T Nation

Want cardio? Do leg workouts, these will have you worn out.

So I’ve been doing leg workouts for the past couple of months trying to strengthen my quads after surgery and my legs have no doubt gotten stronger. I’ve been doing these workouts and usually by the end of the workout, I’m so worn out, that I’m seeing blurs for a few seconds and can barely walk straight.
1.)-Leg Press 5 sets of 10
2.)-Leg press, left leg only (My weak leg)5 sets of 10
3.)Eccentric Quad/Tendon Strengthening both legs, I push out with both legs and slowly return with one leg. This strengthens your tendons and prevents injury.
4.)Calf raises, 5 sets of 10
5.)Hamstring pulls, 3 sets of 10
6.)Squats, 5/10, last set do 12. I ain’t gunna lie, I do the Smith Machine, just for now cuz it’s safer for me b/c I’m rehabbing but if you can do the regular quats, do those.(About half way through, my a$$ is usually worn out where I can barely stand straight)
7.)LEg press, it’s set up a little different, where I lie on my back at a 45 degree angle. 5 sets of 10, then on my weak leg, 5 sets of 10
8.)Hack Squat leg press, combo of squats and leg press. 5 sets of 10, go all the way down to about a 90 degree angle, don’t go too low or you may hurt yourself. These’ll burn the hell out of your thighs.

*All these exercises, do slow and controlled movements to get the maximum benefits of the workout. Don’t go all fast and $hit with light weight like some of the dumbasses at my gym.

*When you feel that burn like you can’t do anymore, do 2 more sets, I usually do it to the point where my body/legs are trembling. Now if your about to give out, then stop immediately, try again at a lower weight, or just stop immediately.

After I do it, I’m so worn out and my whole shirt is just soaked, it feels like I just did cardio. I can barely walk down the stairs normally. I just take the elevator sometimes. If you’re not worn out then your not using enough weight or not working hard enough. Usually by my 4th set, I don’t feel like going anymore but I push it n the last set usually trying for 12 if I can get 10 up.

I haven’t looked into deadlifts yet because a trainer was telling me to not do it since I could get hurt if I don’t do it right and he said many people come in because they hurt their backs doing deadlifts.

Anyway, it’s true, anyone can get a big chest doing bench press, but leg workouts are where it’s at. I hate leg days. After I complete my first rep, i know it’s gunna be a long workout.

This whole workout takes about 1 1/2 hours for me to complete.

11/2 hrs? Why so many exercises? Smith rack safer? I think you need to do some serious reading up on T-mag.

Welcome to leg training! I would recommend you get more balance in the hamstring/quad ratio right now you’re doing way too many sets for quads and not enough for hams.

Please read up on the available literature before you type out a whole thread advocating nonsense.

Man, you guys are a tough crowd. :slight_smile:

I do agree about leg day being a hell of a cardio day, though.

I always question whether or not someone is actually training with enough intensity or even “hard enough” if it takes them 1 1/2 hours in the gym.

But I agree with Kelly and I also have to say that this guy is doing himself a disservice by performing Smith Machine squats rather than regular squats. Ko had suffered a really bad knee injury that even required surgery. We had him performing squats - with just the bar and slowly began adding weights. His knee if fine, hasn't suffered ANY type of setback. Another thing is that he's performing the following exercises: Hacks, leg presses, and the aforementioned Smith machine squats. I see guys all the time in the gym who do this stuff, avoiding the squats and deads. And for the reason that was stated here (but that so-called "trainer) - "hurt your back".

I've been performing deads for awhile now, and have yet to hurt my back. Dude, read ANY of the articles here regarding deads to learn the proper form. You need to begin strengthening your hams/glutes/hips and are missing out by avoiding deads and regular squats. Yes, I know that you are "rehabbing" a knee. In that case, start with the bar.

I have to agree with the others on the ratios here. My first thought was “whoa, way too much quad work, not near enough hamstring/glutes”…I don’t know your specific situation, but on the surface it looks like you are setting yourself up for an imbalance that can possibly lead to muscle strain in the future.

