Giant sets for leg growth!


The dreaded leg day approaches and you know that with some of the big muscle groups (i.e. quads, hamstrings and glutes) being put to work, some serious volume is needed to achieve that all important overload principle. However, unless you are within the 5% of maniacs who enjoy leg day, motivating yourself to do so may be a little tricky, but stick with me…

Rather than boring yourself into madness with the abundance of tedious leg machines or fatiguing to the point of tears from consecutive sets of squats, try this primitively satisfying GIANT SET instead! With 3 heavy compound lifts that will alternate to hit different muscles while keeping an overall pump; this set will fire up that testosterone whilst keeping the workout tough, but enjoyable.

*% o/1RM=Percent of One Rep Max: so for example 70% o/1RM, if the maximum weight you can successfully lift for one repetition is 100kg, would be 70kg.

  • Not sure of your 1RM? Rather than using trial and error, use this calculator to set the bar and then test this weight and adjust accordingly – EXRX One Rep Max Calculator.
  • To train for hypertrophy (muscle growth) use 70% o/1RM with controlled speed w/8-12 reps.
  • To train for power (explosiveness) use 30% o/1RM with fast or even ballistic motion w/8-10 reps.
  • To train for strength (bigger lifts) use 85% o/1RM with slow or even pause reps w/3-5 reps.
  • To train for endurance (more reps) use 60% o/1RM with regular speed w/14-20+ reps.
  • Perform 1 set of each exercise in a cycle i.e. Squat x12, Romanian x12, Hex Deadlift x12, then decrease reps and increase weight to go again!
  • Reduce reps by 2 after each giant set and increase weight 5-10+% approx.
  • Little-to-no rest in between exercises with 30-60secs rest between each giant set cycle.
  • Perform this trio as PART of your leg day… Remember, it’s a set, not a workout!

To maximize your results, put this slap-bang in the middle of your routine, just when you’re raring to go… This is where to make your heavy lifts count! Put machine exercises such as leg extensions at the end of the routine to break down those fibers through the use of controlled isometric and eccentric loading. Doing this AFTER your legs have been destroyed by the giant set will set yours quads on fire (not literally, but almost literally).

Any questions? Leave a comment below or connect with me through my social media links!



About Author

Martyn Crowe

Martyn is currently studying Sports Rehabilitation at the University of Cumbria, giving him a broad knowledge of human anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. As a fitness instructor for the University of Cumbria's Sports Centre, he is capable of training large groups of clients whilst having a strength training and martial arts background.

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