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Started By Christoph (South Sioux City, NE, United States)

Started on: 1/21/2008 2:32:04 PM, viewed 6816 times
Leg-Press-Only

I′ve posted these concerns as a reply to smanjh, but it may be better to start a new topic in order to avoid "hijacking" that thread and for reasons of exposure in order to encourage further discussion… I give full credit to HD_Latino′s trainer, Steve Sellars, for these newfound concerns. My question is, have any of you substituted the Leg Press in place of Deadlifts and/or Squats, and did you notice any difference following the substitution in terms of productivity of the routine?

smanjh posted 2 different routines. The first routine is a version of Workout A from MikeŒs consolidation routine: Leg Press/Chest Press/Pulldowns. The second is obviously his AthleteŒs Routine (aka "Improved Consolidation"): Deadlifts/Dips, Squats/Pulldowns. My question to him was whether one seemed more productive than the other. The reason I am so curious as to how they would compare is the lower back:

(1) It has been speculated that if progress slows on the AthleteŒs routine, it is because overtraining on the lower back gradually occurs.

(2) The consolidation routine you mentioned (Chest Press/Pulldown/Leg Press) reduces stress on the lower back.

(3) IŒve discussed the Leg Press with a trainer (Steve) that believes heŒs found the Leg Press to be even more productive than the Squat and Deadlift. Supposedly the indirect effect occurs to an even greater degree with the Leg Press. HeŒs found when used exclusively, the Leg Press causes even more growth in the arms, chest, etc…. He has pointed out, though that this doesn′t apply to absolutely everyone, but it seems it does to atleast 29/30. I am still skeptical on this, but the tremendous amount of weight you use in the Leg Press combined with the utilization of the largest muscles in the body could justify it.

However, Deadlifts and Squats do involve all muscles throughout the entire body, so it seems growth should be stimulated throughout the entire body more efficiently. If Leg Presses really do cause more growth throughout the entire body, even in muscles that are not directly involved in completing the movement, the implications would be significant. Again, IŒm still skeptical of this and think more research would need to be done in order to confirm it, but if it were true, that would mean we should replace all Squats and/or Deadlifts in our routines with the Leg Press. For instance, we may try an AthleteŒs routine of: Leg Press/Dips, rest 7+ days, Leg Press/Pulldowns, rest 7+ days, repeat. I am VERY curious as to how that routine would work in comparison to the "traditional" AthleteŒs Routine.

Considering the limited nature of the bodyŒs recovery/growth reserves, only 2 movements (AthleteŒs Routine) should yield more growth than 3 (Consolidation). However, the implications would be significant if the Leg Press were even more growth-stimulating than the Deadlift and/or Squat. If this were confirmed, I would postulate that the stress caused by the compression of the spine is a limiting factor. Imagine the chances of you squatting what you Leg Press (nope)! Again, I want to make it clear that I am still skeptical of the Leg Press being more productive than the Deadlift and/or Squat. It seems to me the greater direct muscle involvement would stimulate more growth. However, considering the weight we are able to use in the Leg Press and the fact that the muscles using that weight are the largest in the body, it would make sense that the indirect effect may occur to the greatest degree on this movement. I can justify it either way and I wish we had more research to determine it…

If the Leg Press is the most productive movement of all, causing more growth throughout the entire body than any other movement, the most productive routine may actually be 1 set of Leg Press to positive failure only. Direct stimulation is not necessary or productive in most trainees. In fact, when Steve dropped Bench Press from his trainee′s routine′s, the chest, arms, etc… grew even MORE!

Please let me know what you think about the above speculations on the Leg Press in comparison to the Squat/Deadlift. Again, consider this: Leg Press/Dips, rest 7+ days, Leg Press/Pulldowns, rest 7+ days, repeat. This potential exercise substitution is just speculation at this point…

This Topic has 73 Replies: Displaying out of 73 Replies:

Christoph (South Sioux City, NE, United States) on 1/21/2008 2:37:52 PM

IŒve posted these concerns as a reply to smanjh, but it may be better to start a new topic in order to avoid "hijacking" that thread and for reasons of exposure in order to encourage further discussion… I give full credit to HD_LatinoŒs trainer, Steve Sellars, for these newfound concerns. My question is, have any of you substituted the Leg Press in place of Deadlifts and/or Squats, and did you notice any difference following the substitution in terms of productivity of the routine?

smanjh posted 2 different routines. The first routine is a version of Workout A from Mikefs consolidation routine: Leg Press/Chest Press/Pulldowns. The second is obviously his Athletefs Routine (aka "Improved Consolidation"): Deadlifts/Dips, Squats/Pulldowns. My question to him was whether one seemed more productive than the other. The reason I am so curious as to how they would compare is the lower back:

(1) It has been speculated that if progress slows on the Athletefs routine, it is because overtraining on the lower back gradually occurs.

