I remember way back when I worked out at a 24 Hour Nautilus (this was before they were bought out and changed their name to 24 Hour Fitness).
Here’s what my leg workout looked like:
- 4 sets of barbell squats
- 4 sets of leg press
- 3 sets of hamstring curls
- 3 sets of leg extensions
While I couldn’t tell you the specifics of other workouts, I can remember this one clearly. Perhaps it’s because I did this one for a long time.
Where did I come up with this workout? The bodybuilding rags…the only source of training information that appeared to exist at the time.
Let me tell you what is wrong with this.
The amount of volume was huge. Mind you, I weighed 140 maybe 150 back then. I would have been better off just doing the squats and forgetting the leg press, the hamstring curls, and the leg extensions. Hell, I would have been better off with a single set of squats worked hard!
I was NOT on steroids, so there is no way this amount of volume was helping me. In fact, it just made me dread the workouts.
Not that you couldn’t build up to handling this amount of work without steroids. But once again, I was a skinny teenager. I did not need to be doing the plan of a bodybuilding champ.
Specifically, I want to harp on the hamstring curls and leg extensions.
Why was I doing these? I really couldn’t tell you at the time. I may have spouted something off about getting the hamstrings stronger in one, and the quadriceps for the others.
Maybe I just thought machines and isolation exercises were sexy.
But in actuality, I didn’t understand much. I’m not saying those machines can’t be useful. But here, I was using assistance exercises when I didn’t even know what they were supposed to be assisting.
Once again, the time, energy and effort would have been spent much better on squatting.
And unfortunately, this is how MOST people use assistance exercises.
They think they’re a good idea, but really don’t know.
If you don’t know, then you’re likely better off not doing it.
But that doesn’t mean assistance exercises can’t be great. More on how to properly use them tomorrow…
Or you can skip ahead and get my 8 jam-packed pages of how to do them right here inside How to Double Your Progress with Sniper Rifle Strength Training (aka Weak Link Targeting), the newest issue of the Strength Health Mind Power Inner Circle newsletter.