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Legs XXL: Lawrence Ballenger's Leg Workout

Want bigger, better-looking legs? Here's the workout that will show you the way. Squat, press, and lunge your way to dense, defined legs!

Building your legs is important, even if they're often covered by jeans or board shorts. Legs are the base of your strength and include the biggest muscle groups in your body. No matter which type of enthusiast you are—bodybuilder, physique athlete, or weekend warrior—training your legs is a must.

This great workout will promote growth and detail. Most guys just focus on their quadriceps, but this workout hits your calves, hamstrings, and glutes as well as your quads. With it, you'll create bigger, more carved legs and a better-balanced physique—something judges, women, and the mirror can appreciate.

Be prepared to do a variety of training methods. We'll pre-exhaust, do supersets and dropsets, and move heavy weights. It'll be hard, strenuous, and definitely fun.

Legs XXL Workout

Watch The Video - 15:21




The Legs XXL Workout is designed for anybody, from beginner to advanced lifter. Add weight and select rest periods depending on your fitness level and goals. If you're a beginner, use lighter weights and give yourself more rest time.

If you've been in the gym for a few years, you might be better off adding a plate or two and resting for only 45 seconds. Whatever you choose, make sure to challenge yourself.

Legs XXL Workout

WARM UP // Treadmill, Stairmill, or Elliptical
(10-12 minutes)

Do cardio before your leg workouts because odds are you've been sitting most of the day, or if you do it in the morning, you've been in bed for the last eight hours. Today, we'll be lifting heavy, so you want your body to be 100 percent warmed up.

Do the Stairmill at a slow to moderate pace. Focus on contracting your leg muscles to prepare them for the work to come.

EXERCISE 1 // Leg Extension
(4 sets of 10 full reps and 10 partial reps)

Pick a weight you can do for no more than 25 reps. Keep your back flat against the back pad and focus on contracting. The point of doing leg extensions first is to pre-exhaust the smaller muscle groups so your hamstrings and glutes are better utilized during squats.

EXERCISE 2 // Barbell Squat
(3 warm-up sets, 4 working sets of 8-10 reps)

The reason to squat early in the workout is to get the hardest part out of the way while you have the most energy. Squats involve all your leg muscles, plus your core. It's the movement that requires the most strength and form.

The warm-up sets should progressively get heavier so you can stretch into the movement and get your muscles ready for the weight. Start wherever you're comfortable and then work up to a heavy set of 8. Keep in mind that you should be able to get more than 10 reps on your first set, but no more than 8 reps on your last set.

As the weight gets heavy, I like to use a belt and knee wraps, but, your equipment choices are totally up to you.

EXERCISE 3 // Superset
Single-Leg Press / Leg Press

(4 sets of 10 reps per leg/4 sets of 20 reps)

Unilateral training is effective because it stops your dominant leg from getting any bigger or taking over the lift. When doing leg press, keep your feet high and close together on the pad. In this position, you'll better activate your glutes, hamstrings, and outer quads.

EXERCISE 4 // Superset
Triple-Drop Smith Machine Squat / Standing Calf Raise

(4 sets of 7 reps per drop/4 sets of 10 reps per foot position )

For Smith Machine squats, I like to go down from 315 pounds to 225, to 135. The bar should be set slightly below your traps. Walk your feet forward and set your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width and point your toes out. Keep your back straight. The purpose of the squat is to fail. Your last set should feel just as heavy as your first set.

After the squat, stand straight up and go immediately into calf raises. The first 10 reps should be done with your toes slightly out, the second 10 with your toes facing forward, and the last 10 with your toes angled slightly in.

EXERCISE 5 // Superset
Seated Leg Curl / Seated Calf Raise

(4 sets of 10-15 reps)

On the leg curl, focus on the negative portion of the lift. It's just as important as the positive. You don't want the weight to control the movement, make your legs do the work. You're creating detail and getting a great pump.

During the calf raises, don't lean forward or pull back on the handles. Come down until you feel a great stretch in your calves, and then press up.

EXERCISE 6 // Walking Lunge
(4 sets of 8 reps per leg)

If you've done the workout right, your legs should be swollen and tired. Some bodyweight lunges will be more than enough to finish you off. I don't like to tap my knees, so I start to press upward about 2-3 inches short of the ground.


Legs XXL Workout


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upiwaly

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upiwaly

this is what i like to call hardcore workout. i'm just confused, at the leg press workout. its superset, but how do you suppose to do that? first one leg (ex. left), then right onto right leg, and the do with both legs? but shouldnt the right leg be more sore at that point?

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Aug 13, 2013 5:45pm | report
Mudvayne24

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Mudvayne24

If it was me I would start with your less dominant leg, then do the dominant leg so that when you jump right into the full press your dominant leg is more fatigued.

