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5 Awesome Workouts for Huge Quads

February 11, 2020

Workouts for Huge Quads

Are you ready to take your quad development to the next level? Or are quads a weak muscle that you know you need to focus on?

You’re going to get 5 awesome workouts for building huge quads below!

The idea is to split up your workout for quads and hamstrings. Here, we’re focusing on quads but I’ll also show you what to do for hamstrings towards the end of this post.

Go mix up your pre-workout and sip on it while you read about these workouts to make your quads grow. Because you’re going to want to hit the gym after this!

Quads Workout 1: Basic Muscle Builder

Dumbbell Lunges

This first workout is a basic muscle builder that focuses on maximizing basic exercises for quads.

You’ll achieve this with some techniques that increase your workout intensity (you’ll notice the asterisks ‘*’ in the workouts, which are explained below each of the workouts).

ExerciseSets x Reps
Squats4 x 8*
Leg Press4 x 12**
Leg Extensions4 x 12**
Dumbbell Lunges3 x 10

*Do 2 warmup sets before your working sets. Start your first working set with moderate weight and go up in weight about 10% each set.

**Do a rest-pause set on the final set (rest 20 seconds after final set and do another).

***Drop set on the final set (reduce the weight about 30% for the drop).

Quads Workout 2: Bodybuilding

leg press leg workout

This is more of a standard yet extremely effective bodybuilding workout for quads below and in a sense is an extension of the basic workout you just read about.

After you warm up you’ll jump into some heavy squats. That will be followed by exhausting your quads with more volume and reps.

ExerciseSets x Reps
Leg Extensions3 x 15*
Squats5 x 8, 8, 6, 6, 6
Leg Press4 x 12**
Leg Extensions4 x 12***
Front Squats3 x 10

*Use lightweight about 60% of your max; this is just to get the blood flowing and a slight pump in your quads before squats.

**Do a drop set on the final set, reducing the weight by 30%.

***Do a rest-pause set on the final 2 sets.

Quads Workout 3: Extreme Pump

leg extensions

This workout for quads may seem short. But wait until you get to the end of the workout; you’ll be wobbling out of the gym.

For your last exercise, you’re performing the FST-7 method of training. This is further explained below the workout.

In short, FST-7 stretches the muscle fascia and expands the muscle for more growth. In fact, it’s said to literally change the shape of your muscles. You can learn more about this method in my post: FST-7 Workouts for Mass Gains.

ExerciseSets x Reps
Leg Extensions5 x 15*
Leg Press5 x 12
Squats5 x 8, 8, 6, 6, 6
Single-leg Extensions7 x 12**

*Start light but go up in weight each set so that the final 2 sets are challenging.

**Only rest 30 seconds between each set (based on the FST-7 workout).

Quads Workout 4: Powerbuilding

This workout for quads is more of a strength and mass building workout combined. You’re going to use an old strength training technique called 5 x 5.

Once you’ve done your heavy sets of squats you’ll move on to pumping out more reps with leg press and extensions. Of course, you won’t be doing much volume after squats because you’re going to be fatigued after doing 5 heavy sets of 5 reps.

5 x 5 is a fool-proof way to get stronger and build more muscle at the same time. You can read more about this method in my post: Advanced 5 x 5 Workouts.

ExerciseSets x Reps
Leg Extensions3 x 10*
Squats5 x 5**
Leg Press4 x 10
Single-leg Extensions4 x 12

*These are light sets just to get the blood flowing and warm up your knees. Use about 50% of your max.

**Start with a moderate weight and go up in weight about 20% each set. For your 5th and final set, you may only get 3-4 reps and that’s okay.

Quads Workout 5: High Rep

One-leg Leg Press

High reps are the best workout you can do for huge quads. This mainly has to do with the types of muscle fibers in your quads; they tend to respond better for higher rep ranges.

When doing higher reps make sure you’re not trying to lift too much weight. At the same time, don’t go too light.

Also, don’t rest more than 45 seconds between these sets except for squats. Take about a 1:30 of rest between your sets of squats; that exercise is far more exhausting and takes more energy than any other exercise.

