Have you ever wanted to have those defined legs, with slabs of meat on them, looking like a photo in your science book? For example, legs like Tom Platz. He has by far the biggest legs I have ever seen, and to top it all off, he has a mesomorphic body type, which gain muscle faster than anyone else. If you can put up those kind of numbers, good for you, because you're lucky! Tom had a lot of trouble when he first started, because he trained his legs too much! Today, that isn't the problem at all. Nowadays, teens, and beginners, don't get enough leg exercise in.
Tom Platz kills his legs to death. Arnold Schwarzenegger tells about this. Tom shocks his legs on the leg extensions until he can't do another full rep. Then he does 3/4 reps, then 1/2 reps, and so on until his legs are about dead. The same with leg curls. He squats with all different angles of his feet, doing front, regular, and hack squats. To top it all off, he rides a bike for twenty miles and finishes. Not too bad huh?
Look. I'm not telling you to ride 20 miles, because it would probably be impossible for a teen, or a beginner. What I'm telling you is you have to train them intensely to get all the muscles in the quads and hamstrings really exploding with pain. You see, any muscle that gets trained for a certain routine over and over gets used to that training and doesn't grow as it would the first time you started working them. So shock your muscles, by supersetting them, etc.
Also, you should train all parts of your legs on the same day, including calves. Arnold claims to have worked his calves for 500 hours! That is a lot of calf training but I know a lot of people with very well developed calves. For calf training, I suggest standing, seated, and reverse calf raises. I wouldn't suggest doing donkey calf raises, because I would feel just to stupid having someone laying on me in a gym. But, it's your choice. Calves are an important part of anyone's physique, whether you like working on your calves or not.
The most important exercise for legs is the squats. They are the most important exercise, period. Deadlifts are also a part of great leg development. A lot of people do leg curls/extensions all day long, but their legs are very small and weak. All those exercises do is separate and define the muscles in the part of the leg you are working, so include those also, but do the squats and deadlifts.
Also, stretching. stretching is a key to growing muscles, and often teens aren't limber enough. Tom Platz twists himself into all sorts of shapes doing leg stretches. You can find out easily what leg stretches are good for you, but the biggest tip I can give, is not to bounce, and hold them for a long time.
Back to the squats. There are many different variations to working different parts of your thighs with different foot positions. Try what is best for you, and see what works out. Just don't kill yourself in an awkward position. All I'm saying is, spread your legs a little more, or bring 'em closer together. It's your call.
A good leg workout would look like this:
- Squats: 4x 12-16 reps
- deadlifts: 4x 12-16 reps
- Leg extensions/Leg curl: 3x 14-40 reps
- Calf raises (standing or seated + Reverse): 4x 20 reps
Also, on the calves, work them extra intensely, because they will take a lot more work to get going on mass. And in case you don't know how to do a reverse calf raise, you do just the opposite of a calf raise. stand with your heels on the edge of a block (I like to use a step), and bring them up and down.
A lot of people don't feel their legs are important, but they play a major role in whatever sport you play. Baseball, for pitchers, Football, for anything because you run, basketball, for jumping, which squats play an important role. So you see, training the legs is VERY important in bodybuilding for anyone.
Just remember, if you don't want huge legs, and you have to force yourself to train them just because you feel like you have to, or for any body part for that matter, you really won't get any gains, because you're doing them halfheartedly.