FOUAD ABIAD: “The most important change in my career came in 2010, when I decided that lifting really heavy for legs was mostly for my ego. Throughout my career, lagging quads and hams have always held me back. ‘Not enough sweep,’ people would say about my legs, or ‘not thick enough all around.’ So I decided to make some changes in my quad training.

Instead of lifting heavy for sets of 6–8 reps like I did for the first 10 years of my career, I decided 15–20 reps was the way to go. As soon as I increased my rep ranges, I noticed a rounder, fuller look to my legs. Now, I mix the two training philosophies. On leg presses, I go as heavy as I can for 20 reps, and on hack squats, I go as heavy as I can for 10–12. I don’t do any sets for my legs under 10 reps anymore; I just don’t get the size from it.”

Size Secret #1: High Reps for Big Legs


  • Lying Leg Curls | SETS: 5 | REPS: 20-10*
  • Squats | SETS: 5 | REPS: 20-10*
  • Leg Presses | SETS: 6 | REPS: 20
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlifts | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10
  • Hack Squats | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10

*Increase weight each set, starting out with 20 reps with the lightest weight and finishing with 10 reps with the heaviest weight.

Training Tip #1: Doing leg curls first in the workout allows him to use maximum weight and pre-exhausts his hamstrings.

Training Tip #2: Abiad performs fewer reps on hack squats, since he’s near the end of his workout and his legs are exhausted from the high-rep leg curls, squats and leg presses.

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