T Nation

Heavy Leg Training


Hey guys,
I'm 18 years old. 6'4'' and about 230 at around 15 or 16% BF. I've been training about a year and a half with minimal lower half training- mostly just working to maintain what has been added to my LB from heavy squats and cleans as a HS football player- but now I'm tired of having "average" legs. Would it be beneficial for someone with my LB training experience (minimal) to work my legs 3 times a week with a deload every now and then? or is this too much for a beginner to heavy leg training? I know there is a ton of knowledge on this board and would to see some feedback.
Thanks in advance.


What are your current bests in the squat, deadlift, power clean, bench, overhead press, and row?

Going from "minimal lower half training" to hitting legs three times a week is a mistake. You'd be using a sledgehammer to kill a mosquito, when a rolled up Penthouse will do just as well.

If you want to bring your legs up to par, and depending on the rest of your current split, you'd be better off working them either on one dedicated leg day or something like a day for quads and another day for hamstrings and calves. Either way, if you want to prioritize it, then prioritize it and remember to sack up when it's time to get the work done.

Also, check this article for some general training ideas for a taller dude:


Squat: Only around 365 as this number has dissipated since my graduation.
Deadlift: Pulled 350 in my most recent back workout.
Power Clean: 275- lacking great form.
Bench: 285
Overhead Press: Dk my one rep max, but can do 185 for 5.
Row: 225 for 5

For me to say that I have minimal LB training doesnâ??t necessarily mean that I have none, but just not as intense as my upper half training has been for the past year and a half or so. I donâ??t consider my numbers to be awful for me. They may be to someone else, but since I have no chance of being a power lifter, my main concern is for leg growth.
Lately my split has been 4 days/week with the actual days being sort of sporadic. Meaning that the day of the week may vary, but I always get my 4-5 workouts in every week.
I have recently added a medium intensity leg workout to the mix so it looks like this:

  1. Back/Triceps (Deadlift, BB Row, Shrugs, Reverse Flyes, etc./ various tricep exercises)
  2. Legs (Usually front squat, Hex Bar(Shrug Bar) DL, Calves)
  3. Chest/Biceps (Bench Press, Decline DB Press, Incline DB press, Neck Press)
  4. Shoulders/Tris (OHP, DB raises, Up rowsâ?¦.)
  5. Arms (Strictly bis, tris, and forearms)
    Is one day enough to ease myself in to leg training? I donâ??t want to be too cautious, but also donâ??t want to overtrain like a jackass. Soreness is not an issue so Iâ??m good to go as intense as possible.
    And thank you for the article.


Also don't know why the formatting is so fucked up on my last post


Your numbers are a good start, especially for your age, size, and experience. But stay on track.

What did your last leg workout look like exactly?

If you've just been slacking on the intensity, it's "easy" enough to fix that. And still, it'd be a better plan to get a basic, intense leg plan in place instead of just tripling the volume.

Any reason you're training triceps so often? They have three days with direct work plus some secondary work on chest day.

Also, yeah, your leg day can definitely be improved. A hex bar deadlift is pretty much a squat, so that's borderline redundant. I'd rather see some kind of squat, a deadlift variations (Romanian, stiff leg, etc.), a lunge or leg press, and an isolation exercise or two (curl and/or extension), along with something for calves. That'd be a typical (however brutal) leg day.

One hard leg day will be fine. Plenty of guys only train legs once a week. It's very hard to overtrain a conditioned body, so don't stress over that. But I would expect some soreness once you start cranking up the intensity and possibly including some unfamiliar exercises.


how the fuck can clean 275 but only dead 350? only asking cos im jealous of your powerclean.

also, you will get used to heavy leg training. currently i do doubles and triples for squat and dead on the same day, then the next day do cleans and work up to new 10/20rm on back squats


I think my clean is so superior to my dead mostly because my hs football coaches were geared completely towards clean, squat and bench as our main three lifts. The only DL we did was a straight leg DL which obviously didn't help my real DL too much. So basically I've been on a strength training program for just squat and clean for about the last four years.


My last leg workout was:
-Front Squat- 2x10 for warmup, 4x8 for working sets. Increasing weight each time, but pretty much going as heavy as I could handle.
-Hex Bar-4x10 worked up to 315
-Calf work.

This has been my leg day for the past month or so. It's been somewhat effective as this is even more intense than my leg training was prior to the last month.

There's really no reason for the # of sets/reps/weight increases or decreases. I've always sort of gone in the gym and played it by ear. That works for me for other muscle groups, but need a more structured plan for lower body.

Not really any reason for the excessive tricep work. This split has worked well for my upper body. Like I said, I kind of play it by ear so I can usually tell when to tone it back on a certain muscle or group.

I usually deadlift on back day, but it would not be bad at all for me to deadlift twice a week. Lunges completely slipped my mind. Also, I train in my garage and just have a rack, shit ton of plates, few bars, and some dumbbells. Working on ordering a leg curl/ext attachment for my bench.

Overtraining was definitely my main concern with diving head first into serious leg training. As long as that's not a problem then I'm ready to do this shit lol.

-Front Squat
-BB Lunge
-(eventually) leg curl/extension
This is better structure, correct?


P.s. that's pretty legit training lol


Nothing really wrong about playing things by ear, as long as you are getting where you want to go and you aren't setting yourself up for injuries or imbalances down the road.

Deadlifting twice a week plus squatting plus other low back-intensive stuff (barbell rows, cleans, etc) can definitely add up to be too much to recover from. If you want to dead on back day, that's fine, but that's when it'd be a better idea to do a deadlift variation like Romanian deads or even sumo deads on leg day, preferably with a different set/rep range and making sure leg day isn't immediately before or after back day.

Front squat
Deadlift (less sets and higher rep than squat) or Romanian deadlift (any set/rep scheme)
Leg curl and/or leg extension (What's with the "eventually"? We're fixing the issue now. Alternate between each of these weekly if you want)
Calf raise

That would be solid, yep. If you're doing squats and regular deadlifts in the same session, try to hit one with heavier weight/lower reps and the other relatively-lighter/moderate reps. That'll allow for better long-term progress and a better overall stimulus.


This is one more step towards a more structured plan to keep from imbalances, etc. Thanks for the help.

Will definitely try the romanian variation on leg day to keep from overtraining and keep the reps/weights in mind and keep those varied between squat/DL.

I only say "evenutaually" because I dont have the equipment for curls/exts yet. Those will definitely be a part of my workout once I receive the attachment for my bench.

Thanks for all the help. Definitely looking forward to seeing the progress I can make after a few months of training my legs seriously.