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4 Weeks To Bigger Wheels

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I used to hate training legs. I avoided it completely, or half assed it.

When I started working out in high school, only the athletes would hit lower body. I didn’t play a sport then, so I was never forced to do the standard half squat, power clean, and bench every day.

Instead, I did what I thought I wanted to see grow – the upper body (specifically chest and biceps). Over time, leg training slowly crept its way into my routine. Problem was, I was doing it wrong and ended up getting hurt.

Eventually, I wised up. I started training legs correctly, and hard. And while it’s still not as fun as crushing guns, it feels great have a large set of wheels. It also shows you’re serious about this whole working out thing. It’s true – squatting and deadlifting does get your whole body to grow!

If you’re like how I used to be, with a set of legs that are more like crutches than tree trunks, I have a simple 4-week solution.

musclespongebob

Me, before this program.

The Idea

Not long ago I suffered an injury that required I back off upper body training. What it did allow for me was to step back and train what I could — my lower body.

But I still wanted to lift four days a week, and considering I hit legs twice a week that just wasn’t going to happen—unless I made a radical programming change.

My plan was to rotate 4 leg days throughout the week, with each day focusing on a different intensity level.

The results were otherworldly. 
If your goal is to rapidly increase the size and strength of your legs, this shit right here is for you. Be warned: The idea is simple. The execution is not.

The Program

To train the same muscle groups repeatedly during a single week, you need to give it a different stimulus each session. This will help with continued growth, increased strength, and decrease overuse injuries.

It also helps make it a bit more fun when you’re hitting the same shit over and over.

You’re going to be performing daily undulating periodization. All that means is that throughout the week you’ll be dealing with different volumes and intensities. However, over the course of the program you will generally increase intensity.

You can perform the training days on any day of the week as long as the order is followed. You must train two consecutive days in a row as well and then take one day off before starting again.

Also, you’ll see a variety of tempos, each of which are represented by a four digits number.

Each digit represents a part of the movement:

  • Eccentric – the negative or lowering portion of the movement
  • Eccentric pause – the pause at the bottom, or stretched position
  • Concentric – the positive of lifting portion of the movement
  • Concentric pause – the pause at the top, or contraction position

This is much simpler than it A squat with a 30X1 tempo would mean descend into the hole for 3 seconds, don’t pause at the bottom, explode up back to the starting point, and then pause for 1 seconds (preferably squeezing the ass cheeks) before going into the next rep.


Day 1

Day11

*CAT is compensatory acceleration training, aka, control the eccentric and explode the concentric. That simple.

Today is simple. Move some fucking weight. It’s going to set the tone for the week and you need these starting weights to structure the entire four weeks.

On weeks 3 and 4, you’re going to drop down a rep on your A and B group. This allows you to use even heavier weights.

Following your squats, take 80% of the top set and use that for your first set of paused squats. So if you hit 405 x 3 on your last set of squats, you should use around 325 for your first set of paused squats. Depending on your strength and conditioning level you’ll find yourself with three options:

  • Use this weight for all 5 set
  • Drop around 10 pounds each subsequent set
  • Increase weight throughout the sets
Your lunges and RDL should be the heaviest you can muster for 5 reps. Don’t overthink.

Day 2

There’s not much to say about today outside of today except it sucks. But look on the bright side. It’s better than day 4!

The intensity is decreased and the overall volume is increased. The time under tension is greater and you’re concentrating more on structural balance and strength and size between left and right side.

Concentrate on technique and let the tempo dictate the weight.


Day 3

Day3

Back on the heavy grind.

There isn’t much to say about today except that it’s time to lift heavy again.

You’re going to be Cred today. Beat up. Relax, you’ll get past that right after you warm up.

Work up to the heaviest set of 5 you can.

Just like Day 1, weeks 3 and 4 will drop a rep of the A’s and B’s so we can increase the intensity that you’re using.

Week 1 this will be tough. By week 4 you’ll be able to handle this no problem. You’ll be moving even more weight than if you were to hit five reps as the lonesome leg workout of the week.


Day 4 

Day4

Today will be challenging. It’s a gut check.

The quadriceps are largely built up of slow twitch fibers. This means they respond well to high reps.

So we do as they like.

