Confession: Since we could remember we’ve had “big” legs. Unfortunately, we did not always embrace them. Let alone celebrate them. Now, that has changed.
Whether it was pure genetics from a father with “cankles” or a result of pushing the football sled in the blistering August heat of hell week before even hitting puberty, our legs have always been larger than our chicken-legged peers.
Now, BIG did not mean they were the strongest or most muscular. However, they were certainly large enough to deem the titles of Thunder Thighs or give you the gonads to challenge college students (5 years older) to hamstring curl competitions.
As our personal journeys transitioned from a focus on athletic performance to physique enhancement, big legs weren’t enough.
We craved insane quad sweeps and separation. We desired hamstrings that appeared as if they were hanging straight from the bone. We wanted to build an impressive set of wheels that redefined our “big”.
In our ongoing crusade to set our legs apart from the crowd and our former quads that resembled ham hocks, a leg day was never missed. Hell, we couldn’t wait for the next workout. Some programs even called for training legs multiple sessions per week.
Let’s not even get into our trials and tribulations with a never-ending list of training techniques and methods that have left us crippled and barely able to walk.
Believe it or not, we are currently writing this while our legs are already jacked up from the leg workout earlier this week. We are still questioning why we decided to live on the fourth floor of our New York City walk-up…
Since we won’t go down that rabbit hole of insane training tactics to grow monstrous legs, we will leave that honor to someone with a similar masochist mindset.
And who other than our brother in mass leg destruction than Alex Mullan, the quad killer, java aficionado, travel junkie and founder of MASSthetics.
Just wait until you see the wheels on this guy.
Before we get into the exactly How to Jack Up Your Leg Training, we want to mention that this is the first guest post EVER on Sons of Strength.
But for good reason. Read on, throw these into your training pronto, and be sure to see what limited-time offer Alex has cooked up for ya.
When it comes to adding tangible size and strength to a muscle, there’s a call to step away from vanilla training sessions, run-of-the-mill protocols, and an intensity that your grandmother could handle with ease.
No offense meant to any Grandma’s out there – I just know most of them aren’t interested in getting jacked as fuck or pushing the envelope of their training intensity.
Thus, the techniques that follow would likely put sweet old Grandma into the grave.
I’ve got just the thing(s) for you, my muscularly inclined friend.
In a world filled with training sessions more dull than a bent butter knife and devoid of any sizzle and spice, the gains you desire require a little bit more lovin’.
A little bit more of an off-the-wall approach.
Particularly when it comes to adding mass to your lower half. Because ain’t nobody got time for them there linguine legs.
Here’re 4 leg specific training techniques packed with sizzle and spice that you can throw into your leg training bag of tricks for greater gains, skyrocketing strength levels, and a call for shorter short shorts.
Have at ‘er.
Legs ‘O MASS Technique #1
Leg Press Ascending Pyramid
This is almost exactly what it sounds like, and it’s about as painful as you’ll soon imagine.
1. Pick your plate size (25 pounds, 25 pounds, 45 pounds) based on your strength level. The goal here is to complete at least 8-10 sets, so don’t start with 45’s if you max out at 4-5 45’s per side. There’s no shame here (until the very end, that is).
2. Pick your rep range. I strongly suggest staying in the 10-15 rep range. Not just for hypertrophy stimulus, but for sake of not overloading your lower back, either.
3. Resting 60-90s (start with 60s and extend as needed) between sets, add one plate per side, per set. This will start by feeling quite easy (focus on creating as much tension in your quads and hams as possible, use a slower tempo and hammer the contracted position). As the load gets heavier and you fatigue, pick up the pace a bit.
4. When you finally hit the set that buries you, and there’s not a chance in hell you’re going to get one more rep than your rep goal with the weight you’re using. Rest for 2-3 minutes.
5. Here’s the icing on the cake. You’re going to do one last set of 10-15 reps, and then perform a massive drop-set. Each drop, take 2 plates off per side (you should have 3-5 drops) and aim for 6-8 up-tempo reps on each drop.
6. Curl up in the corner for a few minutes before proceeding to your next exercise.
Legs ‘O MASS Technique #2
1 & 1/4 Rep Lying Leg Curls
These are great for those of you (probably many of you) who have hamstrings that are lagging in size and/or strength. There’re also a cheeky way to sneak some extra volume into your session.
1. Curl all the way up into a full contraction, and slowly lower until just shy of full extension. Pause for 1 second before curling up 1/4 of the way. Lower into full extension.
That’s 1 rep.
Start with a conservative load as these tend to catch up with you rather quickly.
Personally, I’d recommend a simple 4 sets of 8. The 1/4 rep is more than enough for extra stimulus.
Legs ‘O MASS Technique #3
Hack Squats Superset with Leg Extensions
Some supersets are more brutal, and sadistically fulfilling than others.
Which is precisely why hack squats and leg extensions are a perfect example of such a marriage.
That said, the devil does lie in the details.
Here’s what you’re going to do to turn this pair into flurry of leg gains.
Hack Squats 3-5 sets of 30
Yes, 30 reps. And here’s the catch. You’re going to break this down into 3 “mini” sets of 10, resting in the stretch position for 5s. Which you’ll find isn’t much of a rest. Given the execution here, be very conservative in the weight you use. You won’t need much.
Once your 30 reps are in the books, march your way over to the leg extension.
Leg Extensions 3-5 sets of 10
The technique used here is much simpler. Keep your toes plantar-flexed (pointed away from you) and bang out 10 reps. You’re going to let the weight pull you deep into the stretch position for 2s on each rep, and let your hips come up off the bench.
That’s all she wrote, and that’s all your quads will need.
Legs ‘O MASS Technique #4
Lastly, the fabled brutality of breathing squats.
Here’s how these work.
Every rep = one breath of rest. So 10 reps? You get 10 deep breaths as your rest.
Perform these in descending pyramid fashion.
10 reps – rest for 10 deep breaths
9 reps – rest for 9 deep breaths
8 reps – rest for 8 deep breaths
Rinse and repeat until you get down to 1 rep and 1 breath.
The Final Reps.
It takes a certain degree of mental fortitude to program these techniques for yourself, and then execute them.
Some would even call it pure, unbridled insanity.
Not to mention it’s a lot easier to bail on your last set of hack squats and leg extensions when you don’t have someone breathing down your proverbial neck, holding you accountable to squeezing every last drop of muscle building sweat and stimulus out of your training session.
Which is why yours truly has created a powerful leg building program, with a built-in accountability system to ensure that you don’t bail on your last set.
Aptly titled the 8 Week Leg Assault, it’s got everything you need to build massive, powerful legs in just 8 weeks.
Designed and tested by an unruly evil genius in leg programming, the sessions and tough love inside 8 Week Leg Assault simply work.
And works damn well, at that.
If your curiosity be piqued, and your legs be in need of some serious loving, click on over yonder.