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Quad Routine

Quadricep Anatomy

This is a legs routine, designed to build new size, strength and detail into your quads.

Leg Extension – 4 sets, 30, 25, 20, 15 reps superset with
Bodyweight Walking Lunges – 4 sets, 24 steps

Leg Press – 4 sets, 20, 12, 10, 8 reps superset with
Bodyweight Sissy Squat – 4 sets, 15 reps

Hack Squat – 4 sets, 15 reps superset with
Bodyweight Squat – 4 sets, 20 reps

Make sure when doing bodyweight squats take them to parallel then come to a point just short of full lockout to keep constant tension in the quads.

Rest 1-2 minutes after each superset grouping.

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Forced Reps – How To Use Them Correctly and How They Help?

Forced reps with a partner is a good technique to use for new growth, as it gives the muscle more stimulus after the mind and the muscle is disconnect and you are physically unable to complete any more reps without help. Using the bench press as an example, load the bar with a slightly heavier weight than you might use when training alone. Aim for got your target number of reps on your own, even if you know you may fall short by one or two reps. If you are going for 10 reps for example, and fail at 8, you can use forced reps to complete the set. Have your partner hold the bar lightly on the descent, then help your power it back up to the top, offering only as much help as necessary for you to complete the rep. This is where a good training partner comes in handy. You want someone who is familiar with your limits and who can safely help through the set.

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Four Weeks Of TUT Style Benching

While there are countless combinations to choose from, here is a sample of how you could account for both optimal rep range and TUT for the bench press in one month. The key is to expose the strength-based rep count to the entire spectrum of optimal TUT.

Week One
Bench Press – 5 sets, 2 reps, TUT – 12 seconds , Rest 3 minutes
That is 5 sets of 2 reps, with each rep taking 6 seconds to complete.

Week 2
Bench Press – 4 sets, 3 reps, TUT – 15 seconds, Rest 3 minutes
That is 4 sets of 3 reps, with each rep taking 5 seconds to complete.

Week 3
Bench Press – 3 sets, 4 reps, TUT – 20 seconds, Rest 3 minutes
That is 3 sets of 4 reps, with each rep taking 5 seconds to complete.

Week 4
Bench Press – 5 sets, 6 reps, TUT – 18 seconds, Rest 3 minutes
That is 5 sets of 6 reps, with each rep taking 3 seconds to complete.

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Time Under Tension (TUT)

In the simplest terms time under tension, or TUT for short, is the length of time a muscle is under tension during a set, or rather the amount of time it actually takes to finish a set. As it turns out, how long your force yourself to complete a rep has heavy implications.

Strength In Numbers
Experts tend to agree that in the area of strength gains, the optimal time for a given set lies somewhere between 4-2- seconds from time of liftoff to the tick you rack the bar. Basically, TUT equals the sum of the amount of time (in seconds) for the descent and the ascent of the bar. So taking the squat as an example, it if takes 3 seconds to descend towards the floor and 2 seconds to explode back up to the start, that is obviously 5 seconds worth of rep time. A three-rep set at that pace would obviously be 15 seconds worth of TUT.

With this in mind, some experts argue that this TUT factor is equally as important as the rep range itself, which for strength, is between 1-6 reps. As a rule it is always important to remember that a rep is only as good as the corresponding weight. In other words, to enhance strength, you need to make sure that the weight is relatively heavy to fulfil that rep range. You can not select a light weight and simply stop at say, 5 reps, when indeed you could have done 12 reps. That would indicate that you have selected an inappropriate weight.

Though you know the relationship between rep ranges, training goals and muscle failure, you may be short-changing the role of TUT. It is fair to say that when it comes to numbers, we typically factor in sets reps per set and the rest time between those sets. But there is a deeper way to view all that work, and that is where TUT comes into play. It breaks down the category of “reps” into its own spectrum – seconds. A given rep range should be spread over time if possible. The goal is to o=hold a muscle under tension at a given weight for various periods of time. If you can do so, using the bet range of 1-6 reps, over the best time to enhance strength, 4-20 seconds, then big gains in strength are inevitable.

The idea here is to configure a strength scheme that optimises both elements, which would seemingly give you the nest of both worlds. You would be working within a rep range that recruits the fast-twitch muscle fibres most responsible for strength while also submerging that target muscle under tension within the optimal spectrum of seconds. When it comes to fast-twitch fibres, the heavier weight and low-moderate rep schemes call them into play with greater success than the high-rep sets do.

Time To Get Strong
One way you might want to begin using TUT is to consider that as your rep range increases, the total time it takes to complete a rep decreases and vice versa. In other words, if your reps are low, then you might want to increase the time of both the eccentric and concentric portions of the repetition. This is not the only way to incorporate TUT, but it is a good place to begin.

So if you were doing 6 reps, your seconds per rep would be much less (around 2-3 seconds) than say a set of 2 reps of 6 seconds per rep, for example. You basically multiply the number of reps by the total time it takes you to complete a rep, with the goal to remain anywhere between 4-20 seconds total, regardless.

Increasing the amount of time it takes to move a very heavy weight is a phenomenon that few athletes ever attempt. Since the weight is relatively constant, 1-6RM, you can adjust the time per rep from one set to the next or from week to week. The end goal, again, is to spread out the reps in time between 4-20 seconds per set, which means you can perform any number of reps and time elements.

Because of the freedom from which to choose TUT schemes, it is advisable to keep a journal to follow your progression. Doing so will ensure you expose different loads to various rep speeds and total set times and will help you decide which combinations work the best.

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Lifitng Your Hips Off The Pad During Leg Presses

Leg Press

Excessive range of motion can contribute to lower-back soreness or injury.

Behind the Blunder
We have all made this blunder at some point or another, and many of you probably still do. When lifting the hips off the leg press pad, you are doing much more harm than good. First off, if you are stuck in this habit, you are probably not controlling the weight as well as you should. The key to any exercise is being able to completely control the negative portion of the repetition, since its during the eccentric path that much of the damage to the muscle fibres occurs. So you definitely don’t want to rush or waste this contraction in any way. In addition, if you use momentum or rush the weight on the downward phase by trying to bounce out of the bottom with your hips, you end up losing many of the benefits the exercise has to offer. Second (this might not resonate with younger athletes), if you allow your hips to rise, you could be putting too much stress on the disks in your lower back.

The Fix
Instead of allowing your hips to lift off the seat in order to target your hamstrings and glutes to a greater extent, raise your feet a little higher and wider to make up the difference. Then, as you slowly lower the weight, do not try and force knees to your chest, but gradually stop the momentum before that point, so you will not lose the tension in the quads. Finally, try lowering the weight just a bit, not all the way. Anytime you compensate form to accomplish a heavier load, the strict adjustment could be a shock, so take a couple of plates off and get used to doing it right.

Sit squarely in the leg-press machine and place your feet on the sled, shoulder-width apart. Keeping your chest up and lower back pressed into the back support, carefully unlock the weight from the safeties.

Bend your knees to lower the weight, stopping before your glutes lift off the pad. Smoothly reverse direction and then extend your legs to press the weight back up, stopping just short of locking out your legs. Squeeze your legs hard at the top then repeat for reps.

Leg Remedy: Leg Press Corrected
One thing to remember before climbing into the leg press is that there is no better exercise for the quads then the leg press, specifically for the teardrop (medialis). But you don’t need to bring the platform so far down to accomplish the machine’s best task. Stay controlled, stopping the momentum just before your hips are forced to rise upward. In fact, you even lose tension the further you lower the weight. So don’t worry, when you stop the weight before your hips lift off the bench, you are not stopping short on progress.