T Nation

Leg Program Recommendations


Working hard at improving my leg strength - and looking for recommended programs.

When I was younger - i spent too much time doing upper body with little leg work, and have been trying to make up for it. Had some tendinitis a couple years back, and have only been seriously lifting for call it 20 months again. I've really only been squatting and deadlifting for 15-16 months:

I'm 5'10, 190 lbs. Current big lifts:
Bench: 4 reps, 270
Squat: 4 reps, 265 (getting below parallel - note that i squat after i deadlift though)
Deadlift: 3 reps 335
Standing OH Press: 5 reps 160
Bent Over Row: 5 reps for 205

I know I've got a lot of work to do to get my leg lifts where they should be, considering where my bench is. I've been pretty focused on 5x5, madcow/billy starr, and some variations of those sorts programs to better suit my schedule. Also mixed in a cycle of GVT.

I'm usually short a training partner, and train solo at the gym, so its hard to push it on programs that drop much below 5 reps until I've got one.

Any thoughts for what would be best considering where I am strength wise - more of the same? Smolov, Smolov Jr.?



I squat below 5 reps regularly with no spotters, safety bars etc. I know there are much stronger lifters than me that do the same.

My, very boring, suggestion is to do 5/3/1, at least for your squat, and read the following article to help choose assistance:



Any of the programs you have mentioned would do well. As long as you have a rack with adjustable spotting pins, you can squat solo and heavy just fine. If all you have is uprights and bumpers, you can learn to dump the bar. Just be smart about it, you can squat heavy alone relatively safely.

The 5x5's, 5/3/1, or whatever would be my recommendation. You could do Smolov, but remember you lose a lot of what you gain strength wise after about 4 weeks from the program. Smolov does make people better squatters and builds mental fortitude, but I would save it for later. I personally think it would be better to just use a basic strength template (like 5x5).

It doesn't really matter, just squat at least two days a week (in my opinion) and improve/progress as often as you can.