Eric Van De Vens Blog

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Weight Training Day 2 Legs!

Before we jump into the leg workout, a quick update. Yesterdays chest and arm workout went well with no pain or injuries. This morning, I woke up with slight soreness in my chest and triceps, which was expected and good. My biceps, on the other hand, are very sore! In fact, for about 15 minutes, I couldn’t straighten out my arms! Fortunately, this has loosened up and I felt well enough to go to the gym. My lower back also hurts this morning, which was to be expected. As the wife said upon my return from yesterdays second run, “you are going to regret this!”

On to the leg workout. The first thing I do when I get to the gym is a five-minute warm-up on the stationary bike. I may start running on leg days, just one mile, for a warm up in the future, but for now, the bike is effective. After the warm up, time for leg extensions. The leg extension machine that is at this gym has a unique feature. The part where your ankles slide under, is not in a fixed position. It slides up as you perform the exercise, which places all of the strain on your quadriceps, where it belongs. It also doesn’t hurt your ankles!

For the first two weeks, all exercises will be 3 sets of 10 repetitions. After two weeks, I will be changing to a modified version of power-factor training which uses heavier weights and less repetitions for certain muscles that I want to increase in size. I will also, when possible, exercise individual parts, left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg, etc. and then finish with both.

As the left leg is considerably smaller than my right  leg, I am going to have to build that leg up. I performed the leg extensions using one leg at a time. Surprisingly, although smaller, my left leg isn’t that much weaker. I did three sets of 10 reps with each leg using 50 lbs. Then, one extra set of 10 reps using 70 lbs. with both legs.

Now it was time for one of my favorite exercises, the leg press. The machine I used today was not the same one I used when I was just looking at the gym. This machine is similar to every other leg press machine I have used with the exception of being incredibly smooth to operate. So far, I am very impressed with the machines in this gym. They are more ergonomical and also, all operate very smoothly.

I started out with only one 45 lb. plate on each side just to get the motion of the machine down and because someone left the weight on the machine! 🙂 I used my right leg first and it was very easy. Then I switched to my left leg and it was also very easy and, no pain in the knee! I got up to add more weight and the back of my knee locked up. I manipulated the area and everything straightened out. I suspect that there is either bone, debris, or calcium deposits that are floating around in the back of my leg that will probably have to be removed. I want to build a little strength before going in for another surgery.

I added another 45 lb. plate to each side and repeated the exercise with first the right leg, then the left. Still easy. I got up and there was no locking in the knee. I added another 45 lb. plate to each side and as I stated the other day, this is usually my starting point. I did two sets of 10 repetitions and then, to finish. I added another 2 45 lb. plates (450 lbs. total for those of you counting) to the machine and did 2 sets of ten reps with both legs.

At the end of each set, I “rack” the weight and then do 15 calf raises using the 450 lbs. This really hits the calves hard and my calves have always been big and strong. This is why I have to use more weight to get any effect. During the last set, I got that feeling similar to yesterdays running high sensation. Usually it takes more weight to get this effect, but it does feel good when it happens. It also signals that this portion of the workout is over as it takes quite a bit of time to recover from this feeling. 🙂

Now it is on to the final leg exercise, reverse leg curls. The machine they have here is one of the best I have used. After setting everything up, you lock the top piece down on to your quads and everything is locked in tight. You are also in a seated position as opposed to the  machines where you lay on your stomach. For whatever reason, those machines always cause my hamstrings to cramp up.This machine also specifically targets your hamstrings. Again, three sets of 10, alternating legs and then finishing with one set using both legs.The weight was set at 50 lbs. for single legs and 70 lbs. for both legs.

Time to finish up with abs. I added an extra set of each ab exercises. The standing leg raise machine as well as the seated bench sit ups. Two sets of 20 on the stand up machine and three sets of 30 on the sit up bench.

After the workout, I felt fine. There was no pain in either leg and I made it through the workout fairly easily. Thursday will be the “heavy” leg day and Friday will be the “heavy” day for chest and arms.

So far, the weight lifting has been easier than I expected. I am stronger than I thought, or more correctly, not as weak as I thought! 🙂 Tomorrow will be the barometer as to todays workout and if I went to far or not.

So far..so good!! 🙂

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February 22, 2011 - Posted by | Weight Training | , , , , , , ,

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