Leg day. Not everybody’s favourite, and for good reason…it hurts! That’s probably why you see so many men out there with ripped upper bodies and legs that just don’t cut the mustard. From experience, women aren’t so bad, and seem to love the leg and butt classes at Barry’s Bootcamp, but you always know it’s leg day when the gym is quieter than normal. Suddenly, on leg day, there are a million reasons to skip the gym! Look people, I understand it is tempting to skip leg day if you want to be able walk the next day, but it is an essential part of your exercise routine.
I will go through my top leg exercises in another post but, for now, here are some of the reasons why you should never lift for show and ignore what’s below.
Reduce risk of injury
Building strong knee, hip and ankle joints will reduce your risk of injury as these are the areas most people feel niggles and strains.
Naturally boosting testosterone helps increase your muscle-building and fat-loss potential. Leg exercises like barbell squats, leg presses and dumbbell lunges stimulate an increase in testosterone. Any extra benefits between the sheets are a welcome bonus!
Unlock your inner Usain Bolt.
Think of the power that is generated from the lower body in almost every sport. Running, football, basketball, you name it. Work on the lower body and you will have that explosive element needed for speed – maximum force in minimal time.
Burn more calories.
Your legs are such a huge muscle group that working them out requires more energy, which of course means more calories burned. Leg work will help you get more bang for your buck down the gym. Too many people rely purely on cardio workouts to burn fat. Training your legs, particularly with multi-joint compound exercises, will burn a higher number of calories than easier upper-body exercises like biceps curls.
Run Forrest, run! Run faster AND longer.
As well as explosive sprint benefits, strength training in the legs, with movements such as squats and deadlifts, will build your endurance capabilities. Did somebody say marathon?
Increase your metabolism.
Lifting weights helps build muscle mass and when your body has more muscle, things run quicker and are burnt faster.
Relieve the ouch in your lower back.
People with lower back pain often identify tight hamstrings as the problem, and resort to long sessions with the foam roller. Try strengthening the legs and glutes instead, and stretching the hip flexors. You’re welcome.
Everything becomes easier.
If you get used to squatting, then everyday lifting becomes easier. Strong arms will help lifting boxes etc, but strong glutes and hamstrings will help you far more and put less of a strain on your back.
Who you calling chicken??
What good are bulging biceps if you’re parading around with chicken legs? “Mirror muscles” like abs and biceps are great to build, but when the sun’s out it’s not just your guns out, it’s also your legs. Don’t embarrass yourself!
And last but not least, look good naked – from head to toe. Sorry, no photo here!!
Leg day at Barry’s Bootcamp lands on a Tuesday, so you have a whole week to get yourself booked in.
AND now that the second studio is open, you have double the chances of training with me and half of the excuses. So quit your whining about why you can’t do it, and click here to book in with me at Barry’s East (6am and 7.10pm) or click here to train with me at Barry’s Central (10.45am and 7.50pm.)