In the first generation "Limping" program I introduced a couple of concepts that may have been foreign to you. In fact, I'm quite sure a few of you looked at it and said, "You can't be serious! How am I gonna' get results on this kind of workout?" For those of you who took the plunge and tried it, the results have spoken for themselves.

So armed with the knowledge that more of you now trust my "unique" approach, I've taken the liberty in this second-generation program to expand your boundaries even further. I do it primarily in two ways. First, by taking you even further away from convention in bodybuilding tradition with some of the training methods I propose; and secondly, by introducing more variables for you to manipulate. This will allow you to individualize the programs to a greater extent. The variables I've provided for you to manipulate may seem innocuous, but don't underestimate their power. Subtle differences make a great difference, especially over time.

In the spirit of pushing the boundaries of your behavior, let me introduce the first idea that may stretch your emotional attachments. I'm going to propose a hip-dominant priority over a quad-dominant one in stage one and two. By this I mean we're going to do deadlift and deadlift variations early in the training week and do squats and squat variations later in the training week. I'll then return this back to "normal" in stages three and four. (This program is a standard four day per week split, similar to the first version of the "Limping" program.)

Why do I suggest starting out with hip-dominant movements as a priority in the training week over quad-dominant exercises? Simple. In mainstream training, I've observed a pattern of dominance in the reverse. In other words, chances are you've prioritized quad-dominant exercises to a greater extent than hip-dominant exercises in your training history! Be honest; you squat more than you deadlift, right?

In giving you the power to increase the individualization (and therefore the effectiveness) of this program, I'm going to help you exploit the six variables outlined in the introductory Bring the Pain[link to last issue] article.These are the variables we'll exploit to varying degrees :

Here's a quick reminder and a few additional tips.

LOWER BODY
Stage 1 – Weeks 1-2, 1-3, or 1-4

A Day

Warm up: 10 minutes of light aerobics, compulsory 20 to 30 minutes of lower body stretching.

Choose one of the following three options for A day:

A: Hypertrophy/Lower Training-Age Option

Shrug Tri-set

1. Very wide grip, barbell
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 6-8 +
Speed: 311*
Rest: tri-set

2. Medium grip, barbell or dumbbells
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 8-10 +
Speed: 311
Rest: tri-set

3. Medium, underhand grip, barbell or dumbbells
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 10-12
Speed: 311
Rest: tri-set

Thigh Abduction, single or double
Warm-up: 10
Sets: 1 x 6-8 + 8-10 + 10-12
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Hip/Thigh Extension, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 10 + 10 + 10
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Good Morning, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 10
Speed: 1.5
Rest: 30-60 seconds

Stiff-Legged Deadlift, single or double
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 10
Speed: 3 x 3 (see below)
Rest: 30-60 seconds

King Deadlift
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x max reps
Speed: 311
Rest: 60-120 seconds  

Deadlift, WG/OG
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 10
Speed: 3 x 3
Rest: 60-120 seconds

One and a Quarter Deadlift, WG
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 10
Speed: 1.3
Rest: 60-120 seconds

Snatch Pull, WG/OG
Warm-up: 1 x 8
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 10*
Rest: 60-120 seconds

A: Hypertrophy-Neural/Intermediate Training-Age Option

Shrug Tri-Set

1. Medium Underhand Grip, barbell or dumbbells
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 4-6 +
Speed: 311
Rest: tri-set

2. Medium Grip, barbell or dumbbells
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 6-8 +
Speed: 311
Rest: tri-set

3. Very Wide Grip, barbell
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 8-10
Speed: 311
Rest: tri-set

Thigh Abduction, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 4-6 + 6-8 + 8-10
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Hip/Thigh Extension, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 8 + 8 + 8
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Good Morning, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 8
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 1.5
Rest: 60 seconds

Stiff-Legged Deadlift, single or double
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 3 x 3
Rest: 60 seconds

King Deadlift
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x max reps
Speed: 311
Rest: 60-120 seconds

Deadlift, WG/OG
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 3 x 3
Rest: 120 seconds

One and a Quarter Deadlift, WG
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 1.3
Rest: 120 seconds

Snatch Pull, WG/OG
Warm-up: 1 x 6
Sets: 1 x 6
Speed: 10*
Rest: 120 seconds

A: Neural/Advanced Training-Age Option

Deadlift, WG/OG
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 3 x 3
Rest: 120 seconds

One and a Quarter deadlifts, WG
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 1.3
Rest: 120 seconds

Snatch Pull, WG/OG
Warm-up: 1 x 6
Sets: 1 x 6
Speed: 10*
Rest: 120 seconds

King Deadlift
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x max reps
Speed: 311
Rest: 60-120 seconds

Stiff-Legged Deadlift, single or double
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 3 x 3
Rest: 60 seconds

Good Morning, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 8
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 1.5
Rest: 60 seconds

Hip/Thigh Extension, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 8
Sets: 1 x 8 + 8 + 8
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Thigh Abduction, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 4-6 + 6-8 + 8-10
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Shrug Tri-Set

1. Medium Underhand Grip, barbell dumbbells
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 4-6 +
Speed: 311
Rest: tri-set

2. Medium Grip, barbel or dumbbells
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 6-8 +
Speed: 311
Rest: tri-set

3. Very Wide Grip, barbell
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 8-10
Speed: 311
Rest: tri-set

Remember, you only pick one of the above and base that decision on your goals (size, strength, or both) and your training age. Here's a description of the exercises involved in "A" day of this second generation lower body program.

Shrug Tri-set: This involves three variations of shrugs. Use a barbell unless you have a bilateral imbalance, in which case use dumbbells on all except the wide grip option. The order of the three variations is dependant upon which option you're using. Remember to keep your elbows locked out throughout the movement. Keep the head vertically aligned, pull in the chin and push the chest up. The use of straps isn't recommended for the hypertrophy option, optional in the hypertrophy-neural option, and probably needed in the neural option.

If you're wondering why I included traps in a lower body program, it's because the legs are linked with upper trap involvement in exercises like the deadlift and power clean. (Ever notice how a good deadlifting session will get your traps sore?) So I simply get them trained on that day in anticipation, usually doing isolated exercises first and compound movements later.

Thigh Abduction: I know, I know, you think this is a prissy little exercise. Well, just suck up your ego and do it! And focus on the recruitment of the glutes whilst doing it. This is more important than the load used. You can do the leg abduction (moving leg away) either on a dedicated machine, a low pulley cable, or even lying on your side on the ground with ankle weights.

Keep the foot orientation neutral during the movement. To exploit the strip set concept, go to fatigue within the rep bracket indicated, rest only as long as it takes to reduce the load to one that allows you to achieve the reps within the next rep bracket indicated, then repeat for a third set. Of course, you'll need more external loading the lower in reps you choose to go.

Hip/Thigh Extension: Again, you decide whether you do this one single or double legged based on your bilateral balance. Lay on your tummy on a prone bench (preferably one that's higher than standard) or on a device dedicated to this lift and extend your leg(s) from just off the floor so that they're in line with the trunk, focusing on squeezing the glutes.

Again, focus more on recruitment than loading (i.e. feel for it in the glutes and hamstrings) and keep the foot orientation neutral during the extension in particular. You'll need external loading for the lower reps if you choose to use the more advanced loading parameters.

Good Morning: Stand on one or two legs (your decision) with a bar on the shoulders and your knees only slightly bent. Flex forward at the waist until your head is near your knee (ideally) using a rounded back technique. Then stand back up again. Don't allow the knee angle to change during the lift.

This lift is done using the one-and-a-half technique, i.e., go all the way down, pause, come up half way, pause, go back down all the way, pause, then return to the starting position. This is one rep! If doing the one leg version, have the other foot off the ground, but kept roughly parallel with the leg that's doing the supporting.

Stiff-Legged Deadlift: Again, choose between the single or double leg version. The technique is as per the good morning exercise. If doing the single leg, hold a dumbbell in each hand. If using the double leg, hold a barbell with both hands, using a medium width prone grip. The difference from the good morning will be this: I want you to use the chest up, bum out, flat back technique. Only go down as far as you can whilst keeping the hips and spine aligned.

King Deadlift: This is a single leg, bent knee deadlift. Stand on one leg (starting with the weak side) and bend the other leg up until the lower leg is parallel to the ground. Hands on hips or by your side. The aim is to bend the knee of the supporting leg until the knee of the non-supporting leg is brushing the ground. In reality, you may have to settle for a shorter range (you'll understand why I say this as soon as you do this workout). If this is the case (and I expect it will be) look to increase the range from workout to workout.

You're allowed to flex (bend) forward at the waist as much as you want, and doing so will increase the gluteal involvement. Keep the working knee aligned neutrally throughout the movement. Take three seconds to lower, a one second pause at each end, and two seconds to lift. No warm up set needed. When you can do more than 15 to 20 reps full range, look to hold dumbbells in the hands.

Snatch Pull, wide grip (WG): The snatch pull is a wide grip deadlift to above the knees. Once the bar clears the knees you accelerate to the top of the lift, shrugging your shoulders and coming up on your toes all at the same time.

