Last time, I shared a non-apparatus training routine for upper body. In this post, we’ll concentrate on lower body.
Sprinting uphill is a great hamstring, quad, and calf builder. You’ll always want to warm up prior to sprinting with a light jog. You’ll do a series of sprints, increasing your speed with each consecutive sprint until you eventually get to the point where you are running as fast as you can up the hill. Be sure that you find a steep hill. A slight hill will not build the desired level of muscle. You’ll increase the number of sprints you do over time in each session. You might start with 10 sprints per session, then work to 12, then to 15. Aim to do sprints at least twice per week.
An alternate to uphill sprints are step or stair lunges. In this technique, you will lunge up stairs or steps. You will begin at the bottom of a set of stairs and as you lunge, you will lunge over one step. This means that you skip a step with each lunge. Be sure that you are moving slowly and controlled. Aim to find steps which will allow you to complete 20-22 lunges. When you reach the top, your heart will be beating almost out of your chest, but by the time you walk back to the bottom of the stairs, you should feel ready to go again.
I’ve used non-apparatus techniques in my own career and found that they’ve made a huge difference. I’ve used them for periods of 6-8 months at a time, relying mostly on hill sprints for leg work. At a contest following use of non-apparatus techniques in training, someone came up to me and asked what I had been doing differently—that I must have been doing something special to be in that kind of shape. Needless to say, they were very impressed and I think you will be too when you implement these techniques in your own training.
You’ll have to be willing to do these techniques by yourself, as you won’t find many people who will be willing to run uphill sprints with you. These techniques are brutal, but in the end, they will definitely pay off. I’ve seen my leg press increase by 50 lbs. by doing nothing but lunges. I discovered this by accident when due to an injury I was unable to do squats. I decided to do lunges one-leg-at-a-time across a parking lot. I did this for about 8-9 weeks. When I came back from my injury and saw the dramatic gains in my leg press strength, I realized for the first time what a powerful tool lunges are.
I am eager to share more with you about lunges and how they can take the look of your legs to the next level. In my next blog post, I’ll have more info about different kinds of lunge techniques to mix up your training and keep your leg muscles challenged.
Until then, keep training hard.