If you want to have a powerful “alpha” physique, you need to build a solid base and perform the right exercises (via workout for big quads).
This means that you can never skip leg day and that you must place a huge emphasis on developing tree trunk legs.
It’s an unfortunate fact that many people just starting out at the gym focus primarily on their upper body. However, this is only going to slow down their overall progress.
It’s very important to not “spot build,” and to focus on developing an impressive base and build lean muscle mass head to toe.
Many people don’t train their legs because they are not concerned with how their lower body looks and are only worried about their beach body muscles. Let’s dive into this concept and debunk this myth very quickly.
If you don’t train your legs, you are minimizing your anabolic hormone release. Your anabolic hormones are the most powerful thing that can skyrocket your lean muscle building capabilities and consist of hormones such as testosterone, human growth hormone, insulin, and IGF-1.
One of the proven ways to increase the number of anabolic hormones your body secrets is through maximum intensity compound exercises that work on your body’s largest and strongest muscle groups.
There is a direct relation to lifting heavy weight and increasing vital anabolic hormones.
Two of your body’s largest and strongest muscle groups are located in your lower body (quadriceps and hamstrings). If you neglect these muscles, you are really cutting your muscle building potential short.
This means that when you only train your upper body, you will actually be weaker as a result. Although you have large muscle groups in your upper body such as your pectorals, lats, and rhomboids, 2 of your body’s 5 largest muscle groups are your hamstrings and quadriceps.
Even if your primary focus is on how your biceps, abs, and pectorals look, you still need to perform 1 maximum intensity leg day per week. This can be as simple as working in 5 heavy sets of squats and deadlifts.
However, if you want maximum results, you need to blast through leg day with conviction and passion, hitting your quads and hamstrings like you mean it! We are going to dive into the ultimate leg workout in the following section.
The 1st rule is that you have to put a lot of overload on your leg muscles because they will only experience hypertrophy and respond to an increase in overload. This means that you need to perform the major leg exercises like the squat (3-10 rep range), and also stiff legged deadlifts and leg presses (6-8 rep range).
While your favorite bodybuilder may do high repetition leg workouts on YouTube, you have to keep in mind that there is a decent chance that they are likely on steroids and will respond to any type of overload and stimulus. Even if they are not, at some point in their training career they put the maximum amount of overload on their leg muscles with heavy squats and deadlifts. Once they hit their ideal lean body mass number, they dialed it back and performed more high repetition leg exercises.
The moral of the story here is: for a natural bodybuilder or athlete, DON’T BE AFRAID TO SQUAT HEAVY! SKIP THE MACHINES!
It’s a good idea to train your leg muscles with a variety of proven muscle building exercises.
The compound exercises like the squat and deadlift should be the big staples in your regimen, and then you can add in other high-intensity quadricep and hamstring exercises.
The best leg exercises (aside from the staples, which are hands down the most important) will consist of an array of different exercises such as the dumbbell lunge, dumbbell step-up, dumbbell Bulgarian split squat, dumbbell deadlift on a deficit, calf raise, weighted dumbbell squat jumps, sumo squats, barbell lunges, machine leg curls, and leg extensions.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of potential leg exercises at your arsenal! Remember: focus 80% of your effort on heavy compound lifts.
One of the best strategies for maximizing your lean muscle building capability is the concept of progressive overload with your leg workouts. This means that you will accurately track your workouts from week to week and write down your weight and repetitions.
Say for example you did the barbell squat and you did 225 lbs for 7 repetitions. Next workout you will note this before you start and you will make sure you push yourself to do 225 lbs at 8 repetitions.
This lays the foundation for progressive overload and will assure that you are getting bigger and stronger legs. Aim to make a little progress every workout, and it will add up over time.
Some athletes will have a different opinion on this, but we’re going to include it anyway. Just like when you work your biceps, chest, or shoulder, your leg muscles may respond best to a new kind of overload that is placed on it.
Your body is really stubborn and will find any reason not to build itself to be bigger and stronger.
The best thing that you can do to make sure your body never completely adjusts to the workouts you are placing on it is to change it up sometimes.
This means that you are not only changing the exercises, but also your weight, repetition ranges, and rest times between sets. This doesn’t mean that you should change your routine every week.
What it means is that after a few months of solid training if you notice progress slowing then maybe it’s time to try something new.
The overall strategy ultimately remains simple: lift heavy, hit the gym with intensity, and aim to best your previous workouts in some way.
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Building muscle after 50 years of age (and older) is entirely possible with the right training program and proper nutrition. It’s never too late to transform your body and increase your strength. Follow these tips to make it happen!