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Leg Workout Split

Splitting Your Leg Workout

Training legs is likely the most difficult thing you will endure whilst training, especially if done right! There are many major muscle groups for the legs however that it’s difficult to cover them all in a session. Recovering from session to session can also be difficult as leg DOM’s do not go away as quickly.

 Therefore it’s a good approach to split your leg workout into a quad-dominant and hamstring/glute dominant sessions. This approach allows you to hit the legs hard each session whilst allowing enough recovery time to train legs more frequently which is ideal for growth.

 A quad and hamstring split can be applied by training legs twice per week or a 3 x per week approach can be applied with the following as an example:

 Week 1

Monday - quad dominant

Wednesday - hamstring dominant

Friday or Saturday - quad dominant

 

Week 2

Monday - hamstring dominant

Wednesday - quad dominant

Friday or Saturday - hamstring dominant

 

Which approach you take will depend on your current split and how much you want to prioritise legs over other body parts. It’s worth noting that this works well in a range of splits including push/pull/legs, upper/lower and single body part splits.

 

This workout is hypertrophy focused though progressive overload should be used where appropriate, you should always be looking to get stronger from session to session.

 

Workouts

 The following is an example quad and hamstring dominant workout that you can use to test our recovery capabilities for this leg split. They are high volume so you need to keep your ego in check and start with a weight that’s manageable for the rep targets.

 Also note that there are no advanced techniques and the calf work is identical across both sessions so that you can focus on perfecting technique and utilising progressive overload before moving onto advanced hypertrophy techniques and exercises.

 

Hamstring Dominant Workout

 

#

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

1

Barbell Back Squat

3

12

1110

3:00

2

Wide Stance Leg Press

3

15

3110

1:00

3

Romanian Deadlift

3

12

2121

1:00

4

Barbell Hip Thrust

3

8

1010

0:45

5

Barbell Reverse Lunge

3

12

2110

1:30

6

Standing Calf Raise

3

15

2121

0:45

7

Seated Calf Raise

3

12

2121

0:45

 

Quad Dominant Workout

 

#

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

1

Lying Leg Curl*

3

15

2121

0:30

2

Barbell Front Squat

3

10

1110

2:00

3

Hack Squat

3

12

2110

1:30

4

Dumbbell Split Squat

3

8

1121

0:45

5

Leg Extension

3

20

2221

0:45

6

Standing Calf Raise

3

15

2121

1:00

7

Seated Calf Raise

3

12

2121

1:00

 

*Even though this is a quad dominant workout, warming up with a leg curl variation will get blood flowing in the legs which will act as a from of cushioning when squatting. This is meant in the sense that you’ll feel your muscles activating and working early on instead of squatting cold and placing more stress on the knee joint.

 

Additional Notes

Tempo - This is the time it takes you to perform one full repetition. A tempo example is 1020, this is a 1-second lift (concentric), 0-second hold at the top, 2 second lowering of the weight (eccentric) and a 0-second pause at the bottom.

Reps - The muscle fibre makeup of the legs requires a higher rep target to fully stimulate and exhaust all fibres, it’s also best to really get the blood pumping into the target muscles. Following this routine, therefore, requires just as much mental dedication as it does physical, you need to be prepared to push the reps on leg days to really reap the benefits

Rest - The rest periods select reflect the difficulty of the exercise and where it is placed in the routine, a leg example is an isolation exercise so besides lactic acid build-up it is relatively easy to recover quickly from. A squat, on the other hand, is a multi-joint compound movement, you can lift more weight and it’s not only taxing on the musculature of the body but also the central nervous system and to an extent the cardiovascular. A long rest period is therefore recommended for this.

 

About the Author

Simon Byrne is a Health and Fitness writer producing content for the supplement industry for the last 5 years with a focus on improving body composition. He is a certified Nutritionist through Precision Nutrition (PNL1) and a Level 3 Fitness Instructor.

www.bodiesbybyrne.com

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