Legs and Abs Workout for Mass

by Jason Stallworth

July 21, 2020

Training legs and abs together could easily be considered the perfect superset workout.

There are two awesome and unique benefits you’ll get this routine:

  1. Because you’re supersetting with ab exercises, you’ll double-down on your workload without taking away any strength from your leg exercises.
  2. The supersets keep you moving throughout your workout, which can help keep your body fat lower than usual when you’re training for mass.

In this post, you’re going to get a complete legs and abs workout for mass. I’m also going to give you some additional tips on how to make this workout even more effective.

Go make yourself a protein shake and maybe even get your pre-workout ready. You’re going to want to hit the gym after you read this.

Legs and Abs Superset Workout

Legs - Squats for mass

We’re going to jump right into the workout below. I’ll list out the exercises, sets and reps.

After that, I’ll break down each part of the workout because there are certain legs and ab exercises that seem to work best together for supersets. And I also have some exercise-specific tips I want to share with you. I’ll explain all of that.

Pre-workout Notes

Let’s get into your workout, but first here are some things to consider before starting:

  • Do some type of warm-up first. Walking on the treadmill or riding a recumbent bike for 10-15 minutes will do just fine.
  • Do a little light dynamic stretching prior to your workout.
  • You don’t want to do this workout on a full stomach!
  • On the other hand, make sure you have the sustainability needed for this workout, such as a pre-workout meal with some protein and complex carbs.
  • Consider taking a pre-workout drink like PreFierce

Your Workout

Each section below is intended to be supersetted. For example, in the first round of exercises you’ll do a set of leg extensions then do a set of standing calve raises.

There are 4 total rounds of supersets in this workout. You don’t necessarily have to rush to the next exercise you’re supersetting with. But it does need to happen quickly so don’t stop to chit-chat on your way to that exercise.

Plan to rest about 45 seconds to 1 minute between each round of supersets.

Superset 1

ExerciseSets x Reps
Leg Extensions5 x 15
Standing Calve Raises5 x 15

Superset 2

ExerciseSets x Reps
Squats5 x 8-10
Knee Raises5 x 20

Superset 3

ExerciseSets x Reps
Leg Press5 x 12
Rope Crunches5 x 12

Superset 4

ExerciseSets x Reps
Lying Leg Curls4 x 10
Leg Raises4 x 10

You may have noticed there’s not a ton of focus on hamstrings with this particular workout.

There are 2 things to note:

– I train legs twice a week and the 2nd leg workout I do has more hamstring work involved

– You can use this concept I’m sharing with you and make it work for any exercises if you want to change things up.

Legs and Abs Workout Video

Below is a YouTube video I made for this exact workout (I actually made the video and this blog post the day of this work!).

Now, let’s get into some additional notes about the workout below. I’ll breakdown each round of supersets to give you some deeper and more helpful info…

Leg Extensions Superset with Abs or Calves

It’s typical to start your leg workout with leg extensions. This helps warm up your knees before doing squats. And it’s also a great way to get your blood flowing.

In this case, you can gradually increase the weight each set. Here’s an example:

  • Set 1: 90 lbs
  • Set 2: 110 lbs
  • Set 3: 130 lbs
  • Set 4: 150 lbs
  • Set 5: 170 lbs

By the time you get to that final set it should be challenging to get 15 reps.

Now, you can superset these with an ab exercise. However, in this particular workout, you’re supersetting leg extensions with calves. Any calve exercise will do.

For calves, you can follow the same pattern. Gradually increase the weight each set. That final set should be tough and make sure you perform those last few reps slower to get that deep burn.

TIP FOR BUILDING CALVES: This is not listed in this post, but at the end of every leg workout I like to do a method called 75’s for calves.

Choose a weight you can do about 20 reps with. Perform a set, rest for about 10 seconds and perform another set using the same weight.

Keep repeating that until you hit a total of 75 reps or more. This technique will force your calves to grow!

Squats Superset with Knee Raises

Abs - Knee Raises on bench

Any ab exercise is great to superset with squats. Having strong abs is essential for stability when you squat and can help prevent injury.

But one of the best ab exercises to superset with squats is knee raises.

This particular ab exercise forces you to keep your core muscles tighter throughout the movement. And a tight, strong core is what is needed for a better squat.

Squats…the king of exercises!

I’m personally a firm believer in doing squats every leg workout. Just the movement alone builds overall muscle and can also help with conditioning, and even fat loss because of the energy expenditure.

One thing I encourage you to do is to make sure you really feel your leg muscles working through each rep. This is key for building muscle, in general. But especially for squats.

Make sure you get that natural curvature as you squat, keeping a slight arch in your back, and focus on pressing the weight with your heels.

And flex those quads when you get to the top of the movement. Follow these tactics rather than just moving weight from point A to B.

Leg Press Superset with Rope Crunches

Legs - Leg press moderate weight

Now we go over to the leg press machine. And this is an exercise I strongly recommend for supersets.

The reason is because some have a tendency to sit on the leg press machine and play with their phone in between sets. Don’t do that!

Instead, get up and move around. And in this case, you’re going to be going over to the cable machine to do a set of rope crunches.

LEG PRESS TIP: Don’t be one of the many who loads the leg press machine with as many plates as it will hold only to go down just a few inches.

That’s not a rep, and it does absolutely nothing for building your leg muscles. Rather, get a full range of motion and force your legs to work harder.

Also, don’t be ‘that person’ who can leg press 1,000 lbs but can’t squat 225!

Leg Curls Superset with Knee Raises

Abs - Leg Raises on dip machine

Lastly, you’ll be supersetting your hamstrings with a lower ab exercise. In the workout, lying leg curls is listed. But it can be any hamstring exercise such as standing or seated leg curls, or even stiff-leg deadlifts, which is a great exercise for targeting your hams.

The ab exercise you’ll do in this workout is leg raises. You can either do these on the dip machine, as seen above and in the video. Or you can do hanging leg raises if your gym has a pull-up bar (most cable crossover machines have this in the middle, up top).

The reason these exercises work so well together for supersets is because they’re practically the opposite movement.

  • With leg curls, you’re pulling with your hamstrings.
  • With leg raises, you’re pushing your legs out in the opposing direction.

This somewhat gives you the benefits of training agonist with antagonist muscles together.

Tips for Supersetting Legs and Abs

When it comes to doing supersets, you really need to scope out your gym and make a plan. And this can be a challenge if the gym is crowded.

Here are some things that can help save you frustration before you start your legs and abs superset workout:

  • Have a plan before you get to the gym (which I just gave you in this post!)
  • Be prepared to make changes to your original workout plan based on the below
  • Choose ab exercises that are in close proximity to each of the leg exercises you plan to perform
  • Try your best to choose areas in the gym that aren’t as crowded at that time
  • Again, be prepared to not only make changes to your original workout plan, but to also make changes on the fly

In some cases it may not be feasible to do a legs and abs superset workout. Especially if you train at prime time when the gym is packed.
If the gym is busy, someone is prone to taking your machine as soon as you get up to go to your superset, and that can cause problems.

If that’s the case, just do straight sets and alternate legs and abs. For example, do your 5 sets of squats followed by 5 sets of knee raises instead of supersetting those exercises. Just rest less, like 20 seconds, between your sets of abs.

Try this workout on your next day and see how it works for you. Also, fee free to share this post!

Excuses Don’t Build Muscle,

Jason

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