Leg day is one of the most dreaded days in your weekly gym calendar. It often leaves you struggling to walk the next day and can be an absolute killer, but it is essential. The very phrase “leg day” brings people overwhelming senses of nausea and fear. Nobody wants to have a large upper body and a smaller lower body, it looks out of proportion.
Each of these workouts focuses on differing aspects of the leg. Combined, they will focus on creating the perfect build for the leg region and allow you to have a solid build. Our first set of exercises will focus on increasing your overall leg mass.
For this setlist you should start your workout with the heaviest loads and most challenging exercises. This will allow you to work your thighs from a variety of angles. Keeping the reps high and the sets tough will help train your muscles to react to such weights.
Changing the way you place your feet on the leg press will allow you to build your leg muscles in a variety of different ways. If you place your feet higher on the sled it shifts the emphasis of the quads to the glutes due to a greater degree of extension. Knee bends are important as well, they should reach the 90-degree mark. Do as many warmups as you need, choose a weight that allows you to reach your target failure by the target rep listed.
Barbell Squats – 4 sets, 6 reps, 8 reps, 10 reps, 12 reps (lighten your weight after the first two sets)
Leg Press – 4 sets, 8 reps, 10 reps, 12 reps, 12 reps (alternate between two differing foot positions)
Dumbbell Walking Lunge – 3 sets, 10 reps, 12 reps, 14 reps per side
Leg Extensions – 3 sets, 10 reps per set (single dropset on each set)
Lying Leg Curls – 3 sets, 8 reps, 10 reps, 12 reps
Standing Calf Raises – 4 sets, 12 reps, 12 reps, 20 reps, 20 reps
Greater Leg Definition
Working for longer with a lower weight is not necessarily the way to get lean. You need to focus on boosting the stimulus that is needed for building and keeping muscle size. For this workout, the setlist is as follows:
Smith Machine Squat: 4 sets, 8-10 reps on each (2 sets with feet underneath and 2 sets with your feet out front)
Leg Press: 3 sets, 10-12 reps on each (no rest)
Barbell Reverse Lunge: 3 sets, 12-15 reps on each (no rest)
Leg Extensions: 3 sets, 12-15 reps (rest only as needed)
Lying Leg Curls – 4 sets, 10-12 reps (no rest)
Blast Those Quads
This workout follows a system that allows you to take more total sets to muscle failure. The main areas that are focused on here are quads, glutes, hamstrings and calfs. The setlist is as follows:
Front Barbell Squat: 4 sets, 6 reps, 8 reps, 8 reps, 10 reps (lighten your weight after the first two sets)
Hack Squat: 3 sets, 8 reps, 10 reps, 12 reps (keep your feet low and hip-width apart on the platform)
Leg Press: 3 sets, 8 reps, 10 reps, 12 reps (keep your feet low on the platform)
Leg Extensions: 3 sets, 1o reps, 10 reps, 12 reps (last 2 sets should be dropsets)
A combination of all of these exercises will work towards strengthening your leg muscles and making you look a lot leaner. Remember to perform them in moderation so muscles are not damaged!