Legs are of the biggest and strongest muscle groups in the body. By training your legs, not only will they become big and powerful, but they can indirectly help other muscles in the body grow bigger too. Read on to discover one of the greatest leg workouts for men.
Leg training releases more testosterone and growth hormone in the body, compared to other exercises performed in the gym. With these two muscle building hormones elevated, this will create a greater muscle building environment in the body. In theory, this means that you could indirectly develop bigger arms, just by training your legs.
Leg workouts for men involve a lot of core work. For example, during squats it is natural to contract your abs during the movement. This will thicken your abs and increase your overall core strength. Although leg work is very beneficial, it is also very demanding due to the large amount of weight that you can lift when working legs. For example you may be able to squat 100kg, but only lift 25kg on a barbell curl.
The Ultimate Leg Workout
Squats 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Leg press 3 sets 8-10 reps
Leg extensions 3 sets 8-10 reps
Leg curls 3 sets 8-10 reps
Calf raises 6 sets 15-20 reps
(Rest 60 seconds in between sets)
Squats are among the toughest exercises you can perform in a gym, and one of the best for building muscle. Squats should always be the focal point of leg workouts for men. They work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and core muscles.
Put emphasis on contracting your quads at the top of the movement, and go nice and low on the way down, to give a full range of movement. Below is a clip of Arnold doing squats in the film Pumping Iron.
The leg press is another intense exercise, working all of the upper body and core muscles, similar to squats. On the extension part of the movement, again focus on contracting and squeezing your quads. Be sure to point your toes slightly outwards, if this is more comfortable. Some find that this tip foot positioning helps them lift more weight, as opposed to keeping your feet and toes straight.
Leg Curls and Leg Extensions
Leg curls and extensions are pretty straight forward exercises. I recommend super-setting both exercises. Meaning, after finishing a set of leg curls, go straight over to leg extensions, with no rest in between. Then that would count as one set on each, so this would need to be repeated two more times (to equal 3 sets in total).
Many people who participate in weight lifting have problems developing big calves. This is because the fascia is particularly tight around the calf region. Fascia is an extremely tough tissue surrounding the muscles, which can prevent the muscle increasing in size as it can act as friction.
To help the fascia become more elastic and stretchy, aim for more reps, being 15-20 reps. With added reps, this will cause a bigger pump. An enlarged pump increases muscle size due to increased blood flow, enabling the fascia to become looser after the workout. Minimal rest is recommended in between calf sets, to maximize blood flow to the calf region.
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Additional Exercises (Leg workouts for men)
German Volume Training
To mix up the workouts, try different lifting methodologies. For example, one day you could do German Volume Training for one exercise. This involves doing 10 sets of 10 reps on one exercise, such as squats. Following this, you would only do 3 sets of one more exercise.
German Volume Training is effective because doing a combined total of 100 reps on an exercise as hard as squats, will fatigue the muscles to the maximum. This fatigue is the stimulus needed, for the muscles to grow back bigger and stronger for your next workout.
Another lifting strategy is the famous 5×5 method, made popular by Arnold Schwarzenegger. There are different interpretations of the 5×5 method. The common census is to lift a heavy weight where you can only do 5 reps maximum. Then you will do 5 sets with this weight. Thus, towards the latter sets, you may only be able to complete 2 or 3 reps. The cause for significant strength increases with this philosophy, is due to the heavy weight used, albeit completing few reps.