872 Leg workout

Mike, who lifts weights a lot, talks about a good work-out routine for strengthening legs.


Todd: Mike, you're giving tips about weight training and we've talked about upper body. Now what about lower body and legs? I actually don't want to lift weights with my legs. I just... It is OK if I just skip it?

Mike: Well, you should do your legs because you should get a full body workout because if you just do one part of your body it affect the other parts of your body as well, so you need to be balanced.

Todd: OK, so I'm convinced. I'm gonna work on my legs. What's the most basic exercise I should do?

Mike: I think you should start off squatting. That's where you put... make sure you have a squat rack, and you put the bar behind your head on your shoulders and you just squat as if you are sitting on a bench and come back up.

Todd: Now often I see guys in the gym that do that. They have the big weight belt. Do I need to get a weight belt?

Mike: It would be good, that if you're just starting off to use the weight belt but once you get the motion I would advise you to to not use the weight belt so that it forces you to keep good posture yourself.

Todd: Now, when you do the squat, like how low should I go. Should I go until I'm almost sitting on the floor?

Mike: As is there was a bench underneath your.....

Todd: Bottom?

Mike: Bottom.

Todd: Right. Yeah, right. So basically, your legs and your knees should be about 90 degrees.

Mike: Yeah.

Todd: OK, so that's... that will work out all my legs? That's all I have to do is squats?

Mike: Yeah, that's probably the best one you can do.

Todd: OK, and that is for my calves and my hamstrings too?

Mike: Not your calves but for your hamstrings and your bottom.

Todd: OK. So what should I do for my calves?

Mike: You can do calf raises, which is... you can do it on a squat rack, and you just hold the bar in the same position as you would a squat and just raise your legs up on your toes.

Todd: OK, so in terms of how... of sets, like how many sets should I do of the squats?

Mike: I think you should start of with three sets.

Todd: Three sets.

Mike: The same as the other exercises.

Todd: And about ten reps?

Mike: And about ten reps, yes.

Todd: So do I always keep the weight constant? I don't have the weight go up or down?

Mike: Well, once you get used to the motion and the position that you're in, then you can start increasing the weights as you go.

Todd: OK, but I mean, each set should be the same weight.

Mike: Yeah, when you're starting off.

Todd: OK, yeah. And also just for the calves, just do three sets?

Mike: Yep, just do three sets.

Todd: Alright.

Mike: Well, thanks a lot, Mike. I'm gonna get started.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

skip it


It is OK if I just skip it?

When we 'skip' something, that means we decide not to do it, or maybe do it at a later time.  Notice the following:

  1. I think I'll skip the company party tomorrow night.
  2. Let's skip dessert.

full body workout


You should get a full body workout.

To 'work out' means to exercise. A 'full body workout' exercises all muscles in your body.  Notice the following:

  1. A full body workout takes a lot of time.
  2. Instead of a full body work out, try upper body one day, legs the next.

just starting off


It would be good if you're just starting off.

We use the phrase 'just starting off' to talk about starting a new job, hobby, etc.  Notice the following:

  1. Go slow if you're just starting off.
  2. Are you just starting off?

get the motion


Once you get the motion.

In an activity that requires us to move our body in a certain way, we use the phrase 'get the motion' after we have learned the correct way.  Notice the following:

  1. It took only minutes for the dancers to get the motion.
  2. Once he got the motion, his tennis serve improved.

good posture


It forces you to keep good posture.

'Posture' is the way we position our body when we sit, stand, or in this case, exercise.  Notice the following:

  1. Poor posture can cause back problems.
  2. He has good posture.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
skip • full body • starting off
motion • posture
  1. Yoga is an excellent workout.
  2. She is a dancer so she has excellent .
  3. I think I'll have to my workout today because I won't have time.
  4. That is really difficult for me.
  5. Try to go slow if you are just .