If you struggle with the wider grip, use a medium grip just outside shoulders (clean pull). Basically the technique is as per the deadlift except for the more aggressive acceleration in the second pull. The criteria for load selection in addition to trunk/hip/scapula technique, is the height and speed of the pull (on toes and traps). Avoid any elbow flexion until the last moment, at which time allow the bar to rise if the acceleration has been significant.

In the program above, you'll see "10*" under the "Speed" column. This means to reset the bar on the ground between reps. The up phase for a snatch or clean is fairly slow to above the knees, then you explode from that point on. Don't bother about controlling the down phase too much. Just remember to pause and reset before you attempt another rep.

Deadlifts, wide grip/off ground (WG/OG): Switch on the primary stabilizers before take off (the abdominals, glutes, upper back) along with extending the legs to take up the slack. On the way up, stop three times for three seconds each time. This is what is meant by "3 x 3" in the program outline above.

Vary the points at which you're stopping and spread these stopping points out over the full range. Lower the bar normally, i.e., no isometric stops during lowering. (Refer to my earlier deadlift Q&A[link to issue 39 "Q of Power"] for technical pointers.) Remember, if you're experiencing lower back pain or excessive fatigue, you're using a technique different than what I recommend.

1 1/4 Deadlifts, WG: This is my standard wide grip deadlift technique (which I'll outline in the next exercise description). The difference here is that once the bar is just above the knees, pause, lower back down to just below the knees, pause, then stand up fully before returning to rest the bar on the ground. This is one rep.

C Day (2nd leg day of the week)

Warm up: 10 minutes of light aerobics, compulsory 20 to 30 minutes of lower body stretching.

Choose one of the following three options for "C" day:

C - Hypertrophy/Lower Training-Age Option

Standing Calf Press, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 15
Sets: 1 x 6-8 + 8-10 + 10-12 + 12-15
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Leg Curl, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 10 + 10 + 10
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Leg Extension, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 10 + 10 + 10
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Ski Squat, single or double
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 10-60 seconds
Speed: n/a
Rest: 30-60 seconds

Single-Leg Squat, back foot on bench
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 10
Speed: 1.5s
Rest: 30-60 seconds

Single-Lleg Squat
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x max reps
Speed: 311
Rest: 60-120 seconds

Pause Squat, HB/NS
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 10
Speed: 331
Rest: 60-120 seconds

1 1/2 Squat, HB/NS
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 10
Speed: 1.3
Rest: 60-120 seconds

Explosive squat, HB/NS
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 10
Speed: 30*
Rest: 60-120 seconds

C - Hypertrophy-Neural/Intermediate Training-Age Option

Standing Calf Press, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 12/10
Sets: 1 x 4-6 + 6-8 + 8-10 + 10-12
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Leg Curl, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 8 + 8 +8
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Leg Extension, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 8 + 8 +8
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Ski Squat, single or double
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 5 x 10-60 seconds
Speed: n/a
Rest: 60 seconds

Single-Leg Squat, back foot on bench
Warm-up: 1 x 8
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 1.5s
Rest: 60 seconds

Single-Leg Squat
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x max reps
Speed: 311
Rest: 120 seconds

Pause Squat, HB/NS
Warm-up: 1 x 8
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 331
Rest: 120 seconds

1 1/2 Squats, HB/NS
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 1.3
Rest: 120 seconds

Explosive Squats, HB/NS
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 20*
Rest: 120 seconds

C - Neural/Advanced Training-Age Option

Pause Squat, HB/NS
Warm-up: 1 x 8
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 331
Rest: 120 seconds

1 1/2 squats- HB/NS
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 1.3
Rest: 120 seconds

Explosive Squats, HB/NS
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 20*
Rest: 120 seconds

Single-Leg Squat
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 1 x max reps
Speed: 311
Rest: 120 seconds

Single-Leg Squat, back foot on bench
Warm-up: 1 x 8
Sets: 1 x 8
Speed: 1.5s
Rest: 60 seconds

Ski Squat, single or double
Warm-up: nil
Sets: 5 x 10-60 seconds
Speed: n/a
Rest: 60 seconds

Leg Curl, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 8 + 8 + 8
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Leg Extension, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 10
Sets: 1 x 8 + 8 + 8
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Standing Calf press, single or double
Warm-up: 1 x 12/10
Sets: 1 x 4-6 + 6-8 + 8-10 + 10-12
Speed: 311
Rest: strip set

Calf Strip Set: These are all done on the standing calf press. Do one leg at a time if you have a bilateral imbalance, two together if this isn't an issue. Remember to minimize the movement at all other joints in the body, including the arms and shoulders. Make the calves do the work! Use a full range of movement, including a deep stretch. There's some advantage of having non-slip shoes on here and you'll find it best to have your laces drawn up fairly tightly.

