T Nation

Why Legs


I've been working out for a couple of years now, I used to have a legs day in my rotation but I've gradually been avoiding it. Right now, I dont feel that I want bigger calves/quads. If I dont want to build the leg muscles do I still need to work lowerbody?


Well, apart from athletics, fitness (run faster, etc), and being the base for all standing lifts... I think that one should train legs because I just can't find any other way to train you erector spinae...And I guess one ight get an imbalance between abs and back and... I also don't train legs for now, but I started bridging, and seems to help my back and neck.
Strength, Vlad


Yes. You should train legs for strength (with less sets) if you don't want any additional size.


Go sit in the corner.


Of course you should train legs. The body is a very complex system, inbalance in any area will allways lead to problems and often very serious injuries. Not to mention the lesser included offense of a unattractive disproportianate physique. Not training legs would be like taping one nostril closed because you wanted to raise the lung capacity on just one side (Obviously I am exagerating) but the absurdity of of that statement is just how serious a imbalance can be as they can cause anything from muscle tears to ruptures and other degenerative conditions. At the very least if you just can't find it pertinant to train the entire body in equaly serious proportions your legs should at least be treated to a level of maintanance work that would continue to maintion their current level of size and strength.


i dont like doing legs. so i just do whole body lifts like squats, deadlifts, and olympic lifts.

squats are the best exercise for legs and its also benneficial for the rest of the body.

so when you do squats, think of all of your body growing and dont think of it as leg work.

Since i only do squats i do it very intensely and with a high volume. CHange the reps drastically, add more weight. surprise your body with hack squats, etc.

now talking about hamstrings, just do deadlifts, olympic lifts and they will grow.

Dont think of it as leg work, think of it as whole body work.


Training legs is hard work. Most people that train neglect their legs. If I was you I would do some form of squat on Mondays and then some form of deadlift on Thursdays. Every few weeks I would switch that up and do DL's first and Squats second in the week. In reality what you do in the gym between those two days doesn't really matter. Good luck.



all good advice i think.

I do DLs on back day (so that takes care of erector spinae for me) and I guess it does some lowerbody too. I guess I could just add squats to another one of my days instead of making an exclusive leg day. I think that's what I'll do. About squats, is it alright to put more weight but not go down as far? Or is it better to go down really far with less weight?


If you are new to squatting check your ego at the gym door and go with light weight and try to get as low as you can. Hamstring flexibility is usually the limiting factor for beginners and squat depth. I think training legs hard and consistently will give you a more thick and muscular build. Is that what you're after? If so I would definitely recommend squatting or pulling as your first exercise of the week.


P.S. Friends don't let friends squat high. Unless it is an IPA meet.


You should train your lower body for not being the gayest guy in the gym.


Yup. Legs are hard. I did step-ups today for the first time in awhile, and they take much more effort than chins, or rows, or dips. Squatting sucks, and deadlifting isn't that much easier, but (speaking as a guy who hasn't squatted seriously in two years because of injuries) they do way more for you than virtually anything else. Besides, having a lightbulb body makes you clearly look like one of those assholes who goes to the gym for one reason only.


"The human body will only allow for a certain amount of asymmetry. If you devote your training energies solely to building arms, you'd eventually reach a point of stagnation because you weren't training your legs. No wheels, no wings!" Charles p


When you build a house, you don't start with the roof......


Girls like butts and guys who don't look like they are going to fall over because they are so ridiculously top-heavy.


Luckily I love squats and Dl's.


I couldn't agree more!!


Even if you don't want big legs training them is mandatory. You will never attain your best upper body by ommiting core training which Deads and Squats provide. Your body will just stop you and limit your strength if it senses that the legs and spine are not conditioned enough. Your body is one organism, one unit where all the muscles work in unison to support and stabilize each other.

The body doesn't care if you're sitting or laying on a bench with back support - if one major link in the unit is not up to par it will tune down the strength of other, stronger links(ie upper body) to make up for the weakness. It's a simple safety mechanism that serves to prevent injuries but will also work against you if you don't train properly.

It doesn't take much. I hate Squats, but Deads are a blast.


Quoting Dan John, "The body is one piece."

Besides, the lifts with the biggest effect on your hormonal/endocrine system, the biggest calorie burners, and the biggest gassers for conditioning all involve the legs.

Also, if you focus on movements instead of body parts, perhaps it will not seem as much a chore.