Connect
To Top


Brignole’s Best Exercises for Training Legs


Last month Brignole discussed his strategies for working the shoulders. In this final installment he identifies the best exercises for training legs.

Q: Okay, hit me with your ideas on how best to train the quads, hams, glutes and calves?

A: As I’ve mentioned before, I believe in doing one mechanically ideal exercise per bodypart per workout and blasting the crap out of that muscle with that one exercise. When it comes to legs, I divide the training into two different workouts— “isolation leg day” and “compound leg day”—and I alternate them.

The workout for isolation leg day includes leg extensions, leg curls, glute extensions and calf raises—either the standing version or leg press calf raises, done with straight knees. First, I superset glute extensions and calf raises for a total of six sets, and then I superset leg extensions and leg curls for a total of six sets, not including the breakdown subsets at the end.

That may not seem like a very elaborate workout, but if you do it right, you’ll have trouble walking afterward, let alone going up and down stairs.

Q: So you say six sets. That means high reps, like 50, on your first set. Then you add weight so that your reps decrease on each successive set, correct?

A: Yes, I do my usual 50, 40, 30, 20, 15, 10 reps—Super TORQ—with a breakdown on the final set. I strive for full-range-of-motion, continuous-tension reps during my sets, so the fatigue reaches a fever pitch, and the muscles scream for mercy. Avoiding that kind of intensity just so you are able to do another exercise (or two) afterward—like squats and/or leg presses—is not necessarily a better strategy. It is a more time-consuming strategy and a less energy-efficient strategy, in my opinion.

Q: What about your compound leg day?

A: It includes squats, deadlifts and seated calf extensions, meaning bent knee. I do the three exercises in tri-set fashion. First, I do a set of light squats—either with a barbell, a pair of dumbbells or a squat machine, which is my preference—for 50 reps. I follow that immediately with a set of light semi-straight-legged dumbbell deadlifts. I do that because squats hit mostly the quads, with a lesser emphasis on the glutes and even less on the hamstrings. So, by doing the dumbbell deadlifts, which have almost no quadriceps involvement, right after the squats, I am finishing off the glutes and hamstrings. Then I do a set of calf extensions on the seated calf machine as the third exercise of the rotation. After that I repeat the sequence, increasing the weight and decreasing the reps on each successive set until I’ve reached eight to 10 total sets.

 

Join Iron Man Magazine Insider and get full access to this article and more:

• Ad Free Reading Experience
• Articles Available Online Same Day as Newsstand Date
• Full Issues Downloadable as PDFs
• Full Training DVDs Online for Streaming or Download
• Members Only Exclusive Content
• Special Offers and Coupons for Supplements and More
• Exclusive Hi Res Photos and HD Videos Only Available to Members
• Members Only Contests and Giveaways
• Members Only Email Newsletter

Learn More or Sign Up

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Features

  • Total Knockout!

    You already fell for Lindsay Christiansen with one simple glance. Are you man enough to dive into who she really is?...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 16, 2017
  • 9 Reasons To Take Branched-Chain Amino Acids

    If you are serious about your physique, you'll seriously want to give this supplement a look. By Sarah Butcher   BCAA:...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 16, 2017
  • NPC West Coast Bikini Results

     Click on the link to see the final results: WC_16__Final-Bikini Finals Bikini Class A Finals Bikini Class B Finals Bikini Class C...

    Iron Man MagazineJune 22, 2016
  • What makes GVT so effective?

    In the golden age of bodybuilding, magazines were keen to report on the training programs of the most acclaimed champions. Idols such...

    Iron Man MagazineJune 6, 2016
  • Boyz (and Girlz) in the Hood!

    Check out the best picks for this ultimate fitness staple Hoodies are “off the clock” wear to some, but to us...

    Iron Man MagazineJune 2, 2016
  • Crazy Abs with Ako Rahim

    The journey of building muscles into a beautiful and symmetrical physique is filled with starts, restarts, doubling back, and entering unassigned...

    Iron Man MagazineMay 31, 2016
  • The Gramies

    IRON MAN PICKS THE WINNERS OF THE FIRST ANNUAL PROTEIN BAR AWARDS Protein bars have been through more evolutions than iPhones....

    Iron Man MagazineMay 23, 2016
  • The McGill Pull-Up

    Improve speed, power, and neuro drive with this exercise created by a foremost authority in spinal biomechanics. In May of 2013,...

    Iron Man MagazineMay 14, 2016
  • Most Valuable Supplement

    When you walk in to any nutrition store, one of the supplements that is always recommended when trying to increase muscle mass is creatine. To...

    Iron Man MagazineApril 15, 2016