T Nation

Legs. Overdoing It?


So, leg day again, but I wanted to get in some tricep work too. Usually I train legs by themself, to focus on them exclusively, but frankly also because I’m dead tired after legs and simply have no energy. Upon attempting my first set at close grip bench, I could barely rep out my warm up. Basically, if it’s leg day, there is no room for anything else. After legs I just feel like shit, and almost something that ive never really felt before in terms of being what feels like being completely energy depleted and fatigued. I just couldn’t put the weight up. And this has been the case ever since I started seriously training. I aim for failure every workout, and utilize both heavy and light movements. Is this a leg day thing? Should my “pushing it” be reconsidered or valued? What I’m basically concerned about is if I’m overdoing it. I see guys all the time training multiple body parts including legs. Should I just keep legs as a day for themselves? I understand this is also a work capacity thing but I really do have this sickness (especially in leg day) to go as hard as I can when I train. And like I said especially with legs… any tips? Should I decrease work load?
I will say that I am making progress, that’s not the issue, but it does sometimes get in the way of other lifts (not to mention being sore ah all the time.)


Very hard to answer without any information about what you do and about you.

For starters

Training age
Sleep patterns (in general)
What exercises, how many sets, what weight on the day
Your weekly programming


Throughout my history of training, I’ve noticed that I make more progress not training to failure every workout.


Im 16 y/o alittle over a year of training, but i really started legs not too long ago, unfortunately. I train legs once a week, and because of this i apply even more intensity (makes sense in my head.) I eat clean, and maybe even too clean. Leanest meats only, everything has to be organic, id rather not eat than have anything remotely close to being processed… Still achieve my 3k cals a day.For a 16 year old kid I think my diet is one of my best attributes in terms of bodybuilding tbh. Sleep on the other hand, is not as emphasized, nor as easy for me: 6-7 hours during the week, and 8-9 on weekends. Overall I try to do everything right, but basically legs take waay too much out of me. Training is squat based, leg raises, deadlifts… I can take some pics if that’s what u want but the leg department is nothing special… that’s why I’m trying to make it so.




He’s 16. I think he said he’s like 155 lbs. He looks decent in his RMP thread, he used to be fat.

Ok, so a couple things.

It’s fine to push legs hard. I’m sure you see a lot of guys who do things other than legs on their leg days, but if they’re not pushing their legs as hard as you are, that would explain why they can do that. Not only do I not doing anything but legs on leg day, I usually don’t do anything but squat. A single exercise is sufficient for me. So no, you don’t have to bench press on leg day, lol.

If you do want to do more than just legs on leg day, this would indicate to me that you’ll likely be training all your muscle groups more than once a week. If you’re training legs, or anything else for that matter, more than once a week, definitely back off on the intensity. It’s really all about what suits you mentally. For me, I love to push hard in the gym, and this especially applies to my legs. But because I go so hard, I’m not doing it more than once a week. As long as you’re making progress, keep it up.

As far as other bodyparts are concerned, it’s perfectly normal to see a lot more growth in legs than other body parts, particularly as a young/new lifter. Your legs have so much more growth potential than the rest of your body, so when people start training legs hard alongside everything else, there’s a good chance they’ll blow up, even if the rest of the body is sort of stalling. That’s fine. Your leg development isn’t actually hindering growth elsewhere. Just make sure you eat enough and sleep enough to recover from your workouts properly, and you’ll keep succeeding.


As a matter of fact, this is exactly what I have been seeing in the the
past months. My legs have grown significantly compared to the rest of my
body. They practically dwarf my upper body. They’ve gotten bigger and
bulkier, while my upper body looks smaller and more defined, in comparison.
It’s funny u mention only squat workouts. That’s what I’ve actually been
doing this last couple weeks. I swear going heavy and hard for a good 5-7
sets on squats (not to mention things like dropsetting and slow negatives
which I’ve been incorperating) leaves little room for much else. That’s
another thing that was concerning to me cuz my mind thinks the more
exercises the better. Like I said, i seem to be making good progress so at
the end of the day this isn’t so concerning, but I’m just worried all the
time :joy: Anyways, thanks for the advice. Ya, I really just can’t stand
sessions that are too “low in intensity” for my taste. I need to feel like
I trained, and that’s what makes me fear the big bad “overtraining.” As u
can tell im still new to this game. But…regular hard leg sessions shall
remain… thanks again


I strongly doubt this. I think what happens is that so many people have skewed perspectives about proportions, because most gym rats only train upper body. So when you see a physique that’s actually proportional, as yours likely is, it appears the way you’re describing.

With your training age, it’s pretty much impossible for any body part to be far more developed than the rest. As long as you train everything hard, you’re not likely to end up with improper proportions.



I’ve trained almost exclusively legs for the last year (basically, nothing but squats and deadlifts) and still would never say that my legs “dwarf” my upper body. It’s very difficult to build truly big legs with stick-figure arms and a slim waist.


Noted. I didnt intend to come across as having big legs. I don’t have truly developed anything, but I’ve always had a generally bigger lower body, and now it’s just getting even bigger. And not necessarily in a good way for my goals. Id much rather have a more defined lower body rather than what I would consider bulky. But all in moderation, I can’t have shredded legs whenever I want lol… I understand that much. And I have an idea of what ur saying about those kinds of misconceptions, of which I’m probably victim to to an extent. But ya didn’t mean to come off like that


I don’t have any pics at hand (not too confident in the legs department) but I could take some to show you guys what im saying.


lol. you don’t have to, but I am curious to see how much of the observation is body dysmorphic, and how much it’s accurate.

I’d be willing to bet your leg development is far more advanced than your peers, as compared to your upper body. That seems like a reasonable thing to be true.

As a side note… when you’re throwing out terms like ‘bulky’ and ‘shredded’, I THINK what you’re really talking about is how lean you are (or aren’t). Legs, specifically quads, along with lower abs, tend to be the last muscle groups to end up looking really defined when you’re dropping fat. You can have defined abs and not have anything resembling ‘cuts’ in your legs. This has been my own direct experience as well. I think it’s fair to say that I’m one of the absolute leanest regular posters on this site, and I still have to be in the right light to have really great definition in my legs. I’ll actually follow this up with 2 leg pictures I took yesterday of the same leg, positioned differently and in different lighting, to show what a difference that makes, lol. But the overall point of what I’m saying is that you’ll still benefit from developing muscularity in your legs, because that’s still essential to having that definition for when you also cut the fat. But you’ll never see the definition until you’re very very lean.


Same leg. 5 minutes apart.


Yup, it definitely is the last thing to drop in fat from my experience so far. Here, not pumped, but legs look better imo without a pump anyway (mine at least.)



Camera makes them look smaller… lol


It’s as flipcollar wrote- You actually have legs that are in good proportion to your body.

Keep in mind that your lower body is supposed to be bigger than your upper body anyhow… Something is off if it’s the other way around.


Understood. My insecurity stems from when I was younger and carried most my weight in my thighs and glutes even as a skinny kid. Hopefully this can actually become an advantage as I continue training in growing my legs. I will tell you right now i am starting to feel uncomfortable wearing shorts with this added size. Don’t get me wrong Im after gains but I have an apparent issue with legs. They came out okay in the pics tho. Thanks for the insight


Was that after a hot shower or bit of a pump? Shit u can get those veins popping


@tony_seven your a good size and very proportional. Keep at it.