If you want well-proportioned, balanced, and strong legs, NutraBio-sponsored athlete Anthony LaVigne has the perfect workout for you.
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Forget those workouts that just hit one or two of your leg-muscle groups. Anthony “Gainz” LaVigne’s leg workout is going to spur well-balanced muscle growth up and down your legs with this one mercilessly escalating procession of exercises. You’ll start out each exercise in the lower rep ranges, then finish most of them with LaVigne’s trademark 35-rep burnout. Yes, you read that right: You finish with 35 reps. Good luck with that.
Gainz breaks this 60-90-minute workout into four leg-muscle groups: calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. This is not an aerobic workout. Take time (but not too much) to let your heart rate stabilize before you move on to the next set.
Do this workout once a week for at least 4 weeks.
| Seated Calf Raise |
This exercise is going to hit both the gastrocnemius and soleus, the two major muscles of your calves. In the past, LaVigne has done both high-rep/low-weight and low-rep/high-weight calf workouts. This time, he combines both to start off your calf workout with a scream.
| Smith Machine Standing Calf Raise |
LaVigne has you doing this one in 5 continuous sets, stripping weight off each set and pausing a minute between sets. Start with a weight you can lift for 8 reps max, then take every set to failure. The standing calf raise isolates the gastroc, not the soleus. When you do the 35-rep burnout set, choose a weight that challenges you. Hit it with all you’ve got.
| Leg Extension |
Time to work the quads. Pre-exhaust them with leg extensions so your circulatory and nervous systems are ready for the compound movement to come. This is a working set, not a warm-up. Go at this one “balls to the wall.” Take each of the five sets to complete failure, meaning you can’t do another rep without a complete breakdown in your form.
| Barbell Squat |
LaVigne is going to have you vary your stance to make sure that you work all four muscles of the quadriceps: rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, and vastus medialis. Foot and toe position helps determine which area of the quadriceps you’re hitting. As you do the narrow stance, keep your toes pointed forward. As you move your feet a little farther out with each set, keep your toes pointed forward to make sure that you’re targeting the quads, not the hamstrings. To avoid knee injury, don’t lock out your knees at the top.
Start out with your feet close together to target the vastus lateralis. With each of the following 3 sets, move your feet a little farther apart to hit the adductor portion of the leg, including the rectus femoris and vastus intermedius muscles. Finish with your feet widespread to target the vastus medialis.
LaVigne places this movement toward the beginning of your workout to burn out your quads. Squatting this way stimulates parts of the quads you can’t hit with any other exercises.
| Narrow-Stance Leg Press |
For this exercise, keep your toes pointed forward to isolate the outer sweep of your quads. Just because this movement falls near the end of the quad portion of the workout doesn’t mean you can dog it. Pile as much weight on the machine as you can while still hitting the 8-rep mark. Don’t lock out your knees at the top of the movement.
| Weighted Sissy Squat |
Finish off the quad portion of the workout with 35 sissy-squat reps, designed to flood those tissues with blood. Perform this move either by stabilizing yourself with one arm and holding a plate in the other, or by stabilizing yourself with both arms and not using additional weight. Rock forward on your toes as you descend, keeping your pelvis up and stretching your quads as much as possible.
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