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Fouad Abiad's Project Inferno Day 37:Legs

I feel great today, and I want to get at this workout with a lot of intensity. We’re starting this legs workout with lying legs curls before moving onto compound quads exercises. Lying leg curls pump blood into the hamstrings and activates those muscle fibers before going on to other moves. This gives your legs a little more spring and stability before you perform exercises such as squats, legs presses and hacksquats. This move also warms up your knee joints.

A lot of people like to start their legs training with leg extensions, but that also puts pressure on your knees. My preference is leg curls for a warm-up move. Today, I’m performing 10 sets with 10-12 reps for each set. As always, you’ll only rest about 30 seconds between sets as you increase the weight to your comfort level. To top this off we’re performing these sets with occlusion bands for BFR. You should be able to complete all 10 of these sets in a little more than 10 minutes. Keep it moving if you want to keep growing.

Next up is regular squats. Because of some nagging injuries, I haven’t performed this most compound of compound movements during Project Inferno. But today my hamstrings and knees feel nice and warm, and so I performed 10 sets for 8-10 reps each. I didn’t go crazy heavy because it’s better to be safe than sorry. One thing you may have noticed during my squats is that I place my feet wide, and I go below parallel with my upper legs. I also keep the rep pace fairly fast when I’m going a little lighter, and I try to stay on my heels. That’s important if you have that flexibility. Otherwise you’re just brutalizing your quads tendons and your knees. Next week, if my legs feel good, I’ll go a little heavier.

For the third move, leg presses, I change up the placement of my feet. I need to place my feet wide for squats to stay on my heels. But I have more flexibility when I’m performing leg presses. I can place my feet closer together and stay on my heels to stimulate my quads more. It’s a myth to say you’re working your sweep more by placing your feet close together. What you’re doing by placing your feet closer together is you’re eliminating the adductor, which will force your quads to work harder, and that’s what truly creates the sweep. So go wide with your stance on squats and narrow for leg presses to your level of flexibility.

I perform 6 total sets of leg presses for 10-15 reps per set, but I add bands to the apparatus for the last two. Remember the purpose of this is to change the tension throughout the range of the rep. Typically, leg presses get easier at the top of the movement, but adding bands to the apparatus makes the full extension more challenging.

My last exercise for legs is hack squats. Today I’m doing this with my feet close together to isolate the quads muscles more. I perform 5 sets for 8 reps with 30 seconds between. The rep speed is controlled on the negative—about 2-3 seconds as you descend. Then it’s very explosive on the positive or concentric phase, where you contract your target muscles. The reason for this is to build strength. It’s crucial to keep your weights to an amount where you can use explosive strength out of the bottom. Keep adding weight until you can’t do that. If you reach that point, then you know you’ve gone too heavy. Back off on the weight to the point where you can perform all reps for all set—8 per set—with an explosive rise to contraction of your quads.

Also make sure you control the negative. The negative or stretch portion of the movement is 50 percent of growing the muscle. This goes for every move, but it’s particularly true for this one.

That’s leg day. It was a good fucking day. I’ve been doing some stuff to work around some injuries over the past few weeks. It was mentally challenging for me to come into the gym and lift light during previous weeks, but the reason I did that was so I could come in and perform a workout like the one I did today. Don’t think you can go to the gym and follow your typical workouts when you’re dealing with an injury, tendinitis or any of the other bullshit we all go through. Use the intensity techniques I’ve shown you such as the occlusion bands. That’s what’s gotten me back to this point. Now I’m able to perform the legs workouts I want to do. Still, I’m going to include these intensity techniques because they’re great tools in my arsenal for building—or at least maintaining—muscle mass while I’m depleted from reducing calories on my Project Inferno nutrition program.

So, stay on your diet, use the training modifications that help you get through challenging workouts, especially if you have an injury. And, of course, stay rigorous with your supplement regimen of Kaged Muscle products. They help prepare you for workouts, get you through them and, most importantly, help you recover more quickly for your next workout.

 

Download the Workout

 

Morning cardio

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Perform 55 minutes before consuming food

 

Lying leg curl 10 sets x 10-12 reps
Barbell squat 10 sets x 8-10 reps
Leg press
6 sets x 10-15 Reps
Hack squat 5 sets x 8  reps

Post-workout cardio

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Perform 40 minutes immediately after weight-training or add this session later in the evening

 

TAKEAWAY:

You should put equal emphasis on the positive and negative portion of every rep unless you’re using a technique that intentionally emphasizes one over the other. Let me make the terms clear:

* NEGATIVE: This is the stretching part of the rep for your target muscle. It’s also called the eccentric portion because you’re elongating that muscle.

* POSITIVE: This is the contracting part of the rep for your target muscle, and it’s also known as the concentric portion. This is where you’re really squeezing your target muscle.

Many people over-emphasize the positive/concentric/squeeze because that’s where they feel the muscle pump when the target muscle is full of blood. But, trust me, the stretching/negative portion of the movement is of equal importance. To maximize gains you need to learn how to emphasize both, relying on the techniques I describe in Project Inferno.


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