The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Raise The Fist
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    Building big legs without squats

    Hey guys, Ive been suffering from a slipped disk injury for quite a long time now, and after osteotherapy im better but not 100% ok.

    I am a bit cautious with the exercises i perform, and dont include some exercises in my workouts such as squats/deadlifts, as i believe they will cause damage to my back, due to the injury.

    As ive mentioned, I dont do squats, and I think the current exercises I do are not enough to build big legs.

    The exercises I do are:

    Leg extensions
    Leg curls
    standing leg curls
    seated calf raises
    seated inner thighs (not sure what theyre properly called)
    seated outer thighs (not sure what theyre properly called)

    I do 4 sets of 8 on each exercise.

    I particularly think that my quads arent getting enough exercise to stimulate growth, and I would like to ask if anyone has any suggestions for any other exercises I can include in my workout (not squats/hack squats) to further stress my quad muscles.

    Before doing leg extensions I also spend about 10 mins on the bike in order to work my quads a bit, but i dont feel theyre working as hard as they should with the current exercises.

    Lastly, are seated calf raises enough for calf development, or should i do standing calf raises as well?

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  3. #2
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    If you're doing leg extensions, you're giving your quads all they need to grow.

  4. #3
    Raise The Fist
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    thnx for the reply MarshallPenn.

    Is working the legs once a week enough or should i exercise them more often to see good progress?
    "If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine." - Che
    "I know you've come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you're only going to kill a man" - Che
    "Democracy today is the same as in the days of ancient Greece, freedom for the slave owners."
    - Lenin

  5. #4
    Gym ratt/Part-time pimp LAM's Avatar
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    heavy leg extensions are terrible for the knee. there is a LOT of pressure applied to the knee cap. I would do those last when the leg is pre-exhausted and less weight is needed...

    I know what you mean about low back problems. I have 2 complete herniated discs at S1/S2 and L4/L5.

    What about the leg press and hack squat ? can you do them with out discomfort ?

  6. #5
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    1x a week is plenty if you work 'em hard... I might back off a bit on the reps and lift a bit more weight, but given your restrictions, your routine looks basically ok

    you might add in seated or sled-based leg press as well...

  7. #6
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    LAM is right -- you can get knee problems, so I wouldn't do them super heavy. I would do them much more than once a week.

    I think leg press sucks for the knees as well though.

  8. #7
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    I would not back off the reps and add more weight on an exercise like leg extension. Just be safe and protect your knees.

  9. #8
    Raise The Fist
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    to be honest i havent tried them for a long time now...but when i did they did cause some pain.

    however, i guess i could do them now that im better, but without a full range of motion. would that be beneficial at all, or do i need to do them with a full range of motion for them to actually work? (obviously its best..but im not sure i can)

    Also, ive heard that squats/leg presses stunt growth, is there any study confirming this or is it just rumours?
    "If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine." - Che
    "I know you've come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you're only going to kill a man" - Che
    "Democracy today is the same as in the days of ancient Greece, freedom for the slave owners."
    - Lenin

  10. #9
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    Well, I'm 3'7", but I don't think there is any reason to think that they stunt your growth. ;-)

    How old are you?

  11. #10
    Raise The Fist
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    sorry, just verifying that for my last post "to be honest i havent tried them for a long time now...but when i did they did cause some pain." im talking about leg presses
    "If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine." - Che
    "I know you've come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you're only going to kill a man" - Che
    "Democracy today is the same as in the days of ancient Greece, freedom for the slave owners."
    - Lenin

  12. #11
    Raise The Fist
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    Im 16, 1.72m tall (around 5 ft 6)
    "If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine." - Che
    "I know you've come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you're only going to kill a man" - Che
    "Democracy today is the same as in the days of ancient Greece, freedom for the slave owners."
    - Lenin

  13. #12
    Wannabebig Member
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    step ups onto a bench with dumbells

  14. #13
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
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    accuflex - LOLZZZZ!!!11one1!! SOEM PPL WORK THRE ARMZ!!!!11!! LETS KILL THEM111

    "You can fake effort with grunts and clanging weights but quiet, consistent hard work coupled with gradual strength increases earns universal respect in gyms" - Steve Colescott



    I'd rather Situation be a member of this board. -Joey54

  15. #14
    *the ONE the ONLY* BennettBoy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MarshallPenn
    If you're doing leg extensions, you're giving your quads all they need to grow.
    You really believe this? I'm not sure I do. Leg extensions in my way of thinking are more of a shaping or defining leg exercise to be used after the mass has been put on by either squatting or leg presses.

  16. #15
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Errrr.......

    Ok, no. No specific exercise can be classified as being for "mass" or for "definition;" certainly not for shaping.

    The muscle either grows or it doesn't.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

    Budiak: That girl I maced
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  17. #16
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    Definition is diet, "shaping" seems largely impossible within a muscle group, and yes I really believe that. :-)

    Seriously though, do you think your quads know what type of exercise they are doing? Provide sufficient tension to the muscle and it will grow.

  18. #17
    *the ONE the ONLY* BennettBoy's Avatar
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    OK I'm with ya. I still don't think you will build great quads with just leg extensions....but we will agree to disagree.
    peace-

    Craig

  19. #18
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    Bennett, why couldn't you?

    Can you build great triceps with push-downs, or skull crushers? Can you build great biceps with curls?

    What makes this different?

  20. #19
    *the ONE the ONLY* BennettBoy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by BennettBoy
    OK I'm with ya. I still don't think you will build great quads with just leg extensions....but we will agree to disagree.
    Let me rephrase: I don't think you can build complete quads with leg extensions. Do leg extensions do much for the upper part of one's quad?

