The Best Leg Workout for Building Muscle and Strength

The Best Leg Workout for Building Muscle and Strength

Nothing speaks to greater dedication, diligence, and fortitude than a pair of powerful legs.


The reason for this is simple -- if you’re doing it right, leg training is hard...really, REALLY hard.


Building impressive pecs and biceps is easy because most people enjoy training the ‘show muscles”, and getting a six-pack abs really only requires that you stick to a calorie deficit for a brief period of time.


But creating strong, muscular legs takes years of consistent training with a no-quit mentality.


Today, your path to jeans-splitting legs begins for real.


We won’t sugar coat things either. This workout will be intense...likely harder than any leg workout you’ve ever attempted before.


Few will attempt it, even fewer will survive it.


But if you do, your efforts and consistency will be rewarded and no longer do you have to avoid wearing shorts when the sun’s out!

Muscle and Strength Building Leg Workout


Exercise

Sets

Reps

Leg Curl

3

12 / 10 / 8

Barbell Back Squat

4

12 / 10 / 8 / 6

Romanian Deadlift

4

8-10

Bulgarian Split Squat

3

10-12 / leg

Walking Lunges*

1

100 reps

Calf Raises (1.5 rep style)

3

10-15

*Perform 100 reps using rest-pause taking as many mini-breaks as needed to complete all reps.


Leg Workout Training Tips

Leg Curl

Seeing leg curls first in the workout, you might think we’re a bit mad, but they’re here for a purpose.


You see, many individuals walk into the gym on leg day (assuming they even train legs or squats) and walk right over to power rack and start warming up with squats. While that might work for some people, many people tend to experience instability when jumping right into squats first thing on leg day, which leads to cranky knees.


Performing leg curls first helps warm up the knees and floods the hamstrings with blood and creates a more stable base at the bottom position of the squat.


Additionally, most lifters are quad-dominant and tend to perform more quad-focused movements during their workouts than hamstring dominant ones. Placing leg curls first in your workout allows you to train them with greater intensity as opposed to the typical way of training hamstrings, which is usually just a few half-assed sets of curls at the end of your workout.

Barbell Squats

Now that our first goal is accomplished (blood flow enhancement to the hamstrings), it’s time to get into the real working sets of today’s leg workout with back squats. Performed with control and through a full range of motion, the high-bar back squat is one of the best exercises you can do for building muscle and strength in the quads.


However, some people just weren’t build to back squat due to inter-individual differences in biomechanics. Femur length, hip anatomy and history of injury all need to be taken into account when deciding if back squats are best for you.


If they are, great. Do squats, do them heavy, and do them often and you will be rewarded with a stunning pair of legs.


If you weren’t built to back squat, that’s ok because there’s endless squat variations you can perform, including front squats, safety-bar squats, zercher squats, landmine squats, goblet squats, and split squats. Use one of these variations and work on adding weight and reps each subsequent training session.

Romanian Deadlift

Back to the posterior chain with RDLs. The hamstrings serve two functions, extension of the hip and flexion of the knee. Leg curls took care of one of these functions, and RDLs address the second.


Make sure to use a slow, controlled eccentric movement on the lowering phase, pause at the bottom for a second, and then powerfully contract the glutes and hamstrings to pull yourself back to the top.


You can use dumbbells or a barbell for this exercise, but whichever you choose to implement, make sure to keep the weights close to your body during the raising and lowering phases as allowing the weights to drift away from the body puts you at risk for injury.

Bulgarian Split Squats

These may be the most hated leg exercise of all time for the simple reason that the Bulgarian (or rear foot-elevated) split squat is essentially squatting on one leg. Most people don’t think of this exercise as anything more than an accessory exercise, but for individuals with low back issues or a history of knee problems, split squats can serve as the primary leg training exercise, especially when you start using some really heavy weight.


If you want a real challenge, try holding half your bodyweight in each hand and repping out 3-4 sets of 10 reps.

Fuel Your Leg Workout with EAmino Max

EAmino Max

Leg training is tough.


To help fuel your muscles during intense training sessions, Performax Labs created EAmino Max.


EAminoMax supplies all nine essential amino acids to support protein synthesis, along with carnitine for blood flow enhancement, and HICA to help reduce muscle breakdown. We’ve even included electrolytes to support hydration and muscle function during those grueling workouts.


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