WATCH: 8x8 Leg Blast

TAGS: Hatfield Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats, Single Leg Curl, Hip Abduction, 8x8, jailhouse strong, leg extensions, Hip Adduction, romanian deadlifts, leg day, Josh Bryant

COACH

Today I am showing you the “Leg Blast” day where we target, you guessed it, the legs. Think of this as a more advanced bodybuilder type of split targeting specific body parts.  In future videos, we'll feature shoulders and triceps, the back, followed by chest and biceps. Like all portions of Gironda's 8x8 method, this is going to consist of eight sets of eight reps, with a thirty-second rest in between each set. I recommend you follow this program for a minimum of four weeks and up to a maximum of six weeks.


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JJ, who is helping us out in this video, followed the program for six weeks and saw great results. He didn’t eat super clean, and he didn’t pass up any pints at the local watering hole either. Still, he got lean and even put on a bit of muscle mass with the program. This I tell you: if you train like this and eat enough, you WILL put on muscle. Let’s get to it.

The most important thing to remember when doing this program is that following the rule of 8x8 with a maximum thirty-second rest between sets is critical. Most of the time, JJ here only took a break for 20-21 seconds. If you find yourself struggling to finish sets or need longer breaks, lower the weight.

Hatfield Squats

The first exercise is a Hatfield Squat. This is the one exercise in this leg program that you may need to adjust as a lot of gyms don’t have a safety squat bar, which you are going to need. Do NOT try this exercise with a regular squat bar.

I chose this exercise first because the Hatfield Squat allows you to pull through your sticking point. If your lower back is weaker you can pull yourself into your optimal squatting position. If you don’t have a safety bar, do hack squats.

Bulgarian Split Squats

Next up are Bulgarian Split Squats. Keep in mind that the 8x8 program refers to each muscle group we are targeting, so we need to do eight sets of eight for each leg. Again with this exercise, we are using a bar to provide stabilization and to push through any sticking points. It is not intended to jerk yourself up.

Again, this is eight sets of eight with each leg, no breaks. If this is too advanced, substitute for a split squat. Something where you get into a lunge position and go straight up and down. If you’re an absolute freak who finds this easy, put on a weighted vest.

Leg Extensions

After the brutal Bulgarian Split Squats, we go straight to leg extensions, which almost serves as a breather in this workout. JJ is able to push through these sets with breaks under 15 seconds, but I want you to remember that the goal with the 8x8 program is to increase weight every week. If you need to stay at the maximum 30-second break but are putting on weight each week, you’re doing great.

Watch and learn from this beast as JJ explains why it's important to push yourself as you develop endurance, and not take the full break just because you are allowed to.

Single Leg Curl

Next exercise is a single leg curl. Unlike the Bulgarian Split squats, we are doing four sets of four on each leg, for a total of eight. The reason for this is the hamstrings are primarily fast-twitch muscle fiber, and we can take advantage of this by switching rapidly between them. In this exercise, the switch between legs also serve as the breaks, so you are going to power through four on each leg, without thirty-second break in between.

Hip Abduction/Adduction

Hip Abduction/Adduction is next. Now some of you may be thinking this exercise is for women, but you’re wrong. As my man JJ explains, bodybuilders who know the importance of working the inner and outer quads rely on these machines, and you should too. Don’t listen to the stigma on these machines; they are some of the most underutilized exercise options in the gym.

Romanian Deadlifts

Last up on the leg blast exercises are Romanian deadlifts with dumbbells. These are arguably one of the toughest exercises, right up there with the Bulgarian Split and Hatfield Squats. If you don’t have or are uncomfortable with dumbbells, you can use barbells or even cable. I prefer dumbbells or cable for this because we are doing it at the end when you are going to be fatigued, and these options have less risk of injury.

And that’s it. Eight sets of eight for seven different exercises. Remember that we are starting this program with 40-50% of what you can do for one rep, and building from there. JJ was adding between 5-10 pound per set on a weekly basis, but you need to add what you are comfortable with. The important thing to build muscle mass is that you are consistently adding weight each week so don’t overexert yourself the first or second week.

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