1. Effective Workouts
This is a crucial step for anyone who wants to put on a good amount of size. For building legs, the normal rep ranges for hypertrophy are 8-12 reps per set. Some people train with even higher rep ranges at 15-20 reps per set. It’s all personal preference and you’d be best off trying each method to see what works best for you. However, don’t go super lightweight with performing high reps.
Always go as heavy as possible within that rep range. (USE A SPOTTER) Another tip is to maximize depth on your squats and leg presses by going below parallel. This will create maximum contraction in the muscles, providing better gains over time. If you have to use a little less weight to go that deep, it’s worth it. Another thing that would be beneficial to implement would be supersets. However, be cautious when supersetting with free weights rather than machines.
The extreme fatigue within the legs could lead to possible injury if not careful. Overall, you want to go as heavy as possible within that hypertrophy rep range while performing with great range of motion. This will lead to maximum contraction and bigger legs over time.
My Favorite Leg Exercises
King of all exercises: Squats
Stiff Leg Deadlifts
2. Hit your Macros, especially Protein and Carbs
Nutrition is definitely a key building block when trying to put on size. If you aren’t getting an optimal amount of protein everyday and you’re not in a caloric surplus, you won’t be able to put on muscle. It’s that simple. With online calculators, these numbers are very easy to figure out. Just put in you age, gender, height, weight, and activity level and it will tell you your macros. These calculators aren’t perfect but they are a good estimate on how much you need to consume daily.
For me personally, I like to consume 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight and around 3000 calories daily. It has worked well for me in building leg muscles but obviously everyone is different. If you have a fast metabolism, you’ll have to consume a bit more than the average person to put on mass. If you are hitting your calories but not gaining size, try getting more protein everyday. Be sure sure to hit your carbs as well. If you don’t, you won’t have the energy which will hinder your performance in the gym and in daily life. Also, try not to eat a lot of carbs 2 hours before going to bed.
This will spike insulin levels which will lead to lower human growth hormone levels when you fall asleep, a key hormone that helps muscle growth. You won’t be able to maximize muscle growth this way. Instead, consume slow digesting proteins like a steak or some cottage cheese. However, if you just worked out before going to bed, feel free to eat the carbs as muscle glycogen is deprived and needs to be refilled. This all ties into my next topic. Sleep!
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep is another huge part of the muscle building equation. If you don’t get enough sleep, your legs will be tired the next day and you won’t be able to get maximum performance out of you workout as you normally would. When you get enough sleep, your hormones are balanced.
Two anabolic hormones that help leg muscle growth are testosterone and IGF-1. When you are sleep deprived, these hormones take much longer to release which means your legs are unable to repair muscle and grow muscle.
Getting enough sleep has also shown to lower the levels of catabolic hormones, hormones that break down muscle. Studies have shown that people who got a good night’s sleep had dramatically lower cortisol levels than people who were sleep deprived. All in all, make sure you’re consistently getting the sleep your body needs. This will lead to bigger legs over time.
4. Be Consistent
This is probably the most important step of all. If you are unable to stay consistent with your leg workouts, don’t expect significant results. Spontaneous workouts will get you spontaneous results. On the other hand, those who show up to the gym every week and push their legs to the limit are the ones that are going to see great results.
You also have to remain consistent with other parts of the muscle building equation too like sleep and nutrition. If you make these three things your main focus and track your results weekly, you will build muscle. The results may not be instantaneous but over time your hard work and consistency will pay off, rewarding you for the effort you put in day in and day out.
If you don’t see results, don’t give up! You may just need to adjust your workout plan or diet. Overall, you must love the process of building massive legs and staying fit.by