T Nation

What would you think?

Would be the number one leg builder? (mass)
Would it be 20 rep squats?
Heavy sled work with reps between 8-12 reps
High rep front squats?
I’ve heard a lot of guys think lunges rock for thigh building.
I want to set up a new training program for my legs once my surgery is complete and I’m recovered.
Anyone have any opinions on this?

Thanks in adavance.


Why 20 rep squats? I personally think squats are the best leg builder but I wouldn’t do such high reps to build mass… If you are worried about post-surgery recovery, then sure, I’d suggest training light with exercises that are least stressful on the knees (squats are a good choice). Start thinking about adding mass only when you feel you are recovered. Then pile on the weight on the squat (slowly at first) and watch your thighs grow!

my 2 cents

Actually 20 rep squats are an excellent way to build muscle!

There is an classic book that you should read entitled: “Super Squats”. In that book the author, Randall J. Strossen gives you a complete guide on how to gain plenty of muscle fast using the 20 rep squat system.

At the crux of the program is taking a weight that you normally do 10 repetitions with and force yourself to do 20! While you only have to do one set of 20 repetition squats per week, if you are like me you will have nightmares the night before your leg day. I have gone through the program and believe me, it is tough!

To give credit where credit is due, the first person, to my knowledge, to introduce 20 rep. squats onto the strength/bodybuilding scene was Perry Radar the original publisher of Ironman magazine. He was the owner of that publication when it was a good magazine filled with productive routines. I cannot state the same for this magazine today.

As far as the other exercises that you mentioned. All of them are good, however Squats are the king of leg builders. If done properly, and there are many good routines in which to use, sqauts will build your legs to huge proportions!

Best Of Luck To You,


I actually came up with a similar program to raise your !MAX_BENCH!. Take what you normally max out at, and do it 6 times! After that, you should easily be able to max more.

Jus Playin.

The founder of Iron Man Magazine was, Peary Rader. I misspelled his name in my previous post.

Moderate stance back squats all the way down.

I used to do 5x20 squats, and yes, they are a nightmare. However, I don’t think I’ll ever do them again, unless I’ve got low rep/high weight squats somewhere else in the week.

Sweet advice Zeb but do you think I should just do one set of moderate/heavy 20 rep squats and that’s it for leg or combine that, with some fronts, some hack’s, some sled or maybe even some sled pulling?

Thanks man.


Frankly, there is no better site for this type of training than T-Mag!

With that stated, as a newbie you need to ignore all of the fancy routines that are written about here and in other quality sites and just squat!

If you are trying to build your legs give the 20 rep system a try for 6 or 8 weeks. You do two warm up sets and then stack the bar with what you usually do for 10 reps. Instead of doing the 10 you go to 20. Take your time and breath at the top of each rep. But, do not take longer than 5 or 6 seconds at the top. This is basically what the books message is.

If you are giving it your all you will know that other leg exercises are not an option!


turn your sarcasm detector on.


I have heard that high-rep squats are great for building mass. If the pain you feel doing them is any indicator, it might be something to try out. I believe that high-rep squats and deadlifts (which work a very large part of the body) are excellent for causing a release of growth hormone; I think that is why squats and deadlifts are recommended for overall mass.

20 rep squats it is!

Thanks guys.


Ian King’s bulk building workout has the most basic and effective exercises for adding mass. 20 rep breathing squats, 20 rep deadlifts and 20 rep benches.

Check it out in the previous issues section.