I'm sure you've noticed that I've been talking a lot about leg and core training/conditioning these days. Most of my notes seem to have some sort of reference to either walking, or hill climbing - and for those of that think it's a bit of an "overdose" on leg work, well, stop reading this email right now.
But there will likely be many of you that understand just important it is to condition the legs and core, and thus know why I stress it as much as I do.
Repeat something thousands of times, and it literally becomes second nature - or habit, if you would.
Repeat something thousands of times, and even the most obstinate of us (in this case, those who plain just don't WANT to get in shape) will usually give it at least a thought, and maybe even a try. And there in lies the importance of stressing the really important stuff over and over again.
Anyway, for those of you still not on board, the #1 (by far) reason to condition your legs and core the RIGHT way is that it's virtually impossible to have a well conditioned core and pair of legs, and not work the heart, lungs and entire cardiovascular system at the same time - which in turn means less overall fat, both visceral and subcutaneous.
Take five guys (or gals) that have bellies and arses hanging down to their ankles, and compare their resting pulse, blood-work and/or overall health with five fitter people, and you'll quickly note that a conditioned core/legs goes hand in hand with a healthy heart most of the time.
Note I'm talking about the right way - and the right way does not include "leg presses" or "hamstring curls" or other such junk - I'm talking exercises that make the lower body and core (and therefore by extension the entire body) work as ONE unit, rather than separate muscle groups.
To put this in further perspective, consider the old Chinese saying "Ren lao xian lao tui", which when translated into English basically means the legs are the first to go as a person ages. In other words, young legs == young heart == young YOU - enough said on that one, methinks.
Second, strong legs and core help you from a practical perspective, and that goes both for the average Joe and for sportsmen/athletes.
It's virtually IMPOSSIBLE to excel at your chosen sport without having strong, durable and well conditioned legs and midsection (core).
Any successful boxer knows that while training the specifics is important, fights are ultimately "won on the road". In other words, the longer your legs dont give out, the better your chances are of winning the duel.
Any martial artist will tell you it's impossible to generate power in a kick without a strong core to back it up.
And so on and so forth - it "don't" matter if your sport of choice is soccer, tennis, volleyball or what you have it - the same principle applies.
Some of you might say that swimmers don't have legs that are all that strong, but the fact of the matter is that while swimmers generally do not have legs that are as strong when compared to those that participate in land based sports, their core conditioning is second to NONE. And I've never seen a swimmer with "fat" (or weak) legs and too much "junk in the trunk" - have you? What's more, most ace swimmers DO work the legs with land based exercise such as running in order to balance their impressive upper body development out.
Even those that don't participate in sports that require physical activity know the importance of staying in shape - just ask any top chess player.
The average Joe will find that strong legs, hips and core makes it possible for him or her to move that heavy couch up the stairs, or carry multiple bags of groceries up to the fifth floor without their arms given out.
Enough reasons, you think? I'd say so!
Anyway, there are more reasons than I can get into in this note, but yet another positive effect of training the legs and core is the sheer CONFIDENCE it adds into your daily life.
You might be able to bench press an elephant, but a gut hanging over your belt will likely make you feel fat regardless - and you won't be able to hide it either.
Other hand, a lean flat core, coupled with strong, muscular and streamlined thighs (and therefore legs) will make you feel confident about going into just any situation - and like the last example, it's almost impossible to hide a pair of well conditioned legs, no matter what you dress in.
Climbing hills as I do on a daily basis is a GREAT, GREAT way to work the legs, core and entire body (by extension), but it's not the end of the world if you don't have a hill nearby. Jumping rope, lunges, squats, "table" pushups, sprints on flat land or up stairs - - there are MANY ways to work the legs, and I have devoted an entire section on this in Fast and Furious Fitness: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book - and you'll probably want to grab a copy right away while we're still running our "20 % off" special.
Anyway, I'm off for a well deserved late lunch myself. If you work out today, make sure it's a great one - and make sure to work the legs and core heavily!
P.S. : - While working the legs and core is the #1 priority, that doesn't mean you forget about your upper body. And working the back is probably the MOST important thing you can do for yourself in that regard. Pull-ups are the best way (by far) to work your back and entire upper body into the ground, and. . . what's that? Too tough, you say? Well, fear not, my friend - I just put a new course out there that'll teach even the rank beginner amongst us to get to "stud" level at pull-ups (and reap the associated upper body benefits) within as less as a few weeks! If I were you, I'd pull on RIGHT NOW to grab this course: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/88-getting-better-at-pull-ups-from-dud-to-stud-within-a-matter-of-weeks