SP1-LB

Phase One Lower Body Day

Directions:

  • Each exercise should be done on a count of two on the contraction (or lifting of the weight) and a count of four when lowering the weight.
  • The form is of the utmost importance when doing the exercises. Isolation of each muscle group is the goal.
  • Breathe out on contraction and in when lowering of the weight.
  • The one exception is the dumbbell pullover, where the breathing pattern is reversed: breathe out when lowering the weight and in when lifting it.

 

Phase One:

  • Adaptation (1 x 12-15 repetitions)
  • Rest 90 seconds after each set.

 

During this phase, the goal is to adapt your body to lifting.

  • Each exercise is to be done as follows: one set of 12 to 15 repetitions.
  • The correct weight choice for each exercise will allow you to feel like you could complete an additional one to three repetitions with good form.
  • The weight is too heavy if you feel a strong burn in the muscles at the end of the set.

 

Leg Curls

Upper legs/quads; supports weight-catching phase of running and builds additional muscle mass necessary for half-marathon distances and up

Beginning position: Sit on the machine. Rest shin pad just above the ankle. Line knee with the pivot point of the machine.

Ending position: Extend both legs fully to a straight line.

Leg Extension

Upper legs/quads; supports weight-catching phase of running and builds additional muscle mass necessary for half-marathon distances and up

Beginning position: Sit on the machine. Rest shin pad just above the ankle. Line knee with the pivot point of the machine.

Ending position: Extend both legs fully to the straight line

Squats

Glutes and quads; generates power for cycling and strength necessary for hilly running

Beginning position: Stand with legs wider than shoulders. Find a neutral spine posture. Keep weight over heels at all times.

Ending position: Lower butt toward the floor as though you’re sitting in a chair. Bend knees until thighs are parallel to the floor.

 

Calf Raises

Lower legs/calves; helps push-off for running 

Beginning position: Place one foot on a step and the other raised off the step just slightly. Hold the weight in the arm on the same side as the calf you are working on. 

Ending position: Lower the heel until you feel a moderate stretch.

Backward Lunges

Adductors and glutes; targets all muscles used in the push phase of hilly running

Beginning position: Stand with legs together; rest the bar comfortably on the upper back.

Ending position: Step back, extending the leg out behind, and lower your body into a split squat. Drag the toes of the extended foot on the floor on the way back up to the starting position

 

Leg Press

Glutes and quads; most important exercise for developing power on the bike

Beginning position: Start seated on the sled with your knees bent and feet roughly shoulder-width apart.

Ending position: Legs extended fully.

Sit-Ups and Stretching

On the sit-ups, work all areas of the abdomen (lower, middle, and upper), but don’t go overboard. It is important to strengthen the abdominals because they help prevent lower-back problems and support the diaphragm.

However, overdevelopment of your abdominal region may restrict your ability to breathe during intense exercise. An effective breath comes from expanding your abdomen, not from raising your shoulders. If your abdominals are overdeveloped, you cannot get a relaxed, deep breath. My rule of thumb is no more than five minutes of moderate abdominal work twice a week.