At most of my competitions, I typically seldom outsize most guys. For me, conditioning is what helps equalize things on stage. That being said, I usually can hold my own even against some of the bigger guys when it comes to quad development. So, I get some questions about leg training. Here’s a nice leg workout I’ve run some clients through periodically…it always generates a text the next day later about how sitting down being more challenging.
A1) Leg Press
Get warmed up by doing sets of 8, adding load until you can barely get 8 reps. Now, get ready to work with one huge drop set: have a lifting partner remove one plate after every 3rd or 4th rep. No stopping, no pausing. You will want to quit – but keep going. Your lifting partner will remove a plate on one side of the sled, walk to the other side and remove another, repeat until you strip off all the weight.
B1) Vertical Leg Press
Lots of tension and time under tension for this. Each rep will be 1 ½ reps — go all the way down, then half way up, then all the way back down, and then all the way up. 4 sets of 10.
Variations: Legends Fit has an Arsenal Vertical Leg Press machine, but most gyms don’t have one. Hack Squat or Smith Machine Squat work as nice substitutes for working with 1 ½ reps.
C1) Banded RDLs
If you don’t have a rack to attach the band to, put it around your waist and have your lifting partner hold the other end. Keep the hips moving in a horizontal plane. 3 sets of 10.
D1) Seated Leg Curl
Nothing fancy here…3 sets of 10-12 and then for the 4th set, do a drop set – drop twice.
E1) Bulgarian Split Squat of Death
I attended a two day seminar/workout with retired IFBB pro John Meadows a couple of years ago where he put us through this. It’s brutal… Start with a heavy DB and do a set of 8 followed by an 8 second iso-hold at the end of the 8th rep, drop the DB and pick up the next DB and immediately do another set of 8 and 8 second iso-hold, and then drop the DB and pick up the last DB and do another set of 8 and a hold. Take a breath and then repeat for the other leg. We used 90 lb dumbbells, then 60s on the first drop, and 30s on the final drop. Use what is challenging for you. Do 2 rounds…if you can walk straight, you did them wrong. Variation: If you have trouble balancing, you can use bands rather than holding a DB. Use two bands for the first set of 8 reps and hold, take off a band and use one for the first drop, and then just do bodyweight for the final 8.