GROWING QUADS!: WHAT IT TAKES
BY GAVIN GIBSON | PHOTOS BY REBECCA ANDREWS, FOTOWORLD.CH & SHOW SHOOTS
THE MOST common questions I get asked are, “how do I build my legs?”, “how long does it take?”, and “what is the best way to train them?”
So, I thought I would post up my most recent quad workout to give people an idea on volume, weights etc. I use a variety of training protocols for maximum stimulus and muscle fibre breakdown. All this = GROWTH.
Due to being diagnosed with quad tendonosis, it limits how much weight I can squat these days. Gone are the days of squatting 270kg as a Natural Bodybuilder!
“I MAY DO NEGATIVE REPS OR STRAIGHT SETS DEPENDING HOW I FEEL.”
So now I PRE-EXHAUST 80% off the time, usually starting with Leg Extensions.
5-6 WARM UP SETS working my way up the stack until it’s a full stack.
Then I will do a DESCENDING “CENTURY SET” (10×10) with no rest, dropping one plate at a time. Neutral foot position, toes pointing up.
I will then have a 1-2 minute break and do it again working back up the stack. SO ANOTHER 100 REPS (10X10), this time with toes turned inwards for more isolation of the outer quad. That’s the warm up done!
“YOU WILL COMPLETELY BURN OUT THE TEAR-DROP.”
HACK SQUAT – Now, when I get feeling back in my legs I move over to the hack squat. I only do a PARTIAL RANGE OF MOTION on this. I come down to just above right angle, feet shoulder width apart with a 2-SECOND PAUSE AT THE BOTTOM. You will completely burn out the teardrop. Be sure to never lock out the knees. This will keep constant tension, which is key. I do a high rep range here, 15-20 reps and 4-5 sets.
If your gym has one I WOULD RECOMMEND THE V-SQUAT. (mine has). This is what I do next. It really allows me to sit low with minimal pressure on the knees and lower back. I may do negative reps or straight sets depending how I feel. 10-15 reps (depending on weight) and 4-5 sets. (2 warm up sets).
“MAXIMUM STIMULUS IS WHAT HAS ALWAYS WORKED FOR ME.”
FOLLOWING ON IS THE LEG PRESS. Now each Leg Press will allow you to push a different weight because of the different angles etc. I always start on say 200kg and work my way up until I reach my max and then do 3 sets of that. Always a higher rep range. So 20 reps for warm up sets and 15-20 reps on the max working sets. No knee wraps, no hands on knees, controlled form and a good range of motion.
Next I do an isolated SINGLE LEG EXTENSION. Just a 4 set superset. I’ll do 15 reps on each leg followed by as many reps to failure per leg.
Then I’ll finish with SQUATS. A lot of people tell me they have problems feeling the mind to muscle connection with their quads when squatting. By now MY QUADS will be full of blood and pumped to death!
Squatting will be difficult, probably lighter than usual but more beneficial for quad isolation. I work my way up to a max weight then do 3 sets of 10-12 reps and then on the third set I’ll do a triple drop set. 10,15,20 reps.
Is it as crazy as it looks?…YES! That’s probably why leg day is done on my own a lot of the time and not with any partner. Maximum stimulus is what has always worked for me. Give it a try and let me know how you get on! Train hard. Train heavy, Gav.
GROWING QUADS! = HACK SQUAT + V-SQUAT + LEG PRESS + SINGLE LEG EXTENSION + SQUATS
GAVIN GIBSON | CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Gavin is a five-time Natural Bodybuilding Champion, including U.K. and British titles, INBF World title, and is a WNBF Pro. He owns IRON BODIES GYM in England. He is the founder of the #G70 Training Principle, and is a Personal Trainer, Contest Prep Coach, and most importantly a father of two!
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