My goal is to get huge legs. I want massive quads, huge hamstrings and calves like tree trunks. Here is my workout. I do leg extensions to warm-up my quads and knees. Then I do lunges, squats, leg press, leg curls, deadlifts and calf raises. I use heavy weight and do 3-4 sets per exercise for 4-6 reps. Does this look like a good workout to build huge legs?
After warming up with the leg extensions, you really want to focus your main energy early in your workout towards the biggest mass building exercise for your legs, which is barbell squats. If you do lunges before squats, you are simply not taking full advantage of your energy reserves and you will limit your ability to add muscle mass to your legs. Lunges are a great “finishing” exercise to include at the end of your leg workout because of the fact that you simply can’t go super heavy on them. Barbell squats are the king of all exercises because you can pack some serious weight on the bar and get after it! So, always include the biggest mass building exercises early on in your workout to maximize your growth potential.
Here is another example of why proper exercise sequence is so important. You would never do 3-4 sets of cable crossovers for your first exercise in your chest workout if your goal was to pack on slabs of muscle. You would do the king of all chest exercises, which is the barbell bench press because this compound multi-joint exercise recruits the most muscle fibers into the movement by allowing a very heavy amount of weight to be packed on the bar.
The workout you included looks like a very intense day of leg training. You might want to mix in a little higher repetition range for your workouts every few weeks. By using a little different rep range, you will be shocking your muscles into growth since you will be giving them new stimuli to change and adapt to. Along with changing up your rep range, also switch up the types of exercises you use. Every week, your goal should be to choose a brand new workout routine for your legs. If you did squats last week, then do heavy leg press on the sled this week. If you keep doing the same exercises week in and week out, your legs will simply get used to the routine and will stop growing.
I recommend increasing your reps up to 8-10 reps per set for overall hypertrophy (muscle growth). You can still go as heavy as possible but a little higher reps on the basic leg exercises might help you build more mass. Only train legs once per week and you should never go over 1 hour per workout. Hit it hard and then get out of the gym so you can rest and grow!
Along with using basic multi-joint mass building exercises like the barbell squats with super heavy weight to pack on lean muscle mass, the other extremely important thing you need to remember to focus on is your diet. Without enough of the right type of calories coming in, you will not stand a chance of building massive legs since your body will simply be screaming for nutrients to properly recover and grow. Your diet accounts for at least 70% of your physique results, so always place a very high importance on eating the right foods with enough protein, carbs and fat to prime your body to grow and to provide fuel for intense workouts. Your pre-workout and post-workout meals are extremely important since these are what are considered your “windows of opportunity” during the day to really optimize your hard work in the gym. If you don’t get enough food before working out, you will simply run out of gas and will not have the energy needed to push you through a super intense workout. Your post-workout nutrition is also very important since you want to get the optimum amount of nutrients into your body quickly after your workout so your muscles can recover and get bigger.
The three important macronutrients to evaluate in your diet are protein, carbohydrates and fat. Your protein should come from lean sources like skinless chicken breast, lean red meat, seafood, tuna and egg whites. Focus on eating at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day and divide this number up into 5-6 meals. If you currently weigh 200 pounds, you should be eating at least 200 grams of protein per day. Divide this up into 5-6 meals throughout the day it will break down to around 35-40 grams of protein per meal. This should be equivalent to about 6-8 ounces of lean meat like chicken breast or lean steak.
Carbohydrates are also very important for providing you with a supply of energy for your workouts. Some great complex carb sources to include in your diet include yams (sweet potatoes), brown rice, oatmeal (steel cut is ideal) and organic whole wheat bread (Ezekiel bread is ideal). If you are naturally very lean and can easily handle a lot of carbs, you can add in other carb sources like whole wheat pasta. However, if you pack on body fat quickly and are more of an endomorph body type (hold more fat), you will probably need to really watch your carb intake closely to make sure you don’t pack on too much body fat. There is a fine line between packing on lean muscle and bulking up too much and adding unwanted body fat. Too many guys in the gym go way overboard with their calorie and carb intake and just think that the more food they eat, the more muscular they will become. This is simply not true. Yes, you will pack on weight and get bulkier but a large percentage of the gain is most likely body fat versus rock hard lean muscle. So, always monitor your body fat by simply looking in the mirror to see if you’re packing on fat in your stomach area which is a good indicator to cut back a little on the massive pasta meals.
A good rule of thumb is to try to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day. A great tip is to prepare all of your meals for the entire week which is very convenient and will help you to put your nutrition plan on automatic mode. When everything is already prepared, you never have to think about what to cook and when to prepare a meal during the week. When you prepare everything in advance, you will simply reach into your fridge or cooler and have a nutrient dense meal ready to eat which is perfect for staying on track and eating the right foods to pack on muscle mass. Try and prepare everything on Sunday afternoon and then store your meals in Tupperware for quick and easy access during the day. Meal preparation is one of the most important things you can do when trying to eat enough calories to pack on muscle mass since you basically take the guesswork out of your nutrition plan by having all of your meals precooked and ready to go!