leg press exercise

With extensions, curls, presses and deadlifts, this workout is sure to be a real leg beater.

It’s the day you love to hate: leg day. There’s probably no other workout that leaves you feeling great and simultaneously miserable. Get ready to work hard and love it.

Start by supersetting leg extensions and leg curls as your warm-up. While these two isolation moves are great for prefatiguing the quads, don’t take these sets to failure – use them only to get a light pump. (Don’t worry, we’ll come back to them.)

Next, move on to the leg press, where you’ll grind out five sets. Keep your feet narrower than hip-width apart and slightly below the middle of the platform. Going narrow and low will focus a bit more attention on your quads, especially the teardrops. On your last set, pull a plate off each side and continue to rep to failure. Strip off another two plates until you have only one plate on each side. If the weight is too light at this point (which we doubt), do one-leg presses to failure with each leg.

After the leg press, return to the leg extension and select a weight with which you can complete only six reps. When you fail, drop the weight and do another set to failure. Drop the weight again for one final set and continue repping out. Rest about 30 seconds, then do the same triple-drop set on the leg-curl machine.

Following that gauntlet, head over to the Smith machine and do three sets of stiff-legged deadlifts followed by three sets of cable glute-ham raises to fully shock those glute-ham tie-ins. Finish with three sets of walking weighted lunges supersetted with jump squats to failure.

After this incredibly taxing leg day, you should be pretty damn miserable. And what a wonderful feeling it’ll be.

The Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Extension* 2 12-15
    – superset with –
Leg Curl * 2 12-15
Leg Press 5 6-10**
Leg Extension 3 6 ***
Leg Curl 3 6 ***
Smith Stiff-Legged Deadlift 3 12-15
Cable Glute-Ham Raise 3 12-15
Walking Lunge 3 25 steps (or to failure)
    – superset with –
Jump Squat 3 to failure

* This is simply a warm-up move; don’t take these sets to failure.
** Strip weight from each side and continue to failure, finishing with only one plate on each side. If need be, do one-leg presses to failure.
***Select a weight that causes you to fail at six reps, then do two drop sets.