I try to split up my leg workouts these days, not because I can’t finish a workout focusing on quads and hams together…but more so because I am FAR too sore when I do both in the same day! The ramifications of that are not only discomfort on a higher scale, but the inability to train as well in the Dojo / Dojang / on the mats.
Glute recruitment happens either way, but some of the heftiest quadricep dominant and hamstring dominant are relegated to two separate days...meaning I split up the squats and leg press from the deadlifts and single leg deadlifts.
Now obviously, I’m using those muscles in all of the lower body exercises, but I have found that doing all of them in one day can be too much of a good thing, and I get better results when I am not totally decimated…
LEG DAY 1
- Deadlifts – 4 to 5 sets of 10 to 16 (depends on weight)
- Single Led Deadlifts – 3 sets of 12 with 45 lb dumbbell
- Hip Thrusts – 3 sets of 16 with 80 or 90 lbs (varied foot placement)
- Leg Curl – 3 to 5 sets (weight depends on machine)
- Straight Leg Cable Kickbacks – 3 drop sets using heavier weight, 3 sets lighter weight
LEG DAY 2
- Smith Machine Squats – 5 sets (varied weight and foot placement. I don’t go heavy here.)
- Walking Lunges or Step-Back Lunges – 6 sets, or equal to about 120 lunges, including both sides
- Leg Press – MAJOR Drop sets (3 sets with 10 45 plates, 3 sets with 8 45s, 3 sets with 6 45s, 3 sets with 4 45s, 3 sets of single leg presses with 2 45s.) Nasty. *LOL*
- Sumo Squats – 3 sets of 12 with 65 lb dumbbell
- Bent Knee Cable Kickbacks – 3 sets only if I’m not too sore!
- Leg Extension – 3 sets at 90 lbs, not too heavy
Basically at the end of the week it’s hard to walk! 😉 I LOVE lifting heavy, but I’ve also learned that sometimes I have to go easier, especially these days – because I do Martial Arts, flexibility is MASSIVELY important.
I need to be mindful and stretch, as well as foam roll (I need to be better about that) – heavy lifting WILL impede your flexibility, like it or not. Can you have both? Absolutely! But the reality is that you will be more limber when you don’t destroy your legs, so either going a little easier…or really making that time to stretch out…will make a difference – your goals will determine what works best!