Cassie "Badass Cass" Mason treats her legs the way other lifters treat their upper bodies.
"Your arms are usually getting three days a week, so why wouldn't you put as much time into your legs?" she asks.
To kick her butt (and quads and hams) into shape, and to keep her 1.4 million Instagram followers happy, Mason often performs a weekly full quad-focused day and a full hamstring-focused day—both of them heavy—followed by a full glute-focused finishing day of lighter, accessory work.
Not quite ready for three hard-and-heavy lower-body blasts? Start by at least having a couple of high-quality all-around leg workouts each week. This routine workout from Mason hits every lower-body muscle group—hard. It can be performed as one component of your two or three-pronged leg attack, or you could do it twice a week and call it good.
For this workout, Mason does 5 sets of six exercises for 8-12 reps per set, going near failure on the last set of every exercise. Within those 5 sets, she increases the weight 2-3 times—though it's fine for you to keep the weight consistent the first time you perform it. Her rest periods are always kept to a minimum (30 seconds to a minute) to keep her heart rate up. When she goes heavier, she rests longer, but not by much. Push yourself!
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Pulsing Smith Machine Squat
For this exercise, Mason does a slightly wider than shoulder-width squat, going all the way down, then coming only halfway up again—or "pulsing"—before returning down. Then, she rises to full extension. She repeats the pulse with each rep, generating a serious burn in the quads and glutes.
Perform the leg press with feet shoulder-width apart and a knees-to-chest lowering. This stance is ideal for activating the greatest amount of total leg musculature possible, and the full lowering makes sure the posterior muscles get hit just as hard as the quads. Just don't lower so far that your lower back comes off the pad.
Mason does her side lunges with light weight on her shoulders, getting low but keeping good posture, with an upward head and chest. These are great using just your body weight, too.
Double Walking Lunge
The double walking lunge is another pulsing exercise. Stick with light weights and keep your form strict. These are burners with no weight at all! After you step forward with each rep, rise about halfway before pressing through your front heel up to full extension. Then, repeat with the opposite leg. Warning: These will make you seriously sore!
Smith Machine Step-up
Place a stable step at a height where your front leg is bent to around 90 degrees while stepping on it. Then, step up firmly through your front heel. Even with light weight, this is an awesome exercise that demands lots of booty work without putting stress on the back.
Pulsing Leg Extension
Get ready for yet another pulsing exercise to burn out your quads. A full repetition includes one extension plus one half extension. When that last rep is done, you will be, too.