ExerciseSets x Reps
Leg Press4 x 20
Squats4 x 15
Leg Extensions4 x 20
Single-leg Leg Press4 x 15
Single-leg Extensions1 x 50*

*On your final exercise (single-leg extensions) you’ll continue alternating legs with no rest between those sets until you hit a total of 50 reps for each leg. You’ll do this with about 50% of your max weight for one leg.

Post-Leg Workout Stretching

You’ll learn how to use these workouts together below. But first, let’s talk about one of the most important aspects of muscle growth. Stretching.

It’s absolutely crucial that you spend adequate time stretching your quads, hamstrings, and lower back. And not just after your leg workouts, but every day.

You also need to build a strong core. That will make your quad workouts more effective.

One of these best stretching methods that target everything we just talked about is doing yoga. After you finish this post, read my post 11 Yoga Poses for Bodybuilders.

How to Use These Quad Workouts Together

Ideally, you’ll want to use the same workout for quads for at least 2-3 workouts (weeks). But if you’re an advanced lifter you can also experiment with doing a different quads workout above each week.

Here’s one example of using the workouts in the sequence list above:

Weeks 1-3: Quads Workout 1
Weeks 4-6: Quads Workout 2
Weeks 7-9: Quads Workout 3
Weeks 10-12: Quads Workout 4
Weeks 13-15: Quads Workout 5

Here’s another example of using a different workout for quads each week (and also mixing up the sequence above):

Weeks 1: Quads Workout 3
Weeks 2: Quads Workout 2
Weeks 3: Quads Workout 4
Weeks 4: Quads Workout 5
Weeks 5: Quads Workout 1

What About Hamstrings and Calves?

Stiff Leg Deadlifts back and hamstrings workout

If you’re dedicating one entire workout to quads you will naturally want to have a 2nd leg day to focus on hamstrings. In fact, this is an awesome way to train your legs because it allows you to hit legs twice a week, and that’s a formula for huge legs.

You can read the benefits of training legs twice a week in my post Training Legs Twice a Week: How to Build Bigger Legs.

Here’s a basic hamstrings workout that you can do on hams days:

  • Seated Leg Curls: 4 x 10
  • Stiff-leg Deadlifts: 4 x 10
  • Standing Single-leg Curls: 4 x 10

You typically will not do as much volume for hamstrings as you do for quads. This is the perfect opportunity to train your calves with hamstrings.

Here’s a basic workout for calves that you can do after training hams:

  • Standing Calve Raises: 4 x 15 (drop set on final set)
  • Seated Calve Raises: 4 x 15 (drop set on final set)

*Many choose to train their calves several times a week and will just hit them quickly after any workout.

More Options for Hamstrings

You can also train other muscle groups with hamstrings. For example, if you wanted to hit back for the 2nd time that week you should throw in some back exercises after training hams.

Here’s how that would look for hamstrings and back:

  • Seated Leg Curls: 4 x 10
  • Stiff-leg Deadlifts: 4 x 10
  • Standing Single-leg Curls: 4 x 10
  • Reverse Grip Bent-over Rows: 4 x 8
  • Close-grip Seated Rows: 4 x 10
  • Hammer Strength High Rows: 3 x 15

Now, that’s an awesome workout (and a great Friday workout!). I actually have an entire post dedicated to training back and hams together here: Training Back and Hamstrings Together.

This is indeed a post that focuses on building huge quads but don’t neglect your hamstrings. Otherwise, you’ll only have ‘half-legs’ and will look funny!

3 Tips for Building Huge Quads

There are 3 things to remember if you’re serious about building huge quads:

  1. Volume
  2. Reps
  3. Intensity

You may find that your quads respond better to more volume and higher reps. That’s why there are several exercises in the workouts for quads above that have 12, 15, and 20 reps. And of course, more reps naturally increases the workout volume.

Intensity is another key to building big quad muscles. Ramping up your workout intensity is really more of a mental challenge. You have to force your quads to do the work and make the weights feel heavier than they really are.

But intensity can also come from workout techniques such as drop sets and rest-pause sets, which you’ll see in the quad workouts above.

**Remember to stretch after your leg workouts! I cannot stress this enough.

I actually have an entire yoga and stretching routine you can do here that’s perfect for leg day: 11 Yoga Poses for Bodybuilders.

Now you have 5 awesome workouts to build huge quads. I hope that you start one of these today!

Excuses Don’t Build Muscle,


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!