A lot of people will naturally vary their workout from week to week, either deliberately, or naturally due to alterations in waiting times between equipment and resting periods. However, sometimes you can accelerate muscle growth by varying an exercise from one set to the next in quick succession.
For instance, when doing leg curls, begin by doing only 30 degree reps on a weight that allows you to fail somewhere between 15-20 reps. After a minute’s rest, follow this with another set of leg curls at 60 degrees inclination, once again allowing yourself just enough leeway to finish between 15-20 repetitions. Then perform the final set at the full 90 degrees.
This gives your muscles a very different workout from the traditional 3 sets at the same weight and range, and also from the more advanced drop set routine. You will most probably find that your muscles are much more sore after a workout like this the first few times, as your legs aren’t used to taking so much punishment.
You can follow these leg curls by moving on to the incline leg press machine. However, instead of the traditional leg position with your feet shoulder width apart and facing outwards, have your feet and knees together. When you start the leg presses, don’t complete the entire motion, but stop short of your thighs touching your chest. Finish 15-20 of these and drop the weights for another 2 sets.
If you really want to workout your legs, you can follow the above routine with one leg squats, with the other leg resting on a bench. This will squeeze every last bit of strength out of your quads. Additionally, you will find that your heart rate is raised considerably with this sort of weight workout. Cardio isn’t the only effective way of burning fat. Leg workouts are extremely tiring and burn a lot of calories, as you are working very large muscles compared to biceps and shoulders etc.
When doing a leg routine such as the one above, remember to warm up for 3-5 minutes on an intense level of the cross trainer or treadmill (if your knees can take it). Follow this up by using a roller on your quads, hamstrings and the sides of your legs. Make sure you roll slowly and don’t glance over the sore areas. Find the parts of the legs that hurt the most and concentrate your efforts on it with the roller until the pain fades. If you repeat this again after your leg workout you will limit the amount of soreness you will experience in the next 48 hours.