Why Building Big Legs is a Waste of Time

July 26, 2007

I completely believe that building big legs is a waste of your time in the gym. I mean…why work so had at something that makes your body less attractive to the opposite sex?

Before I go on…I wanted to post a video of a bodybuilder with massive legs. I’m willing to bet that 90% of women find this amount of muscle repulsive.

I’m not putting this guy down. He obviously has a really impressive amount of muscle. If he is in the sport of bodybuilding, he probably does very well in competitions. I just don’t advise anyone to get this amount of muscle mass if they don’t have to.

The best look for a man or woman is to get natural athletic looking legs. This can be accomplished by most of the cardio exercises that are in the gym…or running outside, playing sports, etc.

Building leg mass isn’t too difficult, but really ask yourself why you want big legs. For the most part, you lose a bit of athletic ability if you build your legs up too much. Also…you can’t wear nice pants or hip jeans. One more thing…leg lifts make your butt bigger…which is something you do NOT want if you are a guy.

I haven’t done a leg lift in over 5 years and my legs are more toned then they have ever been. I believe that all that effort should be redirected into cardio, which will make your legs and butt look better as well as the rest of your body, by burning body fat.

So if you still want to build big legs, then make sure and buy some baggy sweat pants…as this will be your only clothing option going forward!

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{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack July 27, 2007 at 5:35 am

Yeah – I used to have legs just like those but I got tired of having to walk around them like a giant fat person. πŸ™‚

Seriously – that freaked me out!

Rusty July 27, 2007 at 12:07 pm

Yeah Jack…there are guys in my gym that honestly would love to have legs like these! What are people thinking?

Rusty

neely July 27, 2007 at 1:35 pm

Yeah, as a woman, I just about lost my lunch watching that…

It’s actually quite terrifying! I seriously might have nightmares.

Rusty July 27, 2007 at 1:44 pm

Yeah…it is very freaky! Sorry about putting up a vid that gives you nightmares…I actually found a bunch of terrifying bodybuilding videos on Youtube. Bodybuilding is getting way out of hand!

John July 27, 2007 at 5:05 pm

At least if you insult that guy you could probably outrun him. How the heck would you walk let alone run with those legs???

neely July 27, 2007 at 10:45 pm

Ba ha ha ha!!! yeah there’s no way he could run after you… it’d be the equivalent of an obese person with elephantitis trying to swing one foot in front of the other!!!

That guy would probably just let out a huge roar and pound his chest like an ape… I promise you thats the extent of his intelligence.

admin July 27, 2007 at 11:32 pm

Very true indead…see, I knew I wasn’t the only person who thought this was freaky! That much leg mass is terrible for walking, running, or anything active. It is GREAT for making frightening leg mass videos!

Charlie August 3, 2007 at 2:28 pm

What you are discussing specifically is that OVER exercising your legs is a bad idea. I hope that you don’t mean that strengthening your legs is a bad idea, because then I would have to disagree. As with most things in life, you can go too far with anything, and this is an example of that.

admin August 4, 2007 at 1:03 am

Charlie,

I think most people can get enough leg development with intense cardio. Only under extreme cases do I think people need to add mass to their legs with specific leg lifts…those are people with really skinny legs.

I know my point of view is not popular, but I think cardio exercises build the perfect balance of strength, size and tone in the legs.

Rusty

sherman August 5, 2007 at 2:00 pm

first let me say i think excessive muscles like that are silly and waste. however, i think the original comments should have been thought about more. to specifically state excessively big legs. it seems there is a large number of males that still feel it is importnt to have a huge upper body but silly chicken legs. one does need to work out the legs to keep them in proportion to the rest of the body. and the comment about not wanting to make butt larger is just plain stupid. few men have a butt that anyone would consider nice, and most would consider flat or none existant.
let’s stop convincing the majority of people who need to work out their lower body for just a few mixed in the head people who just can’t get large enough.

admin August 5, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Sherman,

I don’t see guys with large upper bodies and chicken legs like I used to 10-20 years ago. Most of the guys in the gyms I workout at work their legs hard, but will avoid cardio.

I really believe that cardio will insure that people have a proportionate body. The guys that look out-of-proportion are typically the guys who only lift the big weights without hitting cardio hard afterward.

