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ood day from Semper Fitness. It's good to be back. As my good friend Gannon informed you, I was having a few technical difficulties with my computer. I really appreciate him pinch-hitting for me. Thanks, Gannon.

First of all, I would like to say happy birthday to all of my fellow Marines and former Marines on our 223rd Birthday.

Now let's get to the nitty gritty. Today we’re here to discuss the dreaded quadriceps (quads or thigh) workout. I know in some weight lifters vocabulary that is a taboo word. Just the thought of the effort involved in working legs brings a grimace to most individuals' faces. Let's face it, most people don't look forward to working legs. Well, I'm here to tell you it is a necessary evil (unless you want to resemble a chicken). The following illustrates our leg workout:

QUADRICEP (LEG) EXTENSIONS
Before you begin your leg workout make sure that you stretch both your quads and you hamstrings for at least good five (5) minutes. After you finish stretching, warm up your knees with a short (5-10 minutes) stationary bicycle ride. Once you're done riding the bike, you can begin your workout. The first exercise we're going to is leg extensions. We use this exercise to get some blood seriously flowing through the thighs. We are going to do three (3) sets of these. Of course, the first set is going to be a warm-up. Start with a weight that you can easily handle and do 10-15 slow repetitions (reps). Take about 2-3 minutes between sets. The next 2 sets are going to be to total failure and done in a pyramid fashion. What I mean by pyramid fashion is you’re going to start with a set weight that you can do 10 reps with. Immediately after finishing the 10 reps increase the weight by 10 pounds and do as many as you can up to 5 reps. As soon as you finish that, increase the weight again by 10 pounds and do as many as you can up to 5 repetitions. Hopefully, you won't make it to the total 5 reps. It’s best to use a spotter to keep you from cheating and to push you. Those of you who have pushed really hard on leg extensions know what I'm talking about. All others will find out on that second set. Make sure you do your reps slow to medium speed. Be sure not to go to fast and sacrifice form.

SQUATS
Squats are an exercise that does wonders for the body. They help your whole body grow from head to toe. It's also an exercise that is shunned by anyone who is afraid of that heart pumping, head-pounding, vein pulsing, nauseating feeling that accompanies squats. Maybe I'm a loon, because I love it. My first advice to anyone doing squats is to get a spotter. Also, make sure that your spotter is not afraid to get close to you while your squatting. Most people concern themselves with looking good or are afraid of what others will think. I would rather look funny with my spotter than look funny with my back and neck brace. Get the point. If you cannot get a spotter, use the Smith Machine to do your squats. Remember safety is the key. When you move up under the bar, make sure that the weight will be distributed evenly across your shoulders. As far as your stance is concerned, try not to go much wider than a shoulder width stance. Once you take the weight off of the rack, again ensure that the weight is distributed evenly. Now, lower your body to the point where your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle. Make sure that your back is straight when you lower yourself. To help yourself with this, focus your eyes on a point about 3 feet above you and concentrate on that spot when you go down and come up. Your warm-up set should be 10 reps nice and easy. Then do 2 heavy sets to failure. No more than 8 reps.

LEG PRESSES
When it comes to leg presses, you can do them in place of squats or in conjunction with them. It all depends on you. With the leg press, you will do the same amount of sets as with squats and in the same fashion-one warm-up, two heavy sets to failure. The placement of the feet is important with the leg press. If you place your feet wide, you will work your buns and hamstrings, as well as your quads. If you place your feet close, this will work the top of your thighs more. A good placement is about shoulder width apart. This is the end of the workout. After you finish, stretch your quads and hamstrings again and drink plenty of water.

Well motivator, that's it for quads. Next workout, we'll be doing back and calves. Yeah baby!!!! Good luck with quads. Stay pumped. Stay motivated and OO-RAH!

Semper Fi and happy birthday Marines.

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