My Killer Leg Day Routine

My Killer Leg Day Routine

Let's make gains.
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Here is my guide to a killer leg day at the gym here on campus. Reminder, you only need to do a leg workout 2-3 times a week.

10 Minutes, Stretch and Foam Roll

It is critical to make sure that you spend a good few minutes listening to your body and stretching out your muscles to avoid injury or unnecessary soreness following your workout. Foam rollers can help break down scar tissue and speed up the recovery process for your muscles after a heavy lifting day.

12-15 Minutes, Cardio Warm Up

Usually, I will either go on the bike for my cardio warm up. Since it is a leg day, we don’t want to engage in a HIIT workout or to tire our legs out too much before we can get to lifting and activation work.

Activation Exercises and Body Weight

Start with 40 hip thrusts with a resistance band and make sure to squeeze your booty when your hips are up. Do not rush the exercise and try to focus on your mind to muscle connection for the best results. I would do these exercises in one of the lower level rooms that has plenty of space and the yoga mats.

Next, try 40 jumping squats. Don’t let your knees pass your toes.

Time for donkey kicks ... use leg weights and do 50 kick backs on each leg.

Try to do 10 crab walks from one side of the room to the other with a resistance band.

Reminder: Stay hydrated and take a short rest if needed. Don’t push yourself to a point that is unhealthy, but remember, a little bit of pain is good.

Time to lunge! Try this: 30 alternating lunges, 30 bouncing lunges each leg, 30 side lunges.

Time To Add Weight

I normally start with 4 sets of 8 on the hip abduction. You can adjust the weight to what is most challenging for you.

Next, maybe have a friend spot you for some barbell squats. If you don’t love the barbell, you can use the smith machine. For those who don’t want to do either of those options, you can use the highest weight dumbbells upstairs and hold one in each hand for some squats in the stretching area or on the track. I would also do 4 sets of 8 reps with weight for squats. Keep squeezing the booty.

You could finish with the seated leg press and do the magic 4 sets of 8 reps at whatever weight you are comfortable with using.

Extra: If you want to challenge yourself even more, try doing sumo squats with weight or some of the lunges that we did earlier, but with weights.

10-20 Minute Cool Down

Spend some time doing cardio to cool down. Maybe try 20 minutes of the glute toning exercise on the Arc Trainer or the fat burning mode on the stair machine. You could end by stretching and rolling out downstairs.

Enjoy your workout! Please note that I am not a professional. Do your own research and decide what you think is the best workout for you and remember to stay hydrated and eat plenty of protein after your workout for optimal recovery.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.

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I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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