Strong Legs are Sexy Legs!

 

Alli McKee

Alli McKee

  

I love the feeling of the heavy bar on my back. The initial lift as I un-rack the weight and settle under the bar. Backing out of the squat rack and situating my stance. My entire body is comfortably under tension as I lower down and then drive through to the upright position while feeling everything work together.

Today was a lower body training day and I can feel myself regaining my strength back each week. Despite a herniated disk problem that limited me in the last show season, I feel my body is working very well for me this time around. My body fat is coming down at a great pace and my strength is going up each week – it’s a beautiful balance to have.  I just reached 135lbs again for four sets of eight on my back squats. Although I’d like to see my squat climb more, I’m happy to be doing more than my body weight – hell, I’m happy to be doing them at all 🙂

I have a very good feeling for this season. My mental and my physical state are in sync and it’s a lethal combination! I’m training and dieting like a winner and it’s so much fun right now. I am really enjoying the time spent on creating myself this time around. I love the release I get from training, the challenges I work through and the social aspect as I have been floating between my three gym locations. I’m blessed to work for such a phenomenal company, FX Studios which is partnered with Under Armour. The energy from my colleagues and the fitness enthusiasts around me are making this an incredible go-round.

I was at the Under Armour facility today for a lower body training day. Still the same pattern I mentioned in my previous post about the strength emphasis followed by diverting movements.

For those of you who like to follow the training or gather ideas for your own training, here is what today looked like:

A Dynamic WarmUp:
1. 5 minutes of jump rope
2. Hip Circuit:

  • Double leg hip bridges x 8
  • Single leg hip bridges x 8 per side
  • Fire Hydrants x 8 per side
  • Forward circles x 8 per side
  • Reverse circles x 8 per side
  • Superdog x 8 per side.

3. Bodyweight Super Leg Variation:

  • Bodyweight squats x 16
  • Bodyweight reverse lunges x 16 total (alternate legs)
  • Bodyweight split jumps x 16 total (alternate legs)
  • Bodyweight squat jumps x 8

4. Overhead Squat with a dowel rod x 8 reps
5. Front Squats with the naked barbell
6. Back Squats ( 2 sets of 8 ) with progressive weight building up to first working set.

Note: I always vary my warm up depending on the muscle emphasis for that day, but I also keep certain movements consistent for proper muscle activation, CNS activation, mobility and movement prep. Again, there are so many ways to structure warmups, have fun with them and pair your training knowledge with common sense. 🙂

The Strength Component:

Again a lot of this can be tailored to your abilities, likes / dislikes, needs, etc. but here is a glimpse of a lower body workout for me at the moment:

1a. Barbell Back Squat 4 x 8 – 12 reps
1b. Push ups (think of all the various versions to choose from) x 20 reps
1c. Core / Abdominal work

2a. Reverse Lunges (Barbell or Dumbbell) 3 x 12 per leg (NOT alternating!). (Note: for added challenge and range of motion, elevate your front foot on a weight plate)
2b. A pulling movement (ie: TRX rows, band rows) x 20 reps
2c. Core / Abdominal work

3a. Stability Ball Leg Curls (single leg if you’re able) 2 x 15 – 20 per side
3b. Core / Abdominal Work

Conditioning / Finisher:
The options here are endless as well as the structure of the intervals and intensity. Today I challenged myself to 75 flights of stairs. Another gym I have access to is only a 1/8 of a mile from the other. It’s in a building that is 25 stories high. I LOVE running the stairs. It’s task oriented and it’s hard as hell each time I get to the top. It takes me roughly 4 minutes to the top, 1 minutes to rest and 4 minutes back to the bottom.. repeat 3 rounds today for a total of roughly 27 minutes.

Again, lots of options from sprints, Airdyne bike intervals, etc. I have been having a blast mixing it up this season.

Stay tuned for more training suggestions to come!!

 Wishing you Health and Happiness,
Alli McKee

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17 responses to “Strong Legs are Sexy Legs!

  1. Hi Alli,

    First, I LOVE your site! I printed out “I am Fitness” and I carry it with me. So inspirational…

    Can you clarify your working sets for me? Do you do 1a, then 1b, then 1 c….or do you do 1 set of 1a/b/c, then repeat? I’m going to try this workout this week. It will be an interesting change up for me!

    Thanks for all of the great content and motivation!
    Sam

  2. Hey Sam!

    Thanks so much for your feedback, I’m always pleased you all get something from here 🙂 “I AM FITNESS” is one of my favorite posts and certainly from the heart – so thank you 🙂

    As for the sets – great question – it looks like this:
    Round 1 = 1a, 1b, 1c
    Round 2 = 1a, 1b, 1c
    Round 3 = 1a, 1b, 1c
    Round 4 = 1a

    Move on to 2a, 2b, 2c 🙂

    Good luck and have fun!!
    Alli

  3. Thanks so much. Looks brutal, but I’m up for trying it Monday! I wanted you to know that you are motivating several people in my world. I’m leading an accountability/bootcamp group of 10 girls that I work with, and we constantly say to each other, “I AM Fitness” or “YOU ARE Fitness!” I also shared your blog with my spin class Friday. Good stuff…keep it coming!

    Sam

  4. Hey Alli,

    That Bodyweight Super Leg Variation is a KILLER! I do something very similar called a Quad Blast – I’m burning with lactic acid by the end.

    I love to check out your training – it’s almost as if we get to partner with you vicariously on your journey.

    Keep up this tremendous blog! 🙂

    • Aww, thanks Mindi,

      What’s the Quad Blast? Willing to share ? 🙂

      I love sharing training with you all! It’s a cool training family 🙂

  5. Okay article. I just became aware of your blog and desired to say I have really enjoyed reading your opinions. Any way I’ll be subscribing in your feed and Lets hope you post again soon.

  6. How long do you rest between the different exercises?

    Thanks for the great information.

    I think the following quote describes you perfectly. “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.”

    • Hi Mike,

      I LIKE that quote 🙂 I also like, “The harder I work, the luckier I get” – heard that from a friend recently 😉

      As for the rest periods within the scheme I listed, I am moving relatively quick through the training. I “take as much rest as I need, but as little as I need” – I’m trying to make the this training phase a bit more metabolic for jump starting fat loss. That may change depending on my next phase.. but for now, it’s self regulated with the intent to keep rest periods lower.

      I hope that answered your question! Feel free to send more Q’s if you have them and enjoy training!
      Alli

  7. Awesome, Alli! I am glad to see you frequently posting again!

    About the warm-up – how cool is that??? Could you PLEASE outline how you would do it on an upper body day? Thanks!!!!

    • Hi Chris,

      I thought of you when posting that warm up.. I haven’t forgotten, I promise! and yes, I will shoot some stuff up about upper body movement prep.

      Keeping in mind what I wrote was not an exhaustive list of how I warm up.. so if you have more questions or want to shoot ideas.. feel free to email me at allimckeefit@gmail.com

      Thanks for staying on the blog and I hope all is well!
      Alli

  8. Allie, you’re an animal (that’s a compliment)! I love the pictures of you squatting! Wow. I’m so glad you posted the dynamic warm up. It’s an area I need help with! Thank you!

  9. Good job love that tire pull it is fabulous the feeling can’t describe it. You squat good just like me except he makes me sit more below parallel. Great work keep posting.

  10. Pingback: Tweets that mention Strong Legs are Sexy Legs! | Alli McKee Fit to Figure -- Topsy.com

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