Monday, December 10, 2007

Leg Circuit

I posted something like this a while ago, with Shaf doing a leg matrix. This idea of a matrix or giant set of exercises to hit a variety of muscle fibres has been kicking around a bit recently.

Alwyn Cosgrove has a leg matrix of:

  • 24 squats
  • 24 lunges (alternating on every rep for 12 each side)
  • 24 jump lunges (exploding up and switching legs mid-air for 12 each side)
  • 24 jump squats (squat all the way down, jump up as high as you can) be done in under 90 seconds

Vern Gambetta prescribes a circuit of :

  • Bodyweight Squat x 20 (Break Parallel)
  • Bodyweight Lunge x 20 (Lunge as long as leg length)
  • Bodyweight step-up x 20 (Touch head at full extension)
  • Jump Squat x 10
Bryce Lane's B circuits are a similar approach.

Gambetta has recently proposed what he calls the Spectrum Squat™ Workout:

  • Isometric Squat – Hold 30 seconds
  • Sandbag Squat (25 – 30 % Bodyweight) – 6 reps
  • Unloaded Fast Bodyweight Squat (1 rep per second) – 6 reps
  • Unloaded Jump Squats – 8 reps
The idea behind this workout is to move across the spectrum of muscle actions and to take advantage of the size principle of muscle fiber recruitment to target the fast twitch muscle fibers. The spectrum of muscle actions is as follows: Isometric>>>>Resisted>>>>Dynamic>>>> Ballistic.

I'm aiming to try this circuit in my workouts soon, maybe doing a kettlebell goblet squat for the second move.


Anonymous said...

Isn't this just scratching the surface of what DeVany has already been into with his hierarchical sets?

Chris said...

I know what you mean but I don't think we should necessarily think that Devany has been the first to think this up or that he has all the answers.

I discussed this with some others on a message board recently here

Someone said there that Dr Hatfield for example came up with a similar idea about 15 years ago called holistic sets.

If you read Gambetta's post on Spectrum sets he says he got it way back: he saw "Wernor Gunthor, the Swiss shot putter, doing a similar workout and by a presentation I attended in 1987 by Giles Cometti, a French sport scientist (just rediscovered the notes)"

Devany is good, but there are others out there thinking similar things.

Anonymous said...

True. It just seems like these little circuits are beating around the bush trying to be fancy about a simple concept.

Start high-rep, low weightm, ST fibres. End low-rep high weight, FT fibres. There you have it.

Chris said...


Nice point. You should put a "TM" on that ;-)

thanks for the comment

Marc said...


Devany turned me onto it, but I agree there is a good amount of people out there that have been doing exactly that.
I play tennis, with an older guy (ex american football player) who is in GREAT shape. He lifts once a week in a type of Devany way. He says his heavy heavy workout takes him 15 minutes. He's been doing this for 22 years. He's 62.
Thought I'd share.
Cheers, Marc

Chris said...

Thanks for dropping by Marc

Marc said...


I tried the leg circuit this morning. Good g'd!!!!!!
I did the jump lunges last and could not complete 24.
Thanks again for posting. GREAT little workout.


Dr Craig S. Duncan said...

I have tried a number of the routines discussed and I just wonder if 24 reps is just way too much. It gets back to what are you trying to achieve but I know with game sport athletes I feel 24 is too much but the same model with 8-12 reps may be better. Im not sure about this so would appreciate insight into why 24



Chris said...


thanks for the post. I had a look at you blog - very interesting stuff.

Regarding the 24 reps I'd agree that those reps are too high for most. I've no idea why Cosgrove came up with 24 reps. Gambetta's spectrum idea seems more achievable.

Dr Craig S. Duncan said...

Thanks Chris for your reply. Re the 24 it would be interesting to why that number was used but I know I have seen great results with Vern's concept with soccer players. Thanks for such an outstanding Blog