symmetry, or because someone told them that their legs were too big. They’d probably laugh or say “thank you”.

Getting back on stage is something I’ll definitely do in the future. But if I’m asymmetrical because I let my legs get too big, then awesome. I just want to build with abandon and work hard because it’s deeply satisfying. But I have to confess, even though I said I wanted jacked legs, I’ve been holding out a little here and there… trying to actually not use my quads, but that’s so lame. I’ve gotta cut that out.

The pic above is Kara Webb. Her quads are proof that muscular legs on a girl are hot.


#38

[quote]Dani Shugart wrote:
Let’s talk about big beautiful legs.

The CrossFit Games last weekend was a wake-up call I needed. Watching all these women who built powerful bodies without giving a flip about “symmetry” was so inspiring. It shattered my perspective about what’s attractive and sexy. Those women wouldn’t dream of letting an entire muscle group atrophy for the sake of symmetry, or because someone told them that their legs were too big. They’d probably laugh or say “thank you”.

Getting back on stage is something I’ll definitely do in the future. But if I’m asymmetrical because I let my legs get too big, then awesome. I just want to build with abandon and work hard because it’s deeply satisfying. But I have to confess, even though I said I wanted jacked legs, I’ve been holding out a little here and there… trying to actually not use my quads, but that’s so lame. I’ve gotta cut that out.

The pic above is Kara Webb. Her quads are proof that muscular legs on a girl are hot.[/quote]

These are some powerful legs!

Training hard is very satisfying and if it creates an imbalance in your physique then so be it… My legs also overpower my upper body, but that’s okay! Just more motivation to train my upper body even harder to catch up with the legs.


#39

My legs are definitely looking harder than they were when I started this thread. Training them has lead to a harder body overall and a butt that I’m pretty happy with.

Tyra Banks coined the term “booty tooch” and if you haven’t waisted an hour of your life watching her TV show, that term is what they call the pose you do when you tilt your hips so that your butt sticks out. Well, I’m constantly booty tooching in front of the husband to show him my glute gainz. During competition prep my butt always seemed disappointed (sad, bummed out, deflated), but I think that unfortunate shape had a lot to do with not being able to train lower body. It sticks out nicely right now. #HappyButt

I do two lower-body specific days a week. One that’s metcon intensive (burning lungs, burning quads, hams that feel like they could burst open, etc.) and one that focuses on increasing weight with more rest in between sets. In the past, I’ve been really bad about going heavier with lower reps, but I’ve been forcing myself to load more weight on even if that means I can only do a few reps. Then I’ll do a back-off set with less weight and higher reps. The heavier I go, the harder it is to get a mind-muscle connection, but I want to get a good mix of rep ranges.

Some of my leg/glute favorites are hip thrusts, deadlifts, ham curls, walking lunges, and leg extensions.
And on occasion I’ll toss in a couple of these: Bulgarian split squats, bridges, hack squats, and back extensions (which can hit the glutes too).


#40

[quote]Dani Shugart wrote:
… Well, I’m constantly booty tooching in front of the husband to show him my glute gainz. During competition prep my butt always seemed disappointed (sad, bummed out, deflated), but I think that unfortunate shape had a lot to do with not being able to train lower body. It sticks out nicely right now. #HappyButt

[/quote]

:slight_smile: Dani, That made me smile. Wife asks hubs, “Does my butt look bigger to you?” Hubs gives deer in the head lights look. He’s pretty sure this is a trick question. The correct answer is usually “No, your butt isn’t big.” BUT wife’s been doing a whole lot of squats, so maybe I should say “Hells yeah, Babe! Huge Bubble Butt right there!” Women…so confusing.

Nice to hear about your training. Congratulations on bringing up the booty and enjoying your lower body work.