T Nation

Help Designing Leg Routine

Was debating if I should post this in beginners, but decided maybe here was better. Basically I would like some serious input on how you guys train quads? What works best for you? I currently only train legs once a week (high volume), but I’m planing on changing to twice. Debating if I should split between a Quad dominate and Ham dominate workout? As with my high volume once a week approach, I have major doms the following 3 days(tapers off by 3rd). I know my body will adjust to twice a week in time and volume will be slightly less per leg day.

Basic info: I’m currently 195 lb, 6" tall with 2 years training. I switch things up pretty often with leg training ie: reps, sets and order of exercises. Recently been doing the pre-fatigue stuff and like it. I’ve tried a lot of stuff, but I having come close to trying everything. I have some questions that I would like you guys help with. First off, I would like to emphasize the Quads in my leg training as they are lagging. I never get any pump or soreness in my quads from back squats. I’m all hams, glutes and adductors (doms galore). Pre fatiguing and front squats with narrow stance seem the only way to feel quads when squating. When I use plates under my heels it bothers my knees the next day.

I’m thinking some type of a mountain dog style stuff with a quads focus. One of my questions is whats the best range for something like Hacksquats? I usually do them 2nd or 3rd in routine in the 8-12 rep range. Does anybody go heavy on these? Would it be better to try 20 reps??? Below is a list of exercise and equipment I have access to. I really could use some advice from some of the more experienced guys on T Nation (5+ yrs training) who have put some decent mass on they’re wheels. Any advice/help setting up a twice a week legs routine is deeply appreciated. In need of some ideas with proper exercises to pre-fatgue with, best exercise order and rep ranges.

Squats (been doing back squats with close stance 10 rep range ATG)
Hack Squats (haven’t done them in 3 months)
Hexbar (haven’t used it in a over a year)
SLDL’s (recently doing 2nd to last, 15 rep range)
Leg Press (currently 20rep pump set last)
split squats (haven’t done since august)
Lunges (last done in Sept.)
leg curl (currently warm up sets only-off and on)
leg extension (swap between high rep pre ex and last pump sets)

Looking to train legs Tue. and Fri. (Mon. if not recovered by Fri)

FYI I deadlift on back day (rack pulls when I’m too beat up).

[quote]Bmad wrote:
Was debating if I should post this in beginners, but decided maybe here was better. Basically I would like some serious input on how you guys train quads? What works best for you? I currently only train legs once a week (high volume), but I’m planing on changing to twice. Debating if I should split between a Quad dominate and Ham dominate workout? As with my high volume once a week approach, I have major doms the following 3 days(tapers off by 3rd). I know my body will adjust to twice a week in time and volume will be slightly less per leg day.

Basic info: I’m currently 195 lb, 6" tall with 2 years training. I switch things up pretty often with leg training ie: reps, sets and order of exercises. Recently been doing the pre-fatigue stuff and like it. I’ve tried a lot of stuff, but I having come close to trying everything. I have some questions that I would like you guys help with. First off, I would like to emphasize the Quads in my leg training as they are lagging. I never get any pump or soreness in my quads from back squats. I’m all hams, glutes and adductors (doms galore). Pre fatiguing and front squats with narrow stance seem the only way to feel quads when squating. When I use plates under my heels it bothers my knees the next day.

I’m thinking some type of a mountain dog style stuff with a quads focus. One of my questions is whats the best range for something like Hacksquats? I usually do them 2nd or 3rd in routine in the 8-12 rep range. Does anybody go heavy on these? Would it be better to try 20 reps??? Below is a list of exercise and equipment I have access to. I really could use some advice from some of the more experienced guys on T Nation (5+ yrs training) who have put some decent mass on they’re wheels. Any advice/help setting up a twice a week legs routine is deeply appreciated. In need of some ideas with proper exercises to pre-fatgue with, best exercise order and rep ranges.

Squats (been doing back squats with close stance 10 rep range ATG)
Hack Squats (haven’t done them in 3 months)
Hexbar (haven’t used it in a over a year)
SLDL’s (recently doing 2nd to last, 15 rep range)
Leg Press (currently 20rep pump set last)
split squats (haven’t done since august)
Lunges (last done in Sept.)
leg curl (currently warm up sets only-off and on)
leg extension (swap between high rep pre ex and last pump sets)

Looking to train legs Tue. and Fri. (Mon. if not recovered by Fri)

FYI I deadlift on back day (rack pulls when I’m too beat up).[/quote]

Well…seeing how you are only 6 inches tall, I would focus on other problems.

But once you get that taken care of,

I like to pre-fatigue quads and hams with leg curls and extensions (3-4 sets of 15+)

Then move on to back squats. I do 5 sets usually. Start with 10-15 reps, add weight as I proceed, end up at 4-6 reps for my last set balls to the wall failure.

The I do stiff leg deads with dumbbells for 4 sets of 15-20.

Move on to leg press. 4 sets of 15. increase weight each set.

I end with walking lunges or high rep hack squats. And of course I’m doing calves throughout the workout as well.

I also do hex bar deads sometime during the week. EXCELLENT for quads. Seriously. I can pull substantially more weight for reps than on regular deads because of the emphasis on your quads during the first 2/3 of the movement.

I realize you only asking for quads, not hams, but I just laid out my workout in the order I do it.

This has been working for me lately, legs are looking nice.

I’m sure some of the older guys will have some more insightful tips and tricks for you though.

Good luck.

