T Nation

Help with Lower Body Program


#1

Looking for complete lower body development, and to work on lower body 3 x a week. Front squats, back squats, deadlifts, leg press, leg curl and possibly sprints and hill sprints. What rep and set range should I be looking at? Thanks for taking the time to read.


#2

A good start would be back squats on Monday, deadlifts on Wednesday and front squats on Friday, each with a meaningful rep scheme (5/3/1, 5x5, 3x8, 10x3). Add hill sprints either on off days or immediately after strength sessions and you won't need anything else.


#3

3 x per week seems excessive. 2 is normally enough unless you are a weightlifter .

You see all of this needs to fit into an overall program.

It depends what level you are at.
If you are a beginner then you don't need all of that for development.
If you are experienced then you wouldn't ask such a question.

A standard leg workout would go something like this:

Squats ramp up to 3 sets of 5-7
Leg Press 3 work sets of 10-15
Romanian Deadlift 5 sets of 5-7
Leg Curls 3 sets of 8-10
Calf Raises 3 sets of 10-15 for standing or 15 -20 for seated.

You could do the same again on your 2nd leg day or you could do something like this:

Deadlift ramp up to heavy 3 or 5 (alternate)
Squat 3 sets of 8-10
Leg Curls 4 x 8-10
Hanging leg raises 4 x 10 -15
Calf raises 3 sets of 10-15.

As for running sprints I don't really see the point unless you play sports or want to lose fat.
Don't do them the day before your leg workout is the main thing. They will most likely hamper your recovery so just be careful how you work them in.


#4

I have been running stronglifts 5x5 which is squatting 3 times a week this is my reasoning behind my thinking of legs 3 times a week, that, and I feel my legs lag behind my upper body. If I train heavy on upper body for a period of time it is clearly a lot more visible than lower I could even say it looks not in proportion, to me anyway. I've gotten to 100kg for squats on 5x5 and hit a wall, my legs have toned up but not grown any. My thinking is by using different quadriceps exercises (however still squatting 3 times a week) I will trigger growth and more strength.

I was mainly thinking hill sprints to push the calve muscle to grow.


#5

Your profile says you're 5'10" and 142 pounds. I'mma say your legs do not leg behind the rest of your body.

Calories trigger growth. If you don't eat enough, nothing will get bigger, regardless of training.

Sprinting for calf size is like boxing for arm size. It might help, but there are much more efficient ways to get the job done.


#6

If you've genuinely hit a wall with linear progression (not just lacking food/recovery), then consider switching to a program like 5/3/1 or the juggernaut method.


#7

Try it first, then tell me it's only working your calves


#8

I don't get a lot of stimulation for my calves when I do hill sprints, it's mostly my glutes/quads.

I've done legs 2-3 times a week for a couple years with a few different programs/schemes. Really, there is a lot of ways to set it up. I like trying to do different exercises for each workout for the week (as someone mentioned, squats Monday, deadlifts Wed, front squats Fri). It feels like it's much easier to progress and mentally it's more "interesting". Also, 3-4 exercises is plenty when hitting legs often.

As Chris said though, your legs aren't likely out of proportion. You need more food. I'm not really sure different exercises will trigger growth any better but mentally it's easier to progress and it keeps it fresher.

I'm not sure doing 3x a week lower body lifting plus hill sprints a couple times a week is a great choice, that seems like a lot of work for the lower body.


#9

Thanks for the replies gentlemen very much appreciated.

'

Calories trigger growth. If you don't eat enough, nothing will get bigger, regardless of training.'

I have thought of this and have been using the search function to have a look at food articles etc. I've been hitting the protein for a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. I've been eating healthy plenty of meats and veg and whole milk. However protein is really the only nutrient I've been counting. Calories I would say I'm getting around 2400-2600 I am going to start logging all of my calories to get a precise amount and also upping my diet to 3000kcal a day does this seem like a decent number?

I also don't want to 'bulk up' and then cut, I would prefer a lean bulk is this possible (body fat levels are quite low maybe around 10% id like to keep it this way) if training hard and eating the right amount of the right foods? I train for kickboxing nothing serious just for activity, and was thinking of trying to reach the weight of 168lb.

as for hill sprints and calves I'm not to concerned yet quads and hamstrings development are the main area I want to address.

I don't think I've used the quote functions correctly, new member still learning sorry for any confusion!


#10

You can get bigger without getting fat. Ideally, that's what every person wants to do. However, that means you have to pay attention to how many calories you're getting and make sure it's only a certain amount over maintenance, yet enough to lead to muscle gain. Very possible, but takes some effort.


#11

That's a good idea. To get you started, what, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

That's a start. Increase the calories (consistently, meaning that many calories seven days a week) for two weeks and track your bodyweight twice a week. After two weeks, if it's gone up, cool beans. If not, bump up calories.

It's possible, but for someone your size, a lot of guys fall into the trap of "OMG, I totally have love handles and am giant sumo. Must cut ASAP." Track your results along the way, take some progress pics, and stay objective in monitoring progress. Also, if you're starting relatively-lean (10%ish should have some visible definition), you do have more leeway and should respond well to pushing the calories a bit, especially since you're training hard during the week.

That's a solid goal to shoot for. Give yourself a reasonable timeframe to achieve it and then attack it.


