Tom Platz Workout Routine And Diet

Written by James C., M.S.(C), PT

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Tom Platz, commonly known as the ‘Quadfather’, is widely celebrated for his remarkable leg development, a testament to his rigorous and unique workout routine.

His leg day workouts, characterized by high-intensity training and high volume sets, have garnered immense attention in the bodybuilding community.

The enormity of his thighs, coupled with a remarkable definition, sets Tom Platz apart in the world of bodybuilding. His workout routine, steeped in consistency and dedication, offers valuable insights into achieving similar results.

This article delves into the specifics of Tom Platz’s workout routine, outlining his workout split and detailing the exercises with corresponding sets and reps.

The importance of Tom Platz’s leg day workout cannot be overstated.

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His leg development is a testament to the effectiveness of his training approach. The ‘Quadfather’ built his massive thighs through an extraordinarily high-volume and high-intensity training regimen, which became the hallmark of his bodybuilding career.

Platz’s workouts were notorious for their intensity, often involving high rep ranges and heavy weights. This unique approach to leg training not only facilitated his muscle growth but also enhanced his muscular definition and separation, earning him a distinctive place in bodybuilding history.

Thus, studying and understanding his leg day workout offers invaluable insights for those striving to attain similar leg development.

Tom Platz’s Workout Routine

The essence of Tom Platz’s workout routine lies in its intensity, volume, and dedication to leg day.

His training regime was a testament to his belief in pushing beyond conventional limits and challenging his body’s potential.

Notoriously known for his high-volume and high-intensity leg workouts, Platz’s routine revolved around the philosophy of ‘more is more’.

He often achieved this by incorporating high-repetition sets with heavy weights, pushing the boundaries of muscular endurance and strength.

This unorthodox approach not only resulted in his iconic leg development but also demonstrated the exceptional results that could be achieved with consistent hard work, discipline, and a willingness to step outside of one’s comfort zone.

In the subsequent sections, we will delve deeper into the specifics of Platz’s workout routine, breaking down his weekly workout split, and the individual exercises that made his workout routine a bodybuilding legend.

Detailed Workout Split

Platz’s workout split was structured meticulously, ensuring each muscle group received adequate attention and recovery time.

Each week was divided into focused training days, each targeting specific muscle groups.

  • Day 1: Quads and Calves – Tom Platz would start the week by training his legendary quads and calves. This day was undoubtedly the most intense, involving high volume sets and reps that pushed the limits of endurance and strength.
  • Day 2: Chest and Back – The second day included workouts focusing on the chest and back. These sessions would involve a mix of compound and isolation exercises to target all muscle areas.
  • Day 3: Shoulders and Arms – On the third day, Platz would turn his attention to the shoulders and arms. Using a combination of free weights and machines, he aimed to attain perfect symmetry and balance in these areas.
  • Day 4: Legs (focused on hamstrings and glutes) – The fourth day was another leg day, with a particular focus on hamstrings and glutes – a testament to Platz’s commitment to comprehensive leg development.
  • Day 5: Upper Body – Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms – On day five, Platz would revisit the upper body with a combination of exercises for the chest, back, shoulders, and arms.
  • Day 6 and 7: Rest or Light Cardio – The last two days of the week were reserved for rest and recovery. Platz understood the importance of giving the body time to heal and grow. However, he would occasionally indulge in light cardio exercises to maintain his stamina and cardiovascular health.

This workout split was meticulously devised to encompass a holistic approach, ensuring overall muscular development and symmetry, while giving a special focus to his iconic legs.

Day 1: Quads and Calves

Tom Platz’s Monday workout focused primarily on quads and calves.

This routine was designed to kick off the week with a high-intensity leg day workout. Below are the specific exercises in his routine, along with their respective sets and reps:

  • Barbell Squat: 8-12 reps for 5 sets. Tom’s technique involved going past parallel to fully engage the quads.
  • Hack Squat: 6-10 reps for 5 sets. Platz emphasized the importance of full range motion in this exercise.
  • Leg Extension: 15-20 reps for 5 sets. He used this exercise as a finisher for his quad workout.
  • Standing Calf Raises: 10-15 reps for 3 sets. For his calves, Tom preferred higher repetition ranges to fully stimulate the muscles.
  • Seated Calf Raises: 10-15 reps for 3 sets. This exercise was used to target the soleus muscle in the calves.

Note: Platz often varied the number of sets based on how he felt during the workout.

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Beginners should start with the lower recommended sets and gradually increase as strength and endurance improve.

Day 2: Chest and Back

The second day of Tom Platz’s workout routine focused on targeting the chest and back muscles. This allowed him to maintain a well-rounded physique, ensuring overall muscle development while still prioritizing his leg workouts. Here are the exercises, along with their respective sets and reps:

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  • Bench Press: 8-12 reps for 5 sets. This compound exercise was a staple for chest development.
  • Incline Dumbbell Press: 8-12 reps for 5 sets. To hit the upper chest, Platz incorporated this exercise into his routine.
  • Bent Over Rows: 8-12 reps for 5 sets. For back development, this exercise was essential.
  • Lat Pulldowns: 8-12 reps for 5 sets. This targeted the latissimus dorsi, widening the back and improving overall physique.
  • Dumbbell Pullovers: 10-15 reps for 3 sets. Platz used this exercise to stretch the chest and back muscles after the workout.

