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Leg Day - April 17th 2019

Full disclosure, I friggin hate leg day. I love jumps and heavy deadlifts but everything that follows actually angers me. Maybe I have some issues. None the less, leg day is a necessary evil and I’m here to lay down a simple template you can follow for the strength, shape and athletic gainz you are looking for. 

The second day of the training week is generally leg day. The first day of the training week used to be leg day, but I found people were not always ready to go coming off a weekend and an upper body lift just fits better on a Monday. 

We will start our work out with a warm-up circuit consisting of exercises to strengthen the core, activate the upper back and fire up the nervous system. An example would be a single arm plank variation, 15 band pullaoarts and 5 box jumps performed in a circuit for 3 sets each.

Next we move onto the main lift of the day. This exercise would generally be some sort of a single leg or double leg squat or deadlift variation. Work up to 1 or 2 heavy sets of 6-8 reps, trying to progressively lift heavier weights over time. If a client can deadlift 315lbs and we want to try for 320 we would work up in weight like this- set 1- 135lbs x 6 reps, set 2- 225lbs x 6 reps, set 3- 285lbs x6, set 4- 315lbs x6, set 5- attempt 320 x 6. You should allow yourself up to two minutes of rest between heavy sets, but you don’t want to waste that time sitting around. Here, you can add in some mobility work, like a hip flexor stretch, or some light upper back work like facepulls or Y-W-T-Ls. 

Pick 4 main lifts that you enjoy and rotate them every month. This will allow you to spend 3 months each year trying to improve a few big-impact exercises. Currently, I have my full grown humans rotating between trap bar deadlifts/single leg deadlifts, barbell squats/split squats, hip thrusts and a 5 step maximum sled push. 

Next up, we want to hit 3 to 4 additional exercises focusing on upper back strength, hamstrings, glutes, and some additional core work. 

The importance of the upper back goes way beyond the aesthetics of walking around in a bathing suit or a tank top. We humans spend so much time slumped forward over our computers and our phones that we inevitably end up with shoulder issues.Performing extra upper back work during every workout can help mitigate some of our awful, pitiful posture habits.A strong upper back looks great in a T-shirt and will keep your shoulders healthy. Inverted rows and sled rows are two of my go-to options here. 

You can combine these exercises together into a three or four exercise circuit, or you can separate the exercises into two 2-exercise circuits. It doesn’t matter. Scroll to the bottom of the page for some common exercises are use in these circuits.

I like to keep the reps in the 8-15 range during these circuits. If you are somebody who likes to train with a little more intensity, push each set to within three reps of technical failure and perform 2, maybe 3 sets per exercise. If training with this kind of intensity beats you up a little too much, end each set with a few more reps in the tank and perform 3-4 total sets per exercise. 



Warm-up Circuit: Pick one of each- Core Stability: ½ Kneeling Pallof Press- 3x8 per side, Bodysaw- 3x8, Standing Chop- 3x8 per side. Upper Back Activation: Facepull- 3x10, Pullapart- 3x10, Y-T-W-L on an incline bench- 3 sets of 10 per. Nervous System: Sled Sprints 6 x 10 yards, Box Jump 3 x 5 jumps, Overhead (Granny) Medball Toss 3 x 5 throws.


Main Exercise: Pick one and attempt to progressively lift more weight or add more reps for a month. Pick another exercise next month and do the same: Trap Bar Deadlifts, Dumbbell Split Squats, Hip Thrust, Heavy Sled Push. Perform 3 to 5 sets. Perform mobility drills for the thoracic spine, shoulders, hips and ankles between sets or perform additional upper back work between sets.


3-4 Extra Exercises- Pick 1 of each and perform in a big circuit or two smaller circuits. 2-4 sets of 8 to 15 reps each. My favorite options here are, in no particular order; Reverse Sled Drags for distance, Step Ups, Glider Leg Curls, Lateral Squats, Lateral Sled Drags, Reverse Lunges, Reverse Lunges off a 3” box, DB Squats, Hip Thrusts, Single Leg Hip Thrusts, Back Extensions, Glute Ham Raises, Heavy Dumbbell Carries, 1-Arm Heavy DB Carries, Overhead Carries, Offset weight Trap Bar Carries, Inverted Rows, DB Rows, Band/Cable Rows, Sled Rows, 1-Arm Sled Rows, Reverse Crunches, Hanging Leg Raises, Sprinter Situps. 

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Heisler Training
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1083 Route 83, Cape May Court House New Jersey