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Thread: Leg volume training vs low reps heavy weight

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    jackfrost88 is offline Associate Member
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    Leg volume training vs low reps heavy weight

    This topic has been discussed before but I'm curious about a few things. When it comes to leg training I only really get any results (size / strength) from high reps volume training. For example, a program I did with 5sets of triples working up in weight over a month gave me almost nothing. Whereas a 4 sets of 20 program (still progressively overloading) yielded great results. On top of that my maxes went up more than focusing on heavy weight as well.

    The best mix i found to increase the squat is several months of volume training with high frequency (squatting 3-4 times a week) followed by a program with low, at most 3 rep maxes.

    Is this normal? Why would this be? What does it mean for training, just focus on what works (the high volume high frequency)? Thoughts/experiences?

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    PT1982's Avatar
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    Legs are just tricky. Some swear by high reps and some swear low and slow. I typically advise that whatever works everywhere else will work on the legs. That usually proves to be true. But legs can be difficult to talk into growing.

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    MuscleScience is online now AR-Hall of Famer
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    Quote Originally Posted by PT1982 View Post
    Legs are just tricky. Some swear by high reps and some swear low and slow. I typically advise that whatever works everywhere else will work on the legs. That usually proves to be true. But legs can be difficult to talk into growing.
    Mine respond to volume but I will do both heavy sets and volume sets during a workout now. The best my legs ever were was when I would do 100 wall ball squats 3-4 times a week. Especially now that I'm trying to train injury free from now on. I think heavy deads and squats are out of the inventory. Mainly I will go heavy and be safer and do leg press type machines instead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuscleScience View Post
    Mine respond to volume but I will do both heavy sets and volume sets during a workout now. The best my legs ever were was when I would do 100 wall ball squats 3-4 times a week. Especially now that I'm trying to train injury free from now on. I think heavy deads and squats are out of the inventory. Mainly I will go heavy and be safer and do leg press type machines instead.
    I really don't have any explanation on it. I know dozens of people, even competitors, that are proponents of volume training legs. It's a religion for some. I can't say with any certainty that one way is universal, as I can with most body parts. Legs, above any other muscle group, seem genetic. I know that term gets thrown around loosely, but I truly can't comprehend how 2 people can do the same split and only one respond well. I always try to be strict with advice, but it's hard to be strict when dealing with the legs. For me anyways. My legs are my weak spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PT1982 View Post
    I really don't have any explanation on it. I know dozens of people, even competitors, that are proponents of volume training legs. It's a religion for some. I can't say with any certainty that one way is universal, as I can with most body parts. Legs, above any other muscle group, seem genetic. I know that term gets thrown around loosely, but I truly can't comprehend how 2 people can do the same split and only one respond well. I always try to be strict with advice, but it's hard to be strict when dealing with the legs. For me anyways. My legs are my weak spot.
    My legs are my weak point. Have been from day one, genetics is a funny thing. My upper body I barely have to hit and it grows, especially my arms. Now my brother on the other hand, complete opposite. That fucker could rep 405lbs for sets of ten as a soph in highschool but his upper body didn't grow.

    I always hit legs as heavy as possible. Then when I started doing crossfit and actually stopped training legs as a dedicated day due to all the volume, they started to grow tremendously. I kid you not, we had a day where we did max reps with for squat we chose the weight. I did 23 reps on 315, We hadn't went over 315 at any point in the training regime in 3-4 months it just felt like a good weight when I did a pyramid to do out testing weight.

    After that I started doing a lot more volume and my legs grew more in a year than in the previous 13-14 years. We are all different and I think we all have to discover what will work for our body and genetics.
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    MuscleScience is online now AR-Hall of Famer
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    Another point, when you look at training studies. The recommendations are made off of what benefits the average within one standard deviation on either side of the bell curve. That leaves a full 30% of individuals that are not within that recommendation and a full 15% that kinda fall on either side of it. Meaning they may be a bit more prone to volume than to resistance and vice versa.
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    My legs grew like crazy when I powerlifted 1 heavy day 1 light day.But now that I am older I just go light with high reps with the permission of my knees

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    Knees are overrated

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuscleScience View Post
    My legs are my weak point. Have been from day one, genetics is a funny thing. My upper body I barely have to hit and it grows, especially my arms. Now my brother on the other hand, complete opposite. That fucker could rep 405lbs for sets of ten as a soph in highschool but his upper body didn't grow.

    I always hit legs as heavy as possible. Then when I started doing crossfit and actually stopped training legs as a dedicated day due to all the volume, they started to grow tremendously. I kid you not, we had a day where we did max reps with for squat we chose the weight. I did 23 reps on 315, We hadn't went over 315 at any point in the training regime in 3-4 months it just felt like a good weight when I did a pyramid to do out testing weight.

    After that I started doing a lot more volume and my legs grew more in a year than in the previous 13-14 years. We are all different and I think we all have to discover what will work for our body and genetics.
    That's it! I'm going to give it a go. It goes against everything in me to work that way for growth, but if it works, it works. I'm not so set and arrogant not to try something new. It's better than staying the same or just skipping leg day. I ask start volume training soon! Do you also train isolation movements with volume when doing legs? Such as curls, extensions, etc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PT1982 View Post
    That's it! I'm going to give it a go. It goes against everything in me to work that way for growth, but if it works, it works. I'm not so set and arrogant not to try something new. It's better than staying the same or just skipping leg day. I ask start volume training soon! Do you also train isolation movements with volume when doing legs? Such as curls, extensions, etc?
    Yeah but I go to failure in each set and lighter anyway because of the knee. Isolation exercises that is. Hack squats or leg presses I don't go to failure but until it's very difficult. Don't want to get stuck since I train alone

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    jackfrost88 is offline Associate Member
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    Thanks for replies, I will keep going with frequent volume training as it's working at the moment.

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    BrockBadger is offline Junior Member
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    Yeah see whats working for you. Once you adapt just change it up.

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    High Desert Bill is offline New Member
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    I've always wondered this as well. Back in the more serious lifting days of my 20s and 30s, I was turned on to 20 reps squat sets. Before that, I was just not getting the size on my legs.

    It was stupid simple. One warmup set with easy way to 15 reps, and then to work sets of 18 to 20 reps, moving the weight up each week as possible, but never cheating the form.

    Later on, I added on walking lunges and a few other movements. Those long squat sets just killed me, but they sure put the size on.

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    Try to seperate the rutine for quads and hams. I used to have chicken legs and have improved drastically. They are still my weakest point, but I am happy with the progress.
    For some reason, everything started changing in the quads when I started sumo barbell squats. I also worked on correcting my form on squats. I found that my form was not the best.
    Another thing to try is do not fully straighten out your legs and go back down . Go down slow and explode up. You will probably need to lower the weight.

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