“Leg day” – this has to be one of the most hated workout days for most gym rats. Not for me and it shouldn’t be for you. Strong legs provide our bodies with the necessary strength and support structure not just for sports, but for our posture and day to day activities.
Today’s leg workout was a bit more difficult than usual. Earlier this week I decided that I should start introducing more cardio into my life. So I got up before the crack of dawn yesterday and decided that I would climb some stairs. And so I did – not too much as it was my first time doing stairs in a while but enough to feel it (about 35 floors up, and 30 down). I felt fine the rest of the day yesterday but today was a different story. As I walked to the gym this afternoon, my calves were screaming in pain. But that’s OK, it’s something I can deal with.
The workout started with a short 6 minute hill climb routine on the stationary bike. This was enough to get some blood flowing and get the legs warmed up. After that I went right to my staple for leg workout – the barbell squat. I started with a set of 20 reps with just the Olympic bar to get the knees used to the movement. This was followed by even more warm up sets as I like to slowly add in the weight – so I did 2 sets of 10 reps at 135 pounds. Finally we get to the working heavy sets and I was now set to churn out my staple heavy portion of the routine: 5 sets of 6 deep reps of squats with an approximately 3 minute rest between each set. About 30 minutes after I started the squats my legs were throbbing, I was drenched in sweat, dead tired and finally done with squats (or so I thought) for this week. Now to move on to something else that can hit the lower body.
I am pretty content when I am able to do the above sequence of squats and will limit my secondary exercises to something lightweight. That’s exactly what I did next as I grabbed the Bosu balance ball and a weighted bar (25 pounds) and thought I might as well do some more squatting! I did regular squats and overhead squats (bar raised over the head while doing the squat movement) with that light weight on the Bosu ball. Also did some good mornings and twists, again on the Bosu. I find this to be a nice way to finish off the workout – high rep movements that help fatigue the muscles and also help me work on my overall balance.
But the workout isn’t complete without starting to think about recovery and I usually try to do some stretching and foam roller work right after workouts. Today I used the foam roller on my back and calves and did some stretching on the Precor machine. I also spent some time hanging from a pull up bar to decompress the spine. And with that the workout was over – a quick post workout shake, shower and back to tackle the rest of the day. I’ll draw a hot bath tonight with a generous amount of Epsom salts to try and minimize the sore legs that I am likely to encounter tomorrow. Have to make sure that I can do more stairs, first thing in the morning.
So tell me, do you even squat brah?