Leg Strength Workout (JUST 2 EXERCISES!)

What’s up guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. So today, let’s do something a little bit
different. Let’s take you behind the scenes of one of my workouts and actually bring you
inside my head. It could actually be a pretty scary place
to be, I promise you but if you’re in there you’ll also see what my mentality is when
I’m attacking my workout. And I think that when you’re working out you
should have a focus mentality on what you’re doing. Have a game plan. And for my Leg Workout today it’s actually
pretty easy. While there might be a lot of thoughts up here, there’s not a lot of thoughts
on what I’m doing. I’m only doing two exercises, the Deadlift
and the Bulgarian Split Squat. Two of my favorite. The Deadlift I’m looking at is more of a Posterior
Chain Leg exercise. And again, I always feel it’s a Leg exercise
because you’re pushing primarily off the ground and then finishing with your Glutes. And then of course my favorite Quad exercise,
the one legged athletic, very athletic Bulgarian Split Squat. So I’m going to take you through, I’m just
going to talk my way through the Workout and give you the thoughts that were in my head
at each step so that you might be able to grab something
or grasp something from them, ok. So let’s start right here with the Deadlift. Ok so the first thing that you’ll notice is
that I don’t have sneakers on and I’ve talked about in the past my flat feet, my flipper
like flat feet. But in this case when doing the Deadlift I
actually think it really helps me. Because you’re going to want to have as much
feel of the ground as possible to execute the initial part of the lift in the Deadlift. Remember this is a pushing exercise for the
first third of the movement. And you’re basically doing a Standing Leg Press. So you want to be able to feel the ground,
grab as much force out of that ground as you can and transfer it up through your body and
that’s what I do. Now the second thing is before I even initiate
a rep, I actually try to grease the groove. And I think it’s really important that you
try to do this. If you have any mental cues that you use in
any of your Lifts to make you perform them more efficiently, then do them as a pre lift
routine. And I do that here all the time with my lighter
Lifts, especially as I’m just getting started in the Workout. So I think there’s two parts to the Deadlift.
We’ve covered in another video, all about this. There’s a Hip Hinge until your hands are at
the level of your knees and from there simply release your knees and let your body drop
down to the ground, with maintaining that same amount of Hip Hinge. The last thing I want you to notice is on
these sub strength reps, I don’t go for a lot of reps because that’s wasting my time. And if your goal, as mine is in this workout,
is to improve your strength, you should be trying to do higher quality reps with a lot
of weight, as opposed to lifting and accumulating mass
volume with lower weight. These 135 pound reps are far away from the
productive reps that I’m going to need to be focusing on in this workout. Ok next I loaded up to 225 and again very
very simple the goal here is the same. The goal is to groove the movement and then the
goal is to keep these sub strength reps, these sub quality, not quality in terms of
their performance but their intent along the lines of my goal, they’re not about strength
so don’t do a lot of them. There’s no need again, to accumulate volume
here at these lower reps as this is not what you’re trying to shoot for. Then as I make my way up the chain now, sentimental
Jeff comes out and I grab my Weider 44 pounders. That’s right these Weider plates are actually
the ones that I first had, the very first set of Barbells and Dumbbells that I ever
had. This was them and I actually still have them
to this day. I think a lot of you guys out there watching can actually probably relate
to that. So I’m not actually doing 315 here, I’m cheating
myself out 2 pounds but that’s ok for sentimentality, I’ll take it, that’s 313. And one more time guys, you’ll see that I
know I can go higher than this. There’s no point in me trying to do 9, 10 reps here, not with the intent of trying to increase
my strength and again that is the major focus for me in this workout is to try to increase
my strength. So I’m going to need all the resources and
energy I have when I get up to these higher weights in these next couple steps. Ok, now we’re getting to the point where it’s
really starting to matter for me, now I am putting on 403. Ok, so at 403 I’m getting closer to where
I can kind of, max out of what I can handle and what I’m approaching and trying to handle
in this workout. And for me, I’m trying to add one more plate
to what you see here. But until then, now what I’m trying to do
is now that I’ve got heavy weight in my hands, at least for me, remember heavy is relative. Heavy is only relative to you, your strength
levels and the goal that you’re trying to achieve. And for me right now this is starting to feel
heavy. But what I’m going to do is, I’m not going to count. And I always advise you guys, Don’t Count. Even when you have a rep range in your mind
if you’re trying to work in the 3 to 5 rep range, you know where that is and what weight’s
going to put you there, but don’t necessarily count. Because if I
count to 5 and I could do 6 then do 6. If I count to 5 and I’m trying to go for 5
and I only do 3 but I do 3 really high quality reps, don’t be so concerned about that. The idea is, make them count without counting
reps, does that make sense? That’s my mindset all the time, make them
count without counting reps. Do that here on these sets here and you’re
going to get much more out of them, I promise. Ok finally now we’re up to my goal which was
5 plates today and with those extra 2 Weider’s that I had there in that original 225 pound
set, now I’m pushing myself up to, I believe it’s
491 as I’m a few short here of 495. But the idea here is guys, now I’m trying
