We are weightlifters. We pick up heavy things and we put them back down – because it’s rewarding, it’s good for us, and it makes us happy. And some days, those heavy things are our own bodies – plus some – as we try not to puke during a heavy set of squats.
Leg day is one of the most broadly discussed and joked about training days in the lifting community. We hate it, we love it, we love to hate it – we all have different feelings toward this monster of a gym session, but the fact remains: we should NOT skip it. “Friends don’t let friends skip leg day,” and there are plenty of reasons why. Here are just a few:
1.Leg lifts have full-body benefits
“Leg day” is hardly even a thing. When you walk into the gym to crush some squats and deadlifts, you’re promising your entire body a killer workout – we should call it body day. Your core and your back play a huge role in completing these moves correctly, and you’re bound to feel the burn there as much as you do in your legs. Forearms are strained as you grip the bar, massive traps engage to keep it stable – leg day leaves hardly anything untouched.
The bottom line: leg exercises are multifunctional and extremely effective for building all-over muscle. When you leave them out, you’re not only cheating yourself out of a solid lower body, you’re also skipping out on some extra strength and definition throughout your whole physique.
Even more importantly, leg exercises aid in preventing injuries. Weak knees? Strengthen the surrounding muscles to take the pressure off the joint itself. Being injury-prone is NOT a reason to skip leg day – it’s another reason to conquer it.
2. Leg exercises like squats and deadlifts torch more calories than any others.
Training the biggest muscles in your body costs a ton of energy. By completing these lifts and by growing these sizable muscles, athletes shred through calories in the gym and enjoy a faster metabolic rate all the time as their bodies work to sustain those monster quads and admirable hammies.
3. Leg day is rewarding as hell!
No one is saying it’s easy. Going into the gym for a heavy leg day is setting yourself up for a few days of pain with every step you take. The time in the gym is hard – leg lifts can be much more demanding on the body than other muscle groups, and training legs also means getting that heart rate up. You’ll probably sweat more than usual. You’ll probably want to puke. But you’ll definitely be proud as you move up in weight, achieve new PRs, and watch as your quads and calves grow more defined.
4. You’ll need some tremendous trunks to carry around the massive upper body you work every day!
Power in your legs means power in so many other lifts. We’re all here for the gains – don’t miss out on the most massive growth your body can ever make.
Let’s be honest here – no one skips out on working biceps. Everyone’s on track in their shoulder-training regime. Leg day is the most commonly skipped – and everyone can tell. Don’t be one of those guys who looks like he might topple over if his lats get any wider and his legs stay that skinny.
Whether you’re a seasoned bodybuilder or brand new in the gym, spend time in the squat rack. Set goals and break PRs. Deadlift more than your hands can hold. Squat low with twice your weight on your back, and then get back up.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a sample leg workout:
Back squat 6 sets of 8 reps
Russian deadlift 6 X 8
Leg Press 6 X 8
Walking lunge – weighted 4 X 10 (each side)
Leg extension 5 X 8
Leg curl 5 X 8
Find demonstrations, video breakdowns, and more workouts at www.bodybuilding.com
Author: Elizabeth Thompson