(2) The consolidation routine you mentioned (Chest Press/Pulldown/Leg Press) reduces stress on the lower back.

(3) Ifve discussed the Leg Press with a trainer (Steve) that believes hefs found the Leg Press to be even more productive than the Squat and Deadlift. Supposedly the indirect effect occurs to an even greater degree with the Leg Press. Hefs found when used exclusively, the Leg Press causes even more growth in the arms, chest, etc…. He has pointed out, though that this doesnŒt apply to absolutely everyone, but it seems it does to atleast 29/30. I am still skeptical on this, but the tremendous amount of weight you use in the Leg Press combined with the utilization of the largest muscles in the body could justify it.

However, Deadlifts and Squats do involve all muscles throughout the entire body, so it seems growth should be stimulated throughout the entire body more efficiently. If Leg Presses really do cause more growth throughout the entire body, even in muscles that are not directly involved in completing the movement, the implications would be significant. Again, Ifm still skeptical of this and think more research would need to be done in order to confirm it, but if it were true, that would mean we should replace all Squats and/or Deadlifts in our routines with the Leg Press. For instance, we may try an Athletefs routine of: Leg Press/Dips, rest 7+ days, Leg Press/Pulldowns, rest 7+ days, repeat. I am VERY curious as to how that routine would work in comparison to the "traditional" Athletefs Routine.

Considering the limited nature of the bodyfs recovery/growth reserves, only 2 movements (Athletefs Routine) should yield more growth than 3 (Consolidation). However, the implications would be significant if the Leg Press were even more growth-stimulating than the Deadlift and/or Squat. If this were confirmed, I would postulate that the stress caused by the compression of the spine is a limiting factor. Imagine the chances of you squatting what you Leg Press (nope)! Again, I want to make it clear that I am still skeptical of the Leg Press being more productive than the Deadlift and/or Squat. It seems to me the greater direct muscle involvement would stimulate more growth. However, considering the weight we are able to use in the Leg Press and the fact that the muscles using that weight are the largest in the body, it would make sense that the indirect effect may occur to the greatest degree on this movement. I can justify it either way and I wish we had more research to determine it…

If the Leg Press is the most productive movement of all, causing more growth throughout the entire body than any other movement, the most productive routine may actually be 1 set of Leg Press to positive failure only. Direct stimulation is not necessary or productive in most trainees. In fact, when Steve dropped Bench Press from his traineeŒs routineŒs, the chest, arms, etc… grew even MORE!

Please let me know what you think about the above speculations on the Leg Press in comparison to the Squat/Deadlift. Again, consider this: Leg Press/Dips, rest 7+ days, Leg Press/Pulldowns, rest 7+ days, repeat. This potential exercise substitution is just speculation at this point…

HD27 (N.Falls, Ontario, Canada) on 1/21/2008 2:46:33 PM

Christoph,

I think the leg press could be more productive than squats and deadlifts for sure,due to the lower back not being a weak link.The biggest challenge is finding a GOOD, SAFE leg press.Over the years,I′ve used some pretty crappy leg press machines that I injured my back on much worse than squats or deadlifts.But if using only a leg press,I would probably add a low back extension,or perhaps alternate it with TBDL every few weeks.

I′m currently doing a pre-exhaust superset of leg ext/squat.And again because the low back is the weak lnk,I′m able to really push my legs that extra mile,and have definetly noticed my legs are getting bigger.

If I had access to a nautilus or hammer leg press,I′d certainly use it,even if it meant going to a gym once every week or two.

Christoph (South Sioux City, NE, United States) on 1/21/2008 3:38:54 PM

(cb46 has this concern for me:

"Christoph, your post indicates that Steve (the trainer) may believe that the leg press is more productive based on perceived (that is, anecdotal or psychological data) than on acquired actual (physiologically observed) data. Is this the reason for your skepticism? I agree with you that the leg press, while a good exercise, is not as productive in promoting mass and strength as are the squat and deadlift."

