Squats/calf raises

MillwallAlex

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I’m considering incorporating squats and calf raises into my workouts to strengthen me legs. Would you lot reconmend doing them before or after cardio sessions?
 

Hyperhippo

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To strengthen your legs I wouldn’t train cardio and legs together, sure a slow 5 minute jog followed by stretches will act as a good warm up, but don’t be doing a 20 minute plus sprint session followed by a strengthening leg session.

Adding squats into a sprint session (such as arnys hill sprint session) is there to increase the endurance in your legs which is something you absolutely need. A lot of people get strength and endurance confused.

To increase strength you need to be squatting a moderate to heavy weight, obviously start off towards the moderate end of the scale. I’ll write down a training plan which I’m currently using to increase strength, and it based on 1 lower body session per week.

Back Squats:

Week 1 - 3 X 5
Week 2 - 2 X 3
Week 3 - 2 X 2
Week 4 - 1 X 3 (This is a 3 rep max. test)
Week 5 (Deload week) - 5 X 5

Week (1) 6 - Start the 5 week cycle again based on your week 4 three rep max. test.

I’ll explain in detail. Week 1 you will choose a weight which you perceive is heavy but you can get 5 - 7 reps out. You’ll Squat this for 3 sets of 5.

The second week the reps come down by 2 (number of reps correlates to weight - lower reps the heavier the weight) and the sets come down by 1. For this jump down, squat for one set only the weight you did in week 1 and add 2.5 - 5kg until you getting around the 3 - 4 rep range. Then squat this weight for 2 X 3.

Week 3 same principle again.

Week 4, by this time you would have made strength gains and your going to test your 3 rep max. Squat for 3 reps, add weight, squat for 3 reps, add weight and repeat until you’ve found your 3 rep max.

Week 5 is a deload week and you’ll squat a lighter weight for 5 X 5.

Week 6 you start back at week 1 and start the 5 week cycle again. Your week 1 3 X 5 reps will be slightly lighter than your last 3 rep max. test.

Hope this helps
 

Cuzza22297

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Am I right in thinking that the hill sprints themselves will increase length strength (as well as endurance)?

Although I assume that would only be to a certain point then a weighted vest would have to be added to progress further
 

Hyperhippo

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Yeah it’ll only be to a certain point. The first few times you do the sprint session your legs will strengthen to a certain degree, but from the on it’ll all be endurance endurance endurance.

You can only become strong under a heavy resistance
 

Cuzza22297

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Is a weighted vest advised on hill sprints passed this point? Aware weighted runs are discouraged until RT but the nature of the hill sprint takes away a lot of the impact through the leg so a weighted hill sprint might not be as dangerous.
 

Hyperhippo

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I wouldn’t, but I suppose you could leave your weighted vest at the top of the hill to put on to do squats in.
 

Squatmonkey

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I’m considering incorporating squats and calf raises into my workouts to strengthen me legs. Would you lot reconmend doing them before or after cardio sessions?

Don't do strength focus workouts same day as endurance. 2 days a week strength is enough, 3 max, anymore and there isn't enough left to have good enough focus on cardiovascular fitness in my opinion.

That said, no problem doing light squats eg and other lifts eg kettle bell floor to overhead for high reps as part of a circuit as that's going to be muscular endurance
 

MillwallAlex

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I meant just body weight squats and body weight calf raises an hour or so after running. Not a heaving lifting session with weights
 

Fibonarchie

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In deference to hill sprints with a weighted vest, DO NOT wear it to come down. Walking down hill without anything is already damaging to back, knees and ankles (in a small way) so avoid extra issues by walking downhill with weight.
 
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