Don’t Skip Leg Day – Part I: The Early Days
I skipped leg day for far too long.
As a young teenager in high school, my motivations hinged upon two pins: sports and girls. Sports at the high school level introduced me to the world of fitness and training. Up until that point, a gym wasn’t hitting my radar. However, as the level of competition in athletics rose in tandem with testosterone levels, fitness started creeping into the equation. My days typically consisted of team lifts, practices full of cardio drills, and upperclassmen competing to see who could curl the most. “Fitness” meant getting bigger…in the upper body specifically.
As I’m sure is the case with many guys, the motivation to start working out was as much to impress girls as it was to perform better athletically – who knows, maybe that’s just my interpretation. But, regardless of the motivation, chest, arms, and shoulders were clearly the way to fame. At that time, there was a correlation (in my mind) between how much I could curl and how much attention I’d get from the ladies. So there I was, a sophomore in high school, finishing up practice for whatever sport was in season at that time and then heading to the YMCA downtown to grow those biceps.
At the beginning, I’d end up going two or three times during the week and also on the weekends. I’d usually end up going with a couple buddies. We’d copy what the ‘bigger’ people in the gym were doing, or lookup various workouts to try. Consistency wasn’t great, and games or practices that ran late would impede any desire to go – growth was slow. Junior year was more of the same; however, having a year under my belt, exercise routines were being cultivated. By senior year, I had pared my sporting endeavors down to one (golf), which provided me ample time to workout on a consistent, daily basis. The routine was a revolving four day cycle of biceps, triceps, shoulders, and back. That lineup would ensure I hit arms, in some capacity (excluding shoulders and back), three to four times per week. I saw some solid gains, especially strength wise, adding fuel to the fire. And along came college...