T Nation

Legs Have Stopped Growing


#1

How can I kickstart some new gains in my legs? I've always had strong, good size legs, but it seems I've hit a plateau. This is my current routine for lower body days.

Tuesday- 5/3/1 Squats
- warm sets, then 3 working sets.

  • SLDL for 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • DB walking lunges for 3 sets of 10 each leg.
  • Leg curls or glute bridge (single leg, opposite leg elevated) on exercise ball, for 3 sets of 12-15

Friday- 5/3/1 Deadlifts
- warm sets, 3 working sets.
- Front Squats for 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Bulgarian Split Squats (front leg elevated, opposite leg on bench) for 3 sets of 10 each leg
- hamstring accessory for 3 sets of 10-12

Does this routine look okay to you guys? Is there something I'm missing that is causing my legs not to grow? Which is the best way to approach this?


#2

SMOLOV


#3

[quote]dt79 wrote:
SMOLOV[/quote]

Could I use 5/3/1 for my other lifts still? I’ve heard about Smolov, but I’m not extremely familiar with it.


#4

What do your working 5/3/1 sets look like?
What weights are you using?
How long have you been doing this?
What are you eating?
What does your full program look like?


#5

[quote]Aches89 wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:
SMOLOV[/quote]

Could I use 5/3/1 for my other lifts still? I’ve heard about Smolov, but I’m not extremely familiar with it.[/quote]

Sure. Just don’t deadlift if you’re not used to high frequency training.

Do the Smolov base cycle.


#6

[quote]Steve-O-68 wrote:
What do your working 5/3/1 sets look like?
What weights are you using?
How long have you been doing this?
What are you eating?
What does your full program look like?[/quote]

I’m using decent weight, but working my way back up to heavier weight for squats. I’ve basically started my squat over. I did this because I wasn’t squatting deep enough and I was also battling patellar tendinitis in both knees. Knees feel great, finally, and I’m slowly working my way back up.

I’ve used this template for about a year now (for the lower body days). Monday, is chest and back, Wednesday off, Thursday is shoulders and some arm work. I’ve done 5/3/1 for a year with good results, then took about 8-9 months from it, now I have started it up again about two months ago. My diet is in check, clean solid diet. I am trying to be careful with fat gain though. I refuse to eat like a wild hog, and gain mass but get fat as hell, haha,


#7

[quote]Aches89 wrote:

[quote]Steve-O-68 wrote:
What do your working 5/3/1 sets look like?
What weights are you using?
How long have you been doing this?
What are you eating?
What does your full program look like?[/quote]

I’m using decent weight, but working my way back up to heavier weight for squats. I’ve basically started my squat over. I did this because I wasn’t squatting deep enough and I was also battling patellar tendinitis in both knees. Knees feel great, finally, and I’m slowly working my way back up.

I’ve used this template for about a year now (for the lower body days). Monday, is chest and back, Wednesday off, Thursday is shoulders and some arm work. I’ve done 5/3/1 for a year with good results, then took about 8-9 months from it, now I have started it up again about two months ago. My diet is in check, clean solid diet. I am trying to be careful with fat gain though. I refuse to eat like a wild hog, and gain mass but get fat as hell, haha,[/quote]

You literally answered none of his questions. How is anyone supposed to help you?


#8

[quote]Aches89 wrote:
My diet is in check, clean solid diet. I am trying to be careful with fat gain though.[/quote]
What do you currently weigh and how much bodyweight have you gained in the last four months?

There is no “best” way to build muscle or strength. If what you’ve been doing hasn’t produced significant results, change is the right call - change in exercise choice, set/rep scheme, intensity, and/or frequency.

Instead of your current setup, consider having squat day be all quad assistance work and dead day being all hamstring assistance work, instead of two “total leg” days. Also, train calves. And/or think about bumping at least some of the accessory work into the 15+ rep range.

Double-check the three “tall lifter” articles I linked in one of your other threads. You could probably pull some more info from them again.


#9

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Aches89 wrote:
My diet is in check, clean solid diet. I am trying to be careful with fat gain though.[/quote]
What do you currently weigh and how much bodyweight have you gained in the last four months?

There is no “best” way to build muscle or strength. If what you’ve been doing hasn’t produced significant results, change is the right call - change in exercise choice, set/rep scheme, intensity, and/or frequency.

Instead of your current setup, consider having squat day be all quad assistance work and dead day being all hamstring assistance work, instead of two “total leg” days. Also, train calves. And/or think about bumping at least some of the accessory work into the 15+ rep range.

Double-check the three “tall lifter” articles I linked in one of your other threads. You could probably pull some more info from them again.[/quote]

I currently weigh 235-240 lbs, with a roughly 12-14 % body fat @ 6’6".

Thanks for your advice. I like the idea of doing quad dominant exercises on squat day, and hamstring exercises on deadlift day. I was thinking about adding hip thrusts as a secondary movement after deadlifts. I feel this exercise is underrated. It really wakes up dem azz muscles, haha. I like to hit the compound movements and use accessory work that makes a difference. Unilateral exercises are great.

The quad day, hamstring day is a great idea.


#10

[quote]Aches89 wrote:
I currently weigh 235-240 lbs[/quote]
Kinda what I was wondering. You were 238 in mid-October, so that’s five weeks of basically no bodyweight gain.


Leg muscle, or any muscle, doesn’t come out of nowhere. Not saying you need to get fat or anything, but if you’re not gaining weight, you’re most likely not building muscle. Especially at your height.

To generalize: Bodyweight gains without strength gains… most likely gaining fat. Strength gains without bodyweight gains… most likely not eating enough. Strength gains with bodyweight gains… holy grail for the majority of guys.

