Legging It Out: The Low Down On Lower Body Training

Working out the legs has many benefits that you should find out about. Benefits? Yup, I'm not shitting you. Honest!

It breaks whatever’s left of my wee wittle heart that people don’t love leg day to the moon and back.

I’m truly saddened by our living in a world where there are people who don’t love leg day enough to call it “bae” and other idiotic pet names; that don’t love leg day enough to write love letters to it; or that don’t love leg day enough to have put a ring on it yet.

I mean, how can you not love leg day with every fiber of your being?

Speaking of fibers, when other than leg day can you feel every muscle fiber begging and pleading for you to stop? But unless you’re a pussy, you don’t. Instead, you keep challenging your testicular fortitude (or, because I’m not a sexist jerk, ovarian stick-to-itiveness).

Oh leg day, how I adore thee!!!

…but I’m the exception, not the norm.

Go to virtually any gym and what do you see?

Nothing but leg day skipping gym brahs with light bulb physiques.

Light bulb physiques?

Yeah, they’re big up top and have nothing on the bottom.

Light bulb physiques!

What gives?

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

I’m going to break down why people skip leg day and outline a few of the benefits of working out the legs, if there are any besides just getting sadistic joy out of harming yourself like autoerotic asphyxiation.

I. What A Pain!

Leg training is hard as FAWK!!!

Because the leg muscles are used every day to carry the weight of your body around, they’re accustomed to taking a beating. That being the case, it requires a considerable amount of effort to make the legs grow. Many lifters simply aren’t down for this, essentially doing the high volume work of 15-20 reps with moderate to heavy weight.

If able to endure the pain while working out, many complain about the after effects. Because it takes a huge amount of stress to prompt an adaptation in the legs, recovery can take longer than it does for the beach muscles.

Some people just don’t like experiencing debilitating soreness for several days removed from their last training bout, the kind of soreness that necessitates their rolling themselves around in a wheelchair and having to use handrails to get up from the crapper. These are the people who are more prone to train their legs infrequently, if at all.

That’s the thing, though.

The experiencing of soreness is just the body adapting to new stress so it can better handle it the next time. After prolonged exposure to that stress, soreness goes away.

So if you’re not training your legs frequently because you don’t like the feeling of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), then how are you going to stop the soreness from happening?

Huh?!

Huh?!?!

II. Phys Biz

While it can be rightfully said that leg day skippers with two working legs are nothing but pussies, there’s a little bit more to it than there being an overabundance of walking vaginas pretending to be men.

The avoidance of leg day is primarily physio-psychological.

Ambulation is a basic human need, and our ability to walk is temporarily hampered after a thorough leg session, especially when legs aren’t trained often enough. Our brain resists this loss of mobility, as if we’re Benjamin Buttoning back to early childhood and crawling around on fours. So the weak among us come up with bullshit excuses for not being able to train legs, like an old football injury suddenly flaring up out of nowhere or you not being able to make it to train legs because a kidnapper called to inform you that he has your wife and loved ones held hostage and their lives hang in the balance (maybe it’s just me, but you can remarry and have more children. Making up a missed leg session? Not so much!).

As for why men are more likely not to train legs than women, it also has to do with physiology.

Women respond to training differently than men because they lift less efficiently. In other words, men are able to recruit more of the maximum number of motor units to contract, resulting in the target muscle getting more of the work, which in turn stresses the central nervous system more and leads to it needing extra recovery time. It’s due to this difference in neuromuscular efficiency that a man will be sorer the day after leg day than a woman. As such, the odds are higher of him proverbially behaving like one.

III. Put Yourself Down

Want a cobra-wide back?

Barrel-sized chest?

Mountain peak biceps?

Door frame busting shoulders?

Your ticket to all of those glorious things is leg training.

See, the body naturally produces testosterone and growth hormone, the chemical messengers responsible for muscle building. Well, it just so happens that the hormonal response to those muscle-builders is increased when an inordinate amount of stress is placed on the central nervous system, with it found that lower body compound movements (particularly squats and deadlifts) are best at creating this environment.

Now, sure you can buy testosterone and growth hormone and just have your training partner inject them into your keister in a protein-fart smelling bathroom stall at the gym in order to avoid leg training, but there are a few more reasons why your lower half should be worked out.

One of those reasons has to do with the fact that the legs make up the largest muscle group in the human body, with the gluteus maximus being the largest muscle. Now, because larger muscles require more energy from the heart and brain and multi-joint exercises like squats and deadlifts call for the recruitment of various muscle groups across the body in order to execute the movement, more calories are burned than when smaller muscle groups are trained.

As the largest muscle group in the human body, the legs clearly play an important role in body composition. In a more obvious way of how leg training helps with physical appearance, leg training affects overall aesthetics by making you look symmetrical. You know, the chances are high that you look kinda stupid if you have small legs and a huge upper body.

Need some more reasons to work out your legs?

Well, in addition to looking stupid, you probably have back pain too, you Despicable Me looking motherfucker.

Why?

Well, what happens when the structural base of something is weak?

Hmmmmm…

This is just a shot in the dark here, but I think other parts of the structure are called on to hold the object up…before it eventually topples. The body is the exact same way, with the legs serving as the foundation and holding the weight of the entire upper half. When the leg muscles are deficient in strength and asked to hold a massive trunk, that places pressure on the lower back to stabilize everything.

IV. Make A Day Of It

As we see, the person who suffers through leg day is going to be bigger and stronger, have a higher metabolic rate, and have a reduced risk of injury than the person who finds a convenient excuse to always pussy out.

Considering these benefits, why would you NOT train legs?

Like, seriously.

You’re already of low character, so lowering yourself to do squats and lunges shouldn’t be that much of a problem, fucker!

What’s the most bullshit excuse you’ve ever used to weasel out of a leg day workout?
Oh, sorry! My apologies! You would never do such a thing. Please be ever so kind to allow me to rephrase the question!
*ahem* What’s the most bullshit excuse someone’s ever told you to weasel out of a leg day workout? *ahem*
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