Juity… the only way you are going hurt your back doing deadlifts is if you use structurally poor/dangerous form.
Anyways, I’m glad you are working your legs - but maybe you should re-evaluate how much you are doing - thats a lot of focused movement around the joint area for someone who is still rehabbing, unless i misread your post. I would think you would probably not want to build up so much potential wear down there. But maybe its fine. Personally, I find leg press to be a more ‘dangerous’ movement than squat, in terms of lower back.

Always have to have that one hater, ya know the one who bashes folks to bring himself up, huh Joel. Anyway, like many people, I’m still just learning. I don’t know everything so that’s part of the reason why I posted.

My trainers gave me all but 3 of these exercises to do and I don’t see how the Smith machine is safer than squats. I did squats and I couldn’t go all the way down because of my knee (This was a month ago though) but on the Smith machine, it helps you out so you won’t lose your balance. I dunno, but can you further explain how squats are safer than Smith. Also, how many hamstring workouts are there? I don’t know too many but if I did, I would do them. Anytime I told my trainers that I was looking into squats and deadlifts, they would look at me crazy and say I’ve been talking too much to the bodybuilders, so that’s why I stayed from it. I can’t afford another major injury because I’m rehabbing for basketball season.

Anyway thanks for the help.

Let me clarify that in my earlier post when I said, “he’s performing the following exercises: Hacks, leg presses, and the aforementioned Smith machine squats.” - the “he” in “he’s” was not Ko but THIS guy who’s posting.

Regular squats are not "safer" than Smith machine squats. What do you mean by "safer"? Regular squats would be more effective than Smith machine. Smith machine squats often times, eliminate use of the hips/glutes/hams and putting more pressure on the knees. THAT is what I'm talking about when I say that they would not be useful for you.

If you can't go all the way down in squats than only go to ABOVE or BELOW parallel. BTW: Do any of your "trainers" perform regular squats and deads? Just wondering. Have you read ANY of Ian King's articles on leg training? If not, then do - NOW. Or have you taken the time to read ANY of the leg training articles available on T-Mag? From your posts, I betcha you haven't. So, why don't you. I agree with Joel Marion, your first post as well as your second is rather nonsensical. So, read all that you can about leg training in T-Mag and then post a more nonsensical question.

Stop listening to the “advice” of these trainers and start with T-Mag issue # 1. Read them all in sequence. Then you’ll be on your way.

…go all the way down to about a 90 degree angle, don’t go too low or you may hurt yourself…All these exercises, do slow and controlled movements to get the maximum benefits of the workout. Don’t go all fast and $hit with light weight like some of the dumbasses at my gym. *When you feel that burn like you can’t do anymore, do 2 more sets, I usually do it to the point where my body/legs are trembling…I haven’t looked into deadlifts yet because a trainer was telling me to not do it since I could get hurt if I don’t do it right and he said many people come in because they hurt their backs doing deadlifts.

You say you're new to all this and still learning, which is fine. BUT, why then are you typing out a thread telling other people how to do things? Then you go and call other people at your gym "dumbasses" because they dont know what they are doing. YOU do not know what you are doing. So please, set YOUR glass of Hatorade down, and "learn." If you want to ask questions, go ahead, but please, don't offer information in areas in which you are not competent.

And Patricia, did you realize that this individual is doing 83 sets in this workout? The problem is not intensity; if he did a set every minute with NO rest at all it would take an hour and 15 minutes. No wonder why he "hates" leg day; it's called overtraining. Do you remember the leg workout from the natural bulking program that I designed for you? That was about 25 sets. Do you remember how your legs felt the day after the workout? 83 sets? I can't even fathom that.

The “routine” you are doing is way to long.The point that Joel was trying to make, is that you are posting your “Killer Routine” like it is the next big thing,when it is nothing but newbie BS. Do you really think that we need your advice, when you admit that you are a newbie? Dump the Smith machine (it’s going to mess up your knees) and learn to do a proper squat. I know all about knee re-hab, its a long slow process, but real squats will help. Learn how to deadlift, if your trainer won’t show you (he probably does not know how) then find someone who can. And Joel is the one person you should listen to, because he knows his stuff. I have used two of his programs, and will continue seek his advice.

