Once again it was time for leg training this morning. Last night I received an email from Bill our photographer, informing me we were training at 10 am. I assumed I was training with Ofer Samra again. Turns out he deliberately wasn’t specific about the trainer in the email because he wanted to scare me (as our previous leg training session was brutal). So when Bill told me it was Jerome Ferguson I was somewhat relieved. Not that Jerome went easy on me.
Our first exercise was seated leg extensions. We did one warm up set to start off. After the first working set Jerome had me immediately do some jump squats with body weight. Zero rest and it was back onto the leg extension for another working set with more weight. Straight away I did four sets of stairs two at a time. Then back onto the extensions for a third set. This was followed up with unilateral step ups onto a bench with each leg. For my final set Jerome bumped the weight up to the maximal weight I usually use on the leg extension. After I was done it was straight back to the stairs for another four sets. You can see that the pace of the workout was very quick with no rest in between. This is how it was for the whole workout.
Following the stairs we went to the vertical leg press. I was concerned about this exercise because of my lower back issues so we tried the horizontal plate loaded leg press instead which seemed ok. We did four sets on this machine interspersed with step-ups, box jumps and stairs. With the very little rest I was getting, my respiratory system really started to fatigue here. Charles Glass actually noted to Bill that I wasn’t bringing my knee up high enough when doing the step ups. What can I say I wasn’t being lazy I was just hurting and tired as hell. In fact I failed on the first rep of my heaviest set. We did a drop set to finish which was a real killer.
For the last exercise Jerome moved to the 45 degree sliding leg press. Knowing that again this machine tends to put a bit of pressure on my lower back I asked if we could use the arching leg press I have been using of late. We started off with four forty fives pound plates a side and added a plate to each side on each subsequent set, ending up with seven forty five pound plates a side on the last set. This is generally less than I use for my first set, so that may give you an idea of how hard Jerome pushed me. In between the sets I did jumping squats, running on the spot bring knees up as high as I could (which didn’t end up being very high) and step ups onto a bench. Again we finished with a drop set on the final set which was very difficult.
The workout with Jerome had left me physically exhausted. Jerome had put me through a tough workout and he was very proficient at it. But it left me pondering what was the purpose of the workout? I am a natural bodybuilder and I am concerned with building leg mass and bringing up my weak areas such as hamstrings and quad sweep. Sure this was a difficult workout but what results would it be achieving? After thinking about it I would recommend this type of workout for a few different types of people. (i) People who are interested in competing in Men’s Physique exclusively. These competitors may not really be worried about leg mass since they will be wearing board shorts on stage anyway but they want to have a little bit of muscle in their legs. This type of training may also be useful for them pre-contest for cardio or if they need to do extra cardio to reduce excess body fat. (ii) Also non competitive people who have been working out for a while and are looking for a challenging way to combine leg training and cardio or to be more efficient with their workouts may find this training optimal. Jerome admitted before we even started the workout that this is not a workout that is going to build a whole lot of mass. But if you are just looking to be fit, want a bit of muscle tone and a difficult ass workout you are reading the right article.
After I’d spent five minutes or so recovering I finished off my workout starting with four more sets of leg extensions for quads, two exercises for hamstrings (lying curls and seated curls), three exercises for calves (standing calf raises, seated calf raises and cybex machine raises) and one for the inner thighs (seated adductor). Dexter Jackson was training calves in a superset fashion right next to me. I can tell you if that doesn’t motivate you when you are tired nothing will!
Later on in the day I was debating whether to come back into the gym and do a bit more of a heavy quad workout. I’m glad I did because Jay Cutler was in training shoulders only a number of meters away from me. From what I saw he did a machine press, seated side raises, front barbell raises on an incline bench and bent over rear delt raises sitting on a bench and he was still going by the time I left the gym. Thought that might be interesting for some of the bodybuilding fans out there. I don’t need to tell you that the guy is huge but seriously he is! I realized the guy who films him and posts the videos on Facebook is the same guy who owns the Max Muscle store which is only a few blocks away from Gold’s. I knew I recognized him when I walked in there to buy some protein bars before my show last Friday. Almost said something at the time too. Wow I’ve seen so many top pros recently!
Anyway for my quad workout I did eight sets of legs press and four more sets of leg extensions. A funny thing happened while I was on the leg press though. This woman asked if I had many sets left and I said sorry I have eight sets on here. She looked at me and said “you’ve got to be kidding”. Anyway she went off and did her own thing and as I was unloading the machine after my eighth set came back over and asked if I was done. I said no I just have one drop set to do and it would only take a minute. She looked really pissed off and actually went over and told the manager. The manager walked towards me for a second but after he got a good look he didn’t say anything. I mean I know eight sets is a lot but when you can’t squat sometimes you have to make the most of the mass building exercises you can do. Besides there are at least ten leg presses in the gym, some different and some similar to the one I was using and most of them were free! Why she felt compelled to use the only one that was taken beats me.
So after training I went to eat at the firehouse again. I ordered a turkey patty, eight ounces of egg whites and three multigrain pancakes. It’s become a favorite order of mine especially since the show has been finished. My throat has started to get a little tender so looks like I’m coming down with a little cold unfortunately. I still have to train but I think I will try to rest up when I’m not in the gym. Later in the week I am planning to train shoulders with Hidetada Yamagishi. Hopefully my cold will be gone by then so I can put 100% into it. Be sure not to miss my article detailing the workout!