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The squat is one of the best exercises for legs.
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For certain types of athletes and fitness enthusiasts, getting bigger is the main goal. Hard work and determination are necessary to accomplish this and time is precious. There's nothing more frustrating than putting in time and not getting reasonable returns on your physique. In order to get bigger faster, leg training is crucial to your program. To not include leg training in a program that aims at getting bigger is a huge mistake. Leg training provides a hormonal and neurological response in the body which are two keys factors for growth.
Telling the Body What You Want It To Do
It's important to understand that getting bigger is a major energetic investment in the body. It takes a lot of resources and metabolic processes to get a bigger physique. Because of this the body essentially needs a reason to get bigger. This is where the right stimulus comes in. You have to provide the right environment and conditions in training such as intensity, frequency, consistency and variation for the body to actually get bigger. What makes the body increase lean tissue and add size has to do with signaling. The first signal is the hormonal system and leg training provides a huge stimulus for this action.
Legs and Hormonal Signaling
Hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone are the major anabolic compounds that promote the growth of tissue. Resistance training definitely increases the levels of these anabolic hormones. Training legs is beneficial because the muscles of the legs are bigger relative to the muscles of the upper body. There is more surface area, muscle tissue, power and strength capacities in the lower body. This allows for a greater hormonal response to signal anabolic pathways relative to the upper body. Training upper body only would be missing out on the greater share of hormonal signaling that would make a body bigger, faster.
Legs and Neural Adaptations
Neurological stimulus is another signaling process in the body that can spur growth and make you bigger. There is a large part of resistance training that involves the nervous system to fire muscles and coordinate movement. The more intense the resistance is the more heavily recruited the nervous system is. Large recruitment in the nervous system sends signals to the body that promote growth. Classic leg training exercises such as squats and deadlifts fully engage the neurological system and provide a strong stimulus for growth in the body. Neurological adaptations also increase strength, and the stronger you are the more weight you'll be able to lift which will also help you grow faster.
Multiple joint exercises such as squats, deadlifts and Lunges are ideal for getting the maximum anabolic and neurological response over isolation exercises where you focus on one muscle group. Full range of motion when performing exercises is highly recommended as it allows you to stimulate a larger area of muscle tissue under resistance which will also maximize your anabolic response. It's important to remember that getting bigger is an investment your body will make if it deems it to be necessary; your job is to create an environment through resistance training to make that happen and training legs will always give you the advantage over just training upper body alone.