Having a decent set of legs has never been an issue. I guess you can say I was blessed with great genes and have taken full advantage of what was given to me. But, having bigger legs and maintaining strength has never been easy.
Instead of posting a bunch of workouts, I want to share with you my training principles that have helped me maintain size and strength over the past few years.
Grow Bigger Legs With These 4 Training Principles
- Eat More Food Food
If you want bigger legs, you are going to have to eat more. This one simple tip can account for the majority of your problems.
If your legs are not getting any bigger, then you need to eat more food.
Focus on nutrient-dense foods like potatoes, yams, rice, oats, veggies, plenty of protein and fats.
Not sure how much to eat?
Try this simple equation out for a 160lb moderately active guy who wants to add size.
You are going to multiply 160x 16 and 160 x 18
That leads to 2560 calories on days you don’t work out and at least 2880 calories when you workout.
Counting calories is not mandatory to add size, but if what you are doing right now is not working, then you may want to re-think the strategy.
2. Squat More
The squat is one of the best lower body exercises you can do to develop mass. And if you want to grow bigger legs, you are going to have to get comfortable squatting.
Now, I’m not saying you have to squat heavy every day, but it does mean you need to acquire a lot of reps and weight in the squat position.
I recommend squatting at least three times a week for best results. Learn how to alternate between back squats, front squats, and other variations.
Alternate heavy days ( reps of 3-5), hypertrophy days ( 8-12 reps), and endurance days ( 15-20 reps)
My favorite way to work different ranges throughout the week is by starting heavy, and then perform lighter backoff sets with a different variation of higher reps to accumulate the volume.
This allows me to keep variety in my programming and prevent burnout.
Not sure what variation you should start with? Read this killer post on how to squat here.
3. Deadlift Heavy At least Once A Week
While deadlifting heavy is not for everyone if you want to gain some serious size in your lower body, you need to deadlift heavy. I learned this from Tony Bonvechio and Greg Robins from my powerlifting days at Cressey Sports Performance.
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Find a variation that works for you, ( kettlebell, trap bar, sumo, conventional) and keep the rep range 3-5. There is no need to get all crazy here. Focus on good, clean reps. Save all the high rep stuff for the end of your workouts.
Want to learn how to start? Read this quick and easy guide for mastery.
4. Perform Single Leg Work
Single leg exercises are the hidden gem to building massive size and strength in the lower body. When you perform exercises like walking lunges and Bulgarian split squats you expose a host of asymmetries and strength deficiencies.
Not to mention you will be able to achieve greater ranges of motion over time, and the more mobility you have the better off you’ll be when it comes to adding size.
Try performing multiple sets of higher reps for a good leg pump ( think 15-20 reps). It will suck at first, but the legs respond very well to high-volume endurance training.
I love doing single leg moves after a heavy squat or deadlift session for a killer lower body blast.
Keys To Growing Bigger Legs
Lifting heavier and more consistently will not be easy. Take your time getting familiar with some of the bigger lifts, and focus on quality over quantity. Over time, you’ll start adding size to your legs and weight to the bar. It will not be an easy task but work hard, train the legs at least 2x a week, and keep track of your progress.