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Single-Leg Training
One Leg Training Works

By: Anabolic Insider

Q. A buddy of mine that I haven’t seen in a long time came into the gym the other day. Dude, his legs were HUGE!! The first thing I asked him was “Dude, WHAT have you been taking?” The second question I asked was “WHERE can I get it?” Then he told me that it wasn’t due to being on any new cycle, but it was his new training method. He said he is doing “single-leg” exercises with less weight than ever, but experiencing maximum gains. Will this work for me?

A. I first heard about single leg training, as a fad, about 3 years ago. It’s just one of the many things you can do to improve your leg strength and size. Some people claim single leg training is the “Holy Grail” of bodybuilding and the key to maximum limb growth. Others say it’s just one choice in an arsenal of many choices when it comes to flavoring a workout. I am somewhat in the middle. I actually do think that single leg training—in general—is effective because it forces you to slow down, forces you to use absolutely perfect form, and creates a situation whereby you must focus on quality rather than quantity. These are always positive elements. But it can also be a way to nurse current weaknesses and ingrain them, or to create new imbalances in development. This neuromuscular overload is a mixed bag. I’ll give you an example: Say you’re trying to bring your leg strength up in your left leg because it’s a bit smaller. You use it in single leg exercises, such as single leg smith machine squats and single leg squats. Let’s say the reason you are weakest in this leg is because the muscles in your left quad are conformed differently. You begin training and it’s kicking your ass, and everything is going well. Then, two months down the road, you come up with a quad tear. Chances are, this may not have shown up at all in traditional leg training, but did here because you were unduly stressing the fibers in that one leg. Then again, on the positive side, I’ve known people who put on a LOT of extra mass —and in areas that they couldn’t seem to put on muscle, previously. They could have done the same thing in two leg, traditional leg training sessions, but never took the time to figure out why it wasn’t working for them. Slowing down, as you must do in single leg training sessions, and injecting quality over quantity, causes a great many changes to occur. If I were you, I’d try those things first before stressing your knees and hips with one-legged exercises that are awkward and likely no more effective than traditional two-legged movements, done correctly.

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