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They say it’s hard to build legs when you’re tall. If you’re over six foot, they’ll tell you not to pin your hopes on ever having too solid a pair. Focus on chest or back instead.

Guess they never met Ed Nunn.

Standing 6'1"

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with legs that are long even for a typical man of his height, Nunn has built himself one of the more impressive pairs of legs in the business. From hip to knee, they’re as close to a bodybuilding archetype as you’ll find — big and sweeping with deep separations, and full of feathery cross striations that pop to life when flexed. His hamstrings are nicely split with grainy detail running from glute to popliteal fossa (that hollow behind the knee).

“My legs have always been one of my stronger bodyparts,” Nunn confesses. “When I was first coming up, people would see my upper body and be impressed, but expect to see skinny legs. They were always surprised to see a tall guy like me with big legs.”

Still, Nunn doesn’t use his genetic proclivity in the wheels department as an excuse to go easy on them. In fact, his is the kind of old-school volume routine that champs from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Lee Haney to Ronnie Coleman have employed to great effect for decades on end — and it’s the kind of routine that can do the same for you.

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  • “This is the
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    start of the heart of my leg workout. I alternate between regular squats and Smith machine squats.”
  • “I use a full range of motion, making sure to go at least to parallel.”
  • “Whichever one I do, my first set is 15 reps with 135 pounds, then I do 15 with 225, then 15 with 315, and finally 15 with 405. That last set is a killer.”
  • “Some people like to keep their reps in the 8-12 range, but I’ve found that I grow better on 15 reps and above, especially my quads. But I think everyone has to figure out what works best for them, whether it’s high or low.”

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  • “I vary my foot placement, because a wide stance is good for hitting the inner thighs, while keeping the feet close together tends to target the teardrop and the muscles around your knees.”
  • “I pyramid up
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    in weight to my heaviest set with my feet placed wide.”
  • “After my heaviest set, I place my feet in a narrow stance and strip a plate off of each side until I’m back down to my original starting weight.”
  • “I have to be careful not to let my quads get ahead of the rest of my body. I had been doing a lot of cardio on the stair climber, and that extra bit of work was all it took to push them over the top.”

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  • “This is a good isolation exercise. I like the way you can tense your hamstrings one at a time throughout the whole range of the movement.”
  • “The contraction at the top is very important, so don’t go so heavy that you can’t use a full range of motion.”
  • “This is almost like doing concentration curls for your biceps.”

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  • “You’re targeting your lower hams more with this exercise, as opposed to lying or even standing leg curls.”
  • “You have to control it on the way back to the top position; not just let it fly back. That’s when you really feel the burn.”
  • “Keep your butt on the bench and try to avoid sliding forward as the reps get harder.”

Seated curl quote

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  • “This machine
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    is great for overall ham development and it gives me an incredible pump.”
  • “The machine at my gym has a bench that is humped so that my body is slightly arched over it. I can dig in and grit these out like no other hamstrings exercise.”
  • “Get a full extension at the bottom to stretch the hamstrings out for greater growth.”
  • “I normally train seven days per week. The only time I take a day off is when my body tells me to, or if I want to go out to the movies or dinner. When I do take a day off, it’s usually a leg day.” FLEX