5 Steps to Great Legs!
Getting great legs is actually easier than you think. However, it does require a great deal discipline, so you must be willing to perform the required activities on a daily basis for several weeks if you're serious about getting great-looking legs!
Even though getting great-looking legs is a very subjective goal to achieve, we will assume that great legs are 'toned legs', which means they are firm, smooth (i.e. they don't have any cellulite) and also have great shape.
The required activities in order to acheve great legs all stem from the four 'Lifestyle Factors':
By incorporating as many of the activities (or principles) from each of the 'Lifestyle Factors' into your lifestyle as possible, you can easily achieve great legs in a matter of weeks! We will only cover the main principles from each of the 'Lifestyle Factors' in order to keep this article relatively brief. If you would like to know all the principles you need to get great legs, then I recommend reading my e-book, Look Good Feel Great!
Most of the principles we cover here are fat-burning/ muscle-building principles simply because our definition of 'toned legs' means that they have more muscle relative to the amount of fat on them. This is what I believe is the 'look' most people want to achieve.
Step 1 to great legs: Train your leg muscles consistently
In order to get great legs it is absolutely essential that you train your leg muscles consistently. This means you must perform a variety of leg exercises at least twice a week. The leg exercises should include: squats, leg presses and lunges as the foundation of your workouts with some isolation exercises like, leg extensions, leg curls, stiff-leg deadlifts, adductors and calf raises as well.
These workouts should conform to the principles covered in How to Structure Your Weight Training Programs.
However, the one exception I suggest making with regards to the leg exercises is to perform high reps when training your leg muscles. In the past, when I worked as a personal trainer, I found that the leg muscles respond really well to high-rep training and I think that it is definitely the best way to train your leg muscles if you want to achieve great-looking legs. This means performing at least 20 reps per set for each of the leg exercises.
There are several benefits to training your leg muscles in the fashion covered in the 'Weight Training Programs' article. Firstly, it helps you build or at least maintain your existing muscle mass. This is an important component of achieving great legs because our definition of 'toned legs' means that they have more muscle than fat on them.
Another benefit of performing the leg exercises is the fact that not only will you burn calories during the workout itself, but by maintaining or increasing your muscle mass slightly, you will increase the rate at which your body burns calories and fat for fuel, even at rest, because muscle is a metabolically-active tissue.
Step 2 to great legs: Perform 3-5 cardio sessions a weekCardio is another essential component of achieving great-looking legs simply because it helps your body burn more calories and ultimately, more fat. This means of course, that you can achieve a 'toned look' to your legs much sooner because burning fat is the other part of out 'toning' definition.
It is definitely worthwhile performing leg-based cardio too, and perhaps even mixing up the type of leg-based cardio you do. For example, you may want to perform 30-60 minutes on the stepper one day followed by a session on the stationary bike another day and then perhaps a session on the treadmill as well. All of the different leg-based cardio exercises will help you burn more fat and may even offer some muscle-maintenance benefits as well.
How long you perform the cardio for is completely up to you. If 30-60 minutes is not possible then just do as much as you can even if it is only a few minutes. As your fitness level improves, over time you can gradually increase the duration. Remember that it is more important that you perform the cardio on a regular basis and make it a permanent part of your lifestyle rather than how long you do it for.
Step 3 to great legs: Follow a 'fat-burning nutritional plan'I know this is easier said than done but here are a few simple suggestions that will make it easier to create a fat-burning envirnment in your body:
All of these principles are covered in more detail elsewhere on the site. They are four very simple nutritional principles that can make a massive difference when it comes to achieving great-looking legs.
It is also worthwhile performing a 'mini detox' for the 4-6 weeks that you follow these principles. This simply involves reducing your intake of dairy foods, grain-based foods, refined sugars, alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners and processed foods.
By doing so, your body can get rid of the toxins that may be stored in your fat cells. These toxins may contribute to the appearance of cellulite on your hips and thighs. However, I personally believe that the appearance of cellulite has more to do with the structure of the connective tissue underneath the skin and the amount of fat stored in the fat cells rather than toxins in the fat cells but either way, the 'mini detox' certainly won't hurt and it will help you get rid of some excess fluid and fat.
Step 4 to great legs:
Supplements can certainly help you achieve your physical goals much faster. Always keep in mind though, supplements are just that; they are a
supplement to a good diet and exercise program. They should not make up for a poor diet or the fact that someone doesn't to get off their butt and do some
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