Monday: Legs

The sets listed in the workout below do not include warm-up sets.

Legs Sets Reps *
Leg Press 3 4 to 6
Squats 2 4 to 6
Leg Curls 2 6
Stiff Leg Dead Lifts 2 6
Calves
Standing Machine Calf Raises 2 6 to 8
Seated Calf Raises 2 6 to 8

* Remember, the weight you use should be light enough to do four reps, but heavy enough so you can’t do more than 6 reps. Each set should be done to positive failure.

Squats

are not substitutable. For building massive leg size and strength there is nothing better than squats. Anything else you do in place of squats will not be as effective. I will be detailing a Max-OT leg routine a little later in the course that does not involve squats because I realize some people are limited by certain injuries. But make no mistake about it, anything other than squats is second fiddle.

One thing to note, even squats done outside the Max-OT parameters (4 to 6 rep range to positive failure) are more effective for muscle growth than leg presses or any other leg movement done within Max-OT rules. Squats have such a dramatic effect on muscle fiber stimulation that I would recommend them even if you have to decrease the overload or weight used for whatever reason. This is the only exercise exception to the 4 to 6 rep rule where this applies. Squats are that important for building muscle.

Leg Press

is a good exercise for your quads. Make sure you lower the weight slowly and drive it up with force and velocity. You can vary your placement, but normal placement is the best for overall results.

Leg Curls

are a direct hamstring isolator. (I’m not crazy about many muscle isolation exercises. Isolation limits overload.) Lower the weight slowly and contract forcefully. Use heavy weight. Most people can use much more weight than they do here. Avoid single leg – leg curls. It makes the exercise take twice as long. It’s not efficient and it also limits overload.

Stiff Leg Dead Lifts

are the king of all hamstring movements. You know the next day when you have done these. Keep your legs as straight as possible. You don’t want to lock your knees, but come as close as you can without actually locking them. (locking your knees can set you up for injuries so be attentive here.) Lower the weight slowly with your back straight and not rounded. As you come up with the weight do not straighten your back all the way out. Stopping before you are fully erect keeps tension on your hamstrings and increases the intensity level.

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