In a recent video on his YouTube channel, personal trainer Don Saladino (who has worked with stars like Sebastian Stan and Hugh Jackman) addresses one of the most common questions he gets from people who aren’t seeing the results they expected in their weight loss and fitness journeys. What do most of them have in common? They’re skipping leg day.
Saladino explains that neglecting your leg workouts, or not approaching them with the same intensity and consistency as your other training, is the one of the biggest errors you can make.
“Leg training is not the same as going running and doing cardio or biking,” he says. “You need to train legs separately, with resistance… Resistance training is going to raise your basal metabolic rate, which means you’re going to burn more fat calories through resistance training than you are through cardio.”
“When you’re training your legs, you are getting this fat-burning effect that is very difficult to achieve with any type of cardio you’re doing,” he continues, “because leg training just gets so intense it requires your entire body to have to engage for you to produce a level of tension, and you’re getting some of the best abdominal work you’ll ever achieve through training your lower body.”
Saladino suggests doing leg training at least once a week and finding whatever combination and variation of leg exercises—such as squats, split squats, deadlifts and lunges—that work for you personally. He adds that you don’t have to be training at such intensity that you can’t walk the next day.
“Start slow,” he says. “Start focusing on getting your legs stronger, focus on mobility for your lower body, and watch what starts happening with your workouts. You might get leaner. Your abs might get a lot better. You are going to get a lot stronger.”
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