How many leg workouts do you have every week? If you answered one, then you’re like most people. And like most people, you’re selling yourself short. The truth is, no matter how good your program is, if you’re only training a muscle group once per week, you’re not getting the most out of your workouts. To that end, we’ll go over two leg workouts that are meant to compliment each other and enhance your gym results. But first:
Two Leg Workouts are Better Than One
Two leg workouts per week are the sweet spot for most lifters. Research has shown numerous times that training each muscle group more than once per week is better for muscle growth and strength development. But why two? Think of it this way:
If you trained your legs once per week, you’d have to do a lot of training volume to make good progress. Upward of 14-16 sets. And, let’s face it, that’s pretty brutal, and most natural lifters feel exhausted by the end of it. Plus, the soreness that ensues is not fun.
Now, if you were to split that workload within two sessions, you’d achieve a few things:
First, thanks to volume allocation, you will be able to do most of your sets in a fresh state. That way, you would be able to perform more total repetitions with more weight, leading to quicker progress. In fact, if your legs are a weak point, you can do even more sets within these two workouts and make them grow into proportion with your upper body quicker. Second, you wouldn’t be destroying your legs in one grand workout, and thus the muscle soreness would barely exist. Plus, walking up a flight of stairs wouldn’t be such a challenge. Win-win.
And finally, if your goal is to get stronger, having two leg workouts would allow you to have more quality practice on your main lift. For example, if you want to improve your squat, you need to practice the lift more. But, doing 8 or 10 sets of squats in one workout would be suicide. But, if you do them in two sessions, you can more easily do the total 8-10 weekly sets with a higher load. This will result in you getting stronger more quickly. With that out of the way, let’s review the two workouts.
The Two Leg Workouts for Mass and Strength
Workout A (e.g., Tuesday)
Barbell back squats - 4 sets, 6-10 repetitions
Barbell or dumbbell Romanian deadlift - 3 sets, 6-12 repetitions
Seated calf raise - 3 sets, 8-15 repetitions
Workout B (e.g., Friday)
Alternating barbell or dumbbell lunges - 3 sets, 6-10 repetitions
Seated or lying hamstring curls - 3 sets, 8-15 repetitions
Glute ham raise - 3 sets, 8-15 repetitions
Hack Squat 2-3 sets, 8-15 repetitions
- If your goal is to bring up your squat strength, you can start workout B with a squat variation (front squat, goblet squat, low-bar back squat, pause squat, etc.) for extra practice.Also, you can do heavier squat sets on workout A (say, four sets of 5) and lighter sets on workout B (say, three sets of 8-12).
- Depending on multiple factors such as your age, genetics, and ability to recover, you may need to adjust the total set number up or down. But, this is a great outline for the majority of guys out there.
- On workout B, you can substitute the glute ham raise for a quad movement such as leg press, leg extension, or hack squat.
- You can substitute the calf work for extra hamstring, quad, or glute training. Especially if they are particularly well-developed or you simply don’t care to grow them.