First of all, I want to clear something up, as I would only get grief from my mates if I didn’t admit to it. I used to be that guy! This also applies to girls!
The guy at the gym that was fixated on getting “hench” by getting big arms, chest and back muscles by hammering my upper body in the gym. I would do a 3-4 day split routine focussing on chest, back, arms, shoulders and core. Legs were an afterthought that I would indulge only if I could be bothered or if I had time.
If I was pushed for time and couldn’t squeeze in all of my sessions, legs were the first to get left out. The reason for this was simply down to aesthetics and the desire to look beach ready and decent with my top off. No one looks at legs after all do they???
The reality was that my upper body did grow, but it looked out of proportion to my legs, which were skinny. I had always had skinny legs due to being tall, but instead of focussing on building them up I just left them out altogether without so much as a token squat. ERROR!!
What I didn’t know or accept at the time was that your legs are some of the largest muscle groups in the body. They also have to hold you up all day and carry you around, so the need to maintain them is massive. They also need to be trained to balance out your physique and stop you looking like a silly human triangle.
However, there are some big reasons why you need to train your legs that should appeal to any wannabe body builder or beach body seeker. That is that you will see bigger gains and progression throughout your whole body when you train your legs, which is all down to these points:
- Your body produces more testosterone as a result of training the larger muscle groups and in particular, the legs. This increase in testosterone will help your body grow muscle tissue and gain size. As testosterone helps protein synthesis, it preserves existing muscle mass whilst also helping to gain more mass. WIN!
- Your metabolic rate will be elevated as a result of training the bigger muscles in the legs which will increase calorie burn and help reduce body fat, thus showing a leaner more defined body. Because most leg exercises are compound movements that involve more than one joint, you are having to work harder causing your heart rate to climb and your energy output to increase. Simply resulting in more calories being burned in a session. WIN!
- Your core stability and strength will increase as a result of training your legs, because many of the exercises require core activation in greater amounts than upper body training alone. In a bar bell squat for example, you have weight to support through your whole body which requires strong core muscles in order to be safely done. Training your core like this also trims down the waistline guys and girls! WIN!
So before you skip legs again in favour of a bench and bicep session, think about the bigger picture! Don’t be the guy/girl in the gym that hogs the bench and lat pull down because you may see better results if you do some squats, lunges and dead lifts instead.
If you want any more advice then please get in touch.