1. Leg extensions: Sit at a leg extension machine and place your feet behind the roller pads so that your knees are snug against the seat. Keeping your head and shoulders straight, slowly straighten both legs until you reach the fully contracted position. Pause briefly, and then lower under control. Repeat for your I.S.R. Immediately reduce resistance
9. Dumbbell kickbacks:
by 20 percent and perform another I.S.R. set before moving on to your next exercise.
2. Adductions: Sit at the adduction machine (Nautilus or other) and place your knees and ankles on the movement arms in a spread-legged position. Make sure that your inner thighs and knees are firmly against the resistance pads, and keep your head and shoulders against the back of the seat. Slowly pull your knees toward each other, pulling with the thighs and not the lower legs, until your knees are as close together as possible. Once you've touched your legs together, hold this fully contracted position briefly, and then lower the resistance slowly back to the starting position. Repeat for your I.S.R. Immediately reduce the resistance by 20 percent and repeat for another I.S.R. set before moving on to your final leg exercise.
3. Leg curls: Lie facedown on the leg curl machine and place your feet under the roller pads, with your knees just over the edge of
the bench. Slowly curl your lower legs up until they're almost touching your buttocks. Once in this fully contracted position, hold the contraction for a two-count, and then lower the resistance slowly back to the starting position. Repeat for your I.S.R., and then reduce the weight by 20 percent and perform a second I.S.R. set.
At this point in the routine, your legs are bound to feel rather wobbly—and with good reason! Nevertheless, you still have the rest of your physique to deal with, and we'll train it with only one I.S.R. set per bodypart with the following exercises:
4. Calves: Standing calf raises. Step underneath the shoulder pads of a standing calf raise machine so that your heels are on the required block and almost touching the ground. From this position of full stretch, slowly contract your calves until you are completely up on your toes. Hold this position for a two-count before lowering yourself in four seconds back to the starting position.
5. Lats: Machine pull-overs. Adjust the height of the machine so that the shoulder joint is in line with the raised portion of the plastic in front of the cam. Assume an upright position and fasten the seat belt tightly. Press the foot pedal until your elbows are resting on the pads at about chin level. Your hands should be open (on some machines you will be required to grip handles—don't grip them too tightly as a tight grip can cause your blood pressure to increase unnecessarily). Remove your legs from the foot pedal and take four seconds to slowly rotate your upper arms down and as far back as possible. Pause for two seconds in this fully contracted position and then in four seconds return your arms to the stretched position. Repeat for the required number of repetitions.
6. Traps: Dumbbell shrugs. Grab two heavy dumbbells and straighten your back so that the weights are in front of your thighs. Slowly contract your traps so that your shoulders begin to ascend toward your ears. When the weights have been raised as high as they can go, hold the contraction for a two-count, and then lower the weights slowly, in four seconds, back to the starting position.
7. Delts: Side lateral raises (dumbbells). With your body held erect, grasp two dumbbells at your thighs. Smoothly, with lateral head output and your elbows locked, raise the dumbbells to a height just above shoulder level. Hold the resistance for a distinct pause, and then lower the dumbbells slowly back to the starting position. Repeat for your I.S.R., and then put the dumbbells down and immediately pick up a lighter pair. Without resting, perform a second set with the lighter pair of dumbbells. When completed, rest just long enough to catch your breath. Pick up yet another set of dumbbells to perform the following exercise.
8. Pecs: Pec decks. Adjust the seat until the shoulders (when elbows are together) are directly under the axis of the overhead cams. Fasten the seatbelt (if your machine has one) and place your forearms behind and firmly against the arm pads. Some machines have handles instead of arm pads, in which case simply reach out and take hold of the handles. Slowly, in four seconds, push with your forearms and try to touch your elbows (or the handles) together in front of your chest. Pause for two seconds in this position and then slowly, in four seconds, return the handles to the starting position. Repeat for the required number of repetitions.
Pec deck—Finish position.
9. Triceps: Dumbbell kickbacks. Grab hold of a light dumbbell with your right hand and bend forward from the waist, supporting yourself with your free hand. Slowly contract the triceps muscle in your right arm, which will result in the forearm extending beyond the midline of your body. Hold this fully contracted position for a two-count, and then lower the dumbbell slowly back to the starting position just in front of your hip. Repeat for your I.S.R.; then immediately reduce the resistance by 10 percent and perform a second set for the same arm. On completion, repeat this two-phase process with your left arm.
10. Biceps: Sustained (Max Contraction) chin-ups. Grasp the chin-up bar with a palms-up grip. Slowly begin to contract the muscles in your arms, and try to touch the bar to your lower chest when you have reached the apex of your ascent. Hold this contracted position for a two-count, and then lower yourself slowly (four seconds) back to the starting position. Repeat this procedure until at least eight repetitions have been completed. Rest for perhaps one to two minutes, and then repeat for another eight-to-twelve repetitions.
Pec deck—Finish position.
11. Abdominals: Crunches. Lie faceup on the floor with your hands behind your head. Keep your chin on your chest throughout the movement. Lift your feet up on top of a bench, with your feet together and your knees facing left and right. From this starting position, slowly curl your trunk upward toward a sitting position. Once you have ascended to a fully contracted position, hold the position for a two-count, and then lower yourself slowly back to the starting position. Repeat for your I.S.R.
All of the exercises listed place a constant stress, or tension, on the target muscle groups from beginning to end of each individual set. They are the most productive exercises possible for these muscle groups, owing to their extremely high intensity threshold.
Your workouts should be structured so as to allow for adequate recovery to take place in between workouts. As you develop, you'll find that the forty-eight hours we discussed earlier won't be sufficient recovery. Particularly with leg training, you might require anywhere from four days to two weeks. Unfortunately, there is no standard prescription for rest. The time needed varies from person to person and depends upon the amount of energy output and recovery ability.
If you follow this routine exactly as described, you will be amazed at how quickly your legs will grow bigger and stronger. Train hard, get adequate rest, eat a well-balanced diet, and get ready to grow!
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