Your legs are the largest muscle groups of your body, and therefore should be one of your priorities when it comes to building muscles. However, most people neglect their leg muscle development, and elect to focus on their upper body instead. Sure, your legs are covered up most of the time in long pants, and nobody sees them, but to build true overall body strength and size, you cannot neglect your legs.
It’s understandable that the chest and arm muscles are by far the favorite body parts for many people, especially beginners, but have you ever heard the phrase that “you don’t get big guns by doing curls, but by doing heavy squats?” Heavy squats will build a bigger everything – bigger chest, bigger arms, bigger legs, you name it.
Let’s get one thing straight first – your goal is to build a well-rounded, proportionate body, right? Right. Having a big squat will translate in to having bigger lifts all around. Because the leg muscles are the biggest muscle groups of your body, and require the most effort, I typically start off my training week with them.
My leg workout routine looks something like this:
- Squats – 3 x 6 reps
- Leg Press – 3 x 6 reps
- Stiff leg deadlifts – 3 x 6 reps
- Leg curls – 3 x 6 reps
- Standing calf raises 3 x 12
- Seated calf raises 3 x 12
Some substitute exercises you can alternate with the above listed exercises include:
- front squats
- hack squats
- donkey calf raises
- leg extension
For your exercises, make sure to use a weight heavy enough that allows you to perform no more than 6 reps, with the exception of calf exercises, which sometimes I continue until failure.
Start off with a good warmup with some stretches and light weight lifting. Sometimes, I find that working my quads, hamstrings, and calves in one workout takes a little too long – around 45 to 50 minutes – I prefer workout sessions lasting 30 to 35 minutes to maintain a high level of intensity. I find that by the time I’m done with my quads and hamstring exercises, I’m pretty beat for my calves, and sometimes, don’t give them the attention they need. So, I’ve been splitting up my leg days, and moving my calf workouts to random days of the week. I’ve found that this works quite well for me, allowing me to get a good training session for my calves and still keeping my workouts under 40 minutes.
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