T Nation

Small People, Big Leg Press. WTF?

Since my latest serious injury and eliminated heavy squats and deadlifts from my workouts, I have been working on the leg press as my primary lower body movement.

I STILL do not understand how so many people who are so much smaller than me and I have never seen squat or deadlift anything much more than 225 can be SO MUCH stronger than me on this lift.

If i put 7 plates each side, that is a good day.

routinely i see skinny brotards loading up 10-12 plates and repping out with it.

wtf?

Range of motion…I used to be one of those guys loading up 1000 plus pounds on there…then I started going deep enough the my knees were passing along my sides at the bottom of the lift and the weights obviously decreased…quality over quantity.

Theres over a dozen guys who can use heavy poundages for half or quarter reps in my gym but only a handful that do the full ROM, they use less weight but get better results.

That’s one reason why I hate the leg press. I have short legs. I squat ass-to-grass, but the leg press won’t go that low. When I look at the angle of my legs in the bottom position, they barely look like they broke 90 degrees.

I’m considering making a thick pad to bring to the gym to place under my back.

As the others have said, ROM. I can put up heavy weight with limited rom, everyones weight increases that way. When I go full ROM, the weight is less, but it feels like I am working more.

As well as ROM, its worth baring in mind many guys of the guys I see who take training pretty seriously overall (in a bodybuilding sense) but couldn’t perform a decent squat/dead may have been starting their leg day with leg press as the number one movement everyday for years.

My leg presss also sucks though, I’ve never been much higher then around 7 plates per side. For me leg press numbers all vary massively from machine to machine, as an extreme example, the massive elitefts leg press is worth well over 300lbs unloaded if I remember right…

I hardly ever go past 6 plates per side (after squats and extensions), for a very deep, non-lockout set. I let the ‘skinny boys’ load up the sled all they want,while I just focus on knowing that my quads are actually receiving quite a thrashing despite what it may look like to others.

S

I go down to a bit past 90 degrees and never fully lock out, always tears them to shit. I have fell in love with drop sets and they have really helped with adding size.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I hardly ever go past 6 plates per side (after squats and extensions), for a very deep, non-lockout set. I let the ‘skinny boys’ load up the sled all they want,while I just focus on knowing that my quads are actually receiving quite a thrashing despite what it may look like to others.

S[/quote]

I have found that as a tall guy the leg press has been very beneficial for my very long ROM, where squats have always been hit or miss for me, good days bad days. I can plate out the press but it has taken me 20 years to get there, and drop sets from you max working weight are awesome. That said I am able to do much more weight these days since adding the prowler to my leg program.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I hardly ever go past 6 plates per side (after squats and extensions), for a very deep, non-lockout set. I let the ‘skinny boys’ load up the sled all they want,while I just focus on knowing that my quads are actually receiving quite a thrashing despite what it may look like to others.

S[/quote]
^^ This

But I think we’ve all been there. I’ve seen people move 10 plates for “inches”. I only move 4 plates per side at the moment…But my ROM is good.

I’ll move 5 per side when I’m not cheating on the ROM.

Miniscule rom and ‘technique’ (benching your legs every rep)
These people usually have sticks for legs too. When used solely as an ego lift, the leg press is useless.

Can someone pop a vid of what they consider good depth for the leg press? This has me concerned that I’m not going low enough.

aside from ROM, also consider time under tension. ive seen small guys dive bombing the sled without any control whereas ive seen bigger guys doing the 3 second negatives Meadows style leg presses. 3 second negs necessitate lighter weight.

you’re probably controlling the weight more.

I like to call it the butt press when you see someone loading on the lbs. Take a look, most of the time you’ll see these guys who consistently load up the weight on the sled have large rear ends that are seriously out of proportion with the rest of their muscles. Almost looks like they have an ass of a girl. When used in this manner it’s probably 90% glutes, 10% legs, all while taking a serious toll on your lumbar spine. Where do I sign up?

ROM on the leg press is a crap shoot lol.

If you go down too far, as ElevenMAg pointed out, it almost turns into an awkward ‘butt press’ because your butt comes off the pad, defeating the purpose of a leg press which is really a quad exercise. I love the leg press and attribute a lot of growth to it and various techniques on it. I try and keep my butt down and go down to a comfortable point, natural you could say. It’s a very subjective ROM in my opinion. Don’t stop when you know you could get more stimulation going a bit further, but at the same time, don’t go down all the way to the point where you basically pin yourself against the pad lol.

Using a 3-4 second eccentric as Actionboy mentioned also helps force you to get good depth each time.

Damn I use full ROM on the leg press but they don’t look anything like ebomb’s. WTF? lol

[quote]Dissection wrote:
Damn I use full ROM on the leg press but they don’t look anything like ebomb’s. WTF? lol[/quote]

thats because ebomb is a freak of nature. he uses more than full ROM. in the bottom position, his knees are touching the floor behind him.

[quote]actionboy wrote:

[quote]Dissection wrote:
Damn I use full ROM on the leg press but they don’t look anything like ebomb’s. WTF? lol[/quote]

thats because ebomb is a freak of nature. he uses more than full ROM. in the bottom position, his knees are touching the floor behind him.[/quote]

LOL

For some reason, I picture a grasshopper doing it.

lol

[quote]actionboy wrote:

[quote]Dissection wrote:
Damn I use full ROM on the leg press but they don’t look anything like ebomb’s. WTF? lol[/quote]

thats because ebomb is a freak of nature. he uses more than full ROM. in the bottom position, his knees are touching the floor behind him.[/quote]

LOL.

It’s true tho…this is the secret.

eBomb echoes closest to my sentiments, undoubtedly.

Personally, I just flat-out don’t care what weights others are using, first off. Especially on a leg press. As eBomb mentioned, it’s a fucking crap shoot. I don’t have a particular mind-numbing ROM or staggering weights used, but a decent pair of legs to show. It’s because I know when is when. As soon as I lose the tight “arch” and my butt comes off the seat when leg pressing, I know I’ve gone too far. Plus, lots of folks use different stances. I prefer to keep mine closer, which makes it look a little less-deep.

And ultimately, I feel like intensity techniques are important for some people vs others. I believe some can build huge, quality and bubbly legs with heavy weights (not me,) and others need TUT, bodybuilding and intensity techniques to really have much progress with legs (me.)