to see what I can get and again I’m looking for a few reps. If I can get 2, 3 reps, I’m good. And as I approach the bar here, I want to
make sure again, I reinforce that groove. I try to visualize it in my mind here before
I even go for the rep. Now as I go for it, I’ve got to admit I’m
not feeling all that great today. We’re actually getting ready to move here
from my house. I spent the whole day yesterday packing. My back was humming just a little
bit. My knees obviously, if you guys have been
following for a while, know that they’re pretty much trash. But it doesn’t stop me from attempting what
I’m trying to do here. And as I go for it, I feel pretty strong, I get the first rep,
I get the second rep. I kind of feel like if I go for the third,
I may not come back up and it may be kind of miserably, so what I do is I just drop
it. See I’m not so obsessed guys here with trying
to push myself to unrealistic levels if I don’t feel like I have them. For me today, it didn’t feel realistic for
me to try to go for that third rep. And the repercussions of trying to do that,
might have been pretty ugly, like I said. Ok next up, my favorite part of the workout
here, now we’re going to shift the focus again from the posterior chain to the interior chain. And here we’re doing the Bulgarian Split Squat.
I love this exercise, I’ve talked about it many many times. It’s a very athletic move. We have a Single
Leg movement and we have a Split Stance. And the Split Stance is going to help us sort
of recreate and reenact that athletic position that we’re going to find ourselves in if we
do anything athletic. And if you’re not even an Athlete, let’s face
it you’re still going to find yourself in this position daily, just walking, running
or doing whatever else it is that you do, ok. So it is a very functional position but you’ve
got to build strength here and strength is my focus again in this part of the workout. So I’m going to start here with 40 pounders
in my hand. And the key here is again, I want to feel the movement. I want to go through all the way to the bottom
and come back up. And you’ll notice that one thing I’m trying to do here is just lean forward. And the lean forward is to help pre stretch
my Glutes and then get me in a good position to do what I’m going to do next. And that is, grab the 60 pounders and actually
now have myself in a position where I can use one of my best cues here on this exercise
to drive myself up. And that is to actually, as I’m getting ready
to lift out of the bottom position, the position that most of us will get stuck in, I try to
drive my chest forward. I can do that because I’ve already leaned
forward, now I’ve got to go back the opposite way and drive myself out, let my chest come
forward. What I’m doing is, I’m getting a more upright
trunk, so I’m going from this position to this position. That will load the Quads up more and it will
also take our Glutes that were pre stretched and have them help us get out of the hole,
right as we come up and out. So again, we’re kind of pre stretching the
Glutes, get a little bit of a contraction out of them and then quickly go to our Quads
to let them help us get the rest of the way up. And it helps me to power out of the hole and
handle weight that I never thought I really could as I work my way up the chain. So speaking of that, we go and we grab the
80’s and again now I’m kind of working myself up to the heavy range for me. And as I do this my focus is again, keep the
reps, you know high quality, make them count without counting. So here I’m going for, I went up with about
5 here, 5 or 6 reps. And again I’m going for high quality reps. I’m trying to execute that technique that
I just talked about even as we get heavier and heavier, there’s no point in trying to groove that
at a lighter weight and then abandon when it actually gets heavy and you need it the
most. So I do that. And I just work on getting a
good set. And then I focus on getting to my work set. And here with my ATHLEAN BLOX, I’ve got up
to 95 pounds in each hand, I come down, again I’m doing the same thing. I’m trying to drive my chest forward and pop
up out of that hole explosively. Work on my strength. I don’t care how many
reps I get here. If I get 3, I’m happy. If I get 4, great. If I get 5, even better. But the idea is, I’m not really counting,
ok. And you’ll notice also, as I get to the end
of the set here, try to end your set with a nice slow eccentric. Prove to yourself that you got there because
you’ve earned it. You didn’t cheat your way up, you actually muscled your way up and then you earned it because you can actually
control it on the way back down. And that’s what I try to do here at the end
of my heavy weight. I even did it back on the Deadlifts too. But that’s my kind of mindset guys, is I attack
the workout, I have a plan. It’s not just throwing exercises together. And the simplicity of this workout is perfect
for this explanation because it shows you that even with just 2 exercises that I’m doing,
I’m really focusing on the game plan. And if you don’t have, I say it all the time,
if you don’t have a plan when you go to the gym, you’re just working out. You want to go with a plan and that’s called
training. And guys, if you want to train, and like I
say all the time, if you want to train like an Athlete, head to ATHLEANX.COM right now and I’ll show
you how to do that day by day. I’ll give you the game plan, the blueprint
that you have to follow to get from point A to point Z, ok. I can take you a long way if you follow what
I’m telling you to do. You can do that guys at ATHLEANX.COM. In the meantime, if you like this video, again
I just figured to maybe bring you guys a little bit behind the scenes because you’ve asked
for it. And at the same time, give you a Leg Workout
because you asked for that too. Alright guys, I’ll see you guys back here
again pretty soon. Make sure you leave you comments and thumbs up below. Whatever else you want to see, let me know
of course, I’m listening to you. I give you what you want, you want a Leg Workout,
here you go. I will make them for you I promise. Alright guys, I’ll see you soon.

