Most lifters have little no trouble getting their chest, back, shoulders and arms enlarged, but legs are a different story. Leg day is pain day!
This article was not written, however, for those that tend to back away from discomfort. It was penned specifically for lifters that enjoy a little “self-torture,” literally inviting the kind of pain and nausea that can bring one to his/her knees – the kind of people that would prefer to crawl out of the gym rather than walk. For bodybuilders that are willing to do whatever it takes to create massive, dense, vascular and severely separated quads and hams. You enjoy the hurt? Then this 4-week leg workout is for YOU!
This training protocol utilizes various “intensity techniques” that will shock the muscles and ignite the CNS, both combining to facilitate new muscle growth.
|Squats (Dropset)||2||10-12 + Drop||4/1/X|
|Leg Press (Rest – Pause)||2||7-9||3/1/1|
|A1. Leg Extensions||2||10-12||3/0/1|
|A2. Sissy Squats*||2||10-12||3/0/X/1|
|Lying Leg Curl (Rest-Pause)||2||7-9||3/0/X/1|
|B1. Stiff Leg Deadlift||2||10-12||3/1/1|
|B2. Seated Leg Curl||2||7-9||2/0/X/1|
This training protocol utilizes four distinct rep tempos (one for each movement), each emphasizing a different “section” of the range of motion. This forces the muscle to withstand a unique form of tension with each exercise, allowing one to tap into several growth pathways.
|Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift||2||7-9||2/4/1|
|Seated Leg Curl||2||10-12||2/0/1/4|
|Lying Leg Curl||2||7-9||5/1/X/1|
This training protocol helps set up maximum fast twitch muscle fiber firing through the use of high reps (to exhaust slow twitch fibers) and heavy explosive lifts (to excite the central nervous system).
|Plie Dumbbell Squats||2||21-25||2/0/1|
|Horizontal Leg Press Machine||3||4-6||5/1/1|
|Single Leg Side Leg Press***||3||10-12||3/1/1|
|Single Leg Extensions||2||10-12||2/0/1/1|
|Seated Leg Curl||2||21-25||2/0/1|
|Lying Leg Curl||3||4-6||6/1/1|
|Straight Leg Bb Good Mornings||2||10-12||3/1/1|
This training protocol is meant to induce maximum fiber trauma, in order to trigger an anabolic effect, in the first half of the workout. Then, in the second half, the emphasis shifts to flushing the target muscles with blood and the hormones, nutrients, and oxygen it brings with it.
|Vertical or Angled Leg Press||3||5-7||6/1/1|
|Alternating Bodyweight Lunges||2||26-30||2/0/1|
|Seated Leg Curl||2||3-4||3/0/X|
|Torso Elevated Lying Leg Curl****||3||5-7||6/0/1/1|
|Smith Stiff Leg Deadlift||2||26-30||2/0/1|
|Standing or Lying Single Leg Curl||2||26-30 each||2/0/1|
Lifting Tempo is used to describe how fast you lower, lift and pause with the weight in each phase of a repetition. It is expressed in seconds (an “X” means “lift as explosively as possible”) and begins with the negative (lowering) portion of an exercise, then the midpoint (stretch) portion, then the positive (lifting) portion, and if there is a forth number used it will be the peak contraction (squeeze) portion.
*Sissy Squats: Take a shoulder width stance with toes straight-ahead or pointed slightly outward. Grasp onto a bar or machine at chest level with one arm and hold a weight plate across your chest with the other (if resistance is needed at all). Begin by bending at the knees, while allowing your torso to lean backward. Keep your hips and waist straight as your knees come forward and your heels rise off the ground. Lower your body to the point where the knees almost touch the floor.
**Hamstring Hyperextensions: Step into a standard or angled hyperextension apparatus, making sure it is set so that you can freely lower your torso as far as possible. Place your feet under the footpads, and push against them so your hamstrings are forced to contract.
***Single Leg Side Leg Press: Sit inside an angled or horizontal leg press machine and place the working leg up on the platform. Turn your torso and hip/leg/foot inward to about a 45-degree angle while finding a place for the non-working leg to safely rest. Unlock the safety handles, stabilize your upper body, and then slowly lower the weight until your thigh makes contact with your chest. Try to push through the heel and outside portion of the foot until you reach full lockout. At the top, you should tense and squeeze your outer glutes.
****Torso Elevated Lying Leg Curl: Lay face down on a lying leg curl machine and place your hands on the bench to keep your torso elevated. There will be a small arch in your lower back, but focus on keeping this area as relaxed as possible throughout the set.