by Jason Stallworth

July 30, 2014

How many times do you train your upper body per week? I know many do two-three days for the upper body. But have you ever thought of training legs twice a week?

If you think about it, the typical bodybuilding workout has us training upper body 3-4 times a week. But most of us only train legs once! This is a HUGE (no pun intended) problem, and I’ll explain why below. 

In this post, I’m going to share why you should consider training legs twice a week, and you’re also going to get several leg workouts you can start doing!

Why You Need 2 Leg Days

The problem with training legs only once a week is that legs are your largest muscle! Shouldn’t they get more attention than just one measly day??

Joe Hurricane on muscularstrength.com tells us that our legs are made up of 6 muscles:

  1. Quads
  2. Glutes
  3. Hamstrings
  4. Calves
  5. Inner abductors
  6. Outer abductors

But get this…those muscles can actually be broken down into more muscles (your larger muscles are a combination of 2-3 more muscles!)

So it makes perfect sense to give more attention to your legs, right? If you really want to add more size to your legs, once a week may not cut it. 

This is what a typical bodybuilding workout looks like:

  • Day 1: Chest
  • Day 2: Back
  • Day 3: Legs
  • Day 4: Shoulders
  • Day 5: Arms

Legs are looking kinda lonely there! Of course, that’s not a bad workout plan, and many great physiques have been built on this type of workout routine. But I have something better for you…

Now let me show you what your new workout routine will look like training legs twice a week!

Legs Twice A Week: 

  • Day 1: Upper body
  • Day 2: Legs (leg workout 1)
  • Day 3: Upper body
  • Day 4: Upper body
  • Day 5: Legs (leg workout 2)

Just glancing at the ‘legs twice a week’ workout looks far more effective for building huge legs!

Now let’s dive into several leg workouts you can start doing! 

Full Workout Routine Training Legs Twice a Week

training legs twice a week

Below is a full workout routine. Full like you just ate a whole pizza full! Yes, you’ll be hitting legs twice a week as promised. But I’m giving you an entire workout plan that includes your upper body as well. 

I’m doing this because in case you were mumbling ‘Dude, I already have a set schedule for all of my body parts…now you want me to add an extra day for legs?’ 

No! Don’t worry, I’m not throwing an extra day on you! Rather, I’m going to show you how to get everything done in the same amount of time while incorporating 2 leg days

Monday: Back

Exercise Sets x Reps
Bent over rows 4 x 6-8
Seated rows 4 x 8
Lat pulldowns 3 x 8
Dumbbell rows 3 x 8-10
Cable pullovers 3 x 8-10

Tuesday: Legs (Leg Day 1)

Exercise Sets x Reps
Squats 4 x 6-8
Leg Press 4 x 10
Leg Extensions 4 x 15
Stiff-leg deadlifts 4 x 10
Calves raises 5 x 15

Wednesday: Chest and Biceps

Exercise Sets x Reps
Bench press 4 x 6-8
Incline Dumbbell press 4 x 8
Dumbbell flyes 4 x 10
Dumbbell hammer curls 3 x 10
Preacher curls 3 x 10

Thursday: Shoulder and Triceps

Exercise Sets x Reps
Seated overhead press 4 x 6-8
Dumbbell press (Arnold press) 4 x 8
Lateral raises 4 x 10
Skull crushers 3 x 10
Rope pressdowns 3 x 10

Friday: Legs (Leg Day 2)

Exercise Sets x Reps
Deadlifts 4 x 3-5
Front Squats 4 x 8
Leg Extensions 4 x 15
Leg Curls 4 x 15
Calves raises 5 x 15

Major Benefits of Squats and Deadlifts

benefits of squats and deadlifts

You may have noticed that your leg training is focused around two major compound exercises: squats and deadlifts. There’s a reason for that.

The bottom line is squats and deadlifts are your core strength training exercises. And they will also help you pack on more mass! But there’s something else

The greatest benefit of training legs twice a week with squats and deadlifts is elevating your hormone levels. In short, these exercises help to naturally increase your testosterone levels.

You can learn more here in my post: What I Recommend to Increase Testosterone

Weight Training Techniques for Bigger Legs

Before we get into the other leg workouts I want to give you, let’s talk about some techniques you can use to make your leg workouts more intense. Of course, you can apply this to all body parts (I encourage you to!)

  • 5 x 5 – Kinda self-explanatory, but yes, 5 sets of 5 reps (a phenomenal strength training method!)
  • Supersets – Do a set, then go to another exercise and do a set (with minimal rest between sets)
  • Drop sets – Do a set, drop weight about 30-40% and do another set
  • Rest-pause sets – Do a set, rest 7-10 seconds and do another with the same weight
  • FST-7 – 7 sets on final exercise for that muscle (a technique created by Hany Rambod, bodybuilding trainer/coach, to stretch the muscle fascia)
  • 20-rep sets – Not really a technique, I guess, but it is brutal! 

The workouts below are going to use some of these techniques. Here’s an example…

You could start your leg workout doing 5 x 5 for squats. Then do 20-rep sets for leg press. And maybe do drop sets or rest-pause sets for leg curls and extensions, or superset them! 

You can play around with these techniques and create some pretty awesome workouts! 

More 2x A Week Leg Workout Routines

Are you ready for some more leg workouts? Of course, you are! 

Now that you have a full workout program for training legs twice a week, I want to give you some more leg workout options.

