T Nation

Building Mass on Quads


if im trying to build up mass on quads is it best to take my day off from training the day before i train quads or the day after? and what are the best days to carb up to help building mass on legs, the day before, day training quads or day after traininig quads? or all 3? i typically decrease carb intake to 1/3 on my days off of weight training from my usual carb intake to help promote decrease in body fat.


I'm sure it sounds like a broken record here, but you can't go wrong with:

"ONE set of 15-20 reps in the full squat, performed with proper form and done until the trainee can no longer rise from the full squat position, will do more for building the strength and size of the involved muscles than any such number of improperly performed sets of any other leg exercises, including the full squat. And how many sets of full squats, done as described, do you think you could perform in a single workout? How many such sets would you want to perform? Thus it becomes obvious that the amount of work must be limited." - Sensible Training - A Logical Approach to Size and Strength by Dr. Ken E. Leistner

Besides that it's hard to say without additional information but you can't go wrong with taking a day off before and after leg day, esp if you train HARD every-time you work out. You want to hit your legs, quads, as hard as you can every-time, progressive weight on the bar. So you want to be well rested. As to carbs you're only talking about building mass, so eat as much as you want if they're healthy (within limits) as much as you need to fuel the workouts. I'd only worry about carbs while on a serious leaning phase.

edit if you are really worried about leaning out while gaining mass in the quads(??) use the least amount of carbs that can maintain an intense workout but if they are healthy carbs it's probably not a big deal anyway.


That Info was good, i do hit quads really hard and heavy, i even split hams and quads on different days just to make sure either one dosent get less work if done on same day. i do hit squats adn front squats but usually dont do high rep, i refinately need to add a 15-20 rep set full range till complete failure. from your experience do they give you more results or better workout at begining or end of leg day workout?


If you are doing the squats heavy enough they are going to need to be near the start of the workout. Feel free to throw in a set of leg extensions to warmup before the squats if you want. As to doing quad/hamstrings on different days, that can work but I've gotten some of my best quad development out of doing heavy squats until near failure (heavy being heavy for the lifter.) then doing some heavy step-ups and stiff legged dead-lifts.

This is a good article on sensible training: http://www.cyberpump.com/preview/sense.html

A lot of people are against higher rep stuff, but it works. So does lesser reps like 5x5 or 1 rep max, the trick is training hard and heavy with proper form. Hitting many muscle groups can often-times result in more muscular growth which is why compound exercises are so good for building mass, so trying to directly hit the quads with squats and front-squats might not be as good as hitting the squats and then doing some other heavy movement.




I find squats don't do much for my quads. Yes, they do something, but no, low-bar deep squats don't hit my quads anywhere near what they hit the ass, hams, and lower back. Yes I'm going past parallel. Doing 20xbreathing squats etc is a great mass builder, but not so much for the quads specifically unless your build is very different than most.

FRONT squats hit the quads much more directly. I would love to figure out how to do them but simply don't like either grip version once you start getting up in weight. If anyone knows any moves that hit the quads squarely, I'd love to do it, but I don't think an ass/ham focus move like regular squats is great advice for quads.


But you are talking specifically about low bar squats - putting the bar higher on the shoulders allows you to keep more upright (in the thoracic spine) like in the front squat. The problem with front squatting (if mass is the goal) is that long sets are not really practical. The shoulders (front deltoids in particular) will fatigue faster than the much larger and more powerful muscle counter-parts in the legs.

If you squat like a powerlifter, the quad involvement is almost none. If you squat like an olympic lifter, quad involvement is much greater.

The powerlifter has the bar low, and therefore sits back into the squat - which causes the shins to stay vertical and minimises knee bend (more stress on the back).
The olympic lifter has the bar high, and therefore (his/her hips) can come down in a much more vertical direction - which causes the knees to bend somewhat (more stress on the knees).
Foot placement and positioning are of course other factors, but the point is that the former variation (said simply) maximises glute/hips/hamstring recruitment, whereas the later (olympic) variation does this but with more stress placed on the quads (due to the greater knee bend)

This is my understanding anyway. I'd be interested to hear other opinions


I squat high bar and my posterior chain is far more developed and stronger than my quads. I also cant build mass in my quads from squatting. Ive gotten up to 2 plates per side for front squats but like stated above my shoulders also fatigue quicker than my quads.

I have to rely heavily on lunges and leg presses for quad development. What would u suggest for me? (no thread hijack) lol


x2 - Leg press is lame (yes I know Dorian and Ronnie do them whatever) and it's hard to go heavy on lunges. Suggestions appreciated.


Something that allows you to focus more on quad activation is hip-squatting. I do them after normal squats and you can definitely wreck the quads with a few long sets.

One problem is setting it up effectively. I have two small jerk/snatch boxes which I stand on, letting the weight plate/s come down between the boxes, allowing me to go deeper. But there are other ways to set it up well.



try rear foot elevated split squats, i do them everytime after squatting, 3-4 sets, bang!
you will feel directly which muscles are working and your quads will burn, go deep, touch the ground gently with the other knee..

one of my favourite exercises! put it back in my training after reading the article here on T-Nation!


bulgarian split squats! of course. how could i have overlooked them. brb lol


I think someone already mentioned on this website that belt squats on two benches can isolate the quads pretty good as well.


Yes I remember reading it. It sparked my interest in them.

They really are actually very good, simply a squat with everything from the hips up taken out of the equation.

Because you so fewer muscles are used, recovery is much quicker than with a normal squat, and unlike in the normal squat where there's a constant battle to co-ordinate movement and keep a million muscles tight, with the hip squat you can literally just focus on squeezing the legs. However they are, of course, also brutal in their own way, but if someone wants to stimulate mainly leg growth, hip-squats are (it would seem) an excellent alternative to the normal barbell squat.


this is the SECOND THREAD that this person has tried to HIGHJACK with his own personal workout issues,.
He did this to ME when I had asked a serious question regarding in-season lifting for football
Be on the lookout for red123, YOU red are being watched !


quick question for the front squat, have any of the posters tried the front squat/zercher harness that has been advertised from NewZealand or Louie Simmons own model ? thank you for your time, kD


maybe try 5/4/3/2/1 template ramp-up working up to a 1 rep max (for the session, usually 90-95% of true 1rm), then take weight off and do 2-3 more sets of 10-15 reps wich should feel good and light since your CNS woke up from the heavy stuff. followed by SLD's or good mornings.


IMm on deload this week and have been just dicking around with different movements I don't normally do. I got crazy quad soreness after doing several high rep sets of hack squats using very slow concentric and eccentric parts like four counts each and remaining under constant tension so no lock out or pause.

Try it.

Also hack squats can be done unilaterally which is a nice variation and maxes the uuse of the hack squat machine look uber legit.


I stick a plate under my heels on my heels on squats, partly due to flexibility issues and partly because it takes some of the emphasis onto the quads. I don't really do em flat footed any more, and they seem to have a good effect on increasing my quad size.


why do you keep POACHING other peoples threads you @#$$% ?
Have you not figured out where to go on this sight ??