Most people have a love-hate relationship with leg day, and for good reason: It’s not easy to work the largest muscle group in your body. But Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t become the Terminator by passing on squats and Dwayne Johnson didn’t become “The Rock” by focusing only on his upper half. They paid the iron price to build legs that wow. If you want a strong, sexy (balanced) body, you have to follow their lead. Here are eight reasons why the leg day struggle is real, and why you’ll always come back for more.
1. There’s always someone trying to one-up you
Gif Via Reddit
Everyone is looking your way. You think it’s because of all the weight you’re putting up, and you feel unstoppable. Then you look to your side and see someone like this overachieving hoverboard rider. Let him show off. You’ll be enjoying quads with a perfect “teardrop” while’s he’s nursing an injury and feeling like a bonehead.
2. Lunges are one of the toughest moves ever
This move is going to make you work! Forward, backward, stationary, walking, you name it, lunges will have your legs begging for mercy. If you think lunges aren’t tough, you’re probably doing them wrong. (They shouldn’t bother your knees, but with proper form you will feel the burn in your quads.)
3. You’ll drip with sweat
While you usually associate sweat and high-intensity cardio, you’ll want to make sure you’re hydrated going into a leg day workout, too. After those aforementioned lunges, step-ups, or sumo squats, you’ll be sweating like you can’t even imagine. Embrace it, because that’s just your body telling you it’s working. And boy, are you working.
4. Post-workout starvation is often a side effect
After you kill your workout be prepared to get hangry. While you might be dreaming of pizza after a calorie-torching leg day routine, your muscles will thank you so much more if you instead opt for protein, which not only fuels muscle growth, but can also help reduce soreness. Speaking of which…
5. When you push it too hard, you pay the price
There’s a moment when you’re sitting in bed the morning after a tough leg workout and you think, “No big deal, my legs feel great!” Then you get up to go to the bathroom and your muscles feel like they’re on fire. But hey, you totally blew away your old squat record yesterday!
6. The idea of taking the stairs the day after makes you want to cry
All you want to do is tiptoe down the stairs, but even that sounds extremely unpleasant. If Peter Griffin can’t make it down the stairs post leg day, how are you supposed to?
7. Even sitting down is hard
Forget the stairs. Even just the thought of having to stand up and sit back down makes you just want to roll over and play dead. Looks like you’ll just be glued to your desk all day. Who needs to be able to move, anyway?
8. Just when your legs are finally starting to feel normal, leg day rolls around again
When your legs finally stop feeling sore, it’s leg day all over again. Remember though, these muscles won’t build themselves and legs are the foundation of a healthy and fit body. So get to it!