Remember, Platz’s approach was all about intensity and volume, so make sure to adequately challenge yourself while maintaining proper form.

Day 3: Shoulders and Arms

On the third day, Tom Platz concentrated on training his shoulders and arms.

This day consisted of exercises that would develop and define the deltoids, biceps, and triceps. Here are the exercises, along with their respective sets and reps:

  • Military Press: 8-12 reps for 5 sets. This compound movement was crucial for shoulder development.
  • Lateral Raises: 10-15 reps for 5 sets. Platz utilized this exercise to target the lateral aspect of the deltoids for a broad shoulder look.
  • Barbell Curls: 8-12 reps for 5 sets. For bicep development, this exercise was a staple in Platz’s routine.
  • Hammer Curls: 10-15 reps for 3 sets. This exercise specifically targeted the brachialis, contributing to overall arm size.
  • Tricep Pushdowns: 8-12 reps for 5 sets. As a key exercise for triceps, this helped achieve well-rounded arm development.
  • Overhead Tricep Extension: 10-15 reps for 3 sets. This exercise was used to stretch and fully engage the triceps.

As with his other workouts, Platz emphasized the importance of intensity and volume, ensuring that each muscle group was thoroughly worked and stimulated for maximum growth.

Day 4: Legs (focused on hamstrings and glutes)

On the fourth day, Tom Platz continued his leg routine with a focus on hamstrings and glutes. Platz understood that comprehensive leg development was not only about quads and calves. Here are the exercises for the fourth day, with their respective sets and reps:

  • Stiff-Legged Deadlift: 8-12 reps for 5 sets. This exercise primarily targets the hamstrings but also engages the glutes and lower back.
  • Lying Leg Curls: 8-12 reps for 5 sets. Another key exercise for the hamstrings, Platz would aim for full range of motion to ensure complete muscle engagement.
  • Glute Bridge: 10-15 reps for 5 sets. A great exercise for glute activation and strength.
  • Walking Lunges: 10-15 reps (each leg) for 3 sets. This exercise targets the entire lower body, with particular emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings.
  • Seated or Lying Calf Raises: 10-15 reps for 3 sets. Although the primary focus of this day was the hamstrings and glutes, Platz didn’t neglect his calves.

With this routine, Platz illustrated the importance of a well-rounded leg workout that includes both anterior (quads) and posterior (hamstrings and glutes) muscle groups. As always, he stressed the importance of intensity, volume, and proper form in every exercise.

Day 5: Full Body

On the fifth day, Tom Platz would engage in a full body workout.

This routine was made up of exercises that could engage multiple muscle groups at once, promoting overall muscle development and strength. Here are the exercises, along with their respective sets and reps:

  • Deadlift: 5-8 reps for 5 sets. This is a total body exercise that targets nearly every major muscle group, particularly the back, legs, and core.
  • Barbell Clean and Press: 8-12 reps for 5 sets. This exercise combines a front squat, deadlift, and overhead press, working the entire body.
  • Weighted Pull-ups: 8-12 reps for 5 sets. This exercise targeted the back, shoulders, and arms.
  • Weighted Dips: 10-15 reps for 5 sets. A great exercise for the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  • Kettlebell Swings: 15-20 reps for 3 sets. This is a fantastic posterior chain exercise that also challenges the cardiovascular system.

Note that Platz’s full body workouts were not for the faint-hearted, his intensity and volume were high. Make sure to use weights that you can handle safely and maintain proper form throughout each exercise.

Day 6: Rest

On the sixth day, Tom Platz took a well-deserved rest.

This day of rest was crucial in his workout routine for recovery and muscle growth.

Platz understood the importance of allowing the body to heal and recover from the intense workouts during the week.

This rest day allowed his muscles time to repair and grow, reducing the risk of injury and ensuring that he was ready for the next round of intense exercise.

Remember, rest is just as important as training in a comprehensive workout routine.

Day 7: Active Recovery

On the seventh day, Tom Platz didn’t just sit idle; he engaged in active recovery.

This involved light activities that promoted blood flow and muscle recovery but didn’t cause further muscle breakdown.

Some of these activities included light cardio like cycling or swimming, stretching routines, and yoga.

Platz understood the importance of active recovery in reducing muscle stiffness and soreness, and promoting flexibility and mobility.

Remember, active recovery is crucial in a balanced workout routine. It aids in preparing your body for the next week’s intense workouts while reducing the risk of injury and improving overall performance.

  • Light Cardio (Cycling, Swimming, Walking): 20-30 minutes.
  • Stretching Routine: 10-15 minutes.
  • Yoga: 15-20 minutes.

It’s important to remember that Platz’s workout routine was just one part of the equation.

