You guys are in for a real treat today. I’ve listened to the requests and have been working on something for quite a while now. This bad boy is a real killer. Anyone ready to spend the better part of a week hobbling around due to extreme muscle soreness? If not, keep browsing, because this workout hits your muscles in a way few others do. The L.A. (Legs. Abs.)Workout (my attempt at a hip workout title…save your comments) is a leg and ab workout designed to completely shred up your midsection, build long, lean, powerful leg muscles, and help transform you into a lean, mean, athletic machine.
The concept for the L.A. Workout came about after doing a little experimentation in the gym. Most of you guys should know that I’m a big fan of lower body workouts that combine heavy power movements with explosive, plyometric exercises. I think (and science agrees) this combination produces great gains; better than either format alone. But there was something that I felt was missing from that combination. To really achieve that deep muscle burn and KNOW you had a killer leg workout every time you sat down for the next week, something else was needed. I soon figured out what that something was, and have been using this workout with great success ever since.
The L.A. Workout – What It Is and How to Use It
The L.A. workout is a two-day split routine that targets your abdominals, legs (quads, hamstrings), and glutes. The primary focus however, is on developing a strong, tight core and long, lean muscles in your legs, hence the title of this workout. Since this is only a two-day workout, and not a full workout plan, per se, you can feel free to include this into everything you’re already doing. Since we’re hitting these muscle groups hard, you’re going to want to give yourself ample time to rest up between workouts. Remember, if sitting down is painful, it’s probably better to rest until that muscle soreness fades a bit more. A good schedule for this workout would be Monday and Friday, with your choice of workouts filling in the rest of the week.
Of course, any workout that is promising to deliver a great set of abdominals is going to have a cardiovascular element to it. You know by now that doing tons of crunches doesn’t lead to that six-pack….burning the fat over that six pack is what leads to making that definition visible. So with that in mind, you should perform these plyometric exercises with great intensity. View them as not only working your legs and abs, but jacking up your heart rate and torching calories to help those sexy abs shine through. To maximize your progress, I’d suggest another day or two of high-intensity cardio..depending on your own individual needs and fat loss goals.
Since I know some of you will ask about what else you can do, I’ve listed some other workouts we’ve put together that complement the L.A. Workout very nicely:
Of course, if you’re on your own fitness plan already, I would simply substitute the L.A. Workout on days that have a heavy lower body focus. Don’t over think things…fitness really isn’t that difficult.
What You Can Expect with This Workout
Pure, unbridled, brilliant soreness. The kind that lasts for days. The kind that makes you roll out of bed like a log, rather than sitting up and standing like a normal human being. Seriously, this workout hits your muscles in a way they’ve never been hit, so extreme muscle soreness is a near certainty. Now, lets not mistake this for injury pain. Muscle soreness is that pain that you kinda like, kinda don’t. Injury pain just hurts and makes you think you should go to a doctor. You know the difference…once feels good when you massage it…the other just hurts more.
But don’t let all of this pain talk put you off. The more your body gets used to this workout, the less muscle soreness you should feel. This is also a good gauge because it’s a great indicator of when your body begins to adapt. Once you start breezing through this workout and experience little to no muscle soreness, it’s probably a good idea to increase the weight. After all, THAT’S how you keep making progress…which leads to our next point.
Other Things You Probably Already Know But Need to be Told Again
Look at this, or any, workout plan as a guideline. We put together the best format of exercises, sets, reps, and combos that we can. Your responsibility is to perform them to the best of your ability and use a little something called intuition. To make the most of this workout, you need to sense when it’s time to bump things up. Doing the greatest workout known to mankind will only work wonders for so long. After a while, that same workout is going to become as useless as Lance Armstrong at an anti-drug rally. Always be looking to increase the intensity of this workout by gradually increasing the load you’re moving. This is the key to developing those long, lean, and beautiful muscles you’re working towards.
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Let us also not forget, diet is a huge part of this equation. If you’re not fueling yourself with enough calories and protein, all of this is in vain. Your body doesn’t create new tissue (muscle) out of thin air. It needs the nutrients to create the lean muscle mass. If you are starving yourself, or simply not eating enough, your body will be in a deficiency and unable to create new muscle. Please, please, please….don’t worry about getting fat. Don’t worry about getting big and bulky. Just eat a couple of hundred calories more than you usually do (if you’re trying to build muscle) and see where that gets you. Some people need more, some need less. Be in reality, an extra chicken breast and half a sweet potato more than you normally eat is enough to provide your body with the building blocks necessary to build a lean, sexy body.
So, with all of that out-of-the-way, let’s get on to the workout…
The L.A. Workout
Again, this is a two-day split workout, with day one geared towards heavier weights and power lifts, and day two focusing on lighter weights, explosive movements, and higher reps.
Day 1 – Go heavy, you don’t necessarily need to realize full muscle fatigue, but make sure the last rep of each set is difficult to perform. Take 60-90 seconds rest between each set unless otherwise noted.
- 3 sets of 4-6 reps Barbell of Smith Machine Squats
- 3 sets of 6-8 reps Hack Squats
- 2 sets of 8-10 reps Deadlifts of Rack Pulls for those with bad back/lower body joints
- 60 seconds Russian Lunges/rest 30 seconds/repeat 3 times total
- 3 sets of 6-8 Leg Extension Machine
- 3 sets of 6-8 Lying Hamstring Curls
- 60 seconds Mountain Climbers/rest 30 seconds/repeat 3 times total
- 2 sets of 8-10 Standing Calf Raises (use smith machine)
- 50 Decline Plate Crunches/50 Hanging Knee Raises/50 Weighted Cable Crunches/2 minute plank*
*Perform each abdominal exercise in as few sets as possible before moving on to the next.
Day 2 – Today has more of an explosive, athletic focus. Just because the weights are lower and reps higher, doesn’t mean sets should be easy. The last rep or two of each set should be difficult to complete. Focus on EXPLODING through each plyometric exercise and landing softly on the balls of your feet. No more than 60 seconds rest between each set unless otherwise noted.
- 2 sets of 12-15 Barbell or Smith Machine Squats
- 15 Squat Jumps/rest 20 seconds/repeat 3 times total
- 2 sets of 15-20 Alternating Reverse Barbell Lunges
- 25 Spider Planks/25 Russian Twists with Plate/25 Bicycle Crunches*
- 10 Bulgarian Squat Jumps(per leg)/rest 30 seconds/repeat 3 times total
- 3 sets of 12-15 Seated Hamstring Curls
- 3 sets of 15-20 Seated Calf Raises (rest dumbbells on thighs if no machine available)
- 15 Long Jumps/rest 20 seconds/repeat 3 times total
- 25 Oblique Dips (per side)/25 V-Ups/25 Leg Up Crunches*
*Perform each abdominal exercise in as few sets as possible before moving on to the next.
Give this workout a go and see how your body responds. If you’re like us, you should notice some serious muscle growth in your legs and butt within a couple of weeks (PLEASE don’t mistake this for bulkiness). Give yourself a solid month to analyze the results of this workout. The worst thing you can do is give it a half-assed effort, get disappointed, and move on to the next thing; stick with your workouts long enough for them to work for you.
In the meantime, if you’ve got any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
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