We have all heard the saying “friends don’t let friends skip leg day”, well, the saying exists for a reason. Looking at the whole human muscle anatomy, legs are the biggest and yet the most overlooked muscle group in the gym. It is very common for beginner level weight lifters to get frustrated by the slow progress in their leg muscles or complain about inadequate growth according to their workouts. Well, this is where I solve this mystery for the lot of you so you can go to the gym today and destroy your leg workout.
People who work on their legs at the gym tend to think that the higher the volume the bigger they grow. Well, that’s just not true. High volume for growth works great if the targeted muscle region is in your upper body, when it comes to legs it’s a completely different ball game.
Squats and Leg Presses
First and foremost, high volume leg workout is not the key, the key is FREQUENCY. You want to get big, you have to get stronger and the most effective way to do that is to squat at least twice in your weekly routine, once with low volume and again with higher volume and after about six to eight weeks add a third squatting session.
Your legs are comprised of numerous muscles and you need heavy weights to reach the right stimulus level. The reasons squats are given so much importance is because of the enormous amount of muscle fibers it recruits. The squat is known as a compound exercise rather than an isolation exercise.Squats and leg presses work your Quadriceps (front of the thigh), glutes (buttocks) and hamstrings (back of the thigh).
People at the gym are addicted to what it’s called ‘The Pump’ and they forget that a stronger muscle is the bigger muscle and vice versa. Your goal should be to consistently increase the poundage of your leg exercises. Training legs twice per week allows you to vary the number of repetitions and avoid plateauing. This so called non-linear periodization allows for constant progress. If you are just starting, train mainly in the 8-10 rep range and every other workout incorporate one pump set with 15-20 repetitions.
Now I know people are barely motivated to do legs once a week and I have just asked you to do it twice and eventually three times a week. I may not be very motivating to you but before I end this, here’s a quote by Branch Warren who’s a beast of an athlete and might get you off your couch and straight to the gym.
Branch Warren (6th place Mr. Olympia) says, “Every athlete that has ever had the best quads has taken this kind of approach with sets and reps, that includes Tom Platz, Ronnie Coleman, and myself. It’s total annihilation because, by the end of the workout, you shouldn’t be able to do anything else—nothing! As far as training through the pain, you have to man up and if you can’t embrace the deep physical pain that accompanies a great workout like this, you’re simply in the wrong business.” (Bodybuilding.com)