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Big Man On Campus: Week 1, Day 4

Steve Cook will teach you to hit your legs harder and heavier than any other body part. Extend, curl, squat and shock your body to grow.

Just like college tests and challenges, leg day will test your resolve and mental strength. If you want teardrop quads and powerful hamstrings, you need to lift with everything you've got. Leg day needs to be trained heavier and harder than any other body part. Extend, curl, squat and shock your body into growth. Leave it all at the gym, Big Man.

Big Man On Campus: Leg Training

Watch The Video - 14:37




Schedule. Track. Succeed.

Quads/Hamstrings/Abs

Cardio Warm-Up



Bigger Man Tips

Mental Strength ///

Your legs are some of the biggest muscles in your body. That means your mind-muscle connection needs to be stronger on leg day than on any other day. Take extra time before every legs session to get amped, focused and ready for battle.

Because leg day is so tough, it's essential to get motivated. Before I hit the gym, I like to get on bodybuilding.com and watch people destroying their legs during intense workouts. You can also grab a training partner to help you work harder and push past failure.

Class Notes ///

I prefer to wear a belt during my leg workouts. If you don't have one, don't worry and don't let it stop you from crushing. You can always buy a belt down the road when you start handling heavier weight.

Stay hydrated! Leg day is demanding, so it's in your favor to drink a lot of water. Take sips and stretch during those rest periods.

Progression is a key factor if you want to build, so keep a journal of your exercises and how much weight you use. Add weight every week.

We're working our quads and hammies on the same day because they're opposing muscles. When you contract your quads, you're stretching your hamstrings, and vice versa. I think this is the best way to train legs for optimal growth.

Exercise Tips

SLDL ///

When you're performing straight-legged deadlifts, make sure you keep your back straight. Also keep your legs straight, but not quite locked out. Good form is very important when you deadlift, so keep that core tight. It's not easy to recover from an injured back.

If you're not sure how much weight to go up each set, that's okay. You learn that by trial and error. Add weight, but if it's so heavy you can't hit the reps, strip it. If you hit 12 reps easily, you know next time to add a little more. Leave your ego at the door: You're in the gym to enhance your physique, so don't concern yourself with others.

I don't use straps for many things, but when the weight gets heavy, they help me stick to the bar. Try not to use your straps as training wheels. Instead, build your grip and forearm strength and only add straps when you absolutely need them.

Standing Leg Curl ///

If you don't have a standing leg curl machine in your gym, a lying leg curl machine works just fine. No matter what machine you're using, remember to keep your pelvis flat on the bench to ensure that you aren't swinging or using your lower back. Control the weight and be conscious about using only your hamstrings to curl.

Seated Leg Curl ///

As the weight starts to get heavy, pay special attention to your form. Don't let it get sloppy. Squeeze at the bottom of the movement and come to a full extension without totally locking your knees. Your last set is going to suck, but you need to bring intensity and concentration to get that growth.

Stretch! ///

When you're through with the hamstring exercises, take five mintues to stretch them out.

Front Squat ///

I like to do front squats to reach that vastus medialus. When you're headed to the beach, or wearing shorter shorts, you can show off your defined legs.

Because the weight is in front of you and is less stable, you probably won't be able to load the bar like you do for back squats. That's okay—you'll get the hang of it.

Leg Press ///

Any leg-press machine will work here, so use what your gym has available. Where you place your feet on the plate will target different areas of your quads. If you keep your feet closer together, it'll hit the outer sweep of the quads; if you widen your legs, it'll hit the inside. I like to switch up my foot placement to hit both areas.

Keep your body guessing by changing the speeds of the concentric and eccentric portions of this exercise. Never lift so fast that you sacrifice form or control. We're extending the last set of this movement with a drop set. Your legs may not feel very good, but don't quit!

Leg Extension and Jumping Lunge ///

This last superset is a gut-check. This is where growth happens. By the second superset, your legs will be screaming and your brain will be telling you to stop. Focus your mind. Don't give your legs any other option than to just keep going!

For leg extensions, I try to concentrate on the way down. It helps stimulate lots of different muscle fibers and brings out the cuts in your quads. If you're trying to go too fast, you won't see the size you want. Stay focused and finish strong.


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JamesGordon32

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JamesGordon32

It looks great but i workout from home, so has anyone got any tips on how to hit hamstrings and quads without machines/ cables?

