The front thighs, or quadriceps, are often a very tough muscle group to fully stimulate. You want to hit them with everything you’ve got, and you give it your best. But it’s just so easy to reach the failure point with them.
Start your leg workout with high repetition leg extensions. These will serve a few purposes. First, you will be able to loosen up your tendons and get the blood flowing to your lower body. Secondly, you will be able to hit the front thigh muscles directly with an isolation movement. This will result not in their moving as much weight as possible (which will come later), but rather to contain as much blood as possible. This workout starts more as a pumping routine than amass-building routine, but that aspect will arrive by our third exercise.
From there you will want to move directly to the leg press machine. Three sets of very slow and methodical repetitions in the 10 to 20 range will suffice. Be sure to flex the thighs at the start and completion points of every repetition. Again, remember that your goal isn’t to move a dozen plates on each side or knock out more reps than your buddy. The goal is to pull as much blood as possible into the quads, and this is achieved through smooth, methodical repetitions.
Now it is (finally!) time to hit those squats. Normally, squats engage a number of muscle groups, including the front thighs, hamstrings, calves, hips, and glutes. These muscle groups will still be stimulated when you are training them today. The only difference is that instead of hitting each of these muscle groups fresh, as is the case when you start your day with squats, you will be starting the exercise with a set of front thighs that are completely pumped from the first two movements. The result will be your front thighs failing way sooner than normally, which is very useful for instilling some new growth. You will be completing four sets of 8 to 15 repetitions of the squats.
Finally, you will finish your front thighs with a few sets of barbell lunges using alternate legs. This will sap away any remaining energy you possessed in the front quads, and leave them completely pumped with amino-rich blood. Three to four sets of 10 to 15 repetitions is best. You’ll want to keep the weight you used at a minimum. You may begin to lose balance and structural integrity by this point in the workout. Check your ego at the door and concentrate solely on flexing those legs.
You’ll notice this leg day uses fewer sets than many of your other routines, and with higher repetitions. If you hit each set with your maximum possible intensity, this won’t be a problem. You’ll wear out the front thighs early with pre-exhaust work and the rest of our routine will require them to do more work than usual – which will lead to greater muscle growth!