T Nation

Leg Strength & Torso Hypertrophy


Here's my situation. Genetically I have been given thighs/quads that are bigger that the rest of my body (symmetrically speaking). I'm fully aware of the need to do squats/deadlifts and don't plan on stopping either exercise. My question is this though: Is it possible to keep squatting and receiving the full-body growth benefits while keeping my quads the same size? Basically my idea is to develop the rest of my body until everything looks right together, and then continue with quad hypertrophy at that point. So...I guess I want to develop strength in the legs and hypertrophy in the torso......is this possible?


ps My diet is dialed in for hypertrophy as well..


I don't think you'd gain size if you never increased the amount of weight you were lifting. Stay using the same weight on your legs.


If your training mainly for asthetic reasons by all means cut back your leg training so the rest of the body can catch up. Personally if I had a body part that I thought was over developed compared to the rest and I was concerned on how it looked I would train it less often with lower volume which will lead to little hypertrophy. However at the same time I would keep the intensity high As you can still expect strength gains without significant growth.

One thing that concerns me is you mention your quads many times... what shape is your posterior chain in?


Thanks for your replies. My posterior chain is in decent shape, though still developing (strength-wise). Aesthetically, my glutes are a little big as well. A lot of the differences in size are much less of an issue when my bf% is lower. Right now I'm guessing I'm around 14%-15% (which I can't stand). I gain fat like a guy AND a girl (stomach, lower back, thighs and ass). Anyhow, I think I will just keep my squat at the same weight for a while. It'll give me ample time to perfect my technique (grin). Thanks again.



Up the reps to 15-20. You won't see much hypertrophy from that range but you'll still be able to add weight and increase your strength. Just using the same weight is just going through the motions. Why bother? If you don't give your body a novel stimulus then it won't need to adapt.

I wouldn't go as high in reps for any other exercises though.


Sorry for the double post but my first one hasn't come up yet.

Why can't you stand being 15% bf? That's fine! Sure you don't want to be much higher but from there it's easy to drop down to 6 pack territory but you can still easily add strength.

I'm 16% and you can just see my abs. This is a good place to be!

I'd like to drop some more fat but i'm going to do it slowly, so I can keep muscle.


I agree in that you probably should keep training your legs to maintain your current size and strength, but back off the volume and intensity.

However, I really think this "big squat = big gains in your entire body" theory is a getting a bit over-blown. There are lot's lifters with solid upper body size that don't touch the squat/deadlift .. maybe 50% of the commercial gym world. Similarly, there plenty of Olympic lifters with rather large legs and relatively strong, yet small, upper body.



I agree with you here. I think I'm over-analyzing it a bit. Come to think of it, most lifters I know don't do a whole lot of leg work. I think I'll just stick to higher reps and low to moderate intesity when working on the wheels. Thanks for everyone's suggestions.


ps As far as my bf% goes, I'm just estimating. Some people look leaner at 15% than others. I think I retain water
pretty easily and have to hover around 10%-11% to really feel lean.