Below is my response.)

cb46,

He bases his conclusion on actual physical measurements on size and strength increases. I understand he′s found the isometronic Leg Press to yield more size and strength increases than either the isometronic Deadlift or the isometronic Squat. I′m still finding out if he′s compared them in full-range, but I suspect there wouldn′t be a difference. "Isometronic" just means the utilization of a very short-range of motion, so it does involve motion results should be similar. He first found that the deadlift-only routine was most productive (no other exercises), then he found the Leg Press was even more productive than the Deadlift, even for growth in all muscles of the body. As I mentioned, he found the chest, arms, and shoulders grew even more when bench presses were dropped! No more overlap.

Again, this is how it worked for every one of his initial 30 trainees he experimented on. Then, he found there were trainees here and there it didn′t work optimally for. I′ll share this quote with you from one e-mail he sent me you′ll find interesting:

"…I have to be honest with you, and say that not everyone will benefit optimally with leg press only workouts.. When I first discovered the idea, it worked wonders for the clients I had doing it, who were formerly doing 1 set workouts of deadlifts, squats and bench presses on a rotational basis. I had these same clients, who numbered about 30 at the time, who were willing to experiment with my ideas,( some were not that willing ). At this time my clients were performing mostly full range reps in a proper inroad time under load, specific to each exercise. I discovered that on a per workout basis, the squat and deadlift appeared to be producing more muscle not only in the legs, hips and lower back, but also in the shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, lats, traps, abs, and forearms than the bench press was. So I decided to eliminate the bench press for several months and see what effect rotating deadlifts and squats around would have, without the inclusion of the bench press. Well as it turned out, my clients progress was that much better in again all muscles of the body, and when we periodically tested bench press strength it would be up. As the months went by, I compared the results, again in context to these 30 or so clients) on a workout to workout basis between the squat and deadiflt, in terms of overall muscular gains, and not just localized musculature of the leg, lower back and hips.

In this experiment increases on a per workout basis, were best achieved by the deadlift, performed in a full range, over the squat performed in like manner. This seemed validated what Mike Mentzer had stated about the deadlift being the greatest growth stimulator. Throughout my comparisons. I had never favoured the Leg Press, as the one I had available was the 45 degree angle one, and knew that the weight on the sled did not represent the true resistance capacity of the machine. For this reason I did not utilize it for full range comparisons, then believing it was an inferior exercise to the squat.

It was not until I began to experiment with isometronics with both the deadlift, squat and bench press, that I again found the deadlift and squat superior, It was at this point that I considered comparing the leg press against the others, and only because clients were running out of weight with isometronic deadlifts and squats performed in the near contracted position, and also because of safety issues I had with squats and deadlifts concerning compression forces.

It was about this time that I came across an article by Pete Sisco, on the value of performing leg presses in static hold manner, that I began to think of the leg press performed in static hold manner as a stand alone exercise regimen. When I implimented this leg press only workout, and compared it to either the squat or deadlift performed by these 30 some individuals, all of them got a lot better results, again overall in every muscle group, on a per workout basis, than they did with squats or deadlifts performed in isometronic manner. i was initially astounded, and made the mistake of thinking, wow, it worked for thse trainees, so it must work for everyone. HOW WRONG I WAS HERE. Yes it worked great for these trainees, and way better than anything they had all tried before, BUT THIS HAS NOT AND DOES NOT APPLY TO EVERYONE. It could be something I am doing wrong, or it may well be that the concept is not suited for everybody. It continues to work like a charm for some, but not others.

I really do not know why it works great with some and yet is totally sub optimal for others. Plus I am unaware of all the neurological, biochemical, biomechanical, endocrinological, molecular, and sub atomic integrated interactions that are involved in the whole process, of which I believe it literally infinite in scope. It may well take several hundred years or more of current and more advanced genetic research, to arrive at the answer conclusively. It seems at present we can make some educated guestimates, but these may be far off the mark, and only time will tell."

smanjh (somewhere in, the USA, U.S.A.) on 1/21/2008 4:07:10 PM

Well, I will try to give an answer to the question in regards to why I do what I do- Last year I had a back injury that lingers to this day. As a result, I have not deadlifted seriously since then. I like Mike′s Consolidated routine best, but I notice sticking points on deads, especially for me.

However I can do a lot of weight on the legpress safely, and I feel it allows for a harder workout on the muscles due to your inability to lose reps due to weak links.

As for the leg press being more productive, I do not know. I do think it is great for legs with the regard that you feel less metabolically taxed when using it.

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