The worshipers of the muscle fiber take great pride in “trashing” their legs through various movements resembling light medieval barbarity.
The mainstream bodybuilding axiom teaches that if you are not blasting your legs, you are not covering the requirements needed for the formation of a physique capable of triggering wicked levels of external admiration.
Some scholars go as far as saying that you will never reach your natural genetic potential unless you spend a lot of time in the claws of a vise created by a heavy bar on your shoulders and the ground. Many still believe in the notion that squats have a peculiar property that can help a natural cross the river and reach a new level of madness beating through his muscles. Those who do not comply with the dogma enjoy a healthy amount of ridicule and insults.
Is the attack justified? It could be. There are boys in the gym who need to man up and perform hard exercises. If you really want to do something but don’t due to fear, you are basically a little pony.
But fear is not the focus of this piece. There are legit reasons to avoid conventional leg training that do not involve squat anxiety. This post is dedicated to them.
1. Leg Training is Draining
Few things are as tiresome as a routine based on leg and hip dominant compound exercises. The muscles of the lower body are pretty tough and can adapt to amazing stimuli. The problem is that every day is Central Nervous System day. Serious overclocking powers are required to constantly obliterate the lower body. The end result is a drained organism and mind.
This could be a problem even for office drones. When I was slaving to 5 times a week routines, I was often incapable of doing computer work in the evening. I had the physical strength, but my head wasn’t there. I would just lie in my bed and browse the net without doing productive tasks that are technically more valuable to me than a squat PR or some imaginary leg gains.
You have a limited capacity. Spend it wisely and don’t give up too much market share to activities that take more than they give back.
Always protect your ground.
2. Leg Training Eats Volume That Can Be Donated To The Upper Body
As a male, your upper body is crucial for the construction of a fuck-me-now physique. Women are not hyperventilating over big quads and chafing groins. The glutes are an exception and have some sexual power. They are also the easiest lower body part to build – every compound exercise hits them – from front squats to leg presses. As a bonus, the glutes grow fast too. Building the upper body on the other hand is quite difficult.
If your goal is to construct a body that increases your sexual appeal as a male, focusing on the chest, arms and lats is a logical step. Yet many professors force you to become a squat slave bowing in front of the rack multiple times a week. All that nonsense takes away valuable time, effort and overclocked neurons that could otherwise be invested into curls, bench presses, pull-ups, dips and other goodies designed to increase the perception of your alpha status.
If you want to become a centaur, be my guest. But don’t complain that I didn’t warn you.
Here’s an upper body focused split with minimal leg training:
Monday: Chest Heavy, Back Light
Wednesday: Legs + Arms
Friday: Back Heavy, Chest Light
For more routines check out Training Focus 2.
3. Gym Leg Training Is Sterile
The barbell house is a weird environment – you lift things that don’t have to lifted; run without going anywhere; cycle without tires.
This is what I call a sterile climate – the motion is performed, but the work that is supposed to manifest from that movement remains absent. This is how depression arises.
The soul loves outdoor activities such as running, sprinting and cycling. A day spent cycling or hiking in the mountains is more satisfying than jogging on the hamster wheel while watching the latest Netflix motion picture on your tablet. Yet most prefer the comfort of their own car and the walls of the gym.
I don’t get it. We talk about being functional and prepared, but very few actually commit to actualizing their strength and endurance. I guess it’s easier to dream than to live.
I would rather be the guy commuting on his bike or by foot than the dude doing Smolov and spending the rest of the day sitting.
4. The Size of Your Calves Is Predetermined. Exercises Make No Difference.
I am almost sorry to inform you, but high calves don’t grow much if at all. Regardless of the voodoo level, the effort is futile. If you have long tendons and short muscles, there’s not much room for growth. The dudes with the biggest calves rarely train them. Their gains are the result of genetics rather than sophisticated programs and religious dedication.
Training the calf muscles for hypertrophy when you don’t have the required structure is a waste of time.
5. You Won’t Look Nearly as Imbalanced as The Strength Church Says
We have all seen the photos of men who allegedly skip leg day. Many of the images represent photoshopped nonsense and angle manipulations. In reality, you will not look nearly as ridiculous, especially as a natural. Unless you are malnourished and/or severely inactive, you won’t have chicken legs.
On top of that, there are many men who have big legs by default thanks to their bone structure and muscle insertions. My father is a perfect example – he has massive calves and upper legs without any exercises.
In short, don’t listen to the megaphones who say that the lack of leg training will turn you into some weird creature that people would point at and laugh. The dudes who say that just want a tap on the shoulder and a way to anesthetize their own insecurities.
6. Nobody Cares About Your Heroic Leg Adventures
Many lifters present themselves as soldiers of fortune during their training. I remember squatting with blood running from my nose. At the time, I felt manly. Today, I feel stupid.
Who was I pretending to be? A man saving the planet by fighting against a heavy bar?
The harsh truth is that nobody cares about your made up heroic acts in the gym. Scream all you want. Nothing will change. All that spine breaking is meaningless. You are killing yourself for fool’s gold. The drama is unnecessary.
7. Brutal Lower Body Training Will Not Raise Your Testosterone
Contrary to popular disinformation, squats and deads have no meaningful effect on your natural test levels. The dudes selling hope integrated in 5×5 routines got it all wrong. They glorify the squat and the deadlift for marketing purposes. Squatting and deadlifting in an attempt to raise your test is as effective as putting on a suit to get rich, maybe even less than that.
8. Breaking The Rules Feels Nice
There’s something extremely satisfying about making the rulers mad. To be truly free, one has to develop the strength necessary to choose a path less traveled. The most interesting people that you are ever going to meet or read about follow fewer dogmas than the rest.
Once I read about a guy calling himself “Ultra Romance”. According to the article, he works only six months a year and spends the other six touring on his bicycle. The average person will be outraged at such an existence, and yet I bet that a conversation with Ultra Romance would be more engaging than talking to an average mall dweller or a black Friday warrior.
The ability to go against the mainstream shows strength, courage and maturity.
9. Leg Days Do Not Increase Your Athletic Performance Nearly as Much as Advertised
The conditioning coaches will fill your head with legends about the squat. “Get your squat to 405lbs, and you will jump over a building”. The nasty truth disagrees. Unless you are involved in a strength sport, squats are not only overrated but also largely unused.
The element that helps your performance the most is practice. If you want to get good at something, a narrow focus is required. Squats don’t help roundhouse kicks.
P.S. You can discuss this article in the comment section below or on the forum.