Cassandra Martin is known for serious muscles and heavy lifting. Get ready for quad focused leg workout that’ll run you ragged.
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“People have this misconception that if you lift like a guy, you’re going to look like a guy,” says Cassandra Martin, an Instagram fitness sensation and Gym Shark-sponsored athlete. “It’s all in the way you carry yourself. I think the way bodybuilders look is a beautiful shape anyone can achieve.”
“As I got stronger, I grew more obsessed with lifting a lot of weight,” she explains. “And when my body started to change, it was always for the better.”
1. Barbell Back Squat: 4 sets, 10-12 reps
2. Front Squat: 4 sets, 10-12 reps
3. Narrow Stance Smith Machine Squat: 4 sets, 10-12 reps
4. Leg Extensions: 4 sets, 10-12 reps
| Barbell Back Squat |
Squats are king because they’re the most challenging leg movement you can do. They work all the lower-body musculature and have been shown to spike muscle-building hormone release. In fact, squatting before doing curls has even been shown to significantly improve arm strength!
High bar or low bar? That’s up to you and your goals. High bar, where the bar rests atop the traps, hits all the leg musculature fairly evenly. Low bar, a favorite of powerlifters, targets the glutes and allows you to lift more weight. Not sure which? Choose the variation that allows you to squat deeper, more comfortably, and without excessively rounding your back.
| Barbell Front Squat |
Shifting the bar from the back to the front of the body changes your squat dramatically. Front squats emphasize the quads over the glutes and hams, which means you’ll sacrifice some of the load. It also helps you maintain a more vertical torso position, which can help increase squat depth and perhaps decrease the risk of lower back injury.
Front squats also demand—and build—serious upper back and core strength. Those benefits also apply to variations like dumbbell front squats and goblet squats. Think you’re too strong for goblets? Strength coach and physical therapist John Rusin requests that you do half your body weight for 20 reps and reconsider.
Cassandra Martin is known for serious muscles and heavy lifting on Instagram, but doesn’t share much else in her posts. She and her husband Hunter stopped by to discuss how they train, how their work makes her stronger, and why she feels lifters should eat their way through a plateau.
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► Cassandra Martin’s Heavy Back Workout:
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