5 Lower Body Workouts for Mass Gains

January 23, 2021

Lower Body Day workout

The most neglected body part is the one with the largest group of muscles. Legs. Especially with guys.

Think about it. Most guys train their upper body at least 3-4 times a week. You’ve got chest, back, shoulders, and arms. Now, think about how many days a week you train your lower body? Exactly.

But more important than the frequency of training is the effort put into your lower body workouts. Maybe you can get away with training those muscles once a week but only if you go all-out on leg day.

The problem is most don’t. And it’s not that most don’t want to train hard. They just don’t know how to train their lower body for maximum gains.

In this post, you’re going to get 5 awesome lower body workouts that will help you pack on more muscle mass and get stronger.

You’re also going to get the strategies to make your leg workouts more effective for muscle growth. And by default, your lower body strength will also increase.

Proper Way to Train Legs

Squats - parallel perfect squat

Before you we get to the workouts, let’s talk about proper lower body training.

How many times have you seen someone stack the leg press machine with endless 45 lb. plates only to look down and see that they have skinny legs?

It’s clear that what they’re doing isn’t working too well.

Though lifting heavy does play a ‘huge’ role in your lower body growth, that’s only a small part of the equation. There are certain techniques that you need to apply during your leg workouts.

If you’re not putting proper effort into your lower body you’re missing out on some serious gains in both muscle size and strength. Your legs are such a powerful muscle, or at least they should be.

Here are the concepts to gaining quality size in your lower body:

  • Don’t just do low reps with heavier weights. Make sure you’re also integrating higher reps.
  • Legs, especially quads, respond best to higher volume workouts (for most people).
  • Make sure that the muscle is doing the work by controlling the weight as you lift.
  • Mentally push yourself when training. More than often, your mind will give out before your legs do. You can go a lot further than you think!
  • Don’t get sloppy on your form. This goes for all body parts but especially for legs, and especially for exercises like squats, deadlifts, and leg press (anything where you’re using a substantial amount of weight).

**Also, make sure that you drink a pre-workout drink that helps give you mental focus, like PreFierce pre-workout.

Lower Body Workouts for Mass and Strength Gains

Deadlift Day weight bar

Now it’s time for the lower body workouts! These workouts are meant to be alternated and used together as they each serve a slightly different purpose.

For example, one leg workout may focus more on strength and power while another focuses more on higher reps and volume.
I’ll show you some ways you can do his at the end of this post.

Important Notes:

  • These workouts do not include warm-up sets. You can do a few sets of light leg extensions or start with lighter sets of the first exercise to warm up.
  • The foundation for your lower body training is based on squats and deadlifts, so you’ll see at least one of those exercises in each workout below.
  • Rest about 2 minutes between the major like squats and deadlifts.
  • Rest between 45 seconds to 1 minute between all other sets (unless otherwise specified).
  • Be sure to read all of the notes below each workout for any special instructions or different techniques you’ll be using.
  • Spent at least 5 minutes stretching your leg muscles after each workout.

Workout 1: Leg Builder

ExerciseSets x Reps
Squats4 x 6-8
Stiff-leg Deadlifts4 x 10
Leg Press4 x 15
Seated Leg Curls3 x 10*
Leg Extensions3 x 15*
Standing Calves Raises5 x 15*

*Perform a drop set on the final set.

This is an awesome and extremely effective bodybuilding leg workout. You’re starting out with some proven mass-building exercises for both quads and hamstrings.

Remember in the notes above how I talked about making your muscles do the work? This is crucial with the 2nd exercise, stiff-leg deadlifts. Make sure you’re consciously activating your hamstrings to pull the weight back up

This is where the mind-muscle connection comes in. I have another post on that here: How to Build Your Mind-Muscle Connection for Bigger Gains

Workout 2: High Volume Leg Day

ExerciseSets x Reps
Squats3 x 10
Leg Press7 x 12
Leg Extensions7 x 12
Lying Leg Curls7 x 12
Standing Calves Raises7 x 12

This leg workout is going to increase your level of building muscle, strength, and conditioning. That last part is important for lower body training; conditioning.