You’re going to be moving, with little rest – just enough to get to the next exercise – through a tri-set of exercises that target the same muscle group. While increasing the repetitions per set.


Should have called this the squat almost every day program.

Should have called this the squat almost every day program.

Good Luck Fitting Into Those Jeans

This program was originally born out of my inability to hold anything in my hands. What it created was a set of wheels that would have taken months to attain.

With a few tweaks made for those that don’t have a torn biceps, this is the ultimate lower body developer.

If you’re impatient like I am, this is the perfect structure to get a lagging body part up to snuff, super fast.

After you complete the four weeks back off. Just don’t back off completely or only hit legs once a week. If you want continued growth and strength, keep hitting them at least twice a week. Combining both rep work and strength work for the best results.

And enjoy shopping for new jeans. Let’s just say it’s an occupational hazard of focused, intelligent training.

About the Author

Bob Thompson is a strength coach based out of Philadelphia where he owns multiple sports performance and body transformation facilities. He can be found over at his site discussing the finer points of transforming your physique...like eating steak, crushing carbs, chasing the pump, and lifting heavy things.

  • I appreciate you like program. Enjoy crushing legs

  • Don’t train them? Or, train them infrequently..

  • Carolyn

    Ooooooh fun and CRAZY. I can’t wait to start.
    Got any tweaks for the chicas, so we don’t look like Little Miss Treetrunk?

    • You could reduce the amount of overall volume being done. So instead of 4 days, perform 3. Or, reduce total volume by reducing sets and of course watch the nutrition

  • Darryn Collins

    Looks challenging :-) Question…

    For the 3/3/2/2 for squats are you building up to the last set being heaviest, or building up to a heavy 3 and then holding that weight for the 3/3/2/2/ wave?

    Any idea roughly what the 3/3/2/2 percentages of 1RM should be?

    Cheers

    • Always try your best to build up to a heaviest set possible.
      I don’t really use percentages much, but depending on the person 3’s will be around 85% ish and the 2’s around 87-90%, give or take.

  • kari jackson

    Goin to try this workout this month. Advice on cardio Bob?

    • Hey Kari! Cardio – I’m with most others… If I do any, it’s going to be some kind of metabolic conditioning based circuit or something like a javorek complex

  • Gymlivet

    Defenitly gonna try this out!
    http://www.gymlivet.com

  • Hit them hard, then hit them harder, and guess what, hit them hard again! Everyone needs some good leg power! http://www.heavyarmorfitness.com

  • Broman,
    Just did day one. Fo things:
    A) One cannot do this workout on their lunch break and expect not to perspire.
    2) You will be late to work.
    L) Pause squats are freaking legit and way harder than expected.
    4) My calves and quads feel great!
    Thanks again for the awesomeness.
    Chris

    • Happy that you loved it man! Did you try the other days out?

      • I did days one and two. I will do days three and four this week. Trying to get a feel of the weights to use and don’t want to waste a week doing it. Also, never done pause squats and I don’t mess around much with a slow eccentric. So as you can imagine, I’m struggling.

        • That first week will always be a feeler for the weights. Expect them to jump up across the weeks!
          The struggle is real… but so worth it

  • Sara009

    Just a tip for everyone struggling with weight issues:

    If you are interested in reading some informative & helpful weight loss reviews and articles, you should check internethealth (dot) org

    • testy68

      I have pretty strong opinions on people trying to do their for-profit advertising on the comment boards of other for-profit sites. Either the owner of that company is LAZY and not willing to do their own marketing, or they have inferior products for which they cannot build traction in any other way. The fact that you use .org that is usually reserved for non-profit organizations also throws a red flag.

      Why dont you contact Roman Fitness Systems directly and see if you can form a partnership. If you have a legitimate product, maybe you can work out a business deal.

  • Loving the concept of this workout, Roman!

  • Looks awesome! Question, should we add any upper work maintaince work? Even just chins?

    • Broman,

      Just did day one. Fo things:
      A) One cannot do this workout on their lunch break and expect not to perspire.
      2) You will be late to work.
      L) Pause squats are freaking legit and way harder than expected.
      4) My calves and quads feel great!
      Thanks again for the awesomeness.
      Chris