We all know leg day is tough – the exercises are gruelling and you have to wobble out the gym.
God help you if you have to climb of set of stairs!
A lot of guys complain that their leg day only results in larger glute muscles.
While this is part of leg training sometimes you want to focus on the quad muscles and not so much on your backside.
Fortunately for you, we’ve put together a list of 8 tips to help you build massive quads.
Additionally, they will be geared towards maximizing quad development while taking the focus off your glutes.
Although they will still grow, most people would rather see the mass go to their quads.
1 – Hack Squats
Some compound leg exercises are better than others for developing the quads.
Hack squats are a movement that really focuses on the quads and takes the glutes out of it.
If you want to really smash your quads then put your feet low on the foot platform – this increases the amount of knee extension thereby hitting your quads harder.
If however you find it more comfortable to put your feet higher on the platform feel free to do that but the reduced knee extension will mean less quad development.
As always if any exercise or foot placement gives you pain then you should stop doing it – no exercise is worth risking serious injury.
This exercise can be performed second or third in your routine for 6-8 reps. This allows you to lift heavy while still staying in the hypertrophy range.
2 – Heavy Squats First
The first exercise most dedicated leg trainees do is squats and for good reason – it’s the best exercise for building massive quads.
You definitely don’t want to deviate from this trend even if it works a lot of the supporting muscles in your legs.
There are however a few ways you can shift the focus more onto the quads.
The first thing you can do is squat on a heel board.
This shifts your centre of gravity forward which means more emphasis on the quads.
In terms of foot position stick to shoulder-width apart with feet turned outward slightly – this is the position where you will be strongest.
We recommend starting with a lighter weight for high reps then moving up in weight as you lower the reps.
Don’t be afraid to lift some very heavy weight that you can handle for only 6 reps.
A spotter is helpful here as they can tell you if you are maintaining good form or are lifting the weight unevenly.
3 – Go Heavy on the Leg Press
The leg press is another great movement for hitting the quads hard.
Like the hack squat you are going to want to keep your feet low on the sled in order to emphasize the quad muscles.
The closer you put your feet together the more the emphases will be on your outer quads.
Similarly if you put your feet further apart you will feel it more in the inner quads.
4 – Throw in Some Isolation Exercises
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that isolation exercises like leg extensions can replace squats.
You won’t build tons of mass from them but they are a great way to fully exhaust and isolate the quad muscles.
You don’t need to worry about hitting other muscles with leg extensions as long as you are using proper form the full effect will be felt in the quads.
Go slightly higher on the reps here – around 12 – compared to what you would do on the squat or heavy leg press. Also do these at the end of your workout so that you can still go 100% on the compound exercises.
5 – Use Partial Reps Strategically
We’ve all seen those guys who load up a ton of weight on the squat rack (or any exercise for that matter) and do about one quarter of a normal rep – impressing nobody in the process.
However, if you combine partial reps with full ones you can really improve your quad development.
Remember that in the deeper portion of the squat you get a lot more hamstring and glute development, whereas the quads are more involved in the top of the movement.
With the squat rack or machine squat try going down not quite to parallel so you can emphasize the quads.
You should be able to handle a lot more weight this way.
6 reps should be plenty to shock the quads into further development – just make sure you don’t get into a habit of neglecting the other muscles in your legs.
6 – Keep The Testosterone High
The size of your muscles is largely determined on how much testosterone your body produces.
If you produce little testosterone you will have a hard time building up an impressive physique.
Those with higher testosterone tend to get more fuller and bigger muscles.
So if you have low testosterone levels you will have a hard time building up your quads.
Make sure that your body is at least producing average levels of testosterone.
With science it has become a more recognised problem that many men suffer from low testosterone levels.
A great way to supercharge your testosterone production is taking in an all natural testosterone booster.
That way you make sure your body starts producing more testosterone.
Which means you will be able to build more muscle.
7 – Give Yourself a Rest Day before Leg Day
You can use this strategy for any muscle group that you feel is lagging behind the rest.
Generally speaking you will have a lot more energy and feel much stronger right after a rest day.
If, however, you try to train legs the day after doing back or chest you might feel a bit tired and therefore have a harder time going all-out.
8 – Train Past Failure
This is where a good training partner can really help you.
After you’ve done a full set with proper form try mixing in a few techniques that allow you to go past failure.
This is a great way to shock the muscle and encourage more development.
Some techniques you can try include forced reps – which is when your training partner helps you lift the weight so you can do a few extra reps.
Dropsets – once you reach failure on your first set you drop the weight for a lighter one and continue doing more weight.
You can do this multiple times if you want and work your way right down the rack but watch out for over-training.
Finally you can try supersets which involves doing two sets back to back with no rest.
9 – Try Starting with an Isolation Exercise
Try opening up with a few sets of leg extensions on your leg day.
Typically people do this to warm up but how about training a few heavy sets to failure?
This is known as pre-exhausting the muscles – doing an isolation exercise for the quads right at the beginning of the workout before squats and leg press.
This means that your quads will be fully pumped and a bit tired.
Your glutes and hamstrings by comparison will be fresh which means you won’t have to worry about them tiring out.
Since your quads are a lot stronger relative to the other leg muscles it’s common that the hamstrings and glutes will give out first.
However, by pre-exhausting the hamstrings they will be less strong relatively-speaking and you don’t need to worry about your leg workout being stopped too early.