Monster Mass Building Part IV (The Finale): Wicked Wheels!

Well, here we are folks! This post marks the conclusion to The Dragon’s Monster Mass Building Training Series.  This final hardcore weightlifters’ segment is brought to you by the letter “W”. As in WICKED WHEELS. Today I will give you two workouts designed to turn those scrawny toothpicks you call legs into powerful pistons!

If you’ve been to any beach or gym you’ve noticed “That Guy”. “That Guy” is the one with a huge upper body and almost no muscle in his lower half. Sometimes he looks as if he’s going to tilt over due to the disproportions. Don’t be “That Guy”. How can you avoid this? Let’s find out after this brief message from Anatomy Professor Dragon:

The Legs

For our purposes, the legs can most easily be divided into three parts: Hamstrings, Quadriceps (Quads), and Calves. Since they function to carry the body around they are probably the most vital muscles for daily life (besides the HEART). They are also the easiest to injure because they require HEAVY weight to properly develop them. With that said, I urge complete caution when training the legs. I can’t stress this enough. Be Smart. Be Safe. Especially with Deadlifts and Squats.

  1. Hamstrings: The Hamstrings are a group of 3 muscles that are located on the upper backside of the leg. They work together to extend the hip (i.e. standing up), contract the leg (i.e. pulling the heel to the butt), help rotate the knee and propel you forward. Together they can be considered to be ½ of the thigh.
  2. Quadriceps: Quadriceps, or simply “Quads” are on the upper front and side of the leg. They are the largest muscle group of the body and consist of four heads. In actuality, the quads are a muscle group not just one muscle. They work together to extend the leg at the knee. Both the hamstrings and the quadriceps work together in unison in every physical activity, i.e. running, jumping, kicking and squatting.
  3. Calves: What we commonly call “calves” are really a group of muscles that make up the bottom half of the leg. There are many muscles that make up the calves with very long, funny sounding names including Gastrocnemius, Soleus, Tibialis and Digitorum. Let’s just stick with calves for this post. The calves help extend, contract and rotate the foot. They are also vital for propulsion, running, jumping and pivoting. Wanna jump higher, run faster and get some well deserved attention on the beach? Train your calves.
  4. Other Important Muscles: I won’t spend time describing the many other muscle groups that are worked while training the legs but you’ll also feel the burn in your Glutes (Butt) and lower back. Ok. Let’s train…

The main muscles involved in leg training are:
Hamstrings
Quadriceps
Calves (including the Gastrocnemius, Soleus and Tibialis)

The Dragon’s Wicked Wheels Leg Workout:

Before I give you the training program that will surely have you walking funny for days after, I will say again…BE CAREFUL and TAKE YOUR TIME. These are powerful exercises and can injure you permanently if not done properly.

Workout #1:

  • Smith Machine Squats: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 Reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Squats: 3 Sets x 10 reps
  • Seated Leg Curl: 4 Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Seated Single Leg, Leg Extension: 4 Sets x 10 reps

Calves

  • Smith Machine Standing Calf Raises (with plank or step): 5 sets in the following order – 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 reps
  • Inverted Calf Raises (Leg Press Machine): 6 (3 each) Sets x 10 reps. Alternate between 3 sets of pointing your toes inward for 10 reps. Then follow on the next set by bringing your heels together to make a “V”
  • Seated Single Leg, Toe Press Machine: 3 Sets x 10 reps

Workout #2:

  • Deadlifts: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 10 – 12 reps
  • Leg Press: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Lunges: 3 Sets x 10 reps.

Calves

  • Inverted Calf Raises (Leg Press Machine): 4 Sets x 15 – 20 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise Machine: 3 Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Seated Single Leg, Toe Press Machine:  6 sets x 10 reps

Now that we’ve come to the end of this series I’d like to remind you all about some basics to help you out in your training:

  1. Do every rep strictly and properly. Bad form leads to bad results.
  2. For anything in the 7 – 10 rep range, aim to lift 80% of your 1 rep max. This will really tear into those muscle fibers and stimulate growth.
  3. Eat Eat Eat! 1 to 1.5 G of protein is absolutely necessary to pack on lean muscle. Eat most of your carbs around workout time and make sure you get a good shake in right after you lift. Monsters don’t nibble. They devour!

Follow these guidelines closely and victory will be yours! As always, if you need more extensive help with your diet I will build a customized one for you for only 1 training hour. PayPal Accepted! Contact me here to get started…

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Killer calves come from hard work and dedication. Some prime exercises for developing them include Toe Presses and all varieties of Calf Raises. Use different rep ranges and try to hit them 2 times per week!

Girl Power! – Part Two: Your first month’s strength training program

Today’s post is a conclusion to last week’s: “Girl Power! Exposing the three biggest myths about women and strength training” article. This post is an introductory workout for women just getting started strength training. I will give you a circuit training routine to get you through your first month in the gym. Are you ready? Good! Let’s begin…

 

The Dragon’s “Girl Power! Beginners 4 Week Strength Training Circuit”

Directions: After your cardio warm-up , perform 8-10 repetitions of each exercise in a row. Choose a weight that is somewhat difficult but not impossible (i.e. 10 lbs. for lunges and squats and 5-10 lbs. for the curling & pressing movements).

Try to take rest no longer than 2 minutes between exercises. Perform the entire circuit 3 times.

  •  Warm-up: 3 to 5 Minutes of cardio on your favorite machine (treadmill, elliptical, or “jumping jacks (if at home)”
  •  Exercises (complete as a circuit) 3 rounds:
  1. Lunges: Each Leg x 10 reps
  2. Ballet Squat: 10 reps
  3. Dumbbell Chest Press: 10 reps
  4. Dumbbell Curl & Overhead Press: 10 reps
  5. Crunches: 20 reps
  6. “Plank” Position: Hold as long as possible.
  • Cool Down: 10 Minutes of moderately paced cardio on your favorite machine.

* Post Workout Stretch: The post workout stretch is extremely important to keep blood flowing to those muscles and to help you from getting too sore! Make sure you stretch after each workout. Refer to my recent post on stretching for instructions. It can be found here:

http://dragongatefitness.com/2012/07/23/stretc/ 

Stretches:

  1. Full body stretch
  2. Quad stretch
  3. Cross Arm Stretch
  4. Pec Stretch

Well there you have it. Do this workout 2-3 times per week, eat right and within 1 month you’ll notice a significant change in your body. Just look in the mirror and you’ll see everything get tighter and curvier! Stay motivated and remember...

Dream Fit. Live Fit.