By Nick Nilsson
Author of Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss
Let me just start by saying, you're going to hate me for this one...
I hate me for this one...
We're going to combine one of my favorite fat-loss training techniques with one of my favorite leg exercises...resulting in a leg workout that is going to leave your legs TRASHED for 2 to 3 days afterwards (if you did it right, of course).
The technique is Power Start Lactic Acid Training, the goal of which is to build up as much lactic acid in the target muscles as possible to elicit the Growth Hormone response that results from that drop in pH.
Growth Hormone is CRITICAL for fat loss and for maintaining muscle mass while losing fat. Training for that GH response specifically is what we're looking for here. (Side note, be sure you DO NOT eat anything before training for this GH response...any insulin in your bloodstream will blunt that GH response we're looking for).
To do Power Start Lactic Acid Training, your first set is going to be a moderate weight (70% of so of 1 RM) done for relatively high reps (20+). The idea on this first is to crank out reps as fast and powerfully as you can, without resorting to poor form or excess momentum.
We're not looking for super-strict form...just good form with the goal of powerfully blasting out as many reps as you can before Lactic Acid build-up shuts you down.
For the next set (resting 20 seconds between), drop the weight by about half.
Now do another set, putting out as many more reps as you can. On these sets, we're looking for tighter form as the weight is lighter. You will likely get maybe 8 to 12 reps on this set as the lactic acid build-up will still be present in the target muscles.
Rest 20 seconds then go again, going for as many reps as you can.
Repeat this pattern of 20 seconds rest and as many reps as you can until you've done 10 to 12 TOTAL sets for that exercise.
On the last set, be sure to give it everything you've got...push yourself to the point where Lactic Acid is causing everything to shake and your muscles just aren't functioning properly (it'll happen).
So that's how to do Power Start Lactic Acid Training...
You can do it with just about any exercise but here's the BEST exercise to do it with to target the legs. This one will really allow you push your legs to the limit.
One-Arm Gripping Dumbbell Squats
To do this one, you'll just need a couple of dumbbells (2 sets, ideally) and a solid bar to grab onto that's about chest height.
It's very simple. You'll be holding onto that bar with one hand and holding a dumbbell with the other. Then you'll just do a squat.
Holding onto the bar allows you to maintain a vertical upper body position, taking all stress off the lower back. It also allows you to spot yourself somewhat, giving assistance when you need it to help continue the set.
Here's what it looks like...(on this first set, I'm using an 85 lb dumbbell - I've got one set on my left side and one on my right so I can switch hands very quickly and easily, as you'll see in the video).
When doing this first set of moderate weight for high reps, to keep the load even on your body, go for 8 to 10 reps on the left arm then 8 to 10 on the right, then keep switching and keep going as long as you can.
Switch and keep going.
When you hit the wall on this, move the larger dumbbells off to the side then get the lighter ones ready to go. In this case, I dropped down to 40 lb dumbbells.
You've got 20 seconds rest in between that first set and the second set that starts immediately when your first set finishes...NOT when you get the second set of dumbbells into position...(yeah, I've got my eye on you).
Same idea here...you will probably need to reduce the reps on each side to about 4 or 5 because of that Lactic Acid build-up.
Rest 20 seconds then go again, getting as many reps as you can.
Repeat until you hit 10 to 12 sets total (I did 12 sets in the demo here).
On the very last set, put everything you've got into it. Push yourself to the absolute limit. And THAT is where the beauty of THIS exercise really comes into play.
If you were doing a barbell squat, you'd have to worry about re-racking the bar. If you were doing a leg press, you'd finish at the top of a rep, not the bottom.
With THIS exercise, you finish at the bottom so you can pretty much just fall to the ground. And you can use your grip on the bar to help pull yourself up out of the squat on the final reps, allowing you to push your legs to the limit.
When you finish your last set, you are DONE with legs.
And I can promise you, there WILL be lactic acid burn and you will be walking funny for about 5 to 10 minutes (watch where you walk...seriously...I actually accidentally kicked over my video camera by accident after shooting this and I've never done that before).
The next few days, the soreness will really start kicking in. One thing I do recommend is taking about 1000 mg of Vitamin C before your workout. That'll help mitigate the soreness that will be coming.
That's the technique and that's the exercise to do it with. If you're looking to really hit your legs hard, burn fat and build muscle, this is a GREAT leg workout to do it with.
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