Since I tore my pectoral (which I will document in detail in other blogs) I have not been able to do anything anything except legs and the 4 way neck machine in the gym. I still go 5 or 6 times a week, but it’s more just to sort of keep the wheels greased and enjoy myself than any sort of hardcore bodybuilding or athletics, which is obviously a good idea when recovering from surgery. I usually just sneak in at night for about an hour. My diet is also relaxed back a few notches (I might blog about that if I start to enjoy doing this).
In spite of the fact that I’m not going balls to the wall, I’m learning a lot about my legs. I’ve always done legs – I’ve never been one to skip my leg day because thick legs is part of the look I want – I want the look of an athlete, and most athletes carry a lot of muscle mass through their legs and center of gravity. I want to avoid that “gym rat” look of a guy with biceps and chest but little prick legs, so I do legs. But I’ll be honest, it was always a hard hat and lunch pail type thing. It was work, a slog, a grind. I never relished the sensation of my leg day like say, chest or arms. Now that I’m forced to concentrate on legs I’m thinking my way through that mental block and discovering a love for my leg day.
For one thing I was pretty surprised at how weak of a mind muscle connection I had with my leg muscles. In the past my mentality was “PUSH!!!!” and I wasn’t particularly focused on my muscle tissue, I was just pushing with all my might. I didn’t care if it was glutes, hips, quads, hams, whatever – I just fucking PUSHED. Occasionally I would try to focus in but it wasn’t that quality focus like you get with say biceps. Now that I’m in a sling I’ve had to drop the weight, and can’t even squat yet, but I’ve found it beneficial. I have even noticed growth despite the fact that I’m not even eating for muscle growth right now. The thing is I’ve started making those connections between my mind and my hip muscles, my mind and my glutes, I’m working on getting my mind inside my quads more and more and I’m developing a decent connection with my hamstrings. I’m not afraid to drop the weight and feel myself through the movement.
I also do a lot of bodyweight squats, which is a very natural exercise and I’ve learned to really enjoy them. The way I see it it’s not about the number of squats. It’s not like you’re trying to rip off 250 squats as fast as you can like you’re in some kind of army contest. It’s about sitting down into that squat, feeling the stretch, getting in touch with the movement, and contracting all of the muscles until it stands your body up again. It’s okay to go slow. It’s better to go slow. A lot of times I’ll only do one or two right after a set, but it’s a good quality squat. I enjoy it.
I’ve also learned to appreciate the look more, to desire the look of muscular legs more. To want that look and feel of strong legs. Of having thick quads. I think muscle mass through that area near your center of gravity is the look an athlete has, and it’s a sign of true strength, not just the cosmetic look of a gym rat. It’s also very healthy to have mass there because they are the largest muscles in your body, so that will really help your metabolism. Plus having good tone in that area helps you move better and easier all day and will give you your best athletic advantage.