T Nation

How Can I Build Big Legs

I’m New Here. I know Squats and deadlifts are the best exercises for building big legs. How many sets and reps is the best? Roman Deadlifts and Deadlifts, Do they work the same muscles? Is one better then the other?

Do yourself a favor and go to the beginners forum and read, and then use the search fuction. Otherwise you might want a flame retardant suit.

squats and milk.

[quote]cueball wrote:
Do yourself a favor and go to the beginners forum and read, and then use the search fuction. Otherwise you might want a flame retardant suit.[/quote]

+1

I always pyramid my squats now, I used to do sets of 10-12 just for no risk of injury. I didn’t notice much growth until I started pyramiding weights and reps like 15(warmup), 12, 10, 8, and 6 or 15(warmup), 10, 8, 6, 6, 10 has been working well for me.

Even 15(warmup), then 4x5 and then 15(heavier than warmup) works well for me. It just depends on how heavy I want to go or how much intensity I have at the time.

For deads I do Romanian deads, same idea rep wise as Squats.

[quote]cueball wrote:
Do yourself a favor and go to the beginners forum and read, and then use the search fuction. Otherwise you might want a flame retardant suit.[/quote]

Hey, at least he’s asking about building big LEGS, and mentioned that he’s aware that there are different types of deadlifts.

That’s 2 steps in the right direction that I don’t see most people in the gym taking.

[quote]Bauer97 wrote:
cueball wrote:
Do yourself a favor and go to the beginners forum and read, and then use the search fuction. Otherwise you might want a flame retardant suit.

Hey, at least he’s asking about building big LEGS, and mentioned that he’s aware that there are different types of deadlifts.

That’s 2 steps in the right direction that I don’t see most people in the gym taking.

[/quote]

Good point. There is hope.

[quote]KVSG wrote:
I’m New Here. I know Squats and deadlifts are the best exercises for building big legs. How many sets and reps is the best? Roman Deadlifts and Deadlifts, Do they work the same muscles? Is one better then the other?
[/quote]

Big legs, huh? Big or well developed? If you want sheer size, that’s easy enough to achieve. Sqauts, yes. Leg press, yes. You’ll need little else for size alone.

Here is a suggested workout for size. It’s a suggestion you can take it or leave it. It’s up to you. There are a million different combinations, work outs and exercise choices. Let’s keep it simple. You want size so here’s an idea.

Squats:
2 x 20 - 60% 1 rep max
1 x 10 - 80% 1 rep max
2 x 2 - 95 to 98% 1 rep max

Leg press:
1 x 50 - 35% to 40% 1 RM
1 x 20 - 75% 1 RM
1 x 10 - 85% 1 RM
1 x 20 - 75% 1 RM

Good mornings combined with leg curls:
1 x 25 GM (medium weight)/ 1 x 10 LC (pretty heavy)
1 x 10 (wide stance) GM ( med/pretty heavy) / 1 x 10 LC or failure. (pretty heavy)
1 x 10 (narrow stance) GM / 1 x 10 LC (or failure)
1 x 10 GM ( med/pretty heavy)/ 1 x 5 LC (Very heavy)
1 x 10 GM / 1 x 10 LC (medium weights-finisher)

Calves-
We’ll just say 3 x 50 of your favorite calf movement.

This is a combo that worked for me, it made my legs almost too big. Of course , this work out borders on insanity, but it is doable and effective. You also have to eat your ass off.

You can take or leave the work out above, the lesson is you need high volume and heavy weight to achieve big ass legs, so find something that works for you if not the above prescription.
If you want to, try this once a week and then twice once you get used to the intensity. Heavy means heavy for you, not what’s heavy for Phil Phister (WSM 2006 champion, in case you don’t know who that is).

If you want well developed, balanced quad/ hams. That a different conversation. We can discuss if your interested.

[quote]pat36 wrote:

Big legs, huh? Big or well developed? [/quote]

I’m sorry, but this was funny to me. How is there a difference between big muscular legs…and “well developed” legs? I would assume that most big muscular legs ARE well developed legs. Size should be the primary goal and the same basic info is what works…along with the simple knowledge that you have to be growing all over to make progress.

Also, I honestly don’t think that a beginner needs to be that concerned with his percentage of anything.

Throughout my experience strength did not necessarily come with huge increases in leg mass. My body learns to be stronger and gets better and better at compound movements.

The most size i put on legs has to do with how much im willing to eat.

I find to really put on leg mass you have to destroy them and break down all surviving fibers.

i find tri sets accomplish this the best and vary the time tension and reps.

for instance 1 set of front squats for 6, right into back squats for 6, and then leg press for a set of 15 to 20. done three times.

thats one example.

If you look at speed skaters they have huge quads and tap into many different fiber types.

after training you have to eat huge for days to really start packing on LEG MASS.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
pat36 wrote:

Big legs, huh? Big or well developed?

I’m sorry, but this was funny to me. How is there a difference between big muscular legs…and “well developed” legs? I would assume that most big muscular legs ARE well developed legs. Size should be the primary goal and the same basic info is what works…along with the simple knowledge that you have to be growing all over to make progress.

Also, I honestly don’t think that a beginner needs to be that concerned with his percentage of anything.[/quote]

Yes, that was a mistake. I meant balanced development. Not well developed. And big doesn’t mean balanced development. My legs are pretty big, but I am fighting my imbalances which is pretty maddening.

The percentages were just reference points or sign posts really. Instead of saying, go light here and go a smidge heavier there. I don’t think most people need to worry with exact percentages. Just hard ass work.

a squat variation (Front, back, hib belt…), an unilateral movement (step-up, bulgarian ss…), a DL variation (SLDL, RDL…) and an hamstrings isolation (GHR, or leg curls) should be the bulk of your leg day.

Start with higher reps (10-12) and reevaluate in a while, give it some time. Don’t worry about anything else than exhausting your legs at this point.

[quote]KVSG wrote:
I’m New Here. I know Squats and deadlifts are the best exercises for building big legs. How many sets and reps is the best? Roman Deadlifts and Deadlifts, Do they work the same muscles? Is one better then the other?
[/quote]

Keep it simple. Find a routine written by a top trainer and follow it. There’s tons of them on this site. As soon as progress stalls, or just before, change the routine to a new one.

As a beginner it’s really going to be quite simple for now.

Getting stronger at full range of motion back squats should be your first goal.

Researching workouts based around increasing your squat strength will get you on the fast track to muscular legs.

Don’t neglect calves if you have average or worse calf genetics but if you are a lucky bastard that has good calf genetics you can pretty much ignore them.