You may have encountered individuals who focus solely on training their beach muscles like chest and biceps, while neglecting their back and legs. These guys prioritize bench press and bicep exercises, occasionally throwing some lat pulldowns for the back just so they can say they “train their backs”.
Then, there are also lifters that train the upper body hard enough but skip leg training altogether.
The gym where I was training a few years back had even removed the squat rack because no one was using it…no one except me, that is. When I asked what happened to the rack, they said : “It’s no big deal, we have the the leg press and leg extension machines”. The answer was obvious to me, I had to switch gyms.
Most gym goers and beginners don’t understand why heavy leg training is so important for overall development and strength. They run, play soccer, work on the stepper and think they have their legs “covered”.
Besides walking around with chicken legs, there are several reasons for regular and intense leg training. Here they are:
– First of all if you want to gain muscle mass just remember that your legs make up for more than 50% of your whole musculature. More muscle in your legs means more muscle overall. Charles Poliquin states that you need about 15lbs of muscle mass if you want to increase your arm size an inch.
– The human body is a fine tuned machine that tends to balance its symmetry. When growth is stimulated in any muscle, then growth is also stimulated in the rest of the body to a lesser extent. The legs are the biggest muscle group in the body, so their stimulation will have the greatest effect of stimulating growth in the rest of the body. That means bigger upper body by doing squats and deadlifts.
– Clinical studies suggest that squats and deadlifts help the production of HGH (human growth hormone) and testosterone in the body. Those are the most important hormones for building muscle mass and burning fat.
– Your abdominal and lower back muscles work directly to support the weight when you’re doing heavy squats and deadlifts. This saves you some time and effort when doing abs.
– The real reason for not training legs is probably the fact that training legs is physically and mentally very hard, and leaves you tired and in pain long time after the workout is done. That’s why doing squats and deadlifts will build your mental endurance and character like no other exercise.