Big and well defined quad muscles are like the abs of the lower body, they complete your physique. Learn how to build your quad muscles like the pro bodybuilders.
Big legs are not something that most amateur bodybuilders are too concerned with. The upper body takes precedence in the workout routine of the average non-professional, non-competitive bodybuilder. There is nothing wrong with that but a physique cannot complete without well developed leg muscles.
Chicken legs are a big phenomenon in gyms all over the world. You have a bunch of dudes with big chest, arms, six pack abs but little lower body muscle. It’s all good and gravy until they have to wear shorts in public like at the beach. Then they start becoming self-conscious and realize that they’ve got some catching-up to.
Are Big Massive Legs Necessary?
No at all. What is necessary is well-developed leg muscles. Big enough to keep your body in proportions. Now, unless you are a professional bodybuilder who gets judged on the size of his quadriceps, having huge legs can be more of an hinderance than a good thing.
When most jeans in your waist size don’t fit you because they can’t get passed your legs, you have an issue. When your suit pants have to be altered or even worse thrown out because of your massive quads, then it’s becoming a real issue.
What I’m trying to say is that having well defined muscular quads that have some nice size is what you should be going after if you want to the ability to wear your favorite clothes and walk properly. Building massive IFBB type legs is stupid unless you get paid to do it as a pro.
But it’s not that easy to get big legs anyway so don’t be get scared like a lot guys who avoid training legs for fear of their thighs getting too big to wear normal clothing like their favorite skinny jeans. It won’t happen unless you have big leg genetics and train with super heavy weights, or take performance enhancements.
But you can still learn from the pros. Which is what we will do here. We’re going look at how these guys train to get such massive legs and use that to build our legs to our desired size.
How IFFB Pros Their Massive Legs
In order for those guys to get wheels the size of a mack trucks’, they have to train a certain way. They have to train for size and definition. That means training with super heavy weights for size and doing high rep and light weights for definition.
Now it’s not that easy and it’s not all it takes. They have to maintain their nutrition and go through bulking and cutting phases. And we won’t even talk about the other things they ingest and inject.
You don’t need all that because we’re not trying to build massive quads like those guys. We only need to achieve half that size. So we will only focus on the training portion of the equation. That’s all you’ll need to lose those toothpicks of yours.
How To Train Your Quads For Size
Simple. Train with heavy weights. Heavy squats, heavy leg presses, heavy deadlifts are the proven way to big legs. Now don’t forget that form plays an important role. If you’re lifting big loads but only doing quarter to half-reps, you’re only kidding yourself and wasting your time.
You need to use a full range of motion to take advantage of using heavy weights. So when you squat, go low enough to make it count, meaning at least buttocks parallel to the floor or lower. You can even do ass to grass if your knee joints can support it.
Leg presses are easy and even skinny women can push massive weights on the leg press machines (by the way, women have very good lower body strength). So just pushing heavy load on there is not enough. You’ve got to use good range of motion and foot placement. That means bringing your knees up to your stomach and pushing all the way back until your knees are almost fully extended. Never lock your knees on leg press movements as it can cause serious injuries.
As for deadlifts, they can be one of best leg exercises depending on how to do them. If you bend your knees while keeping your back as straight up as possible, you are training your legs more than your back. It’s like a semi squat. Also stiff legged deadlifts can work the hamstrings and glutes pretty well.
But one of the most effective leg exercises for the quads is the leg extension. Do this exercise with heavy weights, slow and controlled reps and watch your legs expand right before your eyes. This is one of very few isolation exercises for the quadricep muscles.
Using Light Weights And High Reps For Quadricep Definition
Another technique that the pros use is combining their heavy workouts with light workouts. They will have days where they only train with light weights while doing very high repetitions per sets.
This training technique works well. The high reps are good for toning and definition whereas the low rep and heavy sets are mostly for size. Now your legs will still be well defined by just doing heavy sets and having low body fat without a need for doing high reps but why make it harder for yourself?
The advantage that incorporating high rep sets brings to the table is the sculpting of the quadriceps. It helps make the muscle separation more prominent.
Workout For Big and Defined Quadriceps
I’ve given you some advice on how to train your quadriceps and overall legs for size but this article wouldn’t be complete without a complete quad-centric workout. Use weights that you can only rep 5-8 times. So here you go:
Heavy Squats: 3 Sets
Heavy Leg Press: 3 sets
Heavy Leg Extension: 4 sets
Light Machine Leg Press: 3 sets to failure ( use weight you can rep 30+ times per set)
Light Leg Deadlifts: 2 sets to failure ( shoot for high reps in the 25-35 rep ranges.)
Remember to warm up by doing a light set of each exercise before jumping into the heavy sets. It gets your blood flowing and prepares the muscles for heavy activity. It is also a great way to minimize the most common training injuries.