Having bigger, more muscular legs is a common goal for both men and women. Sometimes it’s for functional strength, and sometimes you just want to look like an uber athlete in gym shorts.
Here’s the top five tips to get bigger legs.
Limit Cardio On Leg Days
Cardio is intended to increase your heart rate and burn off body fat. This is unquestionable good, and something most gym goers will do. There’s also a point where cardio becomes counterproductive to muscle growth.
During intense cardio your body will utilize energy as efficiently as possible. The energy can come from food you’ve eaten and body fat stored.
There’s another way your body draws energy during intense cardio.
If your cardio session is intense enough, or continues for an extended period of time, you’ll start to break down muscle tissue to use for energy.
If you’re specifically trying to get bigger quads and legs, you’re essentially wiping away hard earned gains with cardio.
Related: Best exercises for men over 40
Reach Fatigue On Each Set
You can increase strength, endurance, and explosiveness without reaching deep muscle fatigue but to get bigger legs you’ll need to reach a specific state of muscle fatigue to spur new growth.
As with a partial range of motion, this is also related to your comfort level. Many people find a rep and set zone they’re most comfortable with and stop when they hit their target number. It should be your muscle fatigue that tells you when to stop, instead of the predetermined number.
If you aren’t reaching muscle exhaustion you aren’t using enough reps, and should either increase the weight or reps you’re using.
Use Full Range Of Motion
Depending on the amount of weight you’re working with the stress can feel uncomfortable with many leg exercises. The barbell squat, for instance, is an incredible leg builder but it’s an unnatural movement. How often in life do you do that with 200 pounds resting on your shoulders? For most people, the answer is never.
This discomfort and unfamiliarity leads to half and three quarter reps, instead of digging all the way to the bottom for the full range of motion. While you may be able to move more weight at a partial rep, the rewards are significantly diminished.
It’s more efficient to lower the weight and get a full range of motion with each rep
Eat Enough To Grow
It’s incredibly challenging to add new muscle mass without entering a calories surplus. Over time you will notice greater muscle definition, and muscularity, but shear size will be a hard to attain without ramping up your calories.
The larger your calorie surplus, the more muscle mass you’ll gain. To start growing you’d want to enter a surplus of at least 125% of your current calorie range. A higher calorie surplus will result in more mass, but will also increase your body fat if you can’t efficiently use all those calories.
Vary Your Workload
You’ll want to find new and different ways to challenge your legs. You can do this through weight, reps, intensity, and changing exercises every week.
Avoid repeating the same leg routine more than twice in a row. The more you alter what you’re doing the more likely your body is to increase muscle mass to adapt to your varied behavior.
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