2/18/13

I Can Leg Press 1000 lbs


I love seeing people exercise and improve themselves, but there is an epidemic running rampant in local gyms everywhere. No I’m not talking about the elliptical or the smith machine (a later time perhaps), but rather a much more obnoxious evil. Humans were first created as gardeners. We were designed to toil and work our whole lives, and our body resembles this. Humans are fully functioning multi-faceted athletic structures of strength and stability. This means that we are built to move in multiple planes and carry out movements over multiple fulcrums. In other words, to actually touch your athletic potential you have to step out of single plane machines.

I Can Leg Press 1000 lbs

One of my favorite “brag” points I hear is, “I Can Leg Press 1000 lbs.” [I try not to let them know about my 550 squat] I will say that a machine that is maxed out on weight does look impressive. However, it upsets me that these same guys have a 315 3RM on squat. Some scientist has to be scratching his head somewhere wondering how that is possible, how can a leg that can move 1000 lbs on one machine be unable to budge 405 on another. Well Mr. Scientist, it's because we’re multi-faceted creates with multiple fulcrums.

It’s Easier On My Back Though

The legs press puts us in this fairy tale position where we don’t have to worry about our hips or back (to an extent). It also reduces the posterior chain (hamstring, glutes, hip) activation resulting in a primarily quad exercise. The real kicker is that your coordination aspect is thrown away. You don’t have to worry about balancing yourself, because you’re sitting down. You don’t have to train your antagonist not to fire until the right moment. You can take your hands and shove your knees forward and out isolating the need for muscles trained to keep this position. For the leg press you just do it, no athleticism required.
If you do leg press I’m not a hater. By all means it is a fantastic quad developer for bodybuilders and those in therapy needing knee strength. However I recommend anyone not in that category retire their seat.

Squats Are Hip

Now think about a squat. You have a fulcrum at the hips, and you have a fulcrum at the knee. Before even dropping your butt the back is activated into a lordartic curve. As you sit down your posterior chain activates and you have to deactivate your antagonist muscles to move into position. Then you fire everything to raise yourself into lockout. Of course you’re more likely to see somebody maxing out on the leg press over the squat, its easier. Easier never made anyone better though. Squatting will take advantage of all of your weaknesses and mold you into an athlete.

If you’re not a body builder or a therapy patient please walk away from the leg press. Put a bar on your back and move it. O, and if you say that your knees hurt from it then I have news for you. Current studies suggest that when ideal squat form was used to a “below parallel” depth knee health improved. No excuses. Clean slate Slam weight.

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

4 comments:

  1. "Squats are hip" nice. nice article as well

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought about taking a picture of my mustache whilst squatting, but decided against the double irony [squats are hip, hipster squatting]

      Delete
  2. What kind of leg exercises one needs to do depends on what part of the leg muscles one is trying to develop. Leg exercises are different if people are trying to develop their calf muscles or build on their thighs.
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    ReplyDelete
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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.