T Nation

No Squats or Leg Press. Solution?


I, like many people I know, train at a gym without a squat rack due to expense, location (pretty rural community) or one thing or another. I have never seen this as too much of a problem as mass is my primary goal and have found the leg press, a deadlift variation and leg isolation work (i.e curls)to be satisfactory for this.

Getting to the point the leg press at my gym is out of order and it will only be repaired when the right parts are sent from Cybex, and even then it may take at least a week for them to be installed.

My question is what can I do to still stimulate and overload my legs in the absence of squats and leg press? I still have extensions, curls and deadlift variations to play with but is this really enough?

Any suggestions would be appreciated


DB Bulgarian leg squat

a killer !



DB lunges, lots of them.


Thanks man, it looks like a killer- how difficult is it to perform though?


I thought about them but I never really found them effective, maybe it's the way I was doing them.

What do people think of the snatch grip deadlift? I could've sworn I saw an article a while back where CT said they stimulate the legs a fair amount.


Yup, Snatch grip Deadlift is another option. Try this on a platform. Will get your hams on fire.

Barbell Step- Ups are quite good too. Start light with the plates then increase the weight on the next set. Make sure the bench or step is at a challenging height.

Walking Barbell Lunges- If you ain't crying after doing those, I don't know what else can stimulate your leg and ass more, well apart from the Bulgarian Squats of course...


Clean as much as you can then front squat it to failure.




Great suggestion and I was thinking the same thing. You could even clean it then OHP it and put in in a back squat position. I mean, I'm sure you can clean like at least 40% 1RM on squat as I can clean more than that and I am a powerlifter who never cleans but constantly squats... Then you can do 4x20 or whatever. Nothing better than squats!


Is there a bench press bench there?

Load a barbell on the rack, and get under the bar from the head of the bench, step away and just squat. High-reppers over several sets will fry your quads.


That is one solution I agree. If I were to use this approach would I keep the bar in the position it's in at the top of the clean (like a weightlifting style) or is there another method?


This would be a perfect solution if there were any bench press benches as opposed to dumbell benches. It's a fitness gym through and through- maximum weight on the bar for deadlifts is 150(kg), DBs top out at 40 and 1 in 20 train their legs. It's no surprise I'm the only member bitching about the absence of the leg press. In an ideal world I'd switch gyms and go right into town where the only gym with a power rack is (they have 1 and only 1 between about 20 guys wanting it on any given night according to a friend) but they want upfront payments of £300 a year and being strapped for cash and at college (high school in America) it's just not an option.


Sissy squats. The weight once you able to use a barbell should be light enough to clean to your shoulders. You could also use a weight you can clean and press over head and lower onto your traps focusing on higher reps


Yes. Once you have it on our shoulders you can wriggle your arms out in front of you and use a bodybuilder grip or arms out in front, if you want. I prefer the clean grip.


if you don't feel like the bar is trying to choke you out you are doing it wrong.

it is half the fun.


LOL, this is so true, even worse with a Texas (chainsaw) power bar, the middle knurl is a great way to bald patch the 3 day growth bwahahaaa.




Zerchers...goblet squats...bulgarian split squats,sissy squats for quads...hack squats...


Thanks to everyone who has contributed. Tried the clean grip front squat and it's a keeper. Due to weight limitations I was thinking of pre exhausting quads with leg extensions followed by front squats, snatch grip deadlifts maybe some bulgarian squats and leg curls to finish off. Is there anything glaringly wrong with this or is it good to go?


weight limitations?? how much can you powerclean into position?? sets of up to 20 should be fun (not). luck with the breathing thing...