A great way to jack up your training intensity and your fat burning, muscle building results is to do more work in less time. One very effective way to do that is to perform unilateral work with non-stop sets, four per side, eight sets in all. This has the added benefit of allowing you to really focus in on the muscle you are working.
Let’s take a look at the sexy unilateral leg workout.
First, it’s an all out set of 20 reps on the barbell squat. After a warm up, of course. Once you complete the 20 rep set of barbell squats, you hop, or waddle, on over to the leg press and use a weight that allows you about 15 reps for one leg.
Start with either leg, go to failure, then do the same for the other leg. Then go back to the left, and on it goes until you’ve completed four sets for each leg, eight sets total.
It might go like this:
- Left – 15 reps
- Right – 15 reps
- Left – 11 reps
- Right – 11 reps
- Left – 7 reps
- Right – 7 reps
- Left – 4 reps
- Right – 4 reps
That’s it! And if you’re really in the zone, once you hit full rep failure on that fourth set, try pumping some mini-range reps by moving the weight up and down over about a 6 inch range of motion.
Yes, you can try this technique with other body parts as well, such as incline dumbbell curls for biceps, doing just one arm at a time.
Give this a try next time you hit legs and let me know what you think!
Another version that works is to use a weight that allows you to get 12 – 15 reps per set, only going to failure on the last set for each leg.
Now, there is a different way to do this for a body part like arms, which is really the biceps and triceps. Do do the work unilaterally like legs, you’d need to do eight sets for the biceps and then eight sets for the triceps, using two different exercises.
But in this special case, instead of doing it unilaterally one arm at a time, you can alternate between a biceps exercise and a triceps exercise, performing eight sets total and do it without rest.
For biceps we’ll be using incline dumbbell curls and for triceps we’ll be hitting pushdowns. Start with the curls (pumped biceps make you stronger on the pushdowns). You’ll be alternating the exercises for 4 sets each (8 total) without a break.
- Incline DB Curls – 12 reps
- Tricep Pushdowns – 12 reps
- Incline DB Curls – 9 reps
- Tricep Pushdowns – 9 reps
- Incline DB Curls – 6 reps
- Tricep Pushdowns – 6 reps
- Incline DB Curls – 3 reps
- Tricep Pushdowns – 3 reps
That’s it! And if you’re really in the zone, once you hit full rep failure on that fourth set, try pumping some mini-range reps by moving the weight about 6 inches.
Depending on your muscle fiber makeup it might be too much to use the same weight all the way through. If you can only crank out 2 or 3 reps on the third set, be ready to drop the weight a bit for the final set.
If you can get nine or ten repetitions on the final set for biceps and for triceps, consider adding a little weight at the next workout.
I definitely wouldn’t do this more than twice per week and if you’re really hitting it with some serious intensity, once per week is enough. If you do this twice per week you’ll want to consider cutting back on your chest and back work, (they can hit the biceps and triceps pretty hard).
Don’t be using serious intensity techniques like this on multiple body parts at the same time. You’ll burn out fast!
Oh yeah, about the rep numbers. Those are just an example. After the first set, you may get more or fewer reps on the rest of the sets, depending on things like muscle fiber makeup, intensity level, etc.
Consider including these legs and arms workouts as part of your program and watch these two sexy body parts completely transform!