If there’s one muscle group where getting creative with your exercise selection is totally unnecessary, it’s your legs. Massive quads are rarely achieved through ingenuity. Rather, what will get you there is a willingness to move heavy weights through full ranges of motion on basic movements—repeatedly.
Unique exercises have their place in any program, but many people focus on them too much when they should really be stressing rep ranges, volume, intensity, and frequency with basic moves. Work harder to understand and manipulate these variables, while placing less emphasis on esoteric exercises, and you’re bound to see shocking results. The workout below represents “multi-rep range training,” with strength training rep ranges on squats, hypertrophy ranges on leg presses and lunges, and high reps on extensions to finish it off.
1. Barbell Squat
Your heels should never come off the floor when squatting. Push the weight up through your heels, not the balls of you feet.
2. Leg Press
There are no half reps allowed on the leg press. Travel through a full range of motion on every rep.
3. Dumbbell Lunge
Short strides on lunges target the quads, while longer strides will hit your hamstrings and glutes.
4. Leg Extension
Make sure to emphasize the squeeze at the top of the motion. Don’t let momentum take over at any point.
* not including two warm-up sets of 5 to 7 reps each with light to moderate effort.
Ryan Sullivan is the owner of Sci-Unison Fitness in Babylon, NY.