I am glad to see, sometimes, people trying to bulk up legs.
It's not something you hear all the time because, as we all know, legs are not usually a top priority for the "average" weight lifter.
Most of the people I see at the gym focus on top body muscles like chest, back, shoulders and arms and don't give legs the attention that they deserve.
This article is dedicated to all those that believe that training legs can help building bigger and stronger upper body.
Bulk Up Legs With Compound Exercises
The best exercises to bulk up legs are compound exercises like:
and I feel like adding deadlifts too even though it's not recognized as a primary exercise for legs.
Visit my website to read more about compound exercises and how to execute them.
All of these exercises have some variations. For example squats can be done in different forms like:
- Free Barbell Squats
- Multipower Squats
- Dumbbell Squats
and leg press can be:
- 45 Degree Leg Press
- Seated Leg Press
as well as lunges:
- Barbell Lunges
- Dumbbell Lunges
Why Are Compound Exercises Great to Bulk Up Legs?
At the gym you obtain the best results when you stress more muscle fibres
It means that if you can involve more muscle groups and stress more muscles at the same time during an exercise you activate your body to produce more testosterone.
More testosterone means guaranteed bigger muscle gains.
Imagine your body like a car that has to carry a heavy load. It requires more gas to complete the task. Testosterone for our body is like gasoline for a car.
Forget Leg Extensions to Bulk Up Legs
Although exercises like leg extensions and leg curls are the most popular leg exercises, it is wrong to believe that they are effective to bulk up legs. They are isolation exercises and work one muscle group at the time.
They're good to gain more definition after you bulk up legs, but not so much to grow big legs. I do leg extensions and leg curls sometimes in my routine, but only as complementary exercises on legs day.
It is more common to consider leg extensions/curls as therapeutic exercises to recover from injuries during physiotherapy. Imagine that you injury one leg and you can exercise for a while and you have to use crutches.
The other leg is used more to compensate the injured leg right? When you go back to the gym an exercise like leg extensions is perfect to work only the leg that needs to recover and bring it at the same level of the other one.
20 Rep Squat Routine
20 rep squat is considered the king of all the leg exercises and it is the one that will help you bulk up legs like crazy. No other exercise can compete with the 20 rep squat.
The 20 rep squat routine is very popular, many famous bodybuilders adopt this technique to bulk up legs and not only as all the rest of the body benefits from it.
The 20 rep squat routine consists of executing 1 set of 20 reps of free barbell squat at the beginning of every workout session
It must be your first exercise in your routine because you need all the energy that you have to be able to do it.
If you're wondering why it means that you've never tried doing the 20 rep squat routine...but no problem, here you're going to discover the best technique to bulk up legs, but you have to be mentally prepared.
It's as hard as hell! You have to do it every time you workout, even if it's an upper body only workout session. Once you start I have to warn you, the temptation to quit will be very strong, that's why you have to prepare mentally.
Convince yourself that you're going to do it no matter what. You are going to succeed! Keep that in mind, repeat it to yourself once you get to the 10th rep...that's the time that you want to stop, I promise!
But one by one you have to make it to 20, no shortcuts! Of course you have to take your time, it will take longer than you expect to perform 20 reps, but there is no rush.
You have to take your time and provide your body with all the oxygen that it needs. The breathing will become harder and heavier, so make sure you rest enough when you get up at every rep.
16...breath...17...breath breath...18...breath breath breath...and so on. No need to hurry, just concentrate on doing it properly, the form is very important to avoid injuries once you're getting so tired...
I talked more in details on my website in the article 20 Rep Squat for Massive Gains where you can find additional information.
How Did I Bulk Up Legs?
Exercise: I am telling you this because it works, if the 20 rep squat doesn't help you bulk up legs I am afraid that nothing will work better.
It worked very well for me even though I am a hardgainer (fast metabolism, therefore it's hard to bulk up). I saw the results, and I strongly recommend it.
I can't believe how much time I wasted with "useless" exercises, but I finally found the formula to bulk up legs, and it is the 20 rep squat routine.
Diet: of course the diet plays a big role as usual. you can't bulk up legs with tons of exercise if you eat crap or if you don't consume the required nutrients to feed your muscles and make them grow (protein, carbs and healthy fats).
Rest: this is something that people tend to forget, but it's as important as exercising. Remember that our body grows and recovers at night, when we sleep. That's when the healing process takes place. Make sure you sleep at least 8 hours every night (J. Cutler suggests even 10!).
I hope you found this article useful, and I hope you can now go to the gym with more motivation because it is probably the most important requirement to complete a 20 rep squat to bulk up legs!