As winter recedes so do the pant legs, revealing the sun and workout deprived “legs of winter.”
Winter or not, many people neglect their legs because they just dont get seen as much as the upper body does. But even if your goal is to have a big chest and biceps you cant afford to forget about training your legs. There are 2 main reasons not to neglect your leg workout: one is cosmetic, the other is health.
Firstly, muscle imbalance look awful! No one like a pack of muscles sitting atop of chicken legs. And the main reason is: when your body is imbalanced it can affect everything from strength, to posture, to flexibility, which hello! can lead to injury. If youre legs are not proportionately strong to your upper body, then youre eventually going to run into problems.
And the thing that people generally dont realize is…
Working your legs positively affects the growth of muscle over your ENTIRE body. After a kick-ass leg workout your body produces more anabolic muscle-building hormones than usual, which equates to greater size and strength ALL OVER your body.
Are you working out regularly but still not gaining muscle in those gams?
Here are The Top 7 Reasons why:
1.Youre Not Really Working Your Legs
People think that running or cycling is enough of a leg workout. You gotta do the strength training to build up that mass. Never skip out on squats and deadlifts for instance.
2. Youre Not Changing It Up
Changing your workout is essential to avoiding muscle plateau. But REMEMBER?change extends beyond the type of exercises. Try different rep schemes: do giant sets, pyramids, and interval training.
3. Too Much Cardio
If your goal is to put on size, focus on strength training and minimize the cardio. Sure we need cardio, but going long on the cardio is when you get catabolic and you start breaking down muscle. Even if youre looking to get leaner, focus on metabolic conditioning and high-intensity intervals, so youll keep muscle mass AND burn fat.
4. Not Enough Carbs
Carbohydrates are critical when it comes to building muscle. Carbs allow you to perform at a high level and help with recovery.
5. You’re Not Spending Enough Time on Calves
In general, youre looking at about a 20 second time frame if you want to build strength. For mass a set should take 40 seconds, and for muscular endurance it should take about 60 seconds.
6. Do Explosive Reps
Bodybuilders have found that doing reps quickly and with force helps muscles build faster and bigger. Get through your reps as fast as possible. Time yourself to see how fast you do them, and work toward getting through your routine more quickly as the weeks pass. Make sure you got your form down pat before attempting this!
7. Get Plenty of Rest between Workouts
Muscles get stronger when youre resting in between workouts because this is when healing happens. That’s why it’s mandatory to get plenty of sleep every night when you’re training heavily. On days when you don’t work out, let yourself actually rest. And, dont exercise same muscles groups two workouts in a row. Rotate muscle groups so you’re training your arms, back, chest, and other areas on the days you aren’t working out your legs.