What you need to know:
- No, I’m not Australian, but “Hey” always sounds good after a statement.
- Varying rep ranges are essential for growth and the quads can be hit with all sort of rep ranges from 1RM to +20RM.
- Training single legs (anectdotally) helps build a stronger squat and better looking legs.
- Don’t you EVER forget to train legs.
Leg Days Are The Best Days
Building quads is many people’s kryptonite.
It hurts. It burns. It leaves you walking like an extra in “Thriller”.
It is also necessary for a well-rounded physique especially when you’re in the gym 4-5 days a week, doing upper body and curling in the squat rack.
While you should also be working on your hamstrings and glutes as well, aesthetically, nothing appeals to the eye more than a nice set of quads.
What I am about to lay down for you is a simple, yet effective quads program you can use starting today, that if you are consistent with, will help you see some improvements in your legs.
Blast Those Legs
I am speaking mainly from experience; however, the science on hypertrophy is clear:
- 12-20 sets per body part
- Rep ranges 8-15+
With that comes specifics in tempo, rest, total volume per body part, etc. all based on the individual.
We also know certain movements are built for certain rep ranges and just make more sense to program them in specific points in the program.
For instance, you would not do an 8RM for leg extensions. That’s kind of dumb unless you’ve just about hit muscular failure and at a light load, that’s all you could bang out. When it comes to aesthetics, you wouldn’t bang out a 1-3RM on squats because you aren’t a powerlifter and even then, many powerlifters don’t go for the 1RM unless they’re training for a competition. It’s a matter of training smart.
What you do want to do is choose your sets first. This will then allow you to gauge your volume which will in turn allow you to choose your exercises and rep schemes.
There’s so many ways to set this up that it literally is dependent on your skill, your ability to recover, your volume needs, so on an so forth.
You can literally go for 20 sets, high reps. You can go for 20 sets, mixing up rep schemes. You can go 15 sets, low reps (keeping total volume low).
A good starting point, in my opinion, is to start with varying rep schemes because if we look at how we build muscle, it’s through three avenues; mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and muscle damage.
What I’m about to give you is a purely simple: a 16-set quad work out that will have your legs screaming. It is simply based off of the training principles of hypertrophy and will make your legs feel some type of way (yes, that’s a slang statement).
Here is what you will do
A. Bulgarian Squats – 5 Sets – 6-8 Reps each leg
B. Reverse Lunges w/ Deficit – 4 Sets – 8-10 Reps each leg
C. Goblet Squats – 4 Sets – 8-10 Reps
D. Leg Extensions – 3 Sets – To Failure
Bringing It In
I’ll say it again, training should be specific dependent on goals and needs and from what I’ve seen, many people need to train their legs. While the movements in and off themselves aren’t as grand as back squatting 315-lbs, when building a bodypart, it’s about the variable such as tempo (time under tension), reps, rest, and targeting the area.
These are some of my favorite movements and will help create the legs you’ve going after.