Well… I’m not actually a BBer I’m a PLer but seeing a vid of your back squats could say a lot about why you don’t feel them in your quads. Especially since you only have 2 years experience under your belt and there a lot of different ways to back squat and it’s a really technical lift.

That being said, my quads grow pretty fast from front squats, ATG squats done Oly style (break at the knees and stay as upright as possible wearing a shoe with an elevated heel), and leg presses with my feet close together and lower on the foot platform thing.

And that brings me to what kind of shoe are you wearing? If I wear something with a hard sole and a heel lift I get much more quad activation, but if I squat with a flat soled shoes I get much more hips and hams. Part of the knee problem thing with using plates to elevate your heels could be using squishy tennis shoes.

Wall squats with pauses along the way down and or up with a swiss ball inbetween you and the wall are a good way to torch my quads as a finisher that’s knee friendly.

Keep in mind that with the lunges, the shorter the stride the more quad dominant it becomes. Just don’t make it so short it starts irritating your knees.

It’s all just really hard to say what will work for you without a little more info.

As I started work, I have less and less time in the gym. What I do now is just pick a weight for ATG squat that’s around 12-15RM and perform it until 1-3 reps short of failure. Rest 30s, repeat until I hit a total of 40-50 reps.

Never have I felt such incredible leg pump before. It’s also a nice vacation from spinal load since I have to go a lot lighter than my normal back squat.

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
Well… I’m not actually a BBer I’m a PLer but seeing a vid of your back squats could say a lot about why you don’t feel them in your quads. Especially since you only have 2 years experience under your belt and there a lot of different ways to back squat and it’s a really technical lift.

That being said, my quads grow pretty fast from front squats, ATG squats done Oly style (break at the knees and stay as upright as possible wearing a shoe with an elevated heel), and leg presses with my feet close together and lower on the foot platform thing.

And that brings me to what kind of shoe are you wearing? If I wear something with a hard sole and a heel lift I get much more quad activation, but if I squat with a flat soled shoes I get much more hips and hams. Part of the knee problem thing with using plates to elevate your heels could be using squishy tennis shoes.

Wall squats with pauses along the way down and or up with a swiss ball inbetween you and the wall are a good way to torch my quads as a finisher that’s knee friendly.

Keep in mind that with the lunges, the shorter the stride the more quad dominant it becomes. Just don’t make it so short it starts irritating your knees.

It’s all just really hard to say what will work for you without a little more info. [/quote]

Thanks for posting.

I wear Chucks right now, but I’m seriously considering some squatting shoes or something with some elevation. I have no problem with wide stance squats, but as soon as I go narrow, my ankles lack mobility. I’ve recently started working on them. I get ankle pain when I go low on the leg press as well.

A reminder that Meadows suggests working quads and hams together (usually leg curls first). Something to keep in mind if you’re designing a 2x/week program for legs with a Meadows focus. I, unfortunately, don’t have anything to add since I want to do the same as you, but have been struggling with how to set up my week. Will be following…

[quote]ironmanzvw wrote:

Well…seeing how you are only 6 inches tall, I would focus on other problems.

But once you get that taken care of,

I like to pre-fatigue quads and hams with leg curls and extensions (3-4 sets of 15+)

Then move on to back squats. I do 5 sets usually. Start with 10-15 reps, add weight as I proceed, end up at 4-6 reps for my last set balls to the wall failure.

The I do stiff leg deads with dumbbells for 4 sets of 15-20.

Move on to leg press. 4 sets of 15. increase weight each set.

I end with walking lunges or high rep hack squats. And of course I’m doing calves throughout the workout as well.

I also do hex bar deads sometime during the week. EXCELLENT for quads. Seriously. I can pull substantially more weight for reps than on regular deads because of the emphasis on your quads during the first 2/3 of the movement.

I realize you only asking for quads, not hams, but I just laid out my workout in the order I do it.

This has been working for me lately, legs are looking nice.

I’m sure some of the older guys will have some more insightful tips and tricks for you though.

Good luck.[/quote]

Thanks for post.

I tried a somewhat similar to the above routine today. Started with 4 set of light leg extensions 15 reps with pause at top. Last set burned. Then did some STDL in the 15 rep range 4 sets increasing lbs. I skipped the leg press and did close stance front squats on 10 lb plates for 4 sets. Started with 15,12,10,10 reps. Finished with Hacksquats for 3 sets aiming for 15 reps but only got 12 on last 2 sets. Wanted to work VM and it kicked my ass. Been a long time since I done hacks. Lets see how the doms are come tomorrow.

Questions:

1- When you guys do STDL’s…what kind of stance do you prefer? I switch back and forth from close to just outside shouldler width. I’m thinking close feels better, but don’t know if there’s any benefit to stance.

2- Is it normal to get crazy burning in lats right under back of armpit area? I try like hell to keep my shoulder blades retracted, but with high reps stuff my upper lats and rear delts feel like they’re on fire the last 5 reps when I do 15-20 reps sets. Anybody else experience this?

[quote]Tyler23 wrote:
A reminder that Meadows suggests working quads and hams together (usually leg curls first). Something to keep in mind if you’re designing a 2x/week program for legs with a Meadows focus. I, unfortunately, don’t have anything to add since I want to do the same as you, but have been struggling with how to set up my week. Will be following…[/quote]

Yeah I’m wondering if I should have a heavy day and a light day, quad dom and Ham dom or alternate between 2 routines with different exercises/reps/order? Or do I hammer the same routine out twice a week? Hopefully someone can help with this? Need some knowledge bombs dropped!