A lot of guys look like Olympia Weekend material from the waist up, but when they take off their sweatpants... Yeesh! Sure, we all know that well-developed legs can make or break your physique, but saying it doesn't make it any easier to build them—especially if you're tall or have a quicksilver metabolism.

Being top-heavy is sure to get you a comment or two in the legendary Bodybuilding.com forums. The nice thing about our millions of forum users is that, while they may give you a smack with one hand for skipping leg day, they'll freely share the program that helped them transform their own lower bodies with the other. They understand that true lifters—people who need the iron, who abide by the credo, "I Lift, Ergo I Am"—want to build the total package, not just half.

These six routines helped our readers bring home killer wheels once and for all, and now no one dares to giggle. Follow their protocols and you, too, can fearlessly leave your sweatpants in the locker where they belong!

Full Squats and Partials: by Ironlife

Heavy, basic, tough. That's all you get here! Five sets of full ass-to-grass squats immediately followed by parallel squats means double duty on the biggest mass-gaining move of all, and can be done with heavy weight to pack on the size.

If depth is an issue for you, consider putting 2.5-pound plates under your heels or wearing Olympic lifting shoes to open the door to the lower-half of your range of motion (ROM). And don't expect the partials to be easy. If anything, having to stop above the bottom will burn even more!

6 Leg Workouts To Supersize Your Lower Body!

Single-leg deadlift

The lunge and single-leg deadlift should still feel heavy, but since you're working one leg at a time, prioritize proper form above weight. These are really here to develop those underlying and stabilizing muscles, creating a solid base on which to grow some beef.

Full Squats and Partials
1
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
5 sets, 8-10 reps
2
Barbell Full Squat
5 sets, 8-10 reps
3
Barbell Lunge
3 sets, 10-12 reps per leg
4
Single Leg Deadlift
2 sets, 8-10 reps per leg

Twice as Nice: by AlanApe

If the same old weekly workout isn't doing it for you anymore, maybe some shock treatment is what your legs need. This twice-weekly routine mixes negatives with straight reps to force your legs into growth. Leave at least 4-5 days between workouts, or even 6 if you're still suffering too much to lift.

6 Leg Workouts To Supersize Your Lower Body!

Leg press negative

Twice As Nice
Workout 1
1
Barbell Squat
4 sets, 10 reps
2
Leg Press
3 sets, 10 reps
3
Leg Press
Negative
2 sets, 1 rep (lowering as slowly as possible)
4
Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine
4 sets, 10 reps (4 sec. lowering, explosive concentric lift, 1 sec. concentric squeeze)
5
Seated Leg Curl
4 sets, 10 reps
6
Leg Extensions
3 sets, 10 reps (4 sec. lowering, explosive concentric lift, 1 sec. concentric squeeze)
Twice As Nice
Workout 2
1
Leg Press
4 sets, 10 reps
2
Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine
4 sets, 10 reps (4 sec. lowering, explosive concentric lift, 1 sec. concentric squeeze)
3
Hack Squat
3 sets, 10 reps
4
Leg Extensions
3 sets, 10 reps (4 sec. lowering, explosive concentric lift, 1 sec. concentric squeeze)

5x5 Meets 20-rep Squats Meets Pyramid: by Fury22

Since your great-grandfather's days, strong men have been successfully using three approaches to build legs that are as strong as they look, and that won't change any time soon:

  • 5 sets of 5 reps
  • 3 pyramid sets with increasing weight
  • 1 single 20-rep squat set

Luckily, no one is evil enough to mix them into the same program, let alone the same week...right?

Welcome to a dark corner of the Bodybuilding.com forum! For Workout 1, you follow the classic 5x5 model with the same weight in each set (after a suitable number of warm-up sets, of course). The subsequent exercises are done in pyramid fashion, increasing the weight as you decrease the reps with each set.

6 Leg Workouts To Supersize Your Lower Body!

"Workout 2 begins with a bang: one set of a 20-rep squat."

One set of a squat might not seem like a lot, but chew on this: It should be done with a weight where you'd normally max out at about 10 reps. Twice the work plus same weight equals a tough and potentially nauseating experience for you!

You can use rest-pause and take mini-breaks within your set, but here's the key: Don't rack the weight unless it's absolutely necessary. You want to keep tension on the muscles and force them to grow. The rest of the sets that day? Yeah, you guessed it: They're pyramids.

