T Nation

Training Lower Body Multiple Times Per Week


My sole focus in the gym is wanting to bulk my legs, hips, and butt. I absolutely want to avoid the upper body entirely. I am curious as to what workout routines that the people of this site would recommend that are tailored towards that goal or at least something that would elicit that.

Thanks for reading!


I think that entirely avoiding the upper body is a big mistake- I understand that you may not want to gain any upper body mass, but there is a big difference between that and not training upper body at all. There’s a good reason there are not many programs like you suggest. Gaining upper body mass without high testosterone (i.e being a man or taking drugs) is not easy- you will not look like the Crossfit games girls without (at least) years of hard work.

Having said that, since you are a free individual and can choose your own goals, my tips for designing a “lower body only” program would be:

Weight train 3 x per week, condition 2-3 times per week. For conditioning, swim (freestyle and butterfly)- you need the shoulder/tricep/oblique work on this program! Rowing is a second choice, but not the day before lifting. Weight training: I assume you are female and just starting out, so if your 3-5rm squat is in the 30-100kg range, the following volume should be OK: Squat 2x week, say 5x5. Deadlift 1x per week 2-3 x5- ie monday squat, Wed deadlift, Fri Squat. On a linear progression, or a 5,3,1 progression without deloads (the detail doesn’t matter too much- just intermediate reps and make progress). Follow the big lift with 2 or 3 movements for 3 sets of 8-12- choose your own adventure with various lunge variations, good mornings, RDL, Glute ham raises, kettle bell swings (more reps- e.g. sets of 20), hamstring curls etc. Do some core work every weight training day- leg raises, round the world, ab wheel, sit ups etc.

If you are more advanced, just do Smolov- there’s not a lot of room for anything other than squatting in there!


I train my lower body 3 times a week with Christian Thibaudeau’s layer system and it’s awesome.


How are you currently training, and what are your more specific goals? Just to add muscle mass? Increase strength etc…


Squat 3x / week. A Bill Starr “Heavy / Light / Medium” MWF loading scheme worked very well for me.



Thanks for all the replies! Sorry for the late reply. The reason I am focused on the lower body is that I’m transgender and do not want to gain any mass up top except for my boobs. =P


I’ll put this here.


MissHarber shares your interests, and has two threads you might find informative:

Her first: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/pictures_pics_photo_body_rate_image_performance/heavy_hip_thrusting

Her follow-up: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/pictures_pics_photo_body_rate_image_performance/booty_quad_progress


You could try something like this

Day 1

  1. Squat - work up to one or two heavy singles (~95%). Going 3@70%, 3@75%, 2@80%, 2@85%, 1@90%, 1@95% or 3@70%, 2@80%, 1@90%, 3@75%, 2@85%, 1@95% and increasing 5-10 lbs every fortnight has worked for me in the past
  2. Deadlift variation that targets a weak point (off the floor, lockout, etc) - 5x2-3 @ 80ish%
  3. Other stuff, could be more leg work but I’d recommend something broader like loaded carries or conditioning and maybe something for shoulder health (band pull aparts, face pulls, etc because squatting DOES affect your shoulders and elbows)

Day 2

  1. Deadlift - work up to one or two heavy singles like for squats on day 1 OR ramp up to 5 to 10 heavy singles, depending which you prefer (the latter is more for pure strength and can be pretty taxing once you get stronger)
  2. Squat variation targeting a weak point - 5x2-3 @80ish%. Front squats are great here IMO
  3. Other stuff, again something like loaded carries or conditioning

Day 3 - I’d recommend only doing this every second week because there’s a fair chance days one and 2 will be pretty taxing

  1. Box squat variation - 5x3 @85% or so
  2. Good morning variation - 5x8-10
  3. Other stuff. This is the one day where I think leg isolation/machine work could be good (hack squats, lunges, split squats, etc)

Also, in terms of upper body avoidance bear in mind that squats and deadlifts do involve the whole back very, VERY significantly. You would probably be well advised to do something that keep your middle and upper back nice and strong or you will very possibly find it hard to progress your squat and DL. Not meaning to pry, but it’d be useful to know if you’re on any hormone replacement therapy (not sure if that’s the right term), as I’m sure that may have an effect on how you’d respond to upper body training. You could also train your upper body in the 1-3 rep range just to keep it strong and healthy and that should minimise the chance of getting any bigger in that area while still getting the benefits of being stronger overall.

EDIT: that is useless as #$%@ without a progression model. Apologies. I’ve found 5-10 lbs per fortnight works well for the 1) and 2) exercises. Other stuff can be a little more fluid based on how you feel. You can get away with doing 1) and 2) back to back one week, if the next week you do them at either end of the week with 3) in the middle. I’ve run the 1) and 2) days for 12 weeks like that. I added the third day because you could do that, I didn’t because I needed to focus on other stuff (upper body mostly).


[quote]ArandaP wrote:
Thanks for all the replies! Sorry for the late reply. The reason I am focused on the lower body is that I’m transgender and do not want to gain any mass up top except for my boobs. =P[/quote]

Are you still running your natural hormone levels?


I see Marko already asked that oops