In addition to weight training, what other activity does Cutler credit with dramatically increasing his leg growth?
C Cardio training
D None of the above
CUTLER’S ANSWER: B. I’m a big advocate of stretching. I think it’s an essential part of recuperation and growth, and I put a lot more time and effort into it than most guys. When I’m preparing for a contest, I stretch for 20 minutes every day after my morning workout. My wife, Kerry, is a yoga enthusiast, and she helps me with a lot of stretches. For legs, I do a nearly full split daily to stretch my hamstrings and inner thighs. I also extend each foot behind my glutes to really stretch my quads.
In addition, once per week, I get deep-tissue neuromuscular therapy, which really works the muscle fibers and helps release the fascia. Before a contest, I’m in the sauna twice per day, and I do a lot of stretching in there, too, because with all the heat and humidity the muscles are more relaxed and you can get into a really deep stretch without as much tension. It’s all done to recuperate from previous workouts and limber up the muscles, tendons and joints for the next workout. To maximize gains, you have to put at least as much effort into recovery as you put into your workouts.
TRUE OR FALSE? Cutler once squatted 120 reps with 225 pounds, after which he fainted.
CUTLER’S ANSWER: FALSE. I don’t have any of those crazy stories. I’ve thrown up doing legs when I’ve gone really heavy, and I was regularly using seven plates per side [675 pounds] for repetition squats when I was just a teenager, but I never felt the need to break out of my routine to shock my legs. My routine when I was an amateur consisted of squats, leg presses, hack squats and leg extensions — the basics.
Fortunately, quads are one of those areas that stay with me. I don’t have to work very hard to get them to grow, and when I do work hard on them, they almost get too big.
Should beginners and intermediates try to copy Cutler’s exact routine?
CUTLER’S ANSWER: NO. Start with leg extensions to warm up your knees. Next, pyramid up in free-weight squats, but don’t go any lower than six reps. Anything less than six is pointless, unless you want to be a powerlifter and not a bodybuilder. The third lift should be leg presses. Three or four sets of each are enough for a beginner. Intermediates can add hack squats. Just stick to the basics, do full reps and push sets to failure. - FLEX