Is winter your off-season? The ‘off-season’, was a phrase initiated in sport, to distinguish a time between the end of one competitive year and the start of the next. Once this was a time of fishing trips and relaxation, but the development of training techniques and knowledge changed the view of the off-season; as athletes used this time for preparation to gain a competitive advantage.
The average gym-goer may not make use of an “off-season”. However, those who are more advanced can benefit from different cycles of training. These periods may involve greater emphasis upon power, speed, various areas of strength, and a multitude of other concerns.
For many, winter is the “off season”. A time period to take advantage of increased calories and smash some PR’s, before the summer cut. TEAM USPlabs’ Thomas Gibson uses this window to implement a fifth workout in his week to improve any weak areas.
“Don’t think of this as overtraining…train smarter”
This leg routine is part of a bigger picture workout. Use of lighter weight and partial repetitions allow Thomas Gibson to really sculpt his off-season physique. Although, this may not look “textbook”, many advanced athletes such as Thomas have found the mind is your greatest muscle. Physical training, if not effectively programmed will quickly be affected by the law of diminishing returns. When effort is exerted, results are expected and in the beginning, such effects are plainly seen. However, a routine that solely relies on the physical aspect of training and exercise prescription based on kinesthetic theory, and avoids that which is instinctive from an advanced athletes perspective can often result in retrogression. The start of this session allows for direct work to the quads. The following 3 movements are auxiliary to the prior 4 days of training in Thomas’ routine.
Check out the full-length video showing Thomas’ brutal “Fifth-Day” workout in it’s entirety!
–> Instant Training Tip: When setting up the machine, make sure your upper and lower leg form a 90-degree angle. This will reduce stress to the knee while improving tension to the quads. It’s all about proper set-up.
–> Instant Training Tip: The Sissy Bench squat is an excellent unconventional movement to help strengthen and exhaust your quads. For those who do not have a Sissy Bench Squat try the Plie Squat. “With feet spread wide, and turned out at a forty-five-degree angle squat down as low as possible ensuring that knees track in the same plane as your toes.” – John Davies // World-Known Trainer and Founder of Renegade Training
–> Instant Training Tip : Perform dynamic stretches prior to training. Something as simple as standing leg swings, 10-15 per side is a great way to warm up the hamstrings and help prevent cramping from hamstrings that aren’t ready to work. Don’t underestimate this exercise, it can be brutal.
Now you are a quarter of the way through this crazy workout. As mentioned above, this is just a portion of the “Fifth Day” workout used by Thomas and his team to bring-up weak points in their physique. Next week we will dive deep into the “back” portion of this savage session.
Let us know if you have any questions and tag us in your workouts. If you liked this routine be sure to check out next week’s back session.