T Nation

Enough Work for Legs?

Hey CT,
I’ve been trying to build up my legs for the past 4 months and it seems that regardless of how I try my squats and other leg work, I’m always feeling it in the hips.

Currently I’m doing Hamstring dominant work on Monday and Quad dominant work on Thursday, and have been giving these leg workouts my all since starting the program, and don’t get me wrong, my legs have gotten way stronger, just not bigger. Now, my ass has gotten bigger, just not really seeing a difference in the legs themselves.

Monday
4*4 Deadlifts

4*4 Sumo Deadlifts

4*5 Lunge

38 Leg Curls
3
10 Leg Press

THursday being
6*4 Squats

4*5 BB Hack Squat

4*10 Bulgarian SPlit squat

I also do some calf raises when I do upper body work, just at the end of the routine

So, I guess my question is,
Is that enough to be looking to build a decent set of legs? I want a nice spread. Assuming my nutrition’s up to par and whatnot. Should I be making any adjustments to noticing it more in the quads?

Yes, it is enough work. But I question why you have 2 heavy deadlift variations on the same day? Seems like a good way to ruin your lower back.

[quote]dennis3k wrote:
Hey CT,
I’ve been trying to build up my legs for the past 4 months and it seems that regardless of how I try my squats and other leg work, I’m always feeling it in the hips.

Currently I’m doing Hamstring dominant work on Monday and Quad dominant work on Thursday, and have been giving these leg workouts my all since starting the program, and don’t get me wrong, my legs have gotten way stronger, just not bigger. Now, my ass has gotten bigger, just not really seeing a difference in the legs themselves.

Monday
4*4 Deadlifts

4*4 Sumo Deadlifts

4*5 Lunge

38 Leg Curls
3
10 Leg Press

THursday being
6*4 Squats

4*5 BB Hack Squat

4*10 Bulgarian SPlit squat

I also do some calf raises when I do upper body work, just at the end of the routine

So, I guess my question is,
Is that enough to be looking to build a decent set of legs? I want a nice spread. Assuming my nutrition’s up to par and whatnot. Should I be making any adjustments to noticing it more in the quads?

[/quote]

Do you have long legs with a relatively shorter torso?

Just an observation, but from my experience, hamstrings grow from heavy work and volume, but quads need way more volume/rep work than that. Do sets of like 15 on squats, and sets of at LEAST 20 on leg presses. bumping the reps to 15-20 seems to really blast them into growth.

[quote]mr-madworld wrote:
Just an observation, but from my experience, hamstrings grow from heavy work and volume, but quads need way more volume/rep work than that. Do sets of like 15 on squats, and sets of at LEAST 20 on leg presses. bumping the reps to 15-20 seems to really blast them into growth. [/quote]

Well,I had my biggest leg development when I was training as an olympic lifter and rarely if ever went above 5 reps on squats. When I competed in bodybuilding and did the “usual” bodybuilding work my legs actually go smaller. So there is a lot more to it than reps. Frequency can be very important to, as well as exercise selection which depends on your body type.

Hey,
body type’s relatively proportional 5’8, 180lbs (I’ve been eating a crap load, so a lil chubby, but I’m indifferent about that, as I’m trying to put weight on, I’d like to make 200).

I’ve also cut my energy system work down to one day a week of sprints (15 30 second sprints).

Hamstrings are great (In my opinion anyway) and my glutes seem to be growing nicely and getting more attention. THe quad itself just looks so tiny and unproportional in comparison. There’s some thickness, but the vastus lateralus and medialus seem tiny, so maybe it’s more a leg width thing that I’m after? With some definition of course. Leg Extensions worth adding in?

Should I lose the sprints?

[quote]dennis3k wrote:
Hey,
body type’s relatively proportional 5’8, 180lbs (I’ve been eating a crap load, so a lil chubby, but I’m indifferent about that, as I’m trying to put weight on, I’d like to make 200).

I’ve also cut my energy system work down to one day a week of sprints (15 30 second sprints).

Hamstrings are great (In my opinion anyway) and my glutes seem to be growing nicely and getting more attention. THe quad itself just looks so tiny and unproportional in comparison. There’s some thickness, but the vastus lateralus and medialus seem tiny, so maybe it’s more a leg width thing that I’m after? With some definition of course. Leg Extensions worth adding in?

Should I lose the sprints? [/quote]

You are kinda asking the wrong guy… I don’t remember doing a leg extension in the past 10 years. My belief system revolves about doing a lot of work in the 90-100% range of very few main movements (1 per day). So asking me about which exercises to add is not really something you might set the answer you are looking for.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

You are kinda asking the wrong guy… I don’t remember doing a leg extension in the past 10 years. My belief system revolves about doing a lot of work in the 90-100% range of very few main movements (1 per day). So asking me about which exercises to add is not really something you might set the answer you are looking for. [/quote]

Looking for any constructive input at all really, I’m pretty open minded and will give anything a try, if it proves to stand a chance of helping me achieve my goals of 200 lbs this year.

[quote]dennis3k wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

You are kinda asking the wrong guy… I don’t remember doing a leg extension in the past 10 years. My belief system revolves about doing a lot of work in the 90-100% range of very few main movements (1 per day). So asking me about which exercises to add is not really something you might set the answer you are looking for. [/quote]

Looking for any constructive input at all really, I’m pretty open minded and will give anything a try, if it proves to stand a chance of helping me achieve my goals of 200 lbs this year.
[/quote]

I never liked body weight as a goal. When you are at a “normal” body fat range, gaining 5-10lbs of fat actually doesn’t make a visual difference because it doesn’t really make you look less lean than you are. Chasing a number is a good way to gain more fat that you expect. A lot of the best physiques I’ve seen where under 200lbs.

