I used to be a runner. It started in the 3rd grade when my classmate, John Do (yes, that is his name) encouraged me to run during a PE class lap around the parking lot. I feel like I didn’t know how to run prior to that. Maybe I just flailed awkwardly as a kid. As I started to run, I passed most of my classmates, and I remember looking down at my legs and thinking, “how the heck am I moving so fast?” I loved running from that point. I was fast and I got even faster as the years progressed. But most of all, I loved the freedom and independence of running. When I was running, I felt so free and powerful.
But almost 5 years ago, I sprained my knee and had to see the doctor. After a scan, they found torn cartilage under my patella from an older injury. I decided to go ahead with my surgery, and unfortunately, I have not been able to run ever since. After my surgery, I couldn’t walk for months and spent the next year learning how to walk again due to extreme muscle atrophy. I understand that many (mostly guys) hate to train their legs, but for me, it became a necessity so I could walk again. That is why I learned to love training my legs. I’m motivated by the opportunity to overcome this weak spot. It’s like when someone tells me that I can’t do it, I just want to do it even more.
Here is my leg workout routine. Legs are a part of my 3 (sometimes 4) day muscle split. This requires me to work them out as often as my arms or chest.
Leg Day 1:
Weighted Squat (super set with 3D Squats) 4 x12
Kettle Bell Forward Lunges 4 x 30
Leg Extensions 4 x 10
Leg Curls 2 x 12
Standing Calf Raises (in between all sets as “rest” set)
Seated Weighted Calf Raises 8 x 15
Leg Day 2:
Stationary Bike – 30 mins, high resistance
I have found that cycling has helped reduce much of my knee pain by developing my quadriceps and hamstrings in a way weight training could not. The overall increase in muscle growth through this has helped with my leg’s functionality and performance. That’s why I have started to include cycling on a regular basis.
As always, remember to stretch carefully after tough workouts like this.