Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
THE X-MAN’S HAM/GLUTE GAUNTLET
“I train my entire lower body in one workout. It’s a one-shot deal that I do twice a week, and it’s designed to integrate movements that will target a predetermined area of the muscle that I believe needs attention.”
“I never do the same thing twice, but that may not work for someone else. Sometimes I’ll use hack squats, leg presses, walking lunges or step backs as a substitute. I might do the same exercises two weeks in a row, but it will be in a different order and will involve a different superset. Do what’s comfortable. Do exercises one at a time, do supersets, do trisets, do giant sets. You need to figure out what works. But trust me on this: using these exercises will wreck you. That’s no joke.”
“I mainly use free weights, because they force me to find that groove in order for my glutes to contract. It’s just the weight and me. If I don’t concentrate, my lower back and hamstrings will take over. That’s not what I’m going after. It’s gotta be about the glutes or it’s a wasted movement.”
THE X-MAN'S TRAINING TECHNIQUES
SUPERSETS: Two exercises performed without rest in between.
TRISETS: Stringing together three exercises without breaking between exercises. "Sometimes I do the adductor into kickbacks into abductors; I do it this way for intensity purposes and also to get as much work done as possible in a short amount of time."
GIANT SETS: Four or more exercises done in a row without rest. "If you don't have a lot of time, use giant sets and pair up the exercises how you see fit. You'll still get a good pump."
INTENSE EXERCISES: "Here are some examples of exercises I might perform together on leg day. As I mentioned, it's always subject to change."
>> Adductors and leg-curl kickbacks
>> Abductors and dumbbell leg curls
>> Jefferson squats and stiff-leg deadlifts
>> Jefferson squats and adductors
>> Abductors, leg-curl kickbacks and adductors
THE X-MAN’S TRAINING SPLIT
Click "NEXT PAGE" for detailed exercise instruction >>
“It’s a super-old-school move that works the hams and glutes. I don’t know anyone besides Kai and myself who do them regularly. They look tough, and they are.”
“These work the same areas as lunges, although the movement is a lot like a deadlift. Remember to lift with the legs, not the upper back or arms.”
LEG CURL KICKBACKS
“Anyone can do the regular Butt Blaster. You just get on there and push up. These leg-curl kickbacks aren’t traditional by any means, but if done correctly, you’ll feel — and see — why they’re effective.”
LYING DUMBBELL HAMSTRING CURLS
“These are the hardest of all the leg curls, but doing them this way allows more control, detail and incorporates more muscle fibers when executed correctly. The mind-muscle connection has to be tight in order to balance the dumbbell between your feet. This helps the overall look, and that’s important when posing onstage.”
“You can’t let your lower back, quads and hamstrings take over. They’re going to want to, so it’s important to keep yourself honest and to concentrate on what you’re trying to accomplish.”
“Going too heavy can work the wrong muscles. At first, my hams, quads and lower back were blowing up before my glutes. Not anymore. Use weight that’s heavy enough to keep your form strict. Proper form trumps heavy weight.”
“Be loose in the hips so that you can do the Jefferson squats, kickbacks and lunges without getting injured. All of those exercises will hit the glutes, so it’s important to make sure they’re ready to work.”
"I don't time my workouts, just like I don't count my reps. When my form starts to give, I'll either switch exercises or I'll call it a day. As a bodybuilder, you want to isolate each muscle group and break down the fibers. When they're broken down, that's it. The day is over."
"Me telling you how many reps and sets to do is irrelevant if you can't do it or if it's not enough. Adapt. I did, and that's why I'm still making gains at my age. It's about reassessment, then taking that data and adjusting as necessary. I go until I break form, concentrating on breaking down the fibers if each muscle group."
“I don’t need exorbitant amounts of weight to make gains. Put it this way: I don’t squat 500 pounds anymore, but there aren’t too many people in the industry with legs as big as mine. Back in the day, I’d squat 6 plates for sets of 10, but my legs were 4" smaller. So what does that tell you? I think people say stuff about how much weight they’re putting up just to throw people off. This whole industry can be full of myths about training heavy and intensity and eating. I’m sure it’s true for some individuals, but for people like me, we won’t benefit from training heavy all the time.”
StepMill: Level 5, 8 minutes
Narrow-stance squats: 4 sets, 10 reps
Wide-stance squats: 4 sets, 10 reps
Abductor machine: 3 sets, 15-25 reps
Adductor machine: 3 sets, 15-25 reps
Leg-curl kickbacks: 3 sets, 15-25 reps
Jefferson squats: 4 sets, 12, 10, 8, 8 reps (per leg)
Lying leg curl 21s: 4-6 sets, 7, 7, 7 reps
Stiff-leg deadlifts 4-6 sets, 12-15 reps
Lying dumbbell hamstring curls: 4 sets, 12-15 reps
Leg extensions: 4 sets, 15-30 reps
“Go hard on the warm-up to get yourself nice and loose. You’ll need it.”
“I do 10 reps of narrow stance squats with my feet 6" apart, then immediately follow that with 10 reps with my feet nearly touching the sides of the power rack.”
“I want to hit both the inner and outer areas of the glutes, and the adductor machine definitely does that.”
“For lying leg curl 21s, perform 3 sets of 7 reps: the first 7 for the bottom third of the movement, the second 7 for the middle third and the final 7 reps for the top third.”
“Almost everything with the hamstrings involves curling, so when you flex against the stretch in stiff-leg deadlifts, it allows you to stimulate different muscle fibers.”
“If your thought process isn’t confident when doing dumbbell leg curls, you’re going to drop the dumbbell.