100 thoughts on “Leg Strength Workout (JUST 2 EXERCISES!)

  1. I would really love a reply to this since i am contradicted. In the video that you talked exclusively for the Bulgarian split squat you said to keep our torso straight but here you suggest leaning in front, i understood the reason but for me that doing this excerxice makes me feel uncomfortable at the back foot what should I do? Since leaning forward helps me actually is that the right way to address it, mind that I am not lifting heavy cause of that uneasiness on the back foot

  2. I decided to just out a serious, hardcore, leg workout Monday. Here it is Tuesday night and I still can't walk. Ibuprofen has been my friend today just to keep from cutting my legs off.

  3. Dam how are you able to lift 500lbs with NO straps tho??…..i mean my BODY can handle pretty good weight buy my grip has just never been able to keep up without straps no matter how much ive tried

  4. For any real lifter that does heavy work on squats and DL, should we be all that surprised that Jeff is deadlifting 495?

    I know it seems crazy to the average gym bro that never works legs, but I would expect he's doing at least 500.

  5. Seriously speaking, Jeff deserves a gift from every follower for these priceless tips :). They work like magic and fix most of what doctor just don’t bother mentioning. This Chanel is by faaaar the best fitness guide i came across :).

  6. Jeff deadlifts two plates
    Me- not bad
    Jeff deadlifts 3 plates
    Me – I m pretty sure he is close to his limit.
    Jeff deadlifts 4 plates
    Me – No Mother Fucking Way !!
    Jeff deadlifts 5 plates
    Me – Thinking about my life while I sit in the toilet 😑😑

  7. I have the exact opposite of flat feet very high arches it really affects my balance when i squat. Has anyone any suggestions

  8. Great video and excellent advice. Love the workouts and how you talk about keeping the proper form and technique as not to cheat yourself out of the actual exercise

  9. I'm not really good at english, so anyone can explain it for me, please, so as I understand is he's trying to do 5 sets of 5-6 reps up to his biggest weight, then stay there and do 5 sets of 2 reps and then do 5 sets of 5-6 reps on the way down of weight, right?

