Does Training Legs Help Building Upper Body Muscles?

You've probably heard that training legs helps building upper body muscles.

Is it true? Or is it a myth?

There are no studies that confirm that, so any answer would be based on opinions or personal experience

As always, I'll give you my personal opinion.

Let's start on the basis that training legs is important for a few obvious reasons:

  1. If you build a big upper body and have skinny legs you do NOT look good
  2. Having powerful legs helps you to do other exercises like deadlifts (imagine ignoring legs workout and then, after months and months, deciding to start doing deadlifts)
  3. Muscular legs help your balance and core strength
  4. Training legs stimulates testosterone and HGH production

Have You Seen Big Guys Even Though They're Not Training Legs?

The answer is YES, right? Think of the veterans, that maybe lost their legs in war. Some of them have arms as huge as hell, big pectorals etc.

The whole upper body is very well developed although they couldn't do any legs workout.

That's a clear example, and of course, if we say that those guys with big upper bodies and skinny legs look ridiculous it means that we have seen yes, it is very likely possible to build big upper body muscles without training legs.

That doesn't mean that training legs doesn't help your upper body to grow, or that it couldn't grow more.

I believe that training legs helps building upper body muscles faster

Legs have big muscle right? When you train big muscles your body responds by producing more testosterone and HGH and all those anabolic hormones are not going to stay in your legs, they have benefits for your whole body!

Having higher testosterone levels of course helps building muscle all over your body. You can't say I have high testosterone in my legs, therefore they'll grow fast, but you CAN say I have high testosterone in my body, therefore I can build muscle fast.

I don't believe that training legs directly increases the size of your arms, but I believe that it just makes you produce more testosterone so when you DO train your arms it'll be easier to build muscle mass

This is just my opinion, based on the proven fact that training legs and other big muscles increases the production of testosterone.

What Is My Experience?

This last month I started to dedicate one day to training legs only, just so I could do squats, leg extension, leg curls and calves properly.

What can I say, by doing more legs workout I inevitably do less upper body workout , BUT...

...I really noticed bigger gains in my pectorals and shoulders.

Is that because I've been training legs? That I don't know, this is just what I noticed. Maybe I did my chest workout better and that was it, maybe I have more testosterone in my blood and the rest of my body took advantage of it.

I don't have the answer to Does training legs help building upper body muscles, what I can say is that definitely training legs doesn't hurt. Clearly you can build upper body muscles without training legs too, no doubt about that.


What's your experience? What would you answer?

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1 Response

  1. Avatar Devin
    So my workoit for upper body always consists of 30 minutes of legs first. I do 200 reps of qauds on back and biceps day and 200 reps calf's on chest, triceps, shoulders day. To me its always seemed I get a way bigger pump and have more strength for upper body lifts. Also I can concentrate on the muscle better to. Its like a natural pre workout. I tried doing body part splits but isnt as good or has as fast results. As a bodybuilder I want results as quickly as possible. Try it sometime. Works wonders.