#12

So the best way to do this would be through trial and error? Keep a monitor on weight, strength and body fat %?


#13

yesterday, breakfast: 4 hard boiled eggs, 2 bacon rashers, 1 slice brown bread cheese 330ml milk.
The rest of the day I cant really remember I know I had some chicken, rice vegetables. I'm always drinking milk at every opportunity, Starting tomorrow I will record everything that I eat I've been meaning to for a while now so ill start tomorrow. Two protein shakes as well 1 half hour before workout 1 straight after 30g of protein per shake and 12g of carbs. A couple of weeks ago I invested in some casein to take before I sleep, is this worth buying again or should I try something like cottage cheese? Or am I just thinking and reading to much and stick to basics?

As for tracking calories etc that's what I will definitely start to do I've got a booklet just need put pen to paper. Yes I've got definition I just want it all to be bigger and stronger.


#14

Drinking a bunch of milk can help (it's a really old school bulking tip), but that should be on top of at least three good meals each day. Drinking a ton of milk and having a few small meals won't cut it.

Good call. You don't even need to go crazy with it. I suggest starting with just writing the time, amount, and (obviously) specific food whenever you eat. Even just being able to see exactly what and when you're eating can be useful at the start. Tracking the particular macros is secondary.

A workout shake is a great call, but you usually want a higher carb:protein ratio in them (in the ballpark of 2:1). As for casein vs cottage cheese, it's really an either/or since they're basically the same.

I wouldn't say you're quite overthinking, just be aware of that possibility and keep yourself accountable and on track. And if/when you start gaining a little fat along the way, don't jump right into panic mode.


#15

I've knocked up a food plan what is about 3000cals a day (according to an online calorie counter).
Breakfast: 4 eggs scrambled, 2 brown toast. 300ml whole milk.

Dinner: Chicken breast, rice, potatoes, vegetables, 300ml whole milk.

Tea: Tuna, rice, veg. 300ml whole milk

Dessert: Dark chocolate, natural yoghurt, fruit.

Before sleep: 300ml milk, maybe cottage cheese as its cheaper than a months worth of casein.

There be 2 protein shakes somewhere in the day also.

Ive only done this for 1 day because it is easy to change, for 1 of the days I might change a chicken breast to a steak for example, Breakfast stays pretty similar everyday. I eat eggs for breakfast everyday occasionally adding bacon. Tuna could be changed to a similar protein source with relative ease.

A workout shake is a great call, but you usually want a higher carb:protein ratio in them (in the ballpark of 2:1). As for casein vs cottage cheese, it's really an either/or since they're basically the same.

By this do you mean carbs should be double the protein, or protein double the carb content.

1 more point I would like help with, I was working out at home with Olympic bar and weights, I got myself a good second hand squat rack. However, I use my kit outside and autumn is on the way, for me its also not the right environment constantly working out at home. I got myself a free, day trial pass at a commercial gym (If that's the way to explain it?) it is a gym for the masses, It was packed and apparently always is. They had squat rack and free weights plus tonnes of machines. However there is another gym I've found out about and hopefully going to have a look tomorrow. This gym has Power runners
â?¢ Farmers walk handles â?¢ Yolks â?¢ Battle ropes â?¢ Prowlers â?¢ Sleds â?¢ Weight machines â?¢ Free weights â?¢ Plyometrics area. This gym comes across more serious so is this the 1 to join? Its got all the toys the other gym I tried had none of this specialist equipment.


#16

  1. That meal plan will do for now.
  2. Yes, add more carbs to the shake. More carbs than protein is what Chris meant.
  3. If you can afford it, join the second one. Not because of the toys - nice to have but not a must - but because the work ethic of serious lifters will inspire you.

#17

Agreed on all three points.


#18

The gym and the meal plan will be started Monday. When I've used the protein I've got left ill get some with more carbs. I've found a shake that has Protein 37.7g 56.6g Carbohydrate 51.3g 77g, should I find a better ratio? Also if I am doing Stronglifts 5x5, would it be ok to add in a 50 pull ups and 100 push ups (20 reps push ups, 5 sets. 10 pulls, 5 sets) and heavy bag work after I have finished the 5x5 lifts.

Oh and I was weighing my self incorrectly, I had the scales on carpet not a hard surface I am actually 133lbs, not to worry ill just have to work harder.


#19

That's better than the other workout shake you mentioned, yep. Just make sure it's the "right kind" of protein, like a whey or hydrolyzed casein, not a slower-digesting protein. Take a look at Surge Recovery or Plazma for a better idea of what's what.

Stronglifts works fine as-is. You need to think about what benefits you might get from the added work. Especially consider the pros of bag work against the cons of the increased calorie expenditure.

Oh. Yeah that's... some work. Same idea though, keep your goals in sight and take things one step at a time.


#20

Ill leave the bag work out for the first couple of months then, I never thought about it from a calorie expenditure point. I've got my hands on a 5ft log it's pretty heavy, seems like to much of a good opportunity to waste. How do I go about training with it? I've had a look but can't find much, squats and log walks maybe? It's probably to heavy for them just yet, maybe I could squat it I'll give it a try. I'll be using the log on a Saturday after I've done a 3day week in the gym.