In fact, I’m going to give you three routines you can do for legs, twice a week (so technically, you’re going to get 6 leg workouts below). You’ll also be using some of the weight training techniques that we just talked about to increase intensity.

**One thing to keep in mind is to make sure there are at least two days (preferably three) between each leg workout.

Strength Building Leg Workouts 

This twice a week leg workout routine is based on the 5×5 strength training method. And it’s one of my all-time favorite techniques because it forces you to get stronger, and will also add quality muscle size to your lower body.

5×5 Strength Leg Workout 1

Exercise Sets x Reps
Squats 5 x 5
Leg Press 3 x 12
Leg Curls 3 x 12
Calves raises 5 x 15

5×5 Strength Leg Workout 2

Exercise Sets x Reps
Deadlifts 5 x 5
Front Squats 3 x 12
Leg Extensions 3 x 12
Calves Raises 5 x 15

**If you want to learn more about the 5×5 strength training method (and want some workouts to follow), check out my post: Advanced 5×5 Workouts

High-Intensity Leg Workouts 

These are leg workouts for you who are high-intensity nut-cases! You’ll be using both supersets and drop sets. You’ll be in and out of the gym with a solid leg pump! 

High Intensity Leg Workout 1

Exercise Sets x Reps
Squats (supersets with below) 4 x 6-8
Decline Sit-ups 4 x 10
Leg Extensions (triple drop set on final set) 3 x 8-12
Leg Curls (triple drop set on final set) 3 x 8-12
Calves Raises 5 x 15

High Intensity Leg Workout 2

Exercise Sets x Reps
Deadlifts (supersets with below) 4 x 6-8
Rope Crunches 4 x 10
Leg Extensions (triple drop set on final set) 3 x 8-12
Leg Curls (triple drop set on final set) 3 x 8-12
Calves Raises 5 x 15

Lean Mass Building Leg Workouts 

The third set of leg workout routines for training legs twice a week is based on my Lean Muscle Building Program. These leg workouts are brutal and give you the best of everything…strength, muscle mass, and definition! 

The workouts are similar to the above (the intense leg workouts) but you’re going to be doing more supersets to keep moving below.

As Ozzy says, No Rest for the Wicked (I’m not saying you’re wicked…that’s just a cool Ozzy album I had to throw in there!)

By the way, if you like metal workout music, check out this album called Heavy Metal Workout:

iTunes
Spotify
Google Play
Amazon

Lean Mass Leg Workout 1

Exercise Sets x Reps
Deadlifts 4 x 3-6
Single-Leg Press (supersets with below) 5 x 10
Stiff-Leg Deadlifts 5 x 10
Leg Extensions (supersets with below) 4 x 12
Leg Curls 4 x 12
Calves raises (drop set on all sets) 4 x 15+

Lean Mass Leg Workout 2

Exercise Sets x Reps
Squats 4 x 6-8
Leg Press (supersets with below) 5 x 10
Leg Curls 5 x 10
Leg Extensions (supersets with below) 4 x 12
Single-Leg Curls 4 x 12
Calves raises (drop set on all sets) 4 x 15+

What To Eat On Leg Day When Training Legs Twice A Week

No workout routine is complete without talking about food! And you may be wondering if there’s a special meal plan when training legs twice a week.

There’s no secret meal plan here, but you may want to consider increasing your overall calorie intake. Training legs twice a week is going to take a toll on you, and you’ll need those calories to recover (unless you’re taking some kind of super recovery supplement, or the ‘other stuff’ – but you still need to eat!)

Here are some basic nutrition rules for training legs 2x a week: 

  • Up your overall calories on leg day
  • Eat plenty of quality calories the day before your leg workouts (for energy)
  • Eat a high protein and high carb meal post-workout 

The most important meal you’re going to have on leg day is your post-workout meal, so I want to give you my preferred shake below…

Post Leg Workout Meal (High Carb-Protein Shake)

post leg workout meal

This is one of my mass gaining shakes and it’s extremely relevant for post leg workouts (you can reduce the calories on other days, like remove the oatmeal)

But for leg day, those extra carbs and calories will kick-start the recovery process to rebuild those tree-trunk legs you about to have. 

Here’s the recipe: 

  • 2 scoops of whey protein
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of dark frozen berries
  • 1 teaspoon of raw natural honey
  • 1/2 serving of oatmeal

You can substitute these ingredients as you see fit. For example, you may throw in a cup of yogurt instead of oatmeal (oatmeal will make your shake grainy if you have a cheap blender!).

Or you could load it up with more fruit. I like to use frozen fruits (organic) because of the texture it gives your protein shakes…yum!

For more meal plans and ideas, check out the post below that caters to your specific goals:

Are You Ready For 2 Leg Days?

Make no mistake, having two leg days is going to take more energy and mental focus. **You can take a pre-workout like 4 Gauge to help with this – read more about 4 Gauge in my post here.

Along with proper nutrition (aka more calories), make sure you’re also well-rested the day before your leg workouts. 

The benefits of training legs twice a week are pretty amazing. And you’ll notice results fast with this type of workout.

After reading through this, you may decide that you’ll NEVER train legs once a week again! You can thank me later when you’re buying new jeans because you’re quads are bursting out of your old ones! 

**If you’re ready to commit to a full 12-week weight training program that caters to your goal, take a look at my premium muscle building programs:

Hardcore Muscle Building Program
Lean Muscle Building Program

Train with Passion,

Jason 

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