You get under a bar knowing that the weight is going to dig into your traps causing pain. You stand up and immediately feel your legs starting to shake underneath you. On your descent, you feel the burning sensation in your legs but know you must go on.
You lower yourself down and halfway there, you realize that you are halfway done. You lift yourself back up using every ounce of strength you have inside. Immediately you fall to the ground lying like a dead corpse. You feel like knives are digging into each one of your quads.
Only the most intense lifters in the world have experienced this before. I know that I haven't and that 99% of us haven't. This is because when working the legs to failure, they cause more pain and soreness then any other body part. Luckily, I have been blessed with great legs, so I haven't had to go through a workout like the one above.
However, after re-assessing my physique, I noticed that my legs were lagging compared to the rest of my body parts. I figured that this was because I started to do half-intensity workouts, and started to skip them. I fixed this problem quickly, and within a month, legs were once again my best body part. Here is the workout that I used:
4 sets of 20,20,15,15
I took these out of my routine a while ago, but then figured out that these have packed size on my legs quicker then any other exercise. Many HIT'ers are advocates of these 20 rep squats and I can see why. They are the most arduous exercise ever. It takes as much mental strength as physical strength to complete these. After doing a set of these, you will be huffing and puffing, and it feels so good. These will always remain a constant in my routine.
3 sets of 10,10,10
Since I already did 20 rep squats on my previous exercise, my body would not be able to handle another exercise like that. Also, I have found that 10 reps have produced the best gains for me on these. I like to stand with feet pretty close, and when I go down, move my legs apart, also called known as an "O-legged Squat". This variation really helps to pack on mass to the inner thigh, which is important for the thigh sweep.
3 sets of 12,12,12
I prefer a higher rep range on these because going to low increases the chance of injury. If anyone says that these are for girls, don't listen to them. If you've never done these before, try them. They hit different parts of the leg where other exercises can't. Personally, I do the abductor because I'm trying to get inner thigh size, but if you needed outer, do the adductor.
Next part is about hamstrings. You can't build a great pair of legs without the hamstrings to go along with them. The legs are like your arms, the quads make up 2/3 of your legs like the triceps, and the hamstrings make up 1/3, like the bicep. Nothing looks better then when your hamstrings bulge from your legs like biceps.
3 sets of 15,15,15
Again, higher reps work better for me on these. Every exercise has its mass-builder, and for hamstrings, these are it. Because they allow you to use heavy weight, your hamstrings get pounded. The day after a hard workout including these, my hamstrings are extremely sore.
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Lying Leg Curls
3 sets of 10,8,6
This is another mass builder. I like to use both legs when doing these because it allows you to go a lot heavier then the one-footed version. I also like to go with low reps on this because I haven't with any of the other exercises.
The last part of your legs is calves. If you want a great set of legs, you are going to have to work these hard. Not many things look worse then a person with huge upper legs, but pencil calves to go along with them.
Standing Calf Raise
3 sets of 20,20,20
This exercise packs on mass to the calves like no other. I go extremely heavy on these. I usually stand with my feet slightly pointed outwards and shift the majority of the weight to my big toes. This enables the inner calf to work more, helping to get the "diamond" shaped calves that everyone wants.
Leg Press Calf Raise
2 sets of 8,6
I really love this exercise because it creates a burn in your calves like no other exercise. I stick to the lower end of reps on this because many people argue about whether to train calves in the high or low reps. Both have good arguments, so I just include one of each to get all the benefits.
That's the leg routine that has helped my legs become one of my best body parts. It does include a lot of sets, but that's because legs are your biggest body part, and are half of your body. If they have been lacking for you, try this routine out, and make sure to go full intensity, and will have trouble walking the next day. Ultimately, it should help you pack on a couple inches within a few months.