Natural Bodybuilder Sean “Shizzy” Taaffe Learns How Tough Leg Day With Hany Rambod Is

Leg days are typically the most feared training sessions of an athlete’s programming. The intensity, in combination with the physical and mental exertion needed to train the body’s largest muscle groups, is not for the faint of heart.

Once one overcomes the initial mental barrier, both single-bout and long-term resistance training have been shown to produce anxiolytic effects (e.g., reduce anxiety). (1)

Three days before the new year, 24-time Olympia-winning coach Hany Rambod published a video on his YouTube channel wherein he put natural bodybuilder Sean “Shizzy” Taaffe through a grueling, high-volume leg workout. Check out the video below:

Taaffe was keen on training chest, but Rambod wanted him train legs. They flipped a $100 bill to decide, and fate’s favor embraced Rambod’s choice. 

Sean “Shizzy” Taaffe Leg Workout

Below is the summary of Taafe’s training session with Rambod:

Lying Hamstring Curl

Leg Extension

Pendulum Squat

Vertical Leg Press

Panatta Super Squat Machine

Walking Lunge

[Related: Breon Ansley’s Flexibility Practices for Enhanced Muscle Growth]

Lying Hamstring Curl 

Taaffe positioned his feet and knees together to bias the biceps femoris (the posterior thigh muscle) during leg curls. He used a slow rep cadence and paused at the top of each rep.  Doing so to provide the target muscle more time under tension can enhance muscle stimulation and potentially contribute to hypertrophy. (2)

Leg Extension & Pendulum Squat

Taaffe maintained the use of slow reps to load the quads on leg extensions. He avoided fully extending the knees at the top, maintaining constant tension on the quads. 

“Get depth and go down,” instructed Rambod during the pendulum squats, highlighting the importance of moving through a full range of motion. Lengthening lower-body muscles is more beneficial for hypertrophy than training only in a partial range, and Rambod is well aware. (3)

The movement trajectory of the pendulum squat loads the quads without applying excess strain to the lower back. Taaffe paralleled his feet to each other on the platform, which biased the vastus intermedius and vastus lateralis (i.e., the mid and outer muscles of the quad.

Vertical Leg Press & Panatta Super Squat Machine

Rambod put Taaffe through ‘blood-starving’ sets during Taaffe’s time in the vertical leg press. That involved Taaffe maintaining his feet on the platform until he completed all four working sets.

The inverted position promotes blood flow away from the lower body, potentially intensifying lactic acid build-up to stimulate muscle pumps. While not quite blood flow restricted resistance exercise (BFRRE), BFRRE for short-term high-frequency training, to both failure and non-failure, can boost muscle size and strength. (4)

Taffee progressed to the super squat, positioning his feet wider than shoulder-width apart. He squatted deep, with his upper legs dropping below parallel, biasing the glutes and quads.

Walking Lunge

Taaffe concluded the session with walking lunges while holding a pair of dumbbells at shoulder level. He took longer strides with a forward-leaning torso to bias the glutes. Taaffe performed the final set of lunges with the dumbbells at his sides and supersetted it with dumbbell squats.

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Strickland JC, Smith MA. The anxiolytic effects of resistance exercise. Front Psychol. 2014 Jul 10;5:753. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00753. PMID: 25071694; PMCID: PMC4090891.

Burd NA, Andrews RJ, West DW, Little JP, Cochran AJ, Hector AJ, Cashaback JG, Gibala MJ, Potvin JR, Baker SK, Phillips SM. Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men. J Physiol. 2012 Jan 15;590(2):351-62. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2011.221200. Epub 2011 Nov 21. PMID: 22106173; PMCID: PMC3285070.

Schoenfeld BJ, Grgic J. Effects of range of motion on muscle development during resistance training interventions: A systematic review. SAGE Open Med. 2020 Jan 21;8:2050312120901559. doi: 10.1177/2050312120901559. PMID: 32030125; PMCID: PMC6977096.

Bjørnsen, T., Wernbom, M., Paulsen, G., Berntsen, S., Brankovic, R., Stålesen, H., Sundnes, J., & Raastad, T. (2021). Frequent blood flow restricted training not to failure and to failure induces similar gains in myonuclei and muscle mass. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports31(7), 1420–1439.

Featured image: @shizzylifts on Instagram

The post Natural Bodybuilder Sean “Shizzy” Taaffe Learns How Tough Leg Day With Hany Rambod Is appeared first on BarBend.


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