A nice set of legs is what really makes a bodybuilder outstanding! Leg training is very popular and knowing how to effectively train your legs will bring you to greater heights.
While many bodybuilders focus on quality leg training, all too many are either overtraining, undertraining, or keeping their leg training stagnant, in turn, halting their potential leg development.
Building a nice pair of legs takes work from the mind and the body, as well as proper training and adequate rest. While minimal sets and repetitions will build muscular legs, many are stuck in a rut and need a shock.
Note: This newsletter is not about "ripping" or "cutting" your legs. You have to have a foundation built before you can sculpt the muscle. Focus on building mass now and sculpting later.
Overtraining The Legs
I have seen many ladies training in the gym who had awesome potential to build some muscular legs, but all I saw them doing was over taxing them. Overtrained legs will never produce desired results.
If you are among those who take part in leg training for mass, then you should limit your cardio to only three times a week for twenty minutes at most. Excessive biking, the elliptical, and other such high impact cardio techniques will not allow your leg muscles to rest properly. A muscle can only grow when it is allowed to rest.
Intensity, stimulation, proper form, and rest will build muscular legs. Save the extra cardio after you have built your legs and when you begin to diet down.
For best results, keep your leg training limited to only once a week. More training does not produce faster results or larger muscles. You are not growing in the gym. Growth takes place outside of the gym when you feed your body nutrients and allow it to rest.
Keep your training time in the gym limited to an hour. Training over sixty minutes can do more damage than good. Any training you need to do can be done in a relatively short amount of time. Remember, less is more.
Focus on the mass building exercises (compound movements) for the bulk of your training. This includes primarily squats, leg press, Romanian deadlifts, and stiff-legged deadlifts. Add one or two auxiliary movements, but don't over do it. When you do compound exercises for mass, all the areas of the legs are targeted simultaneously.
The key to building legs lies in variety. Vary your poundage and repetitions. It's good to keep these in rotation constantly, and shock the lower body often to produce results. Don't get stuck into one mode of training legs. Venture out and keep the body off guard.
Undertraining The Legs
Just as I have seen many ladies overtraining legs, I do witness many undertraining their lower body, leaving the last few minutes in the gym dedicated to their ten-minute leg routine.
You may be undertraining your legs if you engage in only a few sets of light squats or leg presses, or totally neglect these mass building exercises completely. There is a certain amount of effort and determination that goes into leg training to provide desired results. However, too much exercise can lead to overtraining, so you need to find a happy medium.
Don't expect to build a nice set of legs by skimping on leg training or thinking a lot of light squats and lunges will do the trick. Legs require work. This is why the majority of the lifters don't have legs that are balanced with their upper body. It's just plain hard work and you have to make the decision to do it constantly!
MsFit's Power-Mass Routine for Killer Quads
Warm-up before attempting any training program.
Note: Each week your sets and repetitions will vary, so it is essential that you log each workout. If you cannot get the minimal number of repetitions the weight is too heavy, and if you can complete more than the maximum number of repetitions then the weight it too light. Week #3 and #5 are heavy, so be sure you have a spotter.
Weeks #1 - #2 - #3
Squats 10 x 10
Leg press 4 x 12
Stiff deads 4 x 12
Extensions 4 x 12
Squats 3 x 8
4 x 12 Leg curls 3 x 8
4 x 12 Hacks 2 x 8
The above is a shocking routine to wake-up your leg muscles. To continue building after Week #6 follow the program below. Routine #1 should be followed on the odd weeks (1, 3, 5...) and Routine #2 should be followed on the even weeks (2, 4, 6...)
Squats 3 x 6
Stiff deads 3 x 6-8
Extensions 3 x 6-8
Leg press 3 x 6-8
Leg curls 3 x 6-8
Hacks 3 x 6-8
About The Author
Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.
Karen has written six e-books on fitness. She also writes articles for several fitness websites, and distributes two monthly newsletters regarding weight loss and female bodybuilding.