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Originally published July 26 2004

Strength train your legs to avoid "punk" look at the gym

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

One of the most amusing things I see at the local gym is people who have enormous upper body strength but failed to strength train their lower body. This leaves them with a rather unbalanced musculature -- something that I call the "punk look." The punk look is what happens when you focus on bench press, curls, triceps, and other upper body excercises without strength trainig your lower body, and the punk look is surprisingly common, especially among younger males.

What people who sport the punk look may not realize is that their bodies look absolutely silly to those who are serious about strength training and overall health. In order to be healthy you have to have a balanced physiology that's made up of both lower body and upper body strength. Gym punks also like to cover their skinny legs by wearing extremely long basketball shorts. Doing this, they hope that nobody notices their legs and only looks at their upper body which is normally quite large.

This is what I call the "cosmetic approach" to strength training. It's the result of someone who is interested only in the way they appear and not their actual health. But it's even worse than that: avoiding strength training your lower body actually hampers your ability to build a strong upper body as well. Here's why: the largest muscles in your body are found in your lower body -- your glutes and hamstrings. By strength training these muscles, your body generates an enormous quantity of growth hormone. Once this growth hormone is circulating in your bloodstream, it actually enhances the growth of muscles throughout your body. In this way, working out your lower body actually helps you build more muscle mass in your upper body and gives you a much more balanced, healthy, fit look.

It's not just for looks, either: when you have a strong lower body, you are able to engage in more physical activities. You can jump higher, lift more, run faster, and basically be a more active, higher performing human being. Are you currently following a punk workout? It's easy to tell. Just look in the mirror. If your biceps are bigger than your calves, you're probably following a punk workout. You need to lay off the bench press and spend more time doing leg extensions, leg curls, squats, leg press, and other lower body excercises. Doing so will not only rapidly enhance your production of growth hormone and increase your muscle mass, it will also make you appear a far more balanced individual -- someone who is interested in holistic health, not just large biceps for showing off in public.


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