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Do you want big wheels? No, not the yellow plastic three-wheel roadster you tore around the neighborhood on as a kid. We mean legs. Legs like tree trunks. Legs so big they rub together when you walk. Okay, that may be a little much, but you get the picture.
Well, brother, those type of big wheels come from a large-scale effort in the gym. You need to walk boldly past the wimps who think a leg workout consists of two sets of extensions, followed by two sets of lying curls — and walk very, very fast past the guy on the glute blaster — into the dusty, lonely corner where the heavy-duty power racks and plate-loaded thigh machines reside.
There, you’ll start with five sets of good old-fashioned barbell squats: One light set of 15 reps as a warm-up, then increasing the weight for sets of 12, 10, eight and six repetitions. Follow that with the first exercise outlined here, one-legged hacks (you’ll know you’re doing them correctly if you find yourself holding back the upchuck on the last searing reps). Next, a bench step-up — pick the heaviest dumbbells you can handle without blowing your form — and finish with a leg extension variation guaranteed to bring on a nasty-ass muscle burn.
Done? Nice. Now, if you still have it, jump on your old-school Big Wheel and pedal on home, big man.
Do: 3 sets; 15, 12, 10 reps per leg
Start: Position yourself on a hack squat machine, with one foot on the platform and one leg airborne.
Move: Unlatch the sled and lower yourself until your working leg reaches 90 degrees at the knee; press up forcefully to the start.
Do: 2 sets; 15 reps per leg
Start: Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and stand facing a flat bench.
Move: Step up and plant one foot on the bench. Power through that leg to lift your body until you’re standing on the bench, then lower back to the floor and repeat with the opposite leg.
Do: 3 sets; to failure
Start: Position yourself oan a leg-extension machine so your back and glutes are firmly against the seat and your lower shins are on the roller pad.
Move: For the first six reps, go through a full range of motion, going from a 90-degree angle in your knees to legs straight. For the second six reps, go halfway up each rep. Finish with quarter reps to failure. Pause for one second at the top of each rep; for added intensity, increase the weight in-set between each change in your rep range-of-motion.