We often choose what we’ll gain immediate satisfaction from. For me, it was jamming on fruit loops and Scorsese-ing it up the hallways of the “future of tomorrow” instead of learning something that may be useful if my car ever growled like a bear in heat. Similarly, you often see the same in the gym; leg day, a foundation for just about everything, is often neglected in favor of bicep, tricep, chest and “casually lift your shirt up to wipe off the sweat from your face” day. Maybe you don’t like training legs because they don’t grow. Maybe they don’t grow because you don’t like training legs. Either way, we enlisted our pros to provide you with the tips you need to build those twigs into tree trunks.
- “Mass development on the lower body must respect the use of time under tension but equally be concerned with placing the body in a state where fatigue is questioned, thus increasing the risk of injury. The easy solution is performing super-sets with descending levels of motor challenge and intensity level (as defined by max. effort), such as:
Front Squats (1 1/2) x 3 reps at 85%, Barbell Hack Squats x 8 reps at 75%, Sissy Squats x 12 reps (body weight).
In this simple manner, the individual is able to make use of mass building compound movements but in a manner where, despite fatigue threshold being pushed, the risk of injury is extremely low.” – John Davies, Founder Renegade Training™
- “Lacking leg mass? Try a volumizing approach. A great tri-set to incorporate would be lying leg curls heavy sets of 6 reps, with Bulgarian split squats sets of 12 into full barbell squats sets of 10. Do 3 rotations with a drop set on each movement on the final rotation.” – Mike Rea | Competition Bodybuilder
- “Work the angles: Hit quads and hams from different angles using multiple exercises. Ex: front squats and Bulgarian split squats emphasize the frontal and outer sweep of the quads and the leg curl and Romanian deadlift tax the hamstrings along its entirety. Superset quads and hams.” – Victor Egonu | Natural Pro Bodybuilder
- “I ran track and was a sprinter in high school so having those fast twitch muscles set me up pretty well for putting mass on my legs quickly with heavy weight training. High bar heavy squats were my staple for both mass and strength but I think one of the more underrated exercises that really helped my quads explode is the front squat. I don't train them heavy as much as I used to when I competed in bodybuilding, but I would do 4-5 sets of 4-6 reps and really push out the reps hard. It would leave me with a crazy leg pump and the stairs became my worst enemy for a couple days after. If your gym has a hack squat machine and you are looking to put on more size, then give it a try. Test out some various foot positions too for an extra twist on the movement.” – Kyle Sheridan | National Level Powerlifting Competitor
- “To really stimulate some quality hypertrophy from the legs it's important to spend a lot of time around 75%+ of your 1 rep max. The more force exerted, the more stimulus for growth.” – Rob Saeva | Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach and Amateur Powerlifter
Give these tips a try this week, and the next following, and even the one after that. Who knows, maybe leg day will be your new favorite day.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.
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