The Get Zacked series is a collection of my favorite bodybuilding-inspired tips and techniques to build muscle, get an epic pump, and increase the almighty mind-muscle connection.

Today’s exercise is gonna burn.

We’re hitting the hamstrings and quads hard with a simple time-based combo.

Broadly speaking, lower body exercises can be categorized as either

  • Squat dominant – where the movement emphasis is on maximal knee and hip bend, targeting the quads
  • Hinge dominant – where the movement emphasis is on maximal hip bend and minimal knee bend, targeting the hamstrings

Of course, there is some overlap – movements fit more on spectrums than inside rigid boxes. But knowing (and feeling) the difference between the two patterns is a key lifting skill.

This sequence is going to have you working through both the squat and the hinge back-to-back with your heels elevated for an added challenge.

Your hamstrings and quads are about to get tenderized…

Here’s how:

  • Start a timer for 3 minutes. Maybe just 2 on your first time…
  • Grab a kettlebell (or hold a vertical dumbbell) weighing around 1/3 of your bodyweight
  • Elevate your heels on a weight plate, 2×4, or your collection of Hemingway and hymnals as demonstrated in the video
  • Begin deadlifting with long, straight arms. Touching the ground on every rep isn’t necessary – just get good hamstring engagement
  • Once your hamstrings really start to fatigue, simply drop the hips into a squat, shifting emphasis to the quads
  • Really get deep on the squats, allowing the knees to travel forward over the toes
  • Shift back into the deadlifts when you can’t stand the quad burn
  • Don’t stop moving till time runs out

Experiment with stance, toe angles, and tempo of the lifts.

You can also try elevating the toes on the deadlift and switch to the heels on the squat.

Try this as a finisher on any lower body training day.