In order to build leg muscle fast, you have to treat your legs just like any other muscle and work them out heavy and often. No one wants to be the bird legged guy who looks like he skips leg day. Unfortunately, that is the reality for a large portion of gym goers these days. They hit chest, shoulders, and arms as hard as possible, and either skip leg day altogether, or give a half assed effort. Use these following tips to finally grow those tree trunks you’ve been wanting.
#1 – SQUAT!!
Squats have been called the king of all exercises. And for good reason…This is the single most important factor when trying to build leg muscle fast. There is nothing that will add mass to your legs like heavy squats.But please, for the love of God, don’t half squat… Go at least parallel if you want to see results from your squats. It may take some time to learn and you will have to swallow your pride and lower the weight, but in the end, it will be well worth it.
#2 – Work Legs More Frequently
So many people believe that if they work legs more than once per week, they will overtrain. This could not be further from the truth. And by only hitting legs once each week, you are actually hurting your gains. Research shows that muscle protein synthesis is elevated for up to 48 hours after a workout, then returns to baseline. So if you only train legs every 7 days, that’s 5 days of baseline muscle protein synthesis and only 2 days elevated. This is no good. By training more frequently, you will spike muscle protein synthesis and trigger new growth more often.
Now when you train more often, you have to cut back on the volume of each workout. You can’t expect to go in every 3 days, destroy your legs, and expect to continue making progress. Be smart and don’t always train to absolute failure.
#3 – Do Widowmakers
This is another technique you can use to build leg muscle fast. Widowmakers are something I’ve learned from doing DC training. They are probably the hardest exercise I’ve ever done. Here’s how they’re done:
Choose a weight that you think you can only get 12 reps out of, then try to get 20. This is all done in one set… No reracking the weight. So you can stand there and take a few breaths in between reps (trust me, you will need to), but you must keep the weight on your shoulders until you get 20 reps.
Now I won’t lie to you… This will be incredibly painful, very difficult, and nauseating. Don’t be ashamed of you vomit… And it shouldn’t be don’t more than once or twice a month. Any more than that and it you won’t be able to recover well enough for your next leg session. But the rewards in size are well worth it.
Oh and be sure to have a spotter or to set the pins to catch the weight incase you fail!
#4 – Fascia Stretching
Fascia stretching is another way to build leg muscle fast. The fascia is the fibrous tissue that surrounds a muscle. The theory is that a muscle can only grow so big as the fascia allows it to, so by stretching the fascia, you allow more room for the muscle cells to expand and grow.
In order to stretch the fascia, you must do a deep weighted stretch and hold it for as long as possible. You should also do it after your workout when your muscles are pumped to the max.
A good fascia stretch for the quads is done using a smith machine or squat rack. Set the bar about hip high, and stand with both hands on the bar and your hips touching the bar. Begin the stretch by squatting down like a sissy squat while simultaneously leaning back at the same time. Push your knees forward and try to get them as close to the ground as possible while leaning back as far as possible. Here is a picture of what I’m talking about:
[Image Credit to Intensemuscle.com]
You should feel a stretch in your quads and it’s probably going to be pretty painful. Hold it for as long as possible (at least 60 seconds). Do this after every time you work legs and you should be able to see a difference in size in only a few minutes.
#5 – Blood Flow Restriction Training
Blood flow restriction training is another great way to build leg muscle fast. BFR training, or occlusion training, is gaining popularity in the fitness community, and for good reason… It works! It works by trapping blood inside the muscle cells, causing them to expand and grow. The pump you will experience from BFR training is u like any other. It is now a staple in my workout regimen.
This technique is relatively easy to do and it can be done on your legs or arms. The technique is done like this:
Take a knee wrap and wrap it as high as possible on your thigh. Wrap it about a 7/10 for tightness on legs. You shouldn’t feel any pain or numbness in your legs. If you do, it means it’s too tight.
BFR training is best done with isolation exercises, such as leg extensions or leg curls. Choose a weight that is approximately 20-30% of your one rep max. You’re going to do sets of 20/10/10/10 with 30 seconds rest in between each. In other words, do one set of 20, rest 30 sec, do a set of 10, rest 30 seconds, do another set of 10, rest 30 seconds, then do a final set of 10.