Leg press replacement, which of these 2.

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Silhorn
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Leg press replacement, which of these 2.

Post by Silhorn » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:02 am

Hi,

I am trying to refine my routine a bit.
I am looking for a exercise to replace leg press with.

So which one of these 2 exercises would be best?

Stationary Dumbbell Lunges
or
Front Squats

It will fit into the day like this

Deadlifts 2 sets
Lunges 2 sets

or

Deadlifts 2 sets
Front squats 2 sets

I like to choose one that gives me more world/functional strength.
Maybe lunges as it requires more balance/stabilization?
(Also, which method would you think puts more work on the hamstrings?)


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jtw
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Post by jtw » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:46 am

why not regular back squats? they're the easiest BB equivalent to the leg press. also, most people recommend doing squats BEFORE deadlifts so that your back and legs have their "fresh" stability. i would rather not be able to complete my last deadlift rep, than a squat rep.

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Stephen Johnson
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:43 am

jtw wrote:why not regular back squats? they're the easiest BB equivalent to the leg press.
The leg press is primarily a quadricep exercise. Bodybuilders who want big quads (but not big a$$es) use it more than any other quad exercise. The back squat has greater involvement of the posterior chain (paritcularly the glutes) than the leg press. This is especially true for wide stance squats. Front squats with medium to narrow stances are more of a quadricep exercise. They would be a better replacement for the leg press than the back squat if you are deadlifting in the same workout.

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Post by Jungledoc » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:24 am

The lunges are a great exercise, too. Longer stride will give more ham/glute involvement, shorter more quad. They have their place; work them into your routine occasionally for a few weeks. But if you want a straight leg press substitute, it's like Stephen said.

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Post by Silhorn » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:54 am

ok since the "why not back squats" question was asked i guess i will give more info to why i asked this question.

My current routine is like this
3 Day AB Routine.

Workout A
Legs, Back, Posterior
Squats 2 x 6
SLDL 2 x 8
Underhand Pulldowns 2 x 6
DB Rows 2 x 6
DB Incline Curls 1 x 10
Deadlift 1 x 5

Workout B
Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs, Calves
DB Flat Bench 2 x 6
DB Incline Bench 2 x 6
Shoulder press 2 x 6
DB Tricep Extensions 2 x 10
Calve Raises 2 x 15-20
Weighted Situps 1 x 15

As you can see on the lower routine i have back squats, stiff leg dl's, and also regular dl's on the same day.

I am thinking this may be too much for the lower back?
And i do want to keep sldl's as my hamstring exercise but still do back squats and regular deadlifts.

So i was wanting to do something rotating like

Back squats
SLDL
on one lower day and
Back squats
Leg Press
on the other.

The thing is i do not like leg presses because they have no carry over to real world strength and i would very much like something that does.

Also one more question
Do a combo of back squats and sldl's have much carry over to regular deads?
i.e if i focus on squats and sldl's for couple months without deading when i do start deading again it would have risen?


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Stephen Johnson
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:40 am

@Silhorn:

While it is commendable that you are putting some thought into your workouts, you can't think of everything in advance. You have to learn by doing, and then make adjustments as you get actual results on how your body is responding. It doesn't make sense to overanalyze a given routine when chances are that you will need to go to a different routine in 6 -12 weeks to continue to make progress. Like Nike says in their ad, "Just Do It".

BTW - putting deadlifts at the end of your routine is a terrible idea. Your arms and grip will be fried from the back and biceps work, which will impact how much you can lift.

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Post by Silhorn » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:39 am

Na i dont plan to change routines too often
It just seemed the currect one needed alittle tweaking to not be too much.
Thanks for the tip above deadlifts at the end.
I may actually end up just leaving the routine as is and just rotate the deadlifts and sldl each session.

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Post by Pauly420 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:51 am

i usually do squats first, deadlifts in the middle and walking lunges at the end. Seems to give my legs a nice workout. Never really had a need for leg presses.

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Post by waldo » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:22 pm

I'm removing this post because based on the responses I've misled the OP
Last edited by waldo on Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by frogbyte » Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:36 pm

Forgive my recent skepticism, but I'm not convinced that study really tells us anything useful.

Wouldn't the more useful study be to measure which exercises lead to the greatest strength/fitness gains?

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Post by Rucifer » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:28 pm

I am very skeptical as well. I am not sure if you left out gluteus but I don't see it on there. And there is no percentage for a lot of compound lifts which can target the smaller muscles (close grip benches and chins for arms for instance). I am about to go on an arm building quest and only use compund lifts just to prove to all the curls and tricep extentsioners at gyms that those exercises aren't necessary.

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Post by Jungledoc » Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:08 pm

Well, I'm skeptical that this kind of study can by itself answer the question of which exercise is "best" for a particular muscle. But neither could studies that try to strength or hypertrophy as the measured outcomes. There are confounding variables with either study which would limit it's usefulness.