5x5 Meets 20-Rep Squats Meets Pyramid
Workout 1
1
Barbell Squat
5 sets, 5 reps
2
Leg Extensions
3 sets, 6-10 reps (increase weight and lower reps with each set)
3
Seated Leg Curl
3 sets, 6-10 reps (increase weight and lower reps with each set)
4
Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift
3 sets, 4-8 reps (increase weight and lower reps with each set)
5x5 Meets 20-Rep Squats Meets Pyramid
Workout 2
1
Barbell Squat
1 set, 20 reps
2
Bodyweight Lunge
3 sets, 10 reps
3
Hyperextensions (Back Extensions)
3 sets, 8-10 reps (increase weight and lower reps with each set)
4
Single Leg Deadlift
3 sets, 6-8 reps (increase weight and lower reps with each set)

Volume, Volume, Volume: by Wildtim

Ah, the golden days of bodybuilding, when Tom Platz ruled the leg roost. Here's one of the Golden Eagle's leg programs, resurrected by poster Wildtim. Notice some variance in sets? That's no mistake. Platz was a volume master, so we don't want you to feel obligated to match him rep-for-rep.

Check in with your body before—and during—your workout and decide how many sets you want to do for each movement. If you're flying high, hit the high range; if you're dragging, go for the low. But no matter what, bring your best effort.

6 Leg Workouts To Supersize Your Lower Body!

Standing calf raise

Volume, Volume, Volume
1
Barbell Squat
8-10 sets, 5-20 reps
2
Hack Squat
5 sets, 10-15 reps
3
Leg Extensions
5-8 sets, 10-15 reps
4
Lying Leg Curls
6-10 sets, 10-15 reps
5
Standing Calf Raise
3-4 sets, 10-15 reps
6
Seated Calf Raise
3-4 sets, 10-15 reps
7
Calf Press
3-4 sets, 10-15 reps

Squat 'Em All: by SuicideGripMe

Programming variety is key to maintaining passion and making gains, especially when it comes to the big money moves like squats. User SuicideGripMe changes his squat variation every week to keep things fresh and ensure his legs feel each and every workout.

His options include box squats, high-bar deep squats, low-bar squats, and front squats. Your formula for growth might include others.

6 Leg Workouts To Supersize Your Lower Body!

Leg press

Squat 'Em All
1
Barbell Squat
Rotate weekly between squat variations: box squats, high-bar deep squats, low-bar squats, and front squats
1-3 sets, 3-5 reps (plenty of warm-up sets)
2
Leg Press
3 sets, 8-15 reps (increase weight and lower reps with each set)
3
Pull Through
or Romanian Deadlift
3 sets, 8-15 reps (increase weight and lower reps with each set)
4
Leg Extensions
3 sets, 8-15 reps (increase weight and lower reps with each set)
5
Standing Leg Curl
3 sets, 8-15 reps (increase weight and lower reps with each set)

Superset for Size: by Goalie24

Supersets are a great option for when you don't have a lot of time to train, because you can cram a lot of exercises into a shorter time frame. Like magic, workout intensity—and results—also go through the roof.

For the leg extensions and curls, don't try to be a hero when it comes to weight. Take it from the forum elite: Nobody cares how much you can leg curl for reps! Perform each rep purposefully, establishing a solid mind-muscle connection to encourage growth.

6 Leg Workouts To Supersize Your Lower Body!

"Supersets are a great option for when you don't have a lot of time to train, because you can cram a lot of exercises into a shorter time frame."

Superset For Size
1
Superset
Leg Press
3 sets, 10 reps
Bodyweight Lunge
3 sets, 10 reps
2
Superset
Front Barbell Squat
3 sets, 10 reps
Leg Press
Feet High
3 sets, 10 reps
3
Leg Extensions
5 sets, 15 reps
4
Superset
Stiff-Legged Deadlift
3 sets, 10 reps
Lying Leg Curls
3 sets, 10 reps
5
Seated Leg Curl
5 sets, 15 reps

About the Author

Lara McGlashan

Lara McGlashan

Lara McGlashan is currently the Fitness Editor for Oxygen Magazine. She also has an extensive sports background and is an ACE certified trainer.

View all articles by this author

Workout Legs