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Hamstring Hell Workout

May 7, 2013 | 0 Comments
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Want MASSIVE hams? This is the workout for you!

We’ve thrown all of the tricks in the bag into this workout; heavy weight/low reps, light weight/high reps, compound movements, isolation movements, eccentric movements, triple drop sets… it’s all here and ready for you to CRUSH IT!

But before we get cracking on this ridiculous hamstring workout, let’s hit a quick anatomy 101 on the hamstrings …

  1. The hamstring group consists of 3 muscles; the biceps femoris, the semitendinosus and semimembranosus muscles. You need to stimulate all 3 muscles to build humungous hams.
  2. Hamstrings are involved in BOTH knee flexion and hip extension. You MUST train to satisfy both of these functions.
  3. Hamstrings consist primarily of fast-twitch muscle fibres. These muscle fibres generally respond best to very heavy, very low rep working sets with accentuated eccentric rep phases.

You will need a reliable, strong training partner for this workout… and I’m not talking about a training partner who trains like a little girl – I ‘m talking about your BEST training partner, the type of person who will not let you cheat, stop or bitch out of any part of this workout.

OK, lesssssssssgo!

Exercise 1: Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift superset with Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift (Hip Extension Exercise)

This superset has to be one of the best supersets we have seen THUS FAR – especially because of the way we are going to do it.

We are going to go really heavy with the barbell for low reps and really hit those fast twitch muscle fibres, while the dumbbells will allow us get extra deep reps for a full range of motion with higher reps to really hammer home the hip extension function of the hamstrings.

Make sure you use each part of this superset in this way. Keep perfect form on each and every rep and get this hamstring workout off to the perfect start.

Set 1: Warm up superset with light weight for 15 reps + 15 reps

Set 2: Warm up superset with heavier weight for 10 reps + 10 reps

Set 3: First working superset. Use enough weight to cause failure between 6 – 8 reps with the barbell + 10 reps with the dumbbells

Set 4: Second working superset. Increase weight to cause failure between 4 – 6 reps with the barbell + 10 reps with the dumbbells

Set 5: Third working superset. Increase weight to cause failure between 2 – 4 reps with the barbell + 10 reps with the dumbbells

Exercise 2: Lying Hamstring Curl (Knee Flexion Exercise)

The muscles that are responsible for bending your knee primarily consist of fast twitch muscle fibres, which mean that they respond best to very high loads, lower reps and a focus on the eccentric phase (negative phase) of the movement. We are going to take advantage of this…

A nice tip when doing any hamstring exercise that involves knee flexion is to stretch your quads in between your sets. Your quads are the antagonist muscles to your hamstrings, so stretching your quads in between sets will allow the force of contraction of your hamstrings to increase during your sets.

Set 1: Warm up set with light weight for 10 reps

Set 2: Warm up set with heavier weight for 6 reps

Sets 3 – 7: First 5 working sets. Use enough weight to cause failure between 3 – 5 reps

Set 8: Sixth working set. Use the same weight from sets 3 – 7. Once you fail have your training partner assist on the concentric phase of the movement and then fight to control the eccentric phase (negatives) for 5 reps

Set 9: Seventh working set. Increase the weight to cause failure on 3 reps. Once you fail have your training partner assist on the concentric phase of the movement and then fight to control the eccentric phase (negatives) for 3 reps

Sets 10-12: Eighth to Tenth working sets. Increase weight again so that you cannot get a single rep. Have your training partner assist on the concentric phase of the movement and then fight to control the eccentric phase (negatives) for 3 reps

Exercise 3: Feet High Leg Press (Knee Flexion Exercise)

This is an awesome mass building exercise for your hamstrings. To get it right, you have to have your feet super high on the leg press plate – pretty much so that your toes are hanging off the end. Ensure you are coming as DEEP as possible with each and every rep and make sure that you push ONLY from your heels.

Set 1: Warm up set with light weight for 15 reps

Set 2: Warm up set with heavier weight for 15 Reps

Set 3: First working set. Use enough weight to cause failure between 10 – 12 reps

Set 4: Second working set. Increase weight to cause failure between 8 – 10 reps

Set 5: Third working set. Keep weight from set 4 and fail between 6 – 8 reps, then drop the weight by 25% for another 4 reps, then drop the weight to half of your original working weight for another 4 reps, then drop the weight to one quarter of your original working weight for as many reps as possible (triple drop set)

Exercise 4: Good Mornings (Hip Extension Exercise)

Good mornings have to be just about the most underrated, underutilised hamstring exercise we have seen thus far. The movement is essentially the same as a stiff legged deadlift, but the direction of the force is slightly different.

The reason why they are underutilised is because they are awkward and are probably responsible for more one way tickets to snap city than any other hamstring exercise. To keep them safe, keep your head and chest up, ensure that your lumbar spine remains flat throughout each and every rep and DO NOT curve your back at any point. Because you cannot go as heavy as other exercises without drastically increasing the risk of injury, and because by this stage of the workout your hamstrings are cooked, we will utilise higher reps with this exercise.

Set 1: Warm up set with light weight for 25 reps

Set 2: First working set. Use enough weight to cause failure between 15 – 20 reps

Set 3: Second working set. Increase weight to cause failure between 12 – 15 reps

Set 4: Third working set. Keep weight from set 3 and fail between 10 – 12 reps

Exercise 5: Eccentric (natural) Glute-Ham Raises (Knee Extension Exercise)

We’ve made it! Our last exercise of this workout… but don’t get too excited just yet, this is by far the most brutal exercise in this workout.

With your ankles securely pinned down under a piece of gym equipment, or being held to the floor by your training partner, you want to lower your body face down towards the ground as slowly as possible bending only at your knees and contracting your hamstrings. Try to control the descent for as long as you can and then use a slight arm push to lift yourself back to the starting position. You MUST keep your back as straight as possible through every rep.

Set 1: First working set. Do as many reps as possible (if you get 10, you’re doing well)

Set 2: Second working set. Do as many reps as possible (if you get 8, you’re doing well)

Set 3: Third working set. Do as many reps as possible (if you get 6, you’re doing well)

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