When I first started weight training I wasn’t that interested in leg training, probably because I just wanted big arms like most beginners. However, over the last couple of years I have really began to hit legs harder than ever. To begin with they were a stubborn body part for me. Today, my quadriceps are one of my best muscle groups. Below are a few techniques and tips I have used to bring my legs up!
Reps, reps and more reps!
It isn’t very offer I will use a repetition range of say 6-8 on leg day because I feel at this kind of weight less of the focus is on your legs. Instead, I have found 15-20 repetitions to be the ‘magic’ rep range and an occasional ultra high rep week. By doing this you are really forcing the blood into the legs which instantly promotes muscle growth! The separation in your quads improves vastly with a slightly higher rep range than the usual 8-10 I find as well! Don’t get me wrong, once a month I will use a low rep range of 8-10 to really blitz my legs with heavy weight.
Full muscle contraction!
Every repetition I focus on keeping the thighs engaged and under tension because this really taxes the muscle! If you get on a leg extension machine and go too fast, the contraction isn’t going to be great therefore I would suggest it will really limit your gains.
This is something I really learned off Neil Hill and Kris Gethin, intensity on leg gain is a must! In fact I recall my first lesson on this, when I was left half passed out on the steps of the Dungeon gym. The point is, leg day is without a doubt the hardest and most painful workout you can endure! Feeling sick and light headed is common, because of the blood flowing into the legs. However, to build your legs you have to push through these barriers. I never used to, but now I relish it every week!
Sample workout –
Here is a leg workout I used a lot to really force my legs to grow when they didn’t want to. It covers all the basis and I believe it is a great starting point for beginners. If you do this right, you will get a serious case of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) for at least a week!
Squat X 3 for 8-12 repetitions
Leg extensions X 3 for 20 reps to failure, then rest/pause for 3 seconds, do another 3 all the way to 30-35!
Stiff leg deadlifts X 3 for 8-12 repetitions
Leg curls X 3 for 20 reps to failure, then rest/pause for 3 seconds, do another 3 all the way to 30-35!
Leg press X 3 for 20 reps to failure, then rest/pause for 3 seconds, do another 3 all the way to 35!
This workout is without a doubt very tough, but it really does stimulate growth from personal experience. Of course, you won’t do this every week, but try doing it at least once every 3 weeks and you should get some great gains!