by: Brandon Richey
Thunder Thighs…Do You Want Big Legs?
So today I’m steering the conversation into a little bit of a different direction. Being that I work with several different athletes and serious fitness junkies I’m usually talking about strictly performance based results. What I mean is that I usually end up directing my focus towards how to increase one’s speed, how to increase your deadlift, how to get lean while maintaining strength, etc. However with today’s subject I want to talk about how to get BIG, and more specifically how to get BIG LEGS! Keep on reading if you want to get those legs swole!
So What Are You Doing To Develop Those Thunder Thighs?
The reason I’m taking today’s discussion into the direction of SIZE is because I just recently got asked by a brand new student of mine the other day about what I would recommend to build big legs. I simply mentioned 3 things right away: Squats, Deadlifts, And Volume! Yes, the biggest way to develop big thighs is to train with high volume in whole body movement patterns that stress those lower extremities.
As you can see it’s the eccentric contraction, or in the case of the squat or deadlift exercise it is the lowering portion of the weight during the lift. Resisting the load on the way down into the movement is what will ultimately build size in the case of squats and deadlifts. As Elliot points out you can focus on the concentric movement purely for the “strength element” and if you have the means you can drop the bar on the deadlifts if you want to avoid the more aggressive size gains. Otherwise load that bad boy up and crank out a boat load of volume Arnold style.
You can see that these guys (as bodybuilders) are totally focused on the volume or that much needed TUT (time under tension) component for building aggressive size. However you will notice that they are doing squats which are a much more preferred lift to doing something such as leg extensions or leg curls, particularly if you just happen to be an athlete. Whole body movements are much more advantageous from a functional standpoint than single joint movements, and will reduce the likelihood of an injury, particularly if you are a competing athlete.
Volume is an important ingredient for size. I remember back in my college days loading up anywhere from 275 to 315 lbs. on the squat bar and just telling myself Brandon you’re going to squat this son of b#tch for 12 reps, period! The 12 rep selection was good because at the time I was wanting to just build pure size. I told myself I was going to lift this weight for 12 reps no matter what and the bar wasn’t coming off my shoulders until I reached that desired number.
For me personally I would continue on set after set with the same amount of weight on the bar. However, some days I used to set a goal with the set count! I would say I’m doing 10 sets of 10 and then blow out the legs and be done. If I had more time I would do more squats. The point is that I was squatting some big volume. The weight may have fluctuated, but I challenged myself with big numbers. You can mix this up anyway you wish so long as you’re getting in the TUT and the volume.
I’m not so size focused this day and age, but there is a time and a place for stressing the body for size gains. I mean every now and then I like to squeak out some high volume squats somewhere in the 12 to 15 rep range. You can go more reps, but the point is that you are stressing the body either with TUT, or with many working reps. Either way you’ll HULKIFY your legs. Did I just say HUlKIFY? Is that even word? I don’t know, but I like it!
Feel free to leave your questions and comments in the comment box below. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend. Start your smart training today.