The Three Day Body - Phase One - Week Ten: Legs
Being a hurdler through highschool and college, looking down the track at all the hurdles I had to clear while sprinting was overwhelming, until I just focused on the first one. Focus one at a time and you will be able to get to the end of the race, knowing you cleared them all, running and finishing the race well.
Clear mental hurdles. Focus and clear over them. Sometimes you get tripped up, but dust yourself off and keep going. Today is a great day to clear hurdles. Remind yourself DAILY you will get over it.
A little inside story, is that as a kid I dreamed of being like Jackie Joyner-Kersee who was the most athletic woman in the world, and best known as a hurdler. I watched her puff on her inhaler and win the gold medal. With me being a child told I could never play sports and had to spend most of my recess time indoors because of severe asthma, I decided I was going to be like Jackie and be a hurdler, however, nobody wanted me there.
Trying out for the track time, I was so excited to try the hurdles, not having a clue how to do any of it. I tried and failed miserably. My very first attempt, my coach took me by the arm and told me that this event wasn’t for me and I needed to go find something else to do. I was devastated!
The entire year I was forbidden to be anywhere near the hurdles. By the time 8th grade came around, I was scolded for trying again, but was finally permitted to do it. By the middle of the season, I was only a few tenths of a second from breaking the high school record. However, when I did get to high school, the hurdle height was much taller, and I can’t tell you how many times I crashed.
I mean, skin burned off, scraped off, peroxide and scrubbing gravel out of my hands and knees crashing. The very first time my picture was in the newspaper, it was my face 2 inches from the track tripping over another hurdle, and my legs up in the air. My nickname became crash, but I didn’t know how to hurdle. Everyday I went out and tried getting better and faster, but part of getting better and faster also included tripping and crashing.
But I got back up, became the team captain, and helped and encouraged everyone else along the way. I broke a few records a few times, and I fell even more. If I would have stopped because of how often I tripped, I would have never known I could overcome such a hurdle.
And I want the same for you. We get tripped up. We all do. It can be humiliating sometimes, but you get up there and keep showing up because overcoming once makes failing a hundred times not so bad.
So wherever you are in your journey, give yourself permission to get back on track.
Now Let’s Begin Week 10 for Legs!
Leg Press: Starting with leg press, 2-3 warm up sets of 10, then 3 sets of 10. Really get loosened up. Feet shoulder with apart, but put them a little higher on the platform than usual, toes slightly pointed out, and knees going in the same direction. During your warm up sets, add the weight until you are ready for your working set, then add a little more. Keep core engaged to really drive your legs through. Find that inner strength to drive. Count 3 second descent, then drive hard without locking out. Watch those knees and toes.
Squats: going a little lower this time, working on form as described in the video. Keep that back from rounding. Do 2 warm ups finding a difficult weight for 8 with perfect form, then 3 more sets of 8.
Leg Extension: pyramid up in weight each set after your warm ups. Make sure you are getting a full range of motion for 12, 10, and 8 and squeezing at the top. But on your 3rd set don’t stop. Go til failure with partials after your 8. Breathe through it, don’t hold your breathe. Use your breathe to propel you.
Lying Leg Curls: 3 sets of 12. Even though this is for your hamstrings, while laying on your stomach, focus on first squeezing your glutes, and THEN active your hamstrings to bring the weight up and squeeze at the top. Lower for 3 seconds. Breathe in as bringing weight up, exhale as lowering weight.
Dumbbell Deadlifts: 3 x 10 When you get to those dumbbell deadlifts, keep your legs straight but knees not locked out, just a tiny bend. Lower dumbbells closely down your shins with legs straight, weight all on heels, and literally push your hips back to feel the stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. After pushing your hips back and you feel that stretch, then right there squeeze your glutes to bring the dumbbells back up. You are only doing 8 so go a littler heavier if you can, but strict on form to not hurt your back. Never round your back, but keep pushing your hips back. Bend at the hips, you can totally do this! Are you feeling the stretch?
One Legged Dumbbell Calf Raise: 3 x 15-20 each leg.