The EMG study can tell you awhich exercise stimulates a particular muscle more or less than others, as long as they can guarantee that the EMG electrodes are placed identically in each test. If I were designing it, I would have each subject (and I'd use a lot of subjects) go from one exercise to another without moving the electrodes. I might have the subjects each come for several sessions, but perform the exercises in a different order. To get the information you want, you would have to ask each subject do near-maximal attempts, but you would also worry that fatigue from each attempt would decrease the ability to recruit motor units for the subsequent attempts. A big mystery for me about EMG studies is how they determine the "100%". EMG basically measures the voltage generated in the muscle during contraction. How do they know what the maximum could be? Obviously, none of the exercises they use in the study produces 100%! Well-trained individuals activate more motor units than untrained individuals, but do they ever reach 100%? I don't think so.

I also wonder about the results that are fairly close. How big a difference is significant? Is an exercise that produced 83% activation really any different than one that produced 85%? What is the error of the test (variation in doing the same test on the same subject multiple times)? They don't ever seem to report a "p-value". That's a statistical estimate of the probability of a difference occurring randomly, even if there is no real difference between two test situations (or conversely, the odds that a difference is not just a random occurrence).

A study that used strength or hypertrophy could be done, but the results would be very hard to interpret, which is why I suspect we don't see many of these studies. How would you set this up? Have the subjects to one exercise for a defined period of time, and measure strength (using 1RM or 3RM?) before and at the end of this period. Then use a different exercise for the same length of time, and then another and another, each time recording the change in 1RM or 3RM? They could also measure things like upper arm, or chest, or thigh circumference, according to the body part in question. They could keep track of weight-gain and %BF as well.

But look at how many exercises are the list! How many weeks would you have each subject do each exercise? Then you'd have to control for diet, and try to make sure that each subject ate exactly the same diet during every test period. And you'd have to control for other activities (work, recreation) and sleep. Otherwise if exercise A caused a slightly greater strength gain than exercise B, how would you know if it was due to the differences in the exercises, or to other factor? Also, consider the fact that as one trains, the rate of gain slows. If the exercises you did later in the study produced less gain then the exercise from the early weeks of the study, it might well be that a person was plateauing their strength in the particular muscle group in question.

So I think that the reason we see EMG studies, is that there are far fewer variables, or at least fewer variable that are uncontrollable.

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Post by Rucifer » Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:22 pm

Jungledoc wrote:Well, I'm skeptical that this kind of study can by itself answer the question of which exercise is "best" for a particular muscle. But neither could studies that try to strength or hypertrophy as the measured outcomes. There are confounding variables with either study which would limit it's usefulness.

The EMG study can tell you awhich exercise stimulates a particular muscle more or less than others, as long as they can guarantee that the EMG electrodes are placed identically in each test. If I were designing it, I would have each subject (and I'd use a lot of subjects) go from one exercise to another without moving the electrodes. I might have the subjects each come for several sessions, but perform the exercises in a different order. To get the information you want, you would have to ask each subject do near-maximal attempts, but you would also worry that fatigue from each attempt would decrease the ability to recruit motor units for the subsequent attempts. A big mystery for me about EMG studies is how they determine the "100%". EMG basically measures the voltage generated in the muscle during contraction. How do they know what the maximum could be? Obviously, none of the exercises they use in the study produces 100%! Well-trained individuals activate more motor units than untrained individuals, but do they ever reach 100%? I don't think so.

I also wonder about the results that are fairly close. How big a difference is significant? Is an exercise that produced 83% activation really any different than one that produced 85%? What is the error of the test (variation in doing the same test on the same subject multiple times)? They don't ever seem to report a "p-value". That's a statistical estimate of the probability of a difference occurring randomly, even if there is no real difference between two test situations (or conversely, the odds that a difference is not just a random occurrence).

A study that used strength or hypertrophy could be done, but the results would be very hard to interpret, which is why I suspect we don't see many of these studies. How would you set this up? Have the subjects to one exercise for a defined period of time, and measure strength (using 1RM or 3RM?) before and at the end of this period. Then use a different exercise for the same length of time, and then another and another, each time recording the change in 1RM or 3RM? They could also measure things like upper arm, or chest, or thigh circumference, according to the body part in question. They could keep track of weight-gain and %BF as well.

But look at how many exercises are the list! How many weeks would you have each subject do each exercise? Then you'd have to control for diet, and try to make sure that each subject ate exactly the same diet during every test period. And you'd have to control for other activities (work, recreation) and sleep. Otherwise if exercise A caused a slightly greater strength gain than exercise B, how would you know if it was due to the differences in the exercises, or to other factor? Also, consider the fact that as one trains, the rate of gain slows. If the exercises you did later in the study produced less gain then the exercise from the early weeks of the study, it might well be that a person was plateauing their strength in the particular muscle group in question.

So I think that the reason we see EMG studies, is that there are far fewer variables, or at least fewer variable that are uncontrollable.
That's what I meant to say. You took the words right out of my mouth :lol:

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Post by waldo » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:36 am

Removing comment
Last edited by waldo on Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by TimD » Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:40 am

@waldo
The thing about the study you ccited was for activation of mucle fibers; i.e. hypertrophy. The book it comes from is "Serious Strength Training", and is a bit of a misnomer. The authors collaborated to write a book on periodization geared for BODYBUILDERS. So the study cited is activation for hypertrophy purposes. The OP stated he was looking for "real world" gains, for functionality (again, that is how the individual defines it, functionality for what goal?), so IMHO, the study really doesn't apply to the OP's question.
Tim


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