T Nation

Neglecting Legs...


I'm currently bulking up right now, but I have a fairly nubish confession to make. I often times slack and don't do legs. I'll do them maybe once a month. I work my upper body like crazy but I feel like I'm starting to 1.) Become disproportional, and 2.) Can not doing legs hold you back?

What I mean is, can the lack of trying to hypertroph the legs cause your upper body to stop growing? I've heard your body tries to stay in balance so I'm wondering if this "plateau" I've reached in my upper body could be attributed to that. I fully plan to now include a serious leg day with squats, deads etc, but I was just curious.



Dan "Mr. Lightbulb" McVicker


YES like Dan has stated even moreso than if you were to do the opposite and neglect upper body. Squats DL's etc by there very nature build your legs, core, back etc.


Thanks guys, I appreciate the help. Just to give you a little background again:

I'm 6'4, 210ish, bench 225 (still low) but just today I did a small leg workout so I would still be able to walk tomorrow, I was struggling with 3 sets of 135, pretty bad. My deadlift is still decent because I do work my back.

I have a renewed enthusiasm now, my ultimate goal is to reach about 235 by January and then cut, I'm hoping by bringing up my legs I'll be able to achieve that.


25 pounds in two months is a hell of a goal. Good luck. Definitely don't neglect your legs. Dan John just had a tip about working the legs first every time you train for a month and see yourself the advantages. I think thats a good idea, especially if you know you slack off legs if left to your own devices.

Squats are good.



You can train the legs less often, but not neglect them up to a point where it's once a month. I train the upper body around 40% more than the lower body, but still manage some good work for the legs. I've found it a good strategy to just have deadlifts as your only lower body movement. Then just switch up sets, reps and loads.


I used the 20 rep squat routine (Super Squats from Randall J Strossen IRONMIND.com) and gained 22 lbs in 35 days. It's a hell of a way to train legs but you'll be able to handle anything if you follow this routine for 6 weeks.


Definitely train legs. You'll get bigger faster than not doing them. Besides, you wouldn't wanna look like a polio victim would you?


I've use this also and liked it. I also suggest the 10x3 for squat. I really like this routine. Your legs have to grow following this.


I have talked to others who hate training legs. The main reason is that whenever you train your legs you also train your heart, lungs and entire body. Hence, it's very difficult! We humans hate to do what's difficult don't we?

Here is one tip that might help: Since you have not been training your legs simply begin a program of once per week leg training until you can adjust your mind and body to the rigors of leg training. Anyone can do something if it's only once per week. Right?

Let's say you set aside Wednesday for example. Each Wednesday you increase your poundages and or sets, reps (depending on your program) until you are having one heck of a hard leg training session. Since it's only once per week you will be able to hang in there and complete it. You might also set a time limit of say 30 minutes. Now we are only talking about 30 minutes once per week. See my point?

Once you get used to training legs over an 6 to 8 week period I Suggest that you ease up on the intensity and add one more leg training day per week. This too will not seem so bad because you are going to cut way back on the intensity level as sort of a reward for moving to twice per week leg training.

This is simply a way to move in the right direction. There are others of course.

Give it a try, you have nothing to lose but your skinny legs!