By Jesse White, Spartans Personal Trainer
Science has shown a direct correlation in leg development and an increase in the levels of serum testosterone and growth hormone, which can induce superior strength training adaptations in all other aspects of your training. This basically means, train legs more efficiently, more often and you will most likely elicit more growth overall.
However, the key word here is training efficiently. Half squats and leg extensions simply don’t cut it. For true leg development and massive gains, squatting below parallel and deadlifting properly is absolutely crucial. Too many times as a coach I see horrendous deadlifts and terrible squats, the only gains you make with terrible technique are injuries.
Big compound movements have proven, time and time again over the last 6 decades to trump isolation exercises relative to maximising overall growth. The deadlift is a leg movement, a hip hinging, posterior chain blasting, glute growing monster of an exercise… when done correctly.
Newsflash! Your legs are bigger and stronger than your back, use them!
Now depending on your make up of muscle fibres, finding the variant of higher volume over high intensity or vice versa is up to you or a competent trainer to figure out with smart programming and some trial and error. Usually, once someone starts to train properly, great leg development is almost always a direct result almost always a direct result.
Some of the best glutes on the planet come from countries where Olympic Lifting is the national sport, Why? Well, of course you have a genetic limitation to how big you can grow your glutes, but size and development vary slightly. Olympic lifters will front squat (another very effective leg developer) and back squat deep, Mariana Trench deep. Now not everyone can squat that deep, there are often biomechanical and mobility inhibitors.
But, nonetheless big butt, big quads, deep squats.
To conclude this rant on leg training, any training you do in the gym is effectively better than sitting on the couch eating cool ranch Doritos, even though they are delicious. But to truly utilise your time in the gym, make more of an effort to exercise properly, don’t wing it, squats and deadlifts are hard, they are not easy. So I’ll leave on the beautiful Japanese philosophy of Kaizen.
“Continuous improvement is a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality.”
Have a lovely day- Jesse