There are four sets in this strip set. When you strip down for the next set, aim to select a weight that will allow you to achieve a number of reps within the recommended rep bracket, but don't get too fanatical. If you do more or less, the most important thing is that you note it in your training diary and look to do better next time.

Leg Curl/Extension: You decide whether you do this one single or double leg based on your bilateral balance. No matter which of the three programs you use, I recommend doing hamstrings (leg curls) first in stage one. The leg curl should be done in a strip set of three sets. With the leg curl, keep the foot orientation neutral throughout and prevent the pelvis from anteriorly rotating during the lift. With the extension, whatever orientation of the foot you start with keep it, i.e. don't change the foot position during the lift.

Ski Squats: Place your feet shoulder width apart about two feet out from the wall and lean your back against the wall. Bend your knees to a half squat position. This is position one. After a specified time, lower down to position two, about two inches lower. After the specified time, lower another two inches down to position three. Your thigh should be about parallel to the floor by now. Use another two lower positions, with position five being about as far as you can bend at the knees.

How long is the specified time? Start with somewhere between 10 to 20 seconds per position, adding five seconds per workout. The five positions done with no rest between them constitutes a set. Remember, just do one set on day one. If you're finding this too easy or notice one leg doing more work than the other, do it one leg at a time. The challenge here (apart from the obvious of having twice as much loading on the leg) is keeping the hips parallel to the ground, as they would be in the double leg version.

Single-Leg Squat, back foot on bench: Face away from a normal height bench and place your rear leg up on the bench. You can check your distance by having a relatively vertical shin throughout the movement. Keep your chest and trunk vertical throughout. Lower the body down by bending the knee of the lead leg until the knee of the back leg is almost on the ground. Use bodyweight in the warm up, dumbbells in the hand in the work set.

I recommend the one-and-a-half technique here: go all the way down until the knee is brushing but not resting on the ground, pause, then come up half or maybe only one-third of the way. Pause again here, then go back down to the bottom knee-to-carpet brush, pause, then come back up all the way to the top. Stop short of full extension. This is one rep. Have a short rest before doing the other leg and of course, do the weak side first!

Single-Leg Squat, no bench: I want you all to do this exercise single legged, irrespective of your bilateral leg strength balance. Very simple concept- stand on one leg and squat as far down as your strength or flexibility (or both!) will tolerate. I'm going to throw in three options, from the easiest to the most challenging.

Generally speaking, I encourage you to pursue range over reps, but initially use a range that allows you to get at least 8 to10 reps.

Explosive Squat: Using my squat technique (described below), use a conventional controlled lowering speed, but a deliberately explosive lift, such that you may go to your toes at the end of the concentric phase.

If you're losing control of the hips (e.g. hips are rising faster than the shoulders) out of the bottom position, delay the acceleration until you're through the sticking point or joint angle at which your technique breaks down.

One and a Quarter Squats: This is the same concept as a one and a half, but instead of coming out of the movement half way, you only come up a quarter of the way. So go all the way down, pause, come up one-fourth of the way, pause, go down to the bottom again, pause, then return to the top. Avoid full extension of the knees, pausing at the top. This is one rep.\

Pause Squat, high bar/narrow stance (HB/NS): Place the bar as high as is comfortable on the neck, take a narrower than shoulder width stance, and allow only a slight external rotation of the feet. Keep the knees equal distance during the lowering and lifting, and go as deep as your flexibility allows, taking three seconds to get there. If your trunk flexion exceeds 45 degrees, don't go any deeper. At the bottom, pause for three seconds, keeping the muscles around the hip and knee contracted. Then look to return to the starting position at a normal, non-explosive, controlled pace. Avoid full lockout at the top.

Conclusion

So we've made a start! Remember, do stage one for two, three or fours weeks (most will use three), individualizing the program where necessary to reflect your individual differences and training goals. Yes, there were probably more complexities than you're used to in deciding which program to use and how to put it together. This isn't one of those "muscle and fiction" magazines after all. However, the results are going to be different as well, i.e., significantly better!

You can take a lot of credit for that because you put the effort into interpreting the options. You analyzed your body and your training history and you had the courage to do something different than what you've done in the past and very different to what the majority of gym rats are doing. In the short term, expect three to five days of a little soreness. In the long term, expect big results!