Cool beans. Having a separate quad day and ham day is basic bodybuilding stuff. I feel like a lot of people, not specifically you, are so scared of “training like a bodybuilder” that they neglect simple, effective, time-tested methods that would actually suit their goals.


#11

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Aches89 wrote:
I currently weigh 235-240 lbs[/quote]
Kinda what I was wondering. You were 238 in mid-October, so that’s five weeks of basically no bodyweight gain.


Leg muscle, or any muscle, doesn’t come out of nowhere. Not saying you need to get fat or anything, but if you’re not gaining weight, you’re most likely not building muscle. Especially at your height.

To generalize: Bodyweight gains without strength gains… most likely gaining fat. Strength gains without bodyweight gains… most likely not eating enough. Strength gains with bodyweight gains… holy grail for the majority of guys.

Cool beans. Having a separate quad day and ham day is basic bodybuilding stuff. I feel like a lot of people, not specifically you, are so scared of “training like a bodybuilder” that they neglect simple, effective, time-tested methods that would actually suit their goals.[/quote]

Okay, cool! So for quad and hamstring dominant movements, which would you recommend the most besides the obvious one such as squats and deadlifts? I need to find a list of quad and hamstring movements and pick an amount for each day and execute them for awhile (with a specific set/rep scheme that goes along with it.). Any suggestions man? Or any exercises you recommend?

I basically want to keep my athleticism and conditioning while making gains. I really want to activate my legs. I feel as if they have somewhat lost their “spark” they once had. That feeling two days later, your legs feel pumped, jacked, and sturdy. I’m not sure if you understand what I’m getting at, but I miss that feeling… Haha


#12

[quote]Aches89 wrote:
I’ve always had strong, good size legs[/quote]

Define strong. What is your bodyweight, squat and DL?
Not saying this is the case but I’ve heard guys who are 230 say “I have a big squat but my legs won’t grow”, then I see them hitting 315x2


#13

[quote]Aches89 wrote:
So for quad and hamstring dominant movements, which would you recommend the most besides the obvious one such as squats and deadlifts? I need to find a list of quad and hamstring movements and pick an amount for each day and execute them for awhile (with a specific set/rep scheme that goes along with it.)[/quote]
Quads:
http://www.T-Nation.com/searchResults.jsp?cx=016420786931182441572%3Akswwmllusns&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&q=quad+workouts&siteurl=www.T-Nation.com%2F&ref=&ss=2849j2292665j9

Hamstrings:
http://www.T-Nation.com/searchResults.jsp?cx=016420786931182441572%3Akswwmllusns&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&q=hamstring+workouts&siteurl=www.T-Nation.com%2F&ref=&ss=336j34280j9

Starting sessions with some low volume plyo work should help. Like 3-5 total jumps at the start of each lower workout. Or, since you’re doing 5/3/1, hill sprints or something comparable should cover the conditioning.


#14

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Aches89 wrote:
So for quad and hamstring dominant movements, which would you recommend the most besides the obvious one such as squats and deadlifts? I need to find a list of quad and hamstring movements and pick an amount for each day and execute them for awhile (with a specific set/rep scheme that goes along with it.)[/quote]
Quads:
http://www.T-Nation.com/searchResults.jsp?cx=016420786931182441572%3Akswwmllusns&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&q=quad+workouts&siteurl=www.T-Nation.com%2F&ref=&ss=2849j2292665j9

Hamstrings:
http://www.T-Nation.com/searchResults.jsp?cx=016420786931182441572%3Akswwmllusns&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&q=hamstring+workouts&siteurl=www.T-Nation.com%2F&ref=&ss=336j34280j9

Starting sessions with some low volume plyo work should help. Like 3-5 total jumps at the start of each lower workout. Or, since you’re doing 5/3/1, hill sprints or something comparable should cover the conditioning.[/quote]

When it comes down to it- in order for me to see new growth, I may need to consider adding calories and switching up my routine a bit. I feel as if it has gone a little stale. I’ve been using the same template for years, switching things here and there. I think my body has basically adapted to the way I train now. I have difficulty picking a template and dedicating myself to it for a couple of months. I have been following the 5/3/1 percentages for my main lifts, but I believe I am overdoing it when it comes to accessory work. I need someone to just point me in a direction, and say “here, do this and this and this, and you’re good to go!”


#15

You are also the one asking why your squat is low over in the 5/3/1 forum…

yes, you are doing to much assistance and/or you are not choosing the right ones.

Just do 5/3/1 with 2 assistance work. Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200 until you can see what is written in every book.

Want a template? Triumvirate.


#16

[quote]Aches89 wrote:
When it comes down to it- in order for me to see new growth, I may need to consider adding calories and switching up my routine a bit.[/quote]
I think you need to figure out your short-term priorities. Like JFG said, you’re asking different things in a few different forums. This thread is talking about growing your legs, your thread in Wendler’s forum talks about increasing your squat, and your thread in Thib’s forum talking about training like an athlete.

Size, strength, and performance can complement each other, but you’ll see better progress by prioritizing one of them in the short term. For example, taking 4-8 weeks working 100% on leg growth, even if it means not doing 5/3/1, would focus on that goal.


Here, do this and you’re good to go!


#17

You’re probably just at a point where growth won’t occur as quickly. If what you have been doing has worked thus far, keep doing that. Progress in volume, weight, and/or frequency. Very simple. Just be patient.


#18

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]Aches89 wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:
SMOLOV[/quote]

Could I use 5/3/1 for my other lifts still? I’ve heard about Smolov, but I’m not extremely familiar with it.[/quote]

Sure. Just don’t deadlift if you’re not used to high frequency training.

Do the Smolov base cycle.[/quote]
If you’ve done the smolov base, then you’ll know deadlifts are out of the fucking question even if you are used to high frequency. Smolov is bloody insane.


#19

Do you have access to leg press or hack squat?