  1. If I’m using 2x snatch grip High Pull and 1x Front squat layers workout per week, can I safely add in some prowler work (as outlined in HP Mass leg training video) to add some mass?

  2. RE: Front Squats layer workout:
    Would this point you made in the Explosive Pulls thread perhaps apply to Squats too?

“With high pulls I found that I do not want met con (metabolic conditioning) to be the limiting factor (getting winded)… so if using the 4-4-3-3-2-2 approach I prefer to do it in the form of a series of micro sets with about 20-30 seconds between each and only do one or two of those. On high pulls you really need a lot less HDL work that I originally though. Too much of it actually decreases gains”

I have personally found that the last half dozen reps or so of dHDL set 3 are absolutely brutal. Feel that met con is hindering muscular performance with the prescribed rest periods.
I am doing all reps from bottoms up, dead-start from the pins (if that matters).
Thoughts on maybe tweaking HDL setup to a micro sets style like you have adopted for high pulls?

[quote]PKS wrote:

  1. If I’m using 2x snatch grip High Pull and 1x Front squat layers workout per week, can I safely add in some prowler work (as outlined in HP Mass leg training video) to add some mass?

  2. RE: Front Squats layer workout:
    Would this point you made in the Explosive Pulls thread perhaps apply to Squats too?

“With high pulls I found that I do not want met con (metabolic conditioning) to be the limiting factor (getting winded)… so if using the 4-4-3-3-2-2 approach I prefer to do it in the form of a series of micro sets with about 20-30 seconds between each and only do one or two of those. On high pulls you really need a lot less HDL work that I originally though. Too much of it actually decreases gains”

I have personally found that the last half dozen reps or so of dHDL set 3 are absolutely brutal. Feel that met con is hindering muscular performance with the prescribed rest periods.
I am doing all reps from bottoms up, dead-start from the pins (if that matters).
Thoughts on maybe tweaking HDL setup to a micro sets style like you have adopted for high pulls?[/quote]

Totally… 4-5 reps per set, 30 seconds between sets, 3 sets.

Thanks Coach, will make the adjustment.

Was that a yes to Q1 and adding in Prowler work? …not quite sure

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]mr-madworld wrote:
Just an observation, but from my experience, hamstrings grow from heavy work and volume, but quads need way more volume/rep work than that. Do sets of like 15 on squats, and sets of at LEAST 20 on leg presses. bumping the reps to 15-20 seems to really blast them into growth. [/quote]

Well,I had my biggest leg development when I was training as an olympic lifter and rarely if ever went above 5 reps on squats. When I competed in bodybuilding and did the “usual” bodybuilding work my legs actually go smaller. So there is a lot more to it than reps. Frequency can be very important to, as well as exercise selection which depends on your body type.[/quote]

Love this. Has been my exact experience as well. My legs grew the most acutally during starting strength (3x5 squats, 3x a week). When I went through this high rep leg press, hack squat, fancy smancy volume/different angles to “carve my teardrop” my legs only got smaller and smoother, literally. Blows my mind how grounded in reality CT’s comments are

Just my personal experience for what its worth.

I found actually reducing the amount of movements I do on a lower body day, but increasng the intensity of each actually caused my legs to grow very well.

Generally I stick to 3 movements on leg day not including my warm up. Squat Varation-Dead Variation- and then finish with something in a much higher rep range (leg press, lunge variaton…ect).

I tore some muscles in my right hip in my last year of high school playing hockey, so I find it still gets tight from time to time even with mobility work. Especially since I am on my feet for sometimes up to 12 hours a day (I work in a prison).

So my favorite movement for adding size to my legs while getting my hips to release is to do reverse DB lunges from a step. With the drop down it really works on stretching the hip of the leg your stepping back with. I find I get a real big pump in the quads,hams, glutes; its easy on the lower back, and increases hip mobility that carries over into other lower body movements I do, and also into my hockey.

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]mr-madworld wrote:
Just an observation, but from my experience, hamstrings grow from heavy work and volume, but quads need way more volume/rep work than that. Do sets of like 15 on squats, and sets of at LEAST 20 on leg presses. bumping the reps to 15-20 seems to really blast them into growth. [/quote]

Well,I had my biggest leg development when I was training as an olympic lifter and rarely if ever went above 5 reps on squats. When I competed in bodybuilding and did the “usual” bodybuilding work my legs actually go smaller. So there is a lot more to it than reps. Frequency can be very important to, as well as exercise selection which depends on your body type.[/quote]

Love this. Has been my exact experience as well. My legs grew the most acutally during starting strength (3x5 squats, 3x a week). When I went through this high rep leg press, hack squat, fancy smancy volume/different angles to “carve my teardrop” my legs only got smaller and smoother, literally. Blows my mind how grounded in reality CT’s comments are [/quote]

I probably experienced with every single training methodology and training style ever invented by man! And I always stayed objective while experimenting (a lot of people let their perception of what should work affect their analysis). And I’m not genetically gifted, so things that worked best on me are likely to work best on a majority of people.