Military Monday: We Give You 1,000 Reasons to Love Leg Day


Are you ready for the 1,000-Rep Leg Workout?

That’s not a typo. There wasn’t an extra zero added on accident. This is a leg workout consisting of 1,000 (one thousand) total reps.

Why? Because when you’re serving in the United States Military, sometimes you have to do a little extra in the gym to get an edge. Or a lot extra, depending on the day.

Even if you’re not in the military, maybe today is the day you knock out this lower-body 1,000-rep routine, courtesy of an Army National Guard Officer.

This one will burn!

Featured Trainer: First Lieutenant Bridget Auch is a finance officer in the Army National Guard. She’s an endurance runner, bodybuilder, and slalom water skier, and she believes people must continue to learn new skills in order to become multifaceted. “If you expand your skillset,” says Auch, “you increase the common interests you’re able to share with people. An important and often forgotten aspect of health is human connection — surrounding yourself with like-minded, driven people who can keep you accountable.”

Equipment Needed: Barbell, dumbbells (or kettlebells), leg press, leg extension, and leg curl machines.

Time Commitment: Around About 60 minutes.

Workout Overview: You’re probably familiar with all the exercises in this routine: loaded squats, air squats, leg press, leg extension, leg curl, lunges. But you’ve never done these bread-and-butter basics quite like this before, with 500 air squats total and 100 reps each of the other five moves.

One thousand reps later, you’ll have sufficiently torched your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, and then some. “Your first challenge of this workout is to get someone to do it with you,” Auch says. “Your second challenge is to be a bodybuilder for a day. Try something new! This workout is very simple, but it will kill your legs.”

Disclaimer: Due to its high volume, this workout is for intermediate to advanced trainees. If you’re a beginner, give yourself several months of training at least before tackling the 1,000-Rep Leg Workout.

Army National Guard Officer Bridget Auch’s 1,000-Rep Leg Workout

After a five- to 10-minute warmup involving low-intensity cardio and dynamic full-body stretching, perform the following exercises at the prescribed sets and reps in the order listed.

All exercises listed for 5 sets of 20 reps (5×20) should be done with added resistance, using a comfortable weight for 20 reps. For squats and walking lunges, use whatever equipment you have – a barbell, a pair of dumbbells, one dumbbell or kettlebell (goblet squats), sandbag, etc.

For air squats, use only your bodyweight and complete the 100 reps in as few sets as possible, resting as needed. “This is bodybuilding,” says Auch. “You’re not trying to complete this as fast as possible. Your goal is to complete it and do the exercises with correct form.”

  • Squats – 5 sets, 20 reps
  • 100 Air Squats
  • Leg Press – 5 sets, 20 reps
  • 100 Air Squats
  • Leg Extension – 5 sets, 20 reps
  • 100 Air Squats
  • Leg Curl (seated or lying) – 5 sets, 20 reps
  • 100 Air Squats
  • Walking Lunge – 5 sets, 20 reps
  • 100 Air Squats



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