If you take a hard look at the many of the “best” physiques running around in your gym, you might notice that they’re really only HALF developed. Even among gym rats, a great pair of huge legs are hard to find.
There are several causes of poor leg development, from bad genetics to a hyper focus on upper-body muscles. The truth is, though, that leg training is brutally hard work.
But just because building legs is demanding doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. Here are five high-intensity tips to help you get your pins big and ripped.
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Use the Right Exercises
In most cases, and for most body parts, your focus should be on big compound movements when you’re trying to build mass. For quadriceps, that means squats, leg presses, and maybe hack squats and lunges.
The best compound exercises for hamstrings include stiff-leg (NOT straight-leg) deadlifts and good-mornings.
Now, just because these are the BEST exercises does not mean you have to do them, or that you always have to do them. Do your best to make squats work for you, trying different rep ranges and stances.
If you can’t make it work for your structure, though, move to leg presses. Never do exercises that cause pain or discomfort in your joints or spine.
Some guys have trouble feeling their quads working during the big movements, and that is definitely a problem for growth.
One great way to “get in touch” with your muscles is to try super slow reps, at least on occasion.
Reduce your squat weight by 50% or more, then do a set taking 5 seconds to lower the weight and 10 seconds to lift it.
By the time you hit failure, you’ll be breathing like a hippo in love and your legs will be shaking. You’ll definitely feel your quads!
Up the Reps
For many lifters, legs respond best to higher reps, like 15-20 per set. Low reps are great for building sheer strength, but high reps with slightly less weight really help you feel the muscles working.
They’re safer, too, since you won’t be struggling against gargantuan poundages all the time.
Don’t Forget Hamstrings!
While squats and quads get all the headlines when it comes to leg development, don’t forget that your hamstrings make up a significant portion of your leg mass.
To target your hammies, try leg curls and stiff-leg deadlifts, a great compound exercise.
No matter which exercises you use or how many reps you perform, you need to improve your numbers over time in order to get huge legs.
Always maintaining strict form, strive to add reps, weights, or both every time you train legs. Progressive resistance training has worked for million over the centuries, and it will work to build your legs, too.
Putting It All Together
Leg training is not easy but it doesn’t have to be complicated, either.
Focus on big lifts, use perfect form, consider higher reps, train your hamstrings, and make sure your poundages go up over time.
Mix in proper nutrition and plenty of rest, and you’ll be on your way to bigger legs.