As a serious lifter, you know making workouts easier won’t help you in the long run—the greater the challenge, the greater the results! You travel the path of epic challenges and fierce workouts, and this workout is no exception. Just make sure you bring a cane on this particular DOMS adventure—after you’re done thrashing those legs, you might actually need it.
This workout uses several techniques to make your quads scream and your hamstrings burn, including pre-exhaust, supersets, pauses, and higher reps. These protocols help you get the most out of your workout. And since muscle soreness is a certainty, focus on the strength you’ll gain after the pain you endure.
Just remember—you asked for it!
Superset: Lying Leg Curl and Leg Extension
We’re going to pre-exhaust the hamstrings and quads before going into the big lifts. This will help you establish the mind-muscle connection you need to really annihilate your legs, but you’ll use less weight than you normally would.
Perform each movement for 15 reps with no rest between exercises and 90 seconds of rest between supersets.
Front Pause Squat
Front squats place extra emphasis on the quads since the weight is directly over them. The difference between these and normal squats—and what makes them so brutal—is the pause at the bottom.
Pausing kills all momentum, so your quads really have to fire to get the weight back up to the starting position. The pause squat achieves better muscle activation on every rep and causes the kind of muscle soreness guaranteed to have you groaning the next day—and growing those muscles to put up higher numbers next week.
Keep a spotter close to you and perform these in the rack. Take 90 seconds of rest between sets.
Stiff-Legged Deadlift on a Platform
You can stand on a 100-pound plate or a sturdy step capable of supporting you and the weight you’re using. Standing on a platform gives you extra room to lower the weight and feel that deep stretch in the back of the thighs.
While performing the exercise, if you’re feeling your lower back too much, scale back on the weight. Don’t have a step? Use 25-pound plates on the bar instead of the 45’s. The smaller radius will give you more room to lower the weight to the ground. Rest 90 seconds between sets.
Leg Press: “The 100”
Use a weight that will result in failure around 20 reps. Start lifting and go to failure. You’re going to do 100 total reps here, so remember the number you stop at. If it’s 20 reps, you have 80 reps to go. Your remaining rep count is also the number of seconds you get to rest—in this case you get 80 seconds to rest.
When you start again, begin counting with the next number in the sequence. If you stopped at 20, you begin your count with 21. Continue until failure again. Remember that number and subtract it from 100. That’s your new rest time in seconds. As you can see, your rest time diminishes each time as you get closer and closer to your 100-rep goal. By the time you hit failure near the end, you’ll only have a few seconds to rest before resuming. It’s tough—but you can do it.
The Leg Workout You’ll Feel Till Next Week