Leg Training

Hey guys,
First time poster here. I’ve been browsing a bunch of articles here lately and figured it was finally time to get some answers to my questions about my leg routine. The routine that I have been doing is as follows:

  1. Back Squat
    5 sets (12,10,8,6,4)
  2. Leg Press
    3 sets (50,50,50)
  3. Leg Extension
    4 sets (15,12,12,10)
  4. Lying Leg Curl
    4 sets (15,12,12,10)
  5. Stiff Leg Deads
    4 sets (all 16 reps)

It’s a pretty basic routine and I really feel that I could handle more volume. I’m just curious if you guys think that doing higher reps on legs is more effective, or if I would be getting better results with a low rep scheme. Just looking for some input to see if I’m on the right track.

I generally stay below 12, usually 8-10. Some people love squatting less then 5 reps some love high reps. I like high reps, less of a feeling like the weight is going to crush you plus I like the pump. Most people seem to keep leg extensions and leg curls higher reps (8+).

Are you doing 3 sets of 50 reps on the leg press? Why? Thats way to much imo, unless you just want to really get a pump. Though most people would still keep the reps under 20 for that. I also would do more like 8-12 reps for stiff leg deads, I don’t like the idea of really high rep work when your back is involved to the degree it is for those.

Though to answer your question, no one knows if you would be getting better results with a low rep scheme. Thats why there’s a debate over that in the first place, its also individualized and also preference. If you hate doing 10 reps but love 5 reps, which one do you think you will make the best progress on? My bet is on whichever you enjoy more, you’ll likely give more effort without realizing it.

Thanks for the quick response man. The only reason that I have the high rep leg press in my routine is that I have read that legs respond well to high weight/high rep training. I never feel like the 8 or 10 rep sets in the leg press do enough for my quads. Then again, 50 may be a bit over the top.

If I was looking to change up my squatting every month or so, what would be the best exercises to swap in?

I would suggest splitting the Hams and quads into 2 different workouts. That seems like a lot of sets if you are truly working hard. I’m not even sure I could get through that workout. If it’s working for ya, keep at it man.

[quote]troywoods123 wrote:
Thanks for the quick response man. The only reason that I have the high rep leg press in my routine is that I have read that legs respond well to high weight/high rep training. I never feel like the 8 or 10 rep sets in the leg press do enough for my quads. Then again, 50 may be a bit over the top.

If I was looking to change up my squatting every month or so, what would be the best exercises to swap in?[/quote]

Front squats, deadlifts, lunges are three that come to mind that are bigger compound movements, though switching for the sake of switching isn’t the best idea. Usually people would suggest leg press as a sub, but if your already doing them then you can’t really sub it in for squats. Lunges, if done right with back kept straight and tight and going down far enough, are way more brutal then a lot of people realize.

Usually high weight/high rep doesn’t mean 50 reps. Usually means 10-15 or close to it. Honestly, im not sure it’s possible to go “high weight” when doing 50 reps.

As some people already said. The rep volume is very high. Such a workout will be amazingly draining without being more hypertrophic than the same number of sets with moderate reps.

Here’s why I think that people think legs respond better to higher reps.

  1. On compound leg exercises, it is much harder physically and psychologically to train to failure or close to it. The reps closer to failure are more effective at stimulating growth. If you don’t get close to failure you typically need to compensate by doing more volume. So, anecdotally, people who went from doing hard leg exercises with moderate reps who switch to higher reps, report more gains. But that’s not because legs require more reps but because they were not training as hard on the moderate reps lower body exercises than for other body parts.

  2. The “you need more reps for legs” kinda comes from Tom Platz who would do crazy, insane lower body workouts in the 80s. And the belief has been transmitted from generation to generation and people just don’t question it.

  3. People associate feeling trashed with an effective workout. A high rep leg workout will completely trash you. So it’s easy to assume that it’s the best thing for growth. But the truth is that it trashed you because of 3 things: 1) the shear metabolic and energetic demands 2) the amount of central fatigue caused by so much volume and 3) the amount of soreness created. Soreness is caused by calcium ions leakage during muscle contractions. The more fairly intense contractions you do, the more soreness you get. And our brain equate soreness with gainz, which is not the case.

The point is that even with legs you should stick to sets of 6-12 reps, but push those sets close to failure.

As for exercise order… putting stiff-legged deadlift last just won’t work. Imagine… when do you stiff-legged deadlift, the target is obviously the hamstrings. BUT you have to stand on your legs. After all that squatting, leg pressing and leg extension volume you’ll have a hard time standing up… much less deadlift anything!

I also tend to recommend splitting the legs between quads and hams… Well, the way I do it is that we have a squat (and assistance) day and a deadlift (and assistance day).

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