Aug 14, 2013 10:10am | report
upiwaly

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upiwaly

thanks i did just that :)

Aug 14, 2013 2:02pm | report
LadyJEsq

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LadyJEsq

I would actually alternate legs. I do a superset of dumbbell bicep curls and concentration curls, and for the first set of the concentration curl, I use my dominant arm, but switch it up for the second set, and back to the dominant arm for the last set (I only do 3 sets for now) and I've seen significant improvements in my weaker arm.

Aug 14, 2013 3:51pm | report
jcrogers

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jcrogers

Looking forward to when I can do legs again and when I do I will do this route

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Aug 13, 2013 5:49pm | report
Svallin

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Svallin

Lawrence Ballenger is a beast

Article Rated:
Aug 13, 2013 9:59pm | report
AggroCulture

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AggroCulture

Ladies and gentlemen, this man actually does what he teaches here. Sometimes I'm skeptical about some of the workouts athletes post as their personal routines, but I have seen Lawrence actually put in work and do exactly what we saw in the video.

Besides the pre-exhaustion, my routine has coincidentally been very similar to this, and my strength and size dramatically improved. Highly recommend it to anyone.

Keep up the inspirational work big guy!

Aug 13, 2013 10:33pm | report
elglodmo

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elglodmo

seems like the nicest guy that could squat a bus

Aug 13, 2013 11:52pm | report
Crunch Masta Chris

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Crunch Masta Chris

Great call. I think Lawrence would use his superhuman squat powers for good.

Aug 14, 2013 8:45am | report
jmtrevino23

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jmtrevino23

definitely trying this on my leg workout this week

Aug 14, 2013 2:33am | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 12'10"
  • wt: 154.6 lbs
  • bf: 13.0%
SheenaSwehla

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SheenaSwehla

That was a great video! Can't wait to do the workout

Article Rated:
Aug 14, 2013 9:11am | report
Ponerus

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Ponerus

This looks like a good leg workout, it's nice to see a post that doesn't tell you to do 50x reps of each exercise with a ridiculous weight a 10 year old would do and burn out your muscle tissue rather than grow. Well done on designing this, keep the good posts up (y) I like your work.

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Aug 14, 2013 12:44pm | report
upiwaly

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upiwaly

as far as i know, this is one of the best leg workouts ever. hands down. great routine. give it a try, you won't be dissapointed!

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Aug 14, 2013 2:03pm | report
daudy

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daudy

Well said, just finished doing it. Time to go to work. It's going to be fun.

Aug 14, 2013 2:54pm | report
lawrence_ballenger

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lawrence_ballenger

Thanks for the support everyone I hope you enjoy the workout. Hopefully I can show you guys more soon!

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Aug 14, 2013 6:13pm | report
XLChief

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XLChief

How many days a week would you reccomend for this workout?

Sep 24, 2013 12:43pm | report
JessicaPippen

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JessicaPippen

Beast Legs!!

Aug 15, 2013 1:05pm | report
davidco42

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davidco42

Looks like a quality routine, def will use it next leg day, should be killer.

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Aug 15, 2013 1:35pm | report
Kevin Mattson

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Kevin Mattson

Excellent article. I have been able to incorporate a lot of these exercises since I started training with Trainer Mike Toler at Anytime Fitness. Training to exhaustion and utilizing every once of breath of oxygen to push through Mike's grueling leg routine!!! I have been feeling a good sore in my legs that I have not had in a long time. My legs feel full and solid and meaty, lol. Separation is starting to show as well as some new vascularity... Always pushing past my boundaries. ;)

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Aug 15, 2013 3:41pm | report
micolo123

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micolo123

This absolutely killed my legs! Really intense!

Aug 15, 2013 11:56pm | report
MulattoMami

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MulattoMami

Needed a good/different leg workout for tomorrow! Can't wait for jello legs!

Aug 16, 2013 7:55pm | report
MulattoMami

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MulattoMami

Did this today!! Really great! I didn't make it to the last super-set because I was short on time and low on energy! But I enjoyed the change. I am already feeling the soreness... I wonder what I will feel in the morning...

Aug 17, 2013 8:48pm | report
LuisBMaciel

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LuisBMaciel

What does he mean by triple drop on the smith machine squats?

Aug 18, 2013 9:13am | report
zzbinks

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zzbinks

I believe he is referring to drop setting. ie. do as many as you can to failure at 315, then drop the weight to 225, do as many as you can, then drop to 135, do as many as you can. They are all done in succession and as one whole set.

Aug 18, 2013 11:14am | report
double35

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double35

This workout is intense!!!!!!! I was ready to stop after the squats!!!! Thanks for this workout!!

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Aug 20, 2013 6:42pm | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 34 Comments

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