    Or maybe I've just been brainwashed by the Old-Timers that say you MUST squat

  21. #20
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    Oh, don't get me wrong, you must squat, but that's just because squatting is, well... squatting rocks. It does so much more for you beyond just quad development.

    Yes, leg extensions will hit the whole thing, you just have to be careful with avoiding knee problems. But you can completely develop the muscle using them.

  22. #21
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    one-legged squats

    i have a bad disk too. Tried trap bar squats for a while but reinjured my back. So now i'm doing one-legged squats which are MUCH easier on the lower back. Stand on one leg, hold a dumbbell on same side and squat. Don't use the other leg except for balance. Also helps to hold the back of a chair or something with the free hand for balance. I stand on a piece of 4x4, lengthwise, so I can go a little lower and helps get the other leg out of the way. I follow up with leg curls and then leg extensions.

  23. #22
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Leg extensions will develop the quads specifically, yes. Of course, most trainees call the upper legs in general their quads, and there are quite a few more large mucles in your upper legs. On the computer, it looks as though the exercises he listed will be sufficient to build large thighs, but I have never seen anyone who performs those movements have large thighs, regardless of the intensity with which they do so. Serge Nubret used extensions and curls extensively, yet had sub-par legs. My theory is that there is something to be said for the synergistic effect that is achieved with compound movements for the upper legs. Any form of a press involves all of the muscles of the upper legs and the glutes (squats add the lower back etc.). Training all of these large muscles simultaneously seems to have a greater growth stimulating effect than training otherwise.

  24. #23
    . Delphi's Avatar
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    Here, allow me to turn your world upside down *LOL*. It's relatively uncommon for a 16-year old to have a herniated disk, if that's what you mean by a slipped disk. How do you know that you have one? Unless I had an MRI to prove it, I would not trust that diagnosis as a 16-year old. If only one doc had given me that diagnosis, I'd get a second opinion.

    Now let's suppose you really do have a herniated disk. I'm 43 and I'm almost certain I have one, based on the recurrent identical symptoms I get when I am stupid enough to do the same activities that will set it off. I haven't gotten an MRI yet, as I've been able to treat the problems when they occur and I haven't had any nerve damage to my leg yet.

    My personal observations tell me that many people with disk problems seem to develop symptoms when they do activities that do one of the following:

    1) Load the axially spine while not maintaining the usual lordotic curve in the lumbar spine (squats or deads with the butt tucked IN would do this)

    2) Load the spine unevenly in a lateral sense (side bends, twists, one-legged DB calf raises would do this)

    3) Flex excessively/extensively at the pelvis (slumping while sitting on a bench or on the floor, slouching on a couch with the lumbar area unsupported by the couch back or seat)

    All these activities would either narrow the space in the foramina where the nerve roots come out, or would cause the disk to herniate into that same foramina.



    Here's where I'll finally make my point (never thought I'd get there, did ya?). With proper form I can do squats and deads without aggravating what I strongly feel is a bad lumbar disk. By proper form, I mean maintainng the proper arch (sticking the butt out), keeping the load balanced, and avoiding any swaying or twisting as I come up.

    I'll never be a magnificient squatter or deadlifter. There's a good chance I'll never squat 2X BW or deadlift 2.5BW. Shoot, my current goals are to squat 1.5BW and deadlift 2X. When I reach those current goals I will already be stronger than the vast majority of men my age, though.

    As concerns you, I would make sure I really had a herniated disk before giving up so young on a couple of valuable exercises. Again, it's relatively uncommon for a teenager to have a herniated disk. A sports medicine doc (To me it doesn't matter if they have MD, DO, or DC after their names) can determine the exact cause of your problem and can instruct you in what activites you can do, and how to do them while avoiding aggravation of your condition.

    Good luck to you.



    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...epage/9700.htm
    Last edited by Delphi; 08-09-2002 at 07:06 PM.

  25. #24
    Raise The Fist
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    yeah im sure i have a herniated disk, as ive had several x-ray and MRI scans which confirm it, and ive also seeked advise from several doctors.

    one of them told me to stop lifting, and emphasised that i was too young for that type of training..another one said just be careful and dont do anything that hurts and doesnt feel right, and another told me to combine it with swimming.

    Nowadays Im feeling quite ok, and i occasionaly have some minor pains in the lower back, which usually go away though quite soon. (i usually feel it when i wake up, probably due to bad posture while sleeping)

    Lastly, the only important exercises im missing out from are basically the squat/leg presses, and deadlifts.

    i guess i could try and do these exercises with moderate intensity, but would that be enough or would it not cause any muscle growth at all?

    And thnx for the feedback
    "If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine." - Che
    "I know you've come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you're only going to kill a man" - Che
    "Democracy today is the same as in the days of ancient Greece, freedom for the slave owners."
    - Lenin

  26. #25
    . Delphi's Avatar
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    I would vote for doctor #2 or #3 *LOL*. I don't know the specifics of your case, but I would hope that you would be able do those exercises to some degree without injuring yourself. You need to discuss this with somebody that can examine you and your films, and get you started on a program that will work for you. Even if you were only able to squat 150-200 lbs for example, you'll still get some benefit from it. You might even find that doing these exercises with relatively light weights actually helped you out by developing the muscles of the lumbar/pelvic, thigh areas and would give you some stability to the lumbar area.

    I also have found that I cannot do conventional BB deadlifts. I now have a trap bar and can do much more weight with it, without causing back pain later that night or the next day.

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