Leg TrainingEvery day, somewhere hidden deep in the musty catacombs of some dingy turn of the century building that found it's purpose once again as a gym, bone crushing poundage's bent over gargantuan backs rise and fall to the clang of heavy iron amidst a haze of chalk dust. The anticipation, dare we say fear, leading up to leg day is finally faced sitting in quiet resignation while knee wraps are wound into place. Then with the courage of a warrior turning his stallion toward the battle, the belt is cinched tight and with jaw set and eyes filled with defiance, destiny is faced. As the weight is hoisted from the rack, bar bending in protest and the brutality of this struggle etched deep in his face, squat day begins. There is a respect among men who have tasted this brand of battle and without trying to explain what can only be felt, three simple words describe the experience carved on their souls... Hard Core Training.

This article is not just a training program or a debate on whether heavy duty or high volume is a better way to train. It's about harnessing the power of your mind to press beyond fear, beyond pain, and beyond that gated place where soft-palmed mortals feel is safe or sane. Its learning how to stress your muscles beyond what they are accustomed to so they have to adapt by getting bigger than they ever have before. You don't have to be specially gifted to do this but very few will make the choice to push beyond their comfort zone or that place you reach and your mind says its time to put the weight down...or could you do one more? Very few have the courage to actually complete that journey where mental limits are long surpassed and reaching the physical limit becomes the objective rather than some vague warning sign safely off in the distance. If you are content with having a really good excuse why this didn't work rather than a result that speaks for itself then stop reading this article. You represent the majority and will feel warm and cozy knowing that. Tell some other guy about this article that wants the results so bad they will do what it takes to get the job done, this type of stuff is not for everybody. There is only one Mr. Olympia and behind him are thousands of guys with excuses why they couldn't and tall tales about what it took to get there. If they would train like Mr. Olympia does, eat like he does, and most important of all, think like he does, they still may not look like him but you can rest assured they will look a whole lot different than they do now. So this program starts at the beginning with a training plan for the most important body part responsible for your failure or success in bodybuilding, your mind. So we will start at the beginning

Rule One:
Life is not supposed to be all about comfort and the easiest path. Achievement is earned by facing and enduring challenges and with great challenges come the opportunity for great benefit. We all come into this world fighting for air and we will all go out of it finally losing a battle for one more breath. In between life is filled with challenges that you can run from with excuses and flat out cowardice or you can accept the challenge. Look at challenges as opportunities to overcome. Getting two more reps even though you have a five alarm fire burning in your quads should be seen as an opportunity to grow that most others will shy away from.

Rule Two:

Embrace discomfort, in fact look for it and get used to living with it when you train. Bodybuilding is about making your muscles grow as well as become more conditioned and strong by making them adapt to changing and increasing stresses. That means you have to train to the point of failure and when you burn up ATP for energy, lactic acid is an inescapable by-product.

Rule Three:
Don't intimidate yourself, keep the goal very close yet keep it challenging. Don't do 8 reps, do one rep 8 times. Sounds ridiculous but you can almost always do one more rep. When the weight feels like its going to crush you and you are out of breath with 4 more reps to go, chances are you will get intimidated and give up before you really have to. If you have 4 more to go and just do one rep then when its done do one rep and so on, you will hit your 8 and not get freaked out.

Rule Four:

Visualize success. If you sit quietly before you train and with as much detail as possible like sounds, smells, feelings, etc, you imagine every second of your workout and the success you will have, you are programming your subconscious mind for success. Top athletes in every sport including bodybuilding use visualization as a tool to maximize their training. The concept is simple, we can all go into the gym and squat a weight we have done before with very little hesitation. Our minds tell us we have done it and there is nothing to fear. By programming your subconscious mind with every minute detail including the success of your workout, when you hit the gym and those same sounds and smells flood your senses it will remind you that you have been here and since you did the set in your mind with no problems, you drastically increase the chance for that to happen when you actually get the weight on your back. Your mind is far more powerful than your body and it controls everything. Harness that power and use it to your advantage.

Rule Five:

See a doctor to make sure your body can handle this level of intensity and all-out effort before you start. That's just being smart. Old School high intensity training is a very effective way to pack on plenty of dense muscle, that's a well known fact. Dorian Yates trained that way and Branch Warren trains that way now. Ronnie Coleman packed on tons of thick, dense muscle by training balls out lifting more than anyone and took home 8 Sandow's in the process. While this is not the only training method that works you may want to try it at least once to see if it works for you. Heavy training is hard on your body, hard on your joints, so you should cycle your training by training heavy for 4 weeks then switching to lighter weight for 3 to 4 weeks to change the stress on your body and give it time to rest from the heavy pounding before you go back to it one more time.

WARNING: Always train with a spotter. Heavy weights are dangerous and far too many people have been injured training without a spotter. Learn how to properly spot your partner and have a plan worked out between you about when and how he will spot you so if something goes wrong each of you know exactly what to do. Before you train warm up thoroughly with light weights, stretch, and use protective equipment such as a belt and knee wraps to avoid injury. Make sure you are healthy enough to handle heavy training by seeing your physician before starting any training program.

4 Week High Intensity Leg Training Program

Warm up and stretch before training to prepare your tissue for maximal effort training. This is a 4 week program that you will train only once per week to afford sufficient recovery time. Remember, you grow during recovery time, when you train you break down muscle tissue. Increase the load each set so you are using maximal poundages on your last set. Use the rep schemes as a guideline but try to train to failure on each set without using any forced reps. If you do more than prescribed then add more weight, if you do less then take some away.


Leg extensions First 2 sets are a warm up so start light and get a burn each set 5 12
Leg press 3 10-8-8
Squats 3 10-8-8
One leg lunge on smith 3 8
Laying curls 3 12-10-10
Standing curls 3 12-10-10
Stiff leg deadlift 3 10-8-8
Standing calf raise 3 12-10-10
Seated calf raise 3 12-10-10
Donkey calf raise 3 12-10-10

Walking lunges 5 50 feet
Wide squats 3 8-8-6
Hack squats 3 8-8-6
Leg extensions 3 8-8-8
Adductor 3 15
Adductor 3 15
Seated ham curl 3 10-8-8
Half stiff leg dead lift 3 10-8-8
Standing calf raise 3 12-10-10
Seated calf raise 3 12-10-10

Laying leg curls First two sets are a warm up 3 15-15-3x8
Standing leg curls 3 10-8-8
Reverse smith lunges 3 10-8-8
Wide stance squats 3 8-8-6
Hack squats 3 8-8-6
Front smith squats 3 8-8-6
One legged leg press 3 8-8-8
Leg press calf raise 3 12-10-10
Seated calf raise 3 12-10-10

Standing leg curls First two sets are a warm up 5 15-15-3x8
Seated leg curls 3 8-8-8
Wide stance squats 3 8-6-6
Hack squats 3 8-6-6
Leg Press 3 8-6-6
Leg extensions 3 8-8-8
Standing calf raise 3 12-10-10
Donkey calf raise 3 12-10-10