  10. It’s more than feeling the ground. If you have “cushion” type sneakers on then they absorb some of the initial drive. Riptoe covers this in a few of his vids. Wooden sole lifting shoes with ankle support are probably the best alternative

  11. Hi Jeff, what about including slow descents with the deadlift? Will they help more with hypertrophy, strength or are they a high injury risk? Also how deep (more dorsiflexion) should you start/lower it?

  12. I prefer not to lean forward on Bulgarians as my glutes tend to grow more than my quads. I want to emphasize quad development. Is that wrong or dangerous?

  13. Jeff, how come your knees are in the way on your way down of your deadlift? My friend has the same problem and I told him he needs to stretch his hamstrings for a while. But surely your hamstrings are flexible enough?

  14. If you don’t count your reps how do you make sure you’re keeping it even? Which I would think would be the point of training unilaterally

  15. Hello if u ever reading. I NEED EMERGENCY LOWER LEG EXERCISE. FOR EXAMPLE GOD EAT MY ONES. THEY ARE SKINNY AS F.. K. HELP. ADVICE OR WHATEVER.I'm bulgarian but one leg squat sounds knee killer I meant u can get easily wrong with it.Not yet subscriber too.

  16. I work a hard physical job, 70+ hours a week. I have some serious health issues. I do an upper lower split, 5-6 days a week in my garage. On leg day I do a glute warm up and squats and deadlifts are all I do. I feel like 8 sets of squats is pretty good.

  17. im startin to learn that size and strength are not the same thing as i see a big dude curling 20 pounds and yet if he trys to do heavier weight he cant and smaller dude deadlifting 300 pounds….. yup size and strength are not the same

  18. Jeff – Always appreciate your tutorials. I see you have/had a Smith Machine. I’m tempted to get one to consolidate some equipment in my home gym. The negatives of limited/forced range of motion have me questioning the Smith Machine but seeing one in your home gym makes me wonder…. Thanks and take care.

  19. I never understood why everyone hates leg day. It has always been the shortest workout with the least sets. I can’t wait for it. Chest and arm day/back day is just filled sets.

  20. Man if i could bet what is your 1 rep max weight for deadlift ill say around 600lbs fcking impressive!

  21. Lots of people seem shocked at his deadlift – and it IS impressive, idc who you are – but look at him. He’s really short and insanely muscular. I’m in no way surprised whatsoever.

  22. Literally the only thing I think I could ever critique you on would be reversing your grip while doing this. You and I both know the injury risk to the golgi tendon when you deadlift like that with your bicep turned out.

    But. You’re the master sensei so I shall zip my lip

  23. 9 years ago I did the Bulgarian Squat on a smith machine due to loosing balance then I moved to dumbells still loosing balance ^^
    I wonder if Bulgarians love this exercise or Hate it?!

  24. I wonder if stem cells would do something for your knees, one of my knees isn't well either, same for my lower back, and I saw Joe Rogan talk about him using stem cells the other day, I wonder if it would help.

  25. Sorry guy you are a fantastic trainer , smart and have great ideas but your leg training is not working for you. Your upper body is way more advanced compared to your legs. I am sure you are an expert at form and function. I am thinking you train them too often, due too many bullshit low intensity sets and silly shit like lunges. Legs WILL NOT grow unless they are trained with fairly high rep too failure sets in a failry breif time period. Doing too many exercises is a recipe for thin ripped legs and that is about it.

  26. As you said to failure i trained right from the first set to failure but i wasnt able to do my second set in fact it was just 1rep for the second set jeff please explain why did this happen?

  27. I do all of my leg workouts barefoot, or in non-slip deck shoes. If I am in public I wear wrestling shoes or Reebok CrossFit shoes that look like the old flat-soled basketball shoes from the 70's. Other shoes with thicker cushioned soles always make me feel like I am sinking in mud and throws me off balance.

    I think I will try the Bulgarian split squat. Having trouble getting low enough on my barbell squat because my left knee catches at a certain point as a result of ligament reconstructive surgery, the loss of the ACL, calcification of the PCL, and the repair of the ligament along the inner side of the knee that was stapled back to the bone. Used to be able to squat to my heels, now I can't even get to 90 degrees with weights.

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