Aug 31, 2012 4:41pm | report
 
CaptainMarc

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CaptainMarc

Free trials at any gym lmao, either that or try looking for calisthenic leg workouts like P90X or Insanity

Sep 1, 2012 9:49am | report
dtrennepohl24

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dtrennepohl24

lay flat on your back in front of the couch put your heals up on the edge of the couch and bridge up with your hips untill your knees are in a strait line with your shoulders, hold for 3 seconds per rep make sure you make it burn, focus on squeezing your glutes and trying to push your heals through the couch. this will get you a great hamstring workout at home

Sep 2, 2012 5:51pm | report
cgsj926

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cgsj926

yes hit quads and hamstrings from home is easy just do squats and deadlifts

Sep 18, 2012 5:23am | report
Witheffort

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Witheffort

Lay down over a bench, your face should be facing down, put a dumbell between your ankles and do the same movement as you do with a hamstring machinge

Sep 19, 2012 12:42pm | report
pottssdp123

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pottssdp123

Your best bet would be a dead-lift which hits both quad and hamstrings or for just quads you could do Romanian dead-lifts.

Jan 17, 2013 10:22am | report
Chromath

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Chromath

Killer leg day! Definitely going to give the front squats a go next time.

Aug 31, 2012 4:57pm | report
 
ivanovicl

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ivanovicl

Looks awesome. But one thing, I don't have access to a leg press machine. Could I say do barbell lunges instead?

Aug 31, 2012 7:58pm | report
 
NoQuitterEver

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NoQuitterEver

Barbell lunges are a hamstring exercise where as leg press is used for quads. Squats go for both quads and hams, but that would work way better than lunges for quads.

Sep 5, 2012 11:01am | report
dahatley

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dahatley

What are the reasons for doing hamstrings first in the routine?

Sep 4, 2012 10:53am | report
 
RichSchoony

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RichSchoony

that's like asking why start off with quads first in a routine. it doesn't necessarily matter which part of the leg you start with, just that you hit both quads and hamstrings.

Sep 4, 2012 4:03pm | report
dfriend

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dfriend

Any good alternatives to a machine leg curl. MY gym doesn't have one.

Sep 4, 2012 1:15pm | report
 
NoQuitterEver

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NoQuitterEver

Dumbbell lunges are great! We only have one leg curl machine at my gym so if someone is on it, I just grab a set of dumbbells, find an open spot, and lunge back and forth with them.

Sep 5, 2012 11:06am | report
kdawg-2469

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kdawg-2469

Cable and ankle straps works well also. Stand flamingo style, curling one leg back at a time.

Jul 2, 2014 10:23am | report
mikewazowski

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mikewazowski

Just started off on the program, this was a killer, loved it and the burn from the superset at the end about made me fall over. When I popped out that last jump I had to hold myself up on the extension machine to keep from falling over. I'm going into my senior year of college and I decided I'm going to make it my best ever, thanks for helping me out Steve!

Sep 4, 2012 8:00pm | report
 
maxro91

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maxro91

would be nice to see the ab-workout in the video. apart from that very good video/work-out, thanks. love the bmoc trainer

Sep 5, 2012 8:36am | report
 
Tovok

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Tovok

I cant really do front squats coz my front deltoids are really dominant and it pushes right into the muscle and kills what can i do instead.... Front DB squat?

Sep 5, 2012 11:00pm | report
 
jb9387

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jb9387

Suck it up dude, your little muscles will get used to it. MAN UP

Sep 20, 2012 12:45pm | report
dphbballer

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dphbballer

try that until you can build up power for regular front squats.

Oct 24, 2012 12:05pm | report
NikMuir

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NikMuir

Try doing Zercher Front Squats were you cradle the barbell with your arms in front of your chest.

Apr 8, 2013 7:05pm | report
.hayden.

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.hayden.

Done this today ... Killed me ! Gonna take me a few weeks to get 100 kg on the front squats ...

Sep 6, 2012 4:10am | report
 
annms

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annms

No standing or lying leg curls in my gym. What do I do?!

Sep 6, 2012 2:48pm | report
 
NikMuir

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NikMuir

Hey bud I know this is a bit late but here's a good alternative. Kneel on a lat pulldown machine with your heels tucked under the the leg supports. Keeping your body straight from your knees to your shoulders (the hip joint can be the hardest to keep straight) slowly lower your body towards the ground. Push yourself back up and repeat for the desired amount of reps. It can be pretty tough but it works wonders. Have fun with it!

Apr 8, 2013 7:08pm | report
kmcgarryschoof

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kmcgarryschoof

For the seated leg curl where we do 5 sets, should we still be increasing the weight each time?

Sep 6, 2012 3:47pm | report
 
dur14n

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dur14n

I was limping out of the gym...legs did not feel like jelly, it felt like melting jelly.

Still can fell the burning sensation ...right shoulder here we come

Sep 7, 2012 12:30am | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 101 Comments

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