Upping your level of conditioning is going to help you push harder and go further in your leg workouts. This type of workout can also help you burn more fat while building muscle.

You’ll start out with just a few sets of squats. After that, it’s 7 sets of everything else. And the caveat here is to only rest 30-45 seconds between those 7 sets.

This comes from the FST-7 concept that many professional bodybuilders use, but of course, this particular leg workout is quite different. If you’d like to read more about FST-7 training, check out my post: FST-7 Full Workout Routine for Mass Gains

Workout 3: Leg Power Hour

ExerciseSets x Reps
Squats5 x 5
Deadlifts5 x 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Single-leg Extensions3 x 15
Single-leg Curls3 x 15
Seated Calves Raises3 x 15

This leg workout is all about strength, mass, and power. You’re going to start out almost as if you were doing a powerlifting routine with squats and deadlifts.

But you’re not going to stop there. After the heavy work is done, you’re going to finish with some isolation exercises.

It’s safe to say this workout will also build up your level of conditioning because its tough!

Workout 4: High Rep Leg Day

ExerciseSets x Reps
Leg Press5 x 25
Leg Extensions4 x 20
Seated Leg Curls4 x 20
Squats4 x 20
Standing Calves Raises5 x 20

This will be a brutal leg day, or sure! You’re going to be pumping out a ton of reps.

Obviously, you won’t be going heavy on these exercises. That being said, you’ll see that squats are towards the end.

For squats, take a weight that you can normally do 10 easy reps for, and cut that in half. Your legs are already going to be fatigued at this point.

The magic behind this technique is that it forces your leg muscles to work harder than they ever have on squats.

If you’re interested in more high volume leg workouts, you can read this post: Brutal Leg Workout: High Rep Leg Day

Workout 5: Big and Strong Lower Body

ExerciseSets x Reps
Squats3 x 3
Deadlifts3 x 3
Leg Press3 x 10
Leg Extensions3 x 15**
Lying Leg Curls3 x 15**
Seated Calves Raises3 x 15**

**Do a rest-pause set on the final set (you can read more about this method here).

You’re going to start out with a powerlifting-style strategy for this leg workout. It’s going to be a heavy leg day, for sure.

After that, you’re going to focus more on building the muscle tissue with isolation exercises (after leg press).

And you’ll also be doing the rest-pause method, which will have you wobbling out of the gym.

Leg Workout Program

Now it’s time to put it all together and create a program that you can follow. There are a couple of ways you can do this:

  1. Do a different leg workout each week (1-5 above)
  2. Train legs twice a week having one heavy day and one higher volume or higher rep day.

Here’s a simple lower body training schedule for the first option:

  • Week 1: Workout 1 – Leg Builder
  • Week 2: Workout 2 – High Volume Leg Day
  • Week 3: Workout 3 – Leg Power Hour
  • Week 4: Workout 4 – High Rep Leg Day
  • Week 5: Workout 5 – Big and Strong Lower Body

The 2nd option has you training legs twice a week, alternating a more heavy training day with one that has more volume:

  • Monday: Workout 3 – Leg Power Hour
  • Thursday: Workout 4 – High Rep Leg Day

You could continue repeating this pattern or mix it up the following week with something like this:

  • Monday: Workout 5 – Big and Strong Lower Body
  • Thursday: Workout 2 – High Volume Leg Day

There are several ways you can do this.

You may be wondering why I’m recommending mixing up the workouts each week. You don’t necessarily have to do that. But changing things up is a good way to prevent your muscles from adapting to the same workout.

It’s also a great way to keep yourself challenged and excited about your workouts. And you’re not completely changing the workout, you’re just making subtle changes.

This is the exact method used in my Hardcore Muscle Building Program.

*Be sure to check that out now!

Train with Passion,

Jason

About the author

Jason Stallworth

Hi, I'm Jason Stallworth and I created The Muscle Program in 2010 for the purpose of helping you build muscle. I know first-hand how weight training and being in the gym has shaped my life in more way than one. And here is where I share that experience with you so that you can continue pushing yourself and becoming the best version of yourself each day!