Leg Day – A Lesson in Self-Talk

By MaXimus Mark

Its Leg day.. again! Yay! Whoopy, a chance to test my true strength.

I feel like shit, I cant be arsed, I feel like going home, I ask myself, “why do it to yourself?” You see, my body knows the pain that is to come, my mind shuts it out and says, “just go through the motions of warming up and you will be fine”

So I do.. I get down on the floor and start to stretch; my left glute is tighter than Fergies skin tight shorts. What’s that? A reason to go home? “Shut up, your doing legs today!” The mind screams.

So I put a plate on each side and start, actually feels good. “Why didn’t I have any carbs today?!” Another reason to leave. “Shut the Fuck Up” the mind screams, “Your doing legs!” At least I ate a whole packet of cashews last night…

Add another plate for 12 reps, it’s easy! Almost embarrassed with two plates as the guy who squats more than me looks over. I quickly add more weight. The plan is to pyramid my reps all the way to 4, increasing weight every set.

It’s my set of 6… Feeling the affects of not having carbs in the morning, the mind talks… “Do it or you die!”… I get under the bar, the first 4 feel like murder, the fifth has my eyes rolling to the back of my head, the body screams “That’s its, stop!”… The mind gently reminds… “Do it or die”.  So I do, and I reach complete failure… Lucky I set up the rack properly…

The guy who squats more than me asks, “Are you ok?”

“Of course, I’m training!” I reply… “Can you help me put this back on the rack, I got two more sets”… The ego servers its purpose and pushes me…

Next two sets, I decide to grab a spot, 4 reps on both sets with 3 plates a side. Not bad, but not great either. The glute is killing, but I think, if I can just make it through the next superset Ill be fine…

But wait! Before the superset of step ups and lunges you have one more set of squats… a set of 25! Ok, ok, lets put on one plate a side. “No! You can’t, that’s what one your clients did yesterday, you need to set the standards!

Nothing like high rep squats to test you. I like to do these not looking at my form, so face away from the mirror. 15th rep, my glute is completely frozen. In fact, I don’t feel a burn in the quads at all. I realise this isn’t conducive to building great legs, I take a 10 sec pause, face the mirror again and finish my set. My glute is “not happy”.  I don’t care.  I am finishing leg day! (Aka. Prayer Day)

Who ever dreamt up the idea of supersetting knee high step up, followed with box lunges, (12 reps on each) should have to fight UFC champion, Brock Lesnar. With that said, its probably the best test I could give someone as a coach to gauge pain tolerance levels.

I begin.. “Why did I decide to do legs today, my glute!” speaks the body, instantly the mind responses with, “Shut the hell up… just do it!” Look, there’s one of your students and clients watching you train… “Show them how to train, be a leader”, I say to myself.

Second set of lunges, “Common, you took two of your clients through this routine yesterday! They pushed the weight and there dieting for their comp! What’s your excuse? You ate a whole pack of cashews last night, you should be fine!”

Arhh! 8, Grrggh! 9… finally 12! The work experience kids look on… I wonder what there thinking… Before I get a chance to contemplate, Jen, a lovely lady at the gym compliments me on my ability to train hard. The ego reply’s “there’s a reason why I have the legs I do…”

I decide to smash my quads further, I figure “why not?!” Its not written on my training program, I just decided to do it.  So I jump on the leg extension and do 3 sets of 20. These are harder than I remember them. I am lucky I train at a gym where people are accustom to training hard as my cursing becomes louder and more profound…

Ok, that’s done, lets do hammies!

Body: “Oh, cant we just go home, you’ve been training over an hour!”

“No way!” the mind replies, “suck it up princess!” I get up and walk over to the bench where I have thrown my water, jumper and program. Jen looks over and laughs as I can barely walk. The ego says to Jen, “Hey you know next day soreness? I don’t get that! I train so hard that I get instant soreness!” She laughs’. There’s something about mixing intensity with humour. It’s the best combination of emotions, and they’re always on tap at Definition Gym.

Back to leg curl, 6 sets of 6 with a slow tempo. After leg curl, everything else seems easy. Despite the fact I almost passed out several times, can barely walk I have a big stupid smile on my face…. I just finished leg day, now I need to ride my bike home!

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