In Phase 1, we build that strength base with the first day similar to that of a powerlifting routine. The second leg day of the week brings in a bodybuilding-centric workout, which increases the overall volume through more sets/reps and finishes with a punishing sub-routine. Phase 2 is all about size. Both workouts in the week are littered with hypertrophy-styled volume, sets, and reps, although the first workout in the week will have some hints of strength to ensure that nothing is lost.
During each workout, you’ll notice some techniques being employed such as forced reps, rest-pause reps, and a slightly different tempo on specific exercises. Also within workouts, emphasis will be placed on specific foot positions and bar placements to maximize the effect on targeted muscles.
In my books, leg training is not complete without ending the workout with either a Dominator sequence or a Destroyer sequence, two punishing finishing exercise sequences I created almost two decades ago that still has athletes calling me from time to time saying, “Do you remember when…”
It’s a play on time under tension using the principles of sixes. Each single set is performed for 6 reps, using a 6, 6, 6, 6 pattern of lowering, holding, raising, pushing for 6 seconds each. So, Rep 1 takes 6 seconds to lower to the bottom, 6 seconds to hold at the bottom, then push it back up slowly counting to 6, and holding it JUST SHORT OF LOCKOUT for 6 more seconds. Then do it again for 5 more reps. Oh, and then the other 6 in the mix, is that you’ll do 6 sets of this as your last exercise. But I’m nice. I give you 60 seconds before you start again.
My advice, if you start with anything more than 50% of your normal rep weight (not your max but normal lifting weight), bring a trash can and place it next to your station. And truthfully, don’t even consider 6 full sets until you have your feet firmly planted in this routine. A more realistic approach is to shoot for 3 sets, then up it to 6 by the end of the phase.
While the Dominator is about time and a lighter load, the Destroyer verges on stupidity with an aroma of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and an execution of ridiculous. This sub routine or exercise sequence is a combination of pyramiding sets and reps with the drop or strip method of extending sets. I use a five-step process for the pyramid, but of course you can adjust up or down as needed. Each drop that follows a completed set will be 20% of the previous weight lifted (this of course, doesn’t have to be exact). The kicker here is that you only drop once you’ve hit failure on each extended set of reps.
Of course it should go without saying, the only rest taken between drops is the time to strip the weight. The pyramid portion relates to the number of drops. For the first set you perform only one additional drop all the way until failure. The second set has two drops, the third set has three drops, up to the fifth set having five drops. I offer a generous two-minute rest period between sets, but you may increase that over the subsequent sets.
And you may need to start with less weight on each subsequent set. Don’t be surprised if you’re lifting air on the last drop as even the weight of the empty machine may crush you.
THE PSYCH WARD
If you make it through this program unscathed and you don’t see a serious change in your leg size, then your problem is not your legs, it is your approach. “Mind over matter,” “No pain, no gain,” and the list could continue, and they all apply in this case. This program is designed to supercharge your training, give you new goals, and provide the discipline lagging legs really need.
I leave you with a comment that I am stealing from a popular commercial, and applying to our world—I may not always train my legs, but when I do, I do this program. Stay strong, my friend.
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