So I Married a Chef

Adventures in Baking Balanced with Exercise and Healthy Meals

How I Fried My Legs… January 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — carly71722 @ 12:20 pm

I keep an exercise log on the blog, but I never actually log WHAT I do specifically. I have a love/hate with leg workouts. I hate them because they are hard, they burn, and I am sore for a few days – which is exactly why I love them as well ;) That being said, I definitely need to mention that I lift heavy! I would highly recommend that NOBODY try this workout unless they regularly do these exercises with a heavy weight. That being said… if you are looking for a great leg workout, try 2-3 of these exercises with a much lighter weight until you build more strength in your legs. Then work on building to a higher weight!

I switch my workouts up every few months because I get bored. Lately I have been on a kick of a workout that models the Body for Life style of progressive increase of weight each set, with a decrease in reps. I have felt a huge strength gain since I started this about a month and a half or so ago. My new trend (not seen in this workout) is to also add in some balance and stability exercises regularly. I’ll post more on that with another workout, probably upper body. When it comes to legs, I tend to stick with the basics – because they WORK! I like exercises that use the entire leg because they are more functional. I won’t mention this below, but for each exercise I choose a core exercise to do between sets 1-5. I superset sets 5 and 6 (back to back exercises with no rest). I like using the ball, BOSU, bench, or nothing for my core exercise. I usually do planks at some point in each workout as well.

I always start with the exercise that I find the most challenging – that way I get it out of the way!

Exercise 1 – Step Ups (great YouTube video here. You can use a step, or I just use the weight bench. The step is nice for someone new to the exercise so that you don’t have to set it as high and build height as you progress.)
Set 1  – 12 reps with 20 lb dumbbells (40 lb total)
Set 2 – 10 reps with 25 lb dumbbells (50 lb total)
Set 3 – 8 reps with 30 lb dumbbells (60 lb total)
Set 4 – 6 reps with 35 lb dumbbells (70 lb total)
Set 5 – 12 reps with 20 lb dumbbells (40 lb total) -superset with Set 6
Set 6 – Bulgarian Split Squats with 15 lb dumbbells (See Janetha’s awesome video)

Rest for a few while setting up the next exercise

Exercise 2 – Front Lunge (YouTube video here. The most important thing to remember is to step far enough forward so that your knee does NOT pass over your toe)
Set 1 – 12 reps with 15 lb dumbbells (30 lb total)
Set 2 – 10 reps with 20 lb dumbbells (40 lb total)
Set 3 – 8 reps with 25 lb dumbbells (50 lb total)
Set 4 – 6 reps with 30 lb dumbbells (60 lb total)
Set 5 – 12 reps with 15 lb dumbbells (30 lb total) – superset with Set 6
Set 6 – Back Lunges with 15 lb dumbbells (30 lb total) – YouTube video here.

Exercise 3 – Dumbbell Squat (I keep my feet just a tad wider than shoulder width and hold the dumbbells on the outside of my thighs – see Janetha’s video)
Set 1 – 12 reps with 20 lb dumbbells (40 lb total)
Set 2 – 10 reps with 25 lb dumbbells (50 lb total)
Set 3 – 8 reps with 30 lb dumbbells (60 lb total)
Set 4 – 6 reps with 35 lb dumbbells (70 lb total)
Set 5 – 12 reps with 25 lb dumbbells (50 lb total) – Superset with Set 6
Set 6 – Weighted toe raise (holding 40 or 45 lb dumbbells I can’t remember!)

Exercise 4 – Romanian Barbell Dead Lift (YouTube video here)
Set 1 – 12 reps with 60 lb barbell
Set 2 – 10 reps with 70 lb barbell
Set 3 – 8 reps with 80 lb barbell
Set 4 – 6 reps with 90 lb barbell
Set 5 – 12 reps with 60 lb barbell – superset with Set 6
Set 6 – 12 Power Cleans with a 40 lb barbell (See YouTube video here)

Exercise 5 – Leg Press (YouTube video here) – Weights represent how much I added to the machine, I’m not sure how much the plate weighs.
Set 1 – 12 reps with 160 lb
Set 2 – 10 reps with 180 lb
Set 3 – 8 reps with 200 lb
Set 4 – 6 reps with 220 lb
Set 5 – 12 reps with 180 lb – superset with Set 6
Set 6 –  12 reps Leg Push on Assisted Pull Up machine with 100 lb. (stand on the left side of the machine with your left foot on the base and your right foot on the moveable bench. Press down with your right foot and slowly bring the plate back up to where your knee is a 90 degree angle. Repeat for 12 reps. Repeat on the left leg.)

Quick Leg Circuit – 3 sets of 12 reps of each. I do one right after the other and then rest for a minute and repeat.
1 – Leg Extension Machine
2 – Leg Curl Machine
3 – Hip Adbduction Machine
4 – Hip Adduction Machine
I won’t put weights because I find that they vary depending on the brand of machine.

I follow this up with a 35 minute cardio session on the AMT. If you haven’t tried using an AMT yet and your gym has one, use it!!!

If you are looking to start weight training, these are some great basic exercises. In each leg workout I always try to include step ups, some form of  a lunge, dead lifts, and some form of a squat. If you are just starting out, start with either no weight to work on your form, or very light weights (5 or 10 lb dumbbells, or a 20 lb barbell). Only add weight if these weights become too easy. Adding weight too quickly can easily lead to injury. Feel free to send a message if you have any questions!

What is your favorite type of workout? Self led, group, personal trainer, weights, cardio???

I plan to post some of my upper body workouts too, but…
Are there any other fitness questions you have?

I will also mention that I DO have a masters in Exercise Science, and I have been certified as a Health Fitness Specialist with ACSM, so I can answer questions as a professional!!

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9 Responses to “How I Fried My Legs…”

  1. Wowza that looks intense! I like cardio the best but I know I need to weight train more!

  2. janetha Says:

    HOLY! you killed it! i love it! and thanks for the link love!

  3. Mina Says:

    Now I see how you can spend 60 minutes on strength! I really need to amp up my weight training. Right now I’m lifting MWF but doing full body each day and then I do about 30 minutes cardio. Should I decrease cardio? Add another day of strength, maybe Sat or Sun? I guess I just don’t know how to break up the weight training……..And as much as I know I do too much cardio, it’s still too hard for me to cut back, as stupid as this sounds, it scares me to cut back n cardio. This was a great post! Looking forward to the upper body one.

  4. Mina Says:

    also, the full body weight training i’m doing takes 30 minutes. is that enough if it’s 3 days a week?????

    • carly71722 Says:

      If you are doing full body, 3 days a week is plenty! I split mine up a lot, that’s how I end up with 4 days. For a good all around full body workout I would say it should take at least 45 minutes to an hour. I only do 35 min of cardio (including warm-up and cool-down) on days that I lift (unless I take spin). On days that I don’t lift I try to do 45-60 min cardio. I hope this helps!

      • Mina Says:

        Thanks Carly! I have 60 minutes at the gym, so that’s why I limit the strength to 30 minutes, that leaves 30 minutes for cardio. I keep getting the book The new rules of lifting from the library but just haven’t had a chance to read it. And now the semester has started (and I have my 3rd yr tenure review this spring – yikes!), so the chances of me being able to put time into figuring out how to mix things up this spring are not looking good…..

  5. I love leg days and hate them the next few days too! :)

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