I meant to post a “sensible” question - after reading the leg training articles. Geez, all this work with no sleep is starting to get to me! sorry.

Juity - 83 sets, is that true? You know, maybe I’m going about it wrong… I do about 2/3rds as many sets in A WEEK as you are doing in one workout… and no I’m not HIT.
If you are doing this stuff to get in shape for basketball, then you probably care about your performance somewhat… and in that case, drop your current trainer. Most T-mag forumites could write you 10 programs that would be better, shorter, safer, and more effective.
In terms of the smith machine not being safe - low back pressure seems to just be a problem for me… i suspect it has to do with a slightly tilted pelvis (I’m working on it 3x a day)… I’ve talked to other people who have similar complaints, however.
No one is being a ‘hata’ on you, obviously you have overwhelming enthusiasm to do such an extensive routine… but wouldn’t you prefer a shorter routine that gave you more time to do other things in your day, anyways?

Dude, I’m right with you! Yes, I see that he has a unbelievable volume of leg work. Which is my point: Both your 5x5 and Bulking routines were NO WHERE near 1 1/2 hours in time. And due to the intensity of which Ko and I were training - there was NO WAY that we could perform those routines for 1 1/2 hours. After 30-45 minutes we were DONE. That was my point.

When someone tells me, "man, I train HARD, for at least 2 hours a day" - I usually shake my head and say, "obviously not hard enough if it takes you two hours a day". See my point? Patricia :-)

Good job Joel, you want a cookie for knowing more than a 19 year old college student?, what’s with all the attacks. I’m happy for you that you know more than me, so maybe you can teach me a little something instead of bashing me for calling folks dumbasses. The people that I called dumbasses obviously don’t know what they’re doing, I called them dumbasses because they don’t even know how to do a proper set, they go all fast and half way down and rest for like 10-15 minutes, then go again and think that they have accomplished something, that’s why i called them dumbasses. What I’m doing is what my physical therapists and my doctor that performed my surgery showed me, they told me to take it easy at first. They know how to do squats and deadlifts but they just told me to stay away from those at first. NOW, they didn’t tell me to do 83 some odd sets of leg exercses, that may be too much, and you guys are right I havent read any of Ian Kings training but I’ll get to it BUT, this is what I’ve been doing before I got here so I just posted it just to see what I was doing right and wrong, that’s why I said questions and comments greatly appreciated. Also it does make sense what you were talking about, with squats being better than Smith Machine squats. I’m gunna go to exrx.net to figure out the right way to do deadlifts and such.

juity - regarding the ‘dumbasses’ You are basically referring to 95% of the weightlifting public. Not much to say but ‘get used to it.’
Be careful with exrx - I’ve checked a few of their demonstrations and I think they tend to use more body english than some of us would consider acceptable.

Deadlifts are dangerous ONLY if you don’t use correct form. Squats are ONLY dangerous if you don’t use the correct form. As said do a search on how to properly do these exercises. Try them without ANY weight and a mirror for a few days and constantly check your form. Do some HAM work; Deadlifts work your HAMS. You really don’t need to do so many sets. Try to balance your HAM and glute workout Ok. Goodluck…

It’s better to be ignorant for a few days than a fool for a lifetime…

I really hate to jump in and get in the middle of this, but in response to “Joel, you want a cookie for knowing more than a 19 year old college student?” Um, I just want to point out that Joel is about 20, and is also a college student. As am I. Do not allow your age or such things to define you and the amount of knowledge you “should” possess.

Joel just happens to know his stuff because went out and actively learned all he could; this is what we do. That's why we read Testosterone instead of Flex. At 20, he's been published at T-Mag, which is more than a lot of people twice our age can say, most of whom have been doing this a lot longer than Joel. My advice to you, my friend, is to stop being so defensive and take some of what these people say to heart. If it comes off a bit abrasive, take it with a grain of salt and chalk it up to being the new guy. Hope this helps, and good luck.