Leg Exercises

You Don't Know Squat

Build leg strength and size—even while dieting—with this advanced routine.

You Don't Know Squat

I’m old-fashioned when it comes to leg training. If you’re in the off-season and trying to add size or dieting down for a show—or just want to look good for beach season—I believe squatting should always be at the heart of your leg program. I apply the principles of power bodybuilding to legs in much the same way I apply them to other body parts: My working squat sets are seven of four reps, and I do only three or four accessory moves after that. I do have a few different rules for leg training though. First, I constantly vary foot position on the squat, leg press, and hack squat to keep different regions of the leg stimulated.

Second, I don’t lighten the load at all when I’m dieting. If I’m feeling depleted, I simply drop the squat reps from four to three—or even two—then add a set to make sure I get the necessary volume. Lighten the load and you’ll probably lose size; a good pump won’t make up for it. The workout that follows here is simple, just remember that from workout to workout you want to vary wide stance, narrow stance, or throw in front squats or even throw in box squats. Substitution options for the accessory lifts are listed in the workout box in parentheses.

Power Bodybuilding Legs

EXERCISE               SETS      REPS

SQUAT                        1*           10

                                     1*             5

                                     7               4

LEG PRESS              4–5         10–12


SISSY SQUAT          3             12–15



LUNGE                      3             20**


*Warmup sets. Use 135 for the first set, then 225.

**10 reps on each leg.