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Training to Get Big Legs, Quads and Hamstrings

Wednesday, 09 August 2006

Today is leg workout day, fortunately I used to train with some New Zealand powerlifters (Harry, thanks for calling me a girl so much I had to Squat with you guys to save face) so my quads are strong, so in proper bodybuilding tradition I bring you.... 

10 Aug 06 - Big Quads - well at 7

How Do I Get Big Legs

Now if you are new to this site and say they aren't big legs - well I am over 7ft tall which makes my legs huge.  In fact in Thailand the running joke is that my legs are bigger than a womans waist, which we often test - and it is true (well at least for the sort of women we talk to)....

Hamstrings training first today as I need to train my weak point first.

How many people even train their hamstrings properly? About half as many as train legs properly - about one in fifty in the gym.

Want Big Legs - Train Hamstrings 

Many people want big legs, in fact the question I get asked most often after how do I get big arms is how to a get bigger legs? Actually doing a leg workout is a good start to build big legs. Training ALL the leg muscles is another common sense approach  that is often ignored but is known to build big legs.

Wandering around the upstairs aerobics area I spy a new machine today - seated leg curl - SCORE! I try it out and the movement feels pretty good, OK then lets give it a real go

10 Aug 06 Seated Legcurls

Seated Leg Curls For Big Hamstrings

3 sets of 8 with most of the stack, slow controlled movements with a good hamstring flex at the curl position, 1 second hold and back out.

Hamstrings and quads are the only two bodyparts that I never use cheat methods for - if you stuff up on these you might not walk again. I'll keep the cheating for exercises where I can drop the bar and walk away. No use going 110% to build big legs then going home in a wheelchair.

If you want big legs train your hamstrings too, otherwise you will be like those people who want big arms but never train triceps. If your hamstrings get bigger then you will have bigger legs. And don't forget your calves either.

Wanting to know how to get bigger legs without training hamstraings is like wanting to know how to get big arms without training triceps - it just isn't going to happen. 

Next in my build big legs workout I did my old favourite - stiff legged deadlifts 100kg, next week I will go to 3 plates a side (140kg) but due to my right hand trap still being extremely tender from the injury I went 'light' and slow again 3 sets of 8.

10 Aug 06 Stiff Legged Deadlift

Stiff Leg Deadlifts 

Each set of Stiff Legged Deadlifts with a different foot position, narrow, mid, wide. I can feel different areas working in the different positions so I give each part a good workout. 

  10 Aug 06 - close foot spacing10 Aug 06 - medium foot spacing10 Aug 06 - wide foot spacing

Weight Training Foot Spacing 

6 sets of hamstrings is enough to start as the heavy pushing leg exercises all utilise a fair amount of hamstrings too.

So onwards hard core trainers (the wimps fled at the question of how do I get bigger legs).

For me I rarely squat these days since it tends to hurt my knees considerably - thats what you get for running around a basketball court and riding skateboards until the age of 20.

First up  we have to stretch our backs.... why?....

Back Stretching ?

Back Stretching On The Leg Press? 

The gym was reorganised about 10 days ago and the leg press was placed right against the wall so that the seat cannot be adjusted at all - I am the first one to notice this in 10 days, what does that tell you? Yes exactly, and guess what no one in the gym has big legs.

So in this photo I am not stretching but I am pulling the loaded leg press machine out from the wall much to the concern of the gym staff - a few choice expletives regarding their mental prowess quickly sends them scurying away.

How am I going to get bigger legs if I can't even sit in the leg press machine? 

10 Aug 06 - Leg Press10 Aug 06 - Deep leg press

Heavy Leg Press For Bigger Legs

2 plates off the maximum the leg press machine can handle I pump out 3 sets of 8 reps slow, coming right down for each rep. This machine I like for leg press I can come down quiet deep and not lift my arse and lower back out of the seat, unlike the other piece of garbage leg press that put me out of leg/back action for 3 weeks the first and last time I used it.

5 sets of slow reps is enough to work my legs without making me sick as a dog. I used to have really big legs for my height before so now I just want them to be good sized without killing myself or my knees. Big legs are great but big legs with bad knees soon results in small legs and mobility problems.

I am not wearing shoes when I do these because 800lbs of pressure will squash the insides of your shoes flat, so now I wear either tennis shoes, study (army) boots or just socks. (Gym staff usually freak if they see you bare foot)

Again here I am not currently trying to build my quads so much, just get a little growth and increase my strength back up, when my hammstrings and calves catch up I can pump some quadricep muscle back on quickly.

Leg extensions are next, why? I do not know, I do not think you get any growth from this exercise, I can barely see any benefit except that I do not want to do 2 heavy pushing exercises for quads, so this being the only other machine in the gym... here I am.

10 Aug 06 - Leg Extensions

Leg (Thigh) Extensions 

 Finishing up with...

10 Aug 06 - Seated Calf Raises

Seated Calf Raises 

Seated calf raise. The only calf machine in the gym. Often I will superset these with one legged standing calf raises with no weight.

And the final product?

10 Aug 06 - Big Quads - well at 7

Want Big Legs Like These? 

Big legs for a 7 footer.

Following the basic leg workout principes here you too will grow bigger legs, just remember to train your hamstrings as much as your quads. 

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