Sam didn’t cheat me out of the planned workout tonight; I definitely got to train legs. Tonight was an interesting focus that Sam had said we’d be shifting to, and that’s speed and explosiveness. In all my years of training speed work and explosiveness are things I’ve basically neglected until working with Sam, so now we’re actually scheduling time to get it done. Let’s just say my legs definitely took a beating, and I didn’t even need to squat with a barbell.
We started off the session by doing some aggressive hamstring stretches. I had a band on the bottom of my foot and I was supposed to be able to flex my glutes and get my foot 90 degrees in the air. No way. My left leg was pretty close but not on my right side. Sam came over and got some other bands strapped up and did some pulling where I’d be required to squeeze all of the muscles in my leg and glutes and then release as he adjusted the tension in the band. Looks like I have some work to do there.
The first bit of work was around jumping. I don’t play sports and I never have. Jumping for me is something that feels a bit silly to do because I literally never have to do it. However, I totally understand how that translates into a lot of the movements I do when lifting. So, I’m completely open to getting awesome at it (I just feel silly and clumsy). Sam had me do a circuit of kettle bell front squats, double vertical jumps, and then medicine ball slams. I think doing the circuit once and taking a break would have been awesome for a few rounds. But Sam capitalized on what I’m terrible at: keeping my breath. Instead, Sam had me only do the circuit twice, but each time in the circuit was actually two times through. Follow? It was 4 complete times through, but no break between 1 & 2, and 3 & 4. Each time I got to my second go through the circuit, my legs would start to tremble when doing my kettle bell front squats. Were they that beat up? I don’t really think so, but when you can’t catch your breath it makes squatting really hard. Felt amazing to actually say I did it after though.
From there, I worked on my step ups with the barbell. I think I’ve made a huge improvement here, and I’d like to attribute some of it to my time on the stair master actually performing this motion where I lift my knee and flex my glutes to take two steps at a time. It sounds kind of silly (and I stole the idea from bikini competitors doing this when I’m drooling over Instagram videos), but my glute activation is certainly better, and I can keep my balance better too. We finished off by doing walking barbell lunges. I only worked up to 115 lbs, but it was a challenging weight for where I got to in my workout.