This is what Arnold had to say on his page about leg day, and when Arnold speaks, you know its going to be good…
“DON’T BE A CHICKEN BUILD YOUR PHYSIQUE FROM THE GROUND UP I had a great time doing my photo shoot this month. It was a blast from the past. I could almost hear Joe Weider yelling at me, “Come on Arnold, pull in your stomach!”
But as I looked around, I saw people pumping up their chests, doing ab work, and curling. I also saw a plague spreading.
If you’ve been in a gym recently, you might have noticed it, too. It’s ripping through gym rats like the flu: CHICKEN LEGS.
You’ve seen the guy in the corner of the gym doing 20 sets of curls Monday, hitting his chest from every angle on Wednesday, and nailing his shoulders on Friday. But what about legs? Somehow, despite all of his workouts, this guy never finds time for his legs. He walks around the gym looking like he might fall over any minute, with his huge upper body and his skinny legs. Or maybe he’s the one who suspiciously wears long sweat pants, even though he’s wearing a tank-top that doesn’t leave anything about his chest or arms to the imagination. This is one of my pet peeves. People love to do their bench-press sets. They love to do their curls. I’ve heard them talk about their hot tub muscles, or say things like, “Sun’s out, guns out!”
But if you are leaving half of your body unworked, you can never consider yourself truly fit. I don’t care how ripped your six-pack is, or if you have 18-inch biceps. I don’t care if you can bench 500 pounds.
Work your legs. I can’t say it enough. You don’t think your glutes, your thighs, and your calves matter? They are some of the biggest muscles in your body. They are your primary movers and shakers. And let’s not forget: A muscular set of legs always looks good.
The chicken leg phenomenon points to a bigger issue. When you work half of the body over and over but completely neglect the other half, you’re leaving results on the table. You have to focus on the whole body. You need to see the big picture.
In the same way, even if you aren’t in the gym every day pumping up your pecs—if you just picked up this magazine because you said, “Oh, Schwazenschnitzel is on the cover”—you also need to see the big picture.
Because your health is a big-picture thing. If you’re lifting, but still smoking a pack a day, you’re doing the same thing the curling king with chicken legs is doing: You’re leaving results on the table.
Whatever it means for you, find a big-picture approach to your fitness—and try not to catch that chicken legs virus.
Yours in Iron,
If you haven’t read the Encyclopedia Of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold, I suggest you get your hands on it as soon as possible. It is gold.