Achieve your optimum health and fitness for a lifetime!


By John Litteral 1-3-23

When it comes to working-out, leg day is the most neglected of them all by many people. Even for those who are serious about their workouts, you will find that there are a lot of them who fall short of training their legs nearly as intensely as they do every other body part. Why? Well, there are more than one reason. First of all, it is difficult. Secondly, most people are more interested in building the upper body than the lower body. Most guys want to look good with their shirt off, therefore legs are often compromised. How do I know? Well, I was quite guilty of that myself. Thankfully I trained legs very hard for a number of years and developed the knowledge and skills to train my legs. Sadly, I completely neglected my legs when it came to resistance training, and I told myself that all the hiking that I do and all the kicks that I throw during martial arts training would be sufficient to keep my legs in shape. It did keep them in decent shape, but I sorely regret all the years that I did not stay consistent in my leg training. But fortunately, I got back into training legs consistently and intensely.

Training legs can be more difficult than any other body part to train. Legs are your biggest muscles, and therefore they require more blood and oxygen to operate. When you do strenuous exercises like squats and deadlifts, it takes a lot of effort, and you can reach fatigue quicker than other exercises. This is one main reason why people just don’t do those exercises. It can be uncomfortable. Sadly, there are people within the fitness industry that downplay the importance of exercises such as squats and deadlifts, or they act as if those exercises are too dangerous. But that is an unfortunate falsehood that gets believed. With good form and careful progression with adding more weight to the bar, squats and deadlifts are very safe exercises, and they bring about the most benefits. Both exercises are the most natural movements of the human body. The human body was made for squatting down and bending over and picking things up from the ground.


Like I mentioned above, I took a long hiatus from training legs some years ago. My legs became very disproportionate with the rest of my body that I started to become embarrassed by the way they looked. Fortunately, that was enough to motivate me to start training them again. Since I had trained them years ago and they were big and strong, it didn’t take very long to get them to progress and grow.

When I decided to train them again, I chose to make the intensity of the workout very low, and I slowly and gradually added weight and more sets each workout. I made sure that I did not make the mistake of starting off with too much intensity and annihilate my legs. In the past I would go intense too soon and get so sore that I could barely walk. I did not want to repeat that experience, so I chose to go the slow route instead of jumping in too hard too fast. It most definitely paid off. I remember back then getting so sore that I could barely walk for many days, and simple things like sitting on the toilet was painful. Going slow and gradual allowed me to get back into leg training with very little soreness. I highly recommend this for anyone who is just beginning leg training or making a comeback like I did.


My leg day is midway through my training split. I prefer to have my leg day with days apart from my back day because I do deadlifts on my leg day. Deadlifts are an excellent exercise for building a big strong back, as well as building strong glutes and hamstrings. I discussed this further in my recent article BACK WORKOUT TRAINING SPLIT.

DAY 1: Back  

DAY 2: Chest

DAY 3: Biceps and triceps

DAY 4: Rest

DAY 5: Legs

DAY 6: Shoulders

DAY 7: Abs and calves

DAY 8: Rest

DAY 9: Cycle repeats



The movement in the squat exercise is one of the most natural movements of the human body. They are king of leg exercises, and there really are no substitutes for them. There are different variations of the squat exercise. I prefer the low-bar and high-bar squats. I prefer the low-bar squat for beginners and early intermediates because it is the perfect base to build upon. High-bar squats are excellent when you want to put more emphasis upon your quads. Strength training expert and author Andy Baker gives a very insightful perspective on both variations of the squat…

“When I started my quest for more quad development a couple of years ago, the first thing I did was expand my exercise selection.  As primarily a low-bar squatter for many years, I felt like my quad development was way behind my actual squatting strength.  As with many low-bar exclusive squatters I was all Ass and Adductors.  Of course the quads are still massively involved even in a low bar squat, but the lions share of the work is being performed by the hips (hamstrings, glutes, and adductors). So I started experimenting with more exercises to specifically target the quads.  I kept low bars in the mix, but less frequently.  And I began to perform the bulk of my barbell-based squatting high bar.  With less tension on the hamstrings and adductors at the bottom of the movement the high bar squat allows you to squat deeper and take the quads through a much longer/fuller range of motion.  More range of motion = more stimulus.  And less contribution from the hams and adductors on the concentric means that more of the work is done via knee extension compared to a low bar squat.  The reduced load, the intra-session pump, and the next day soreness would all indicate that the high bar squat is far more quad dominant than the low bar squat although some argue otherwise.”1

When I do squats, I make sure that I go to parallel or a little below parallel. Way too often people do not use good form and they don’t go to at least parallel, and they miss out on so much from this exercise. One reason people do not go to parallel is because they are ego lifting and they cannot use nearly as much weight as compared to doing a partial rep. Another reason is because false information has been given that tries to argue that going parallel or lower is dangerous. That is not true. As long as correct form is being preformed and you are not trying to lift too heavy, then that movement is perfectly safe and very rewarding.


I prefer to do deadlifts on my leg day because it is an excellent exercise for the glutes and hamstrings. There are variations of the deadlift, but I usually just do the conventional deadlift, though I do like the sumo deadlift as well. I do 5-7 reps when I am bulking, and 8-10 when I am not bulking.


This exercise is an isolation movement that targets the quads. It is an exercise that is meant for muscle definition and not strength and size like the compound movement squat. I do higher reps such as 10-15 of this exercise.  


This exercise is an isolation movement that targets the hamstrings. I do higher reps such as 10-15 of this exercise.


1 Andy Baker,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: