Tag: Leg Exercises

Tom Platz Leg Day

A legend in the Iron Game both for his physique and the intensity brought to his training, Tom Platz or the ‘Golden Eagle’, is synonymous with one of the most impressive quad sweeps in bodybuilding. In a rare bit of training footage, uploaded to Youtube courtesy of  ‘neandertalensis66‘, the below clip details Platz’s understandings of the Squat, Hack Squat, Leg Extension and Leg Curl.

Of interest to us should not be the poundages lifted by Platz but rather the focus he placed on technique and also the variations to these exercises which he believed gave him the edge. Of particular interest to me was Platz’s technique on the Hack Squat machine, which at the bottom position resembled the sissy squats favoured by Gironda. You’ll no doubt find other interesting tidbits…

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The History of the Bulgarian Split Squat

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An exercise designed to enact as much pain as possible.

That at least is the thought that almost inevitably runs through my mind during a set of Bulgarian split squats. Heavy squatting? Fine by me. Heck throw in breathing squats for fun. I can grind through that. But high volume split squats? That’s an altogether different story.

By the tenth rep, I’m a sweaty mess. My quads are burning, hip flexors being stretched beyond belief and I’m making internal deals with myself about the next rep. Only three more reps then we rest…promise!

What keeps me coming back to the exercise again and again? Its sheer effectiveness.

Here is an exercise that overloads the quads, improves flexibility and prevents to a large part, any degree of cheating. Try leaning forward too much on the Split Squat and you’ll end up on the floor toot sweet. An experience many of us have encountered at one point or another.

Who then is responsible for this oh so necessary evil? When was the exercise created, who popularised it and what is the correct way of doing things? Stick around, and you might just learn a few things.

The Squat …For Everything?

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Written by Peary Rader in Ironman magazine in 1971, the following article details the great man’s love of the heavy squat as a means of hypertrophy. Despite his own opinion on squat mechanics (see our ‘Magic Circle‘ article), Rader was unwavering in his claim that heavy squatting was the most effective training for all. An interesting read and timely rallying call for effective training!

I want to dwell on a topic which I feel is of great importance of every reader of this article, whether his interest be in big muscles, great strength or superb condition and health. We want to dwell more at length on the latter though we wish to emphasize the others as well.

Three Old-School Squats You’re Not Doing

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For many gym goers the back squat is the Holy Grail for leg development. Known as a means of separating the serious trainers from the weekend warriors, the exercise has taken on a near mythical place in gym lore.

Yet like all things, too much of a good thing can lead to stagnation and poor results. While the back squat is undoubtedly a handy tool in the weightlifter’s repertoire, it can prove cumbersome for some lifters based upon their body structure or even boring for other lifters based upon their overexposure to it.

With this in mind, today’s short article highlights three time tested but often neglected squatting variations. Don’t be deceived into thinking these exercises are easier substitutes by the way. Once you try them, you may find yourself running back to the comfort of the back squat!

The History of the Front Squat

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Having briefly discussed the history of the back squat some time ago, efforts were made over the past few days to create a similar account for the front squat. Sadly, perhaps owing to the popularity of its older brother, histories of the front squat are virtually non-existent as many writers seem to take its existence as a simple fact.

Nevertheless it is clear that all exercises are created at some point in history and with this in mind, I went trawling through old Physical Culture magazines and a selection of secondary books on the topic.

Who Created the Romanian Deadlift?

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Chances are at some point in your lifting career you’ve done a few sets of Romanian Deadlifts.  From athletes to bodybuilders, thousands of muscle fanatics have used the exercise to bring up their hamstrings and lower backs. Given the popularity of the movement, you may be surprised to learn that this exercise is a relatively recent addition to weight training. Indeed, it was only discovered by the US in 1990.

Having previously covered the history of the squat and the bench press, today we’ll turn our attention to the Romanian Deadlift.

Iron Boots: The Slimming, Trimming, Shaping Equipment that the Fitness Industry Forgot About

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The fitness industry, it’s fair to say, is a fairly fickle business.

Every number of years we encounter the next great training innovation or revolution be it Crossfit, PX90 or TRX. So often our quest for the new and unknown results in the abandonment of what worked in the first place.

Today we’ll be looking at Iron Boots, a versatile piece of equipment used from 1900 to 1970. Once the staple of many’s training regimes, the iron boots were used by old school trainers from Sig Klein to Frank Zane with great success in developing their quads, hamstrings and abs.

What the boots lacked in aesthetics, they made up for in results but sadly they have now become the equipment that fitness forgot.