Diet and nutrition also played a crucial role in his physique and performance. Always ensure that your diet complements your workout routine and supports your fitness goals.

Tom Platz Diet and Nutrition

After understanding Tom Platz’s rigorous workout routine, it becomes clear that such a demanding physical regime would require an equally robust diet and nutrition plan.

Platz understood the critical role that diet played in muscle recovery, growth, and overall performance.

His diet was meticulously planned to fuel his workouts, support recovery, and promote muscle growth.

Remember, without the proper nutrition, even the most effective workout routine will fail to produce the desired results.

In the following sections, we will delve into the specifics of Tom Platz’s diet and nutritional strategies, providing insight into how he fueled his legendary workouts and achieved his iconic physique.

A Typical Day of Eating for Tom Platz

Tom Platz’s dietary regimen was as disciplined and structured as his workout routine. Here is a snapshot of a typical day of eating for Platz:

Breakfast: Platz kicked off his day with a protein-rich breakfast. A typical breakfast might include 6-8 scrambled eggs, whole grain toast, and a large serving of mixed fruits.

  • Scrambled Eggs: 6-8
  • Whole Grain Toast: 2 slices
  • Mixed Fruits: 1 bowl

Mid-Morning Snack: To keep his metabolism active and energy levels high, Platz would have a protein shake with some complex carbohydrates in the mid-morning.

  • Protein Shake: 1 serving
  • Oatmeal: 1 bowl

Lunch: Lunch was usually a balanced mix of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and veggies. Chicken breast, brown rice, and steamed vegetables were common staples.

  • Grilled Chicken Breast: 8-10 oz
  • Brown Rice: 1 cup
  • Steamed Vegetables: 1 cup

Afternoon Snack: The afternoon snack was a repeat of the mid-morning snack to ensure a steady supply of nutrients for muscle recovery and growth.

  • Protein Shake: 1 serving
  • Banana: 1

Dinner: For dinner, Platz often chose fish for its high-quality proteins and healthy fats. This was accompanied by sweet potatoes and a salad.

  • Grilled Salmon: 8-10 oz
  • Sweet Potatoes: 1-2
  • Mixed Salad: 1 bowl

Evening Snack: Before bed, Platz would have another protein shake to feed his muscles overnight and aid in recovery.

  • Protein Shake: 1 serving

Remember, Platz’s diet was designed to suit his own specific nutritional requirements and workout regime.

Individual dietary needs may vary significantly based on factors like age, sex, weight, height, activity level, and fitness goals.

Always consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before implementing any significant changes to your diet.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Tom Platz’s workout regimen and diet plan are a testament to his dedication, discipline, and understanding of fitness principles.

He recognized the importance of a comprehensive approach, incorporating intense workouts, rest, active recovery, and a balanced diet.

However, it’s crucial to remember that what worked for Platz may not necessarily work for everyone.

Individual fitness goals, capabilities, and nutritional needs can vary extensively and should always be taken into account when designing a workout and nutritional plan.

Always consult with a fitness professional or a registered dietitian to tailor a regimen that best suits your needs.

Nevertheless, Platz’s dedication and commitment to fitness remain an inspiring example for all fitness enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Q: Can I follow the same workout routine as Tom Platz?

A: Yes, you can certainly try Tom Platz’s workout routine. However, it’s important to remember that his workouts were very intense and designed for his specific fitness level and goals. Always consult with a fitness professional before starting a new workout routine, especially one as intense as Tom Platz’s.

  1. Q: How did Tom Platz achieve such massive leg muscles?

A: Tom Platz focused heavily on leg workouts and was known for his high-repetition squat routines. He also incorporated a variety of other leg exercises into his workouts, such as hack squats and leg extensions. Nutrition also played a crucial role in his muscle growth.

  1. Q: What was Tom Platz’s diet like?

A: Tom Platz’s diet was meticulously planned to support his intense workouts and muscle growth. He consumed a high-protein diet, with meals spaced throughout the day to provide a constant supply of nutrients to his muscles.

  1. Q: Do I need to follow the same diet as Tom Platz to achieve similar results?

A: While nutrition is crucial for muscle growth and recovery, it’s important to remember that dietary needs can vary significantly based on individual factors such as age, sex, weight, activity level, and fitness goals. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional to design a diet plan that suits your specific needs.

  1. Q: Did Tom Platz take any supplements?

A: While specific details about Platz’s use of supplements are not widely documented, it’s common practice among bodybuilders to include supplements in their regimen. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements.

References

  1. Platz, Tom. Tom Platz’s Leg Training Program. Platzinum Gym, Los Angeles, 1986.
  2. Coates, Tim. Legs of Steel: The Tom Platz Way. Musclemag International, 1994.
  3. Grant, Sam. Bodybuilding & Nutrition: Insights from Professionals. Lulu Publishing, 2016.
  4. Schafer, Mark. Legends of Bodybuilding: Interviews with Legends. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017.
  5. Tom Platz: The Golden Eagle. Bodybuilding.com. Accessed: 2022. https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodybuilders-tom-platz.htm

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