Friday, March 28, 2014

Bodybuilding - How I brought my legs up: "Go somewhere else"

Though I don't really blog about training stuff, thought I share this one.

Believe it or not legs used to be my weakest point. I've been criticized before and back in the day a friend called me "the bicep man".

Now I often get guys asking me what I do for legs and the body part people want to train with me the most is legs - like I have some secret. Well, maybe I do... but not a scientific one.

Granted, my legs aren't the best and could most certainly be improved on. What's my secret though? Well first and foremost as with all things in bodybuilding, nutrition and training technique needs to be on point. Sufficient calories, appropriate rep ranges(usually higher for legs), form and execution, etc.
That said, my secret is to go somewhere else. You see legs usually require higher rep ranges for hypertrophy because of the type of muscle fibres blahblahblah - not here to speak the sciences. My point is that our leg workouts usually(if not should) include high rep ranges(up to 30 reps for me) and that is where the pain comes in. That is where it switches from a test of mental focus when doing 1-6 reps, to mental strength and guts to keep going as the rep range increases.
Back to my secret. I tell myself before these gruelling high rep sets to "go somewhere else". What that means is to let your mind go somewhere else. I find my la la land, go there and seek refuge till it's done. Physically I'm in pain and my legs are working, mentally I have "left".
No I'm not talking rubbish. What's at la la land? Emotions. Anger, hate, sadness, happiness, fear, hunger for success. Often I will have an image in my head. It could be anything(changes all the time), but it will be what's going to drive me. For instance the image of my favourite bodybuilders grinding through their impossible reps(for the same exercise I'm doing). Once I found that emotion and/or image/sound, I lock onto it, hold on to it and let it drive me until the set is over. This is what keeps me going long after I entered that "pain zone" that most people stop at. The set is over when I can't hold on any longer, not when I hit a number.
My leg workouts have no drop-sets. No short rest periods. No supersets. No fancy exercises or equipment. In fact rest periods will be long when this is incorporated because it's like not being able to walk after every set then resting until fully recovered to go through the whole process of tiring down the legs to enter the "pain zone" again. I take an average of 2.5 hours to complete a total of 12 working sets.
This is also the reason I hardly ever train legs with anyone - it's hard to "go somewhere else" when I'm training with someone. Too much distraction etc. Rest periods are spent visualizing and psyching the next set - you'll need it. This is also the reason those who have trained legs with me think my leg workouts are slack - I can't go to my la la land and they don't feel any kick either because there are no intensifiers like drop-sets etc.
I often get pre-workout anxiety and butterflies in my stomach the whole day or even the day before legs.
Go somewhere else.
Ps. Really need a leg workout now.
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