I’m still sticking to my guns when it comes to not wanting a big butt! Seriously…even legendary trainer Vince Goronda wouldn’t let his clients squat, because it “spread the hips, increased the size of the glutes, and ruin the physique”.

I knew I would get a few people that disagreed with me here. I’m totally fine with that. Again…I think that tough cardio works the legs hard enough.

THUNDER September 27, 2007 at 5:26 pm

Yeah, I guess I shouldn’t work out my legs or I will wake up the following day with a case of guiness-record-level legs!

Working the legs is very important and intense cardio won’t do it (although very intense sprinting will do it to some degrees). And you seem to completely forget about strength. A strong posterior chain and well activated glutes = healthy knees and back. Heavy legs exercises can teach you to fire your gluteus maximus properly, which will lead to a better sprinting technique.

And admit it: most people who don’t work their legs don’t because leg exercises such as squats and deadlifts are much harder than upper body only exercises.

Most of the guys in the gyms I workout DON’T work out their legs, and those who do, do so improperly (no intensity/incorrect technique).

admin September 27, 2007 at 5:45 pm

Thunder,

Good counter point. I know that it takes a rediculous amount of hard work and years of discipline to build anything even remotely close to the legs of the guy in the video.

I guess it is just up to people to decide if they want bigger legs or not. To me, sprinting intervals seems to build a lot more functional strength than heavy squats for someone who is involved in a variety of sports.

And to be honest…I’m not so much against the strength aspects of some of these lifts…there is just a tendency for these lifts to build up the lower body quickly for someone who wants to maintain a slimmer Hollywood style physique. For someone who wants to build mass or a football player who needs the strength for his sport…these are great lifts.

Rusty

Enyap October 7, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Please stop deleting my comments cause I make you look like a fool

Ben Johnson Seoul 1988

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20061204/i/r40547107.jpg

As I said before your so right about big legs making you slow and clumsy, just look at those slowpokes.

admin October 7, 2007 at 10:58 pm

Enyap,

All comments have to get “approved” by me before they are posted for everyone to see. I certainly don’t approve everything! Anyway…I’ll approve this comment because you are so persistent.

As far as me “looking like a fool”…let’s examine that picture you sent over. Oh yeah…that is Ben Johnson who was stripped of his gold in Seoul because of steroids!

1988: Johnson stripped of Olympic gold

“Sprinter Ben Johnson has been sent home from the Seoul Olympic Games in disgrace. The Canadian has also been stripped of his 100m gold medal after testing positive for drugs. ”

The other athletes in the picture have legs that are slightly bigger than average, but extremely toned from sprinting. I actually advocate sprinting over weight training for good development…so really you are just proving one of my points.

As far as your other post goes…it had some good points, but your overall tone isn’t what I’m striving for on my site. Unlike many sites, this one is very well moderated. I want this to be a “friendly” place for people to share ideas…not a place where people get called “fools”. In this case, I’ll take one for the team…but typically these types of comments will never get seen.

The football players you made reference to in your last post do have bigger than average legs, but nothing approaching the size of a bodybuilder.

Rusty

Mark McCullagh October 19, 2007 at 10:20 pm

Hey Rusty,

I’ve read your “leg post” here before and I wanted to add my 2 cents this time.

As a former amateur bodybuilder and someone who for years did heavy squats, deadlifts, benches etc. etc. I can speak from experience. Why do we this? There seems to be a certain mindset attached to this kind of heavy training – being strong and aggressive and hardcore. Bodybuilders also seem to suffer from a sort of “reverse anorexia” and always feel the need to get bigger and stronger.

Anyway, the above paragraph could be expanded into a small book. Do huge muscles, especially quads, make you more attractive? I’d say no. Is this type of heavy training dangerous for injury both in the short- and long-term? Yes.

However, with regards to leg training and squats I believe that performing strict squats with a lighter weight for 15-20 reps over 2-4 sets once or twice a week is beneficial. In simple terms, squats are an excellent compound multi-joint exercise that will help build strength, burn fat, and stimulate the release of hormones that will assist this process tremendously. After all, the quads are the largest muscle group in the body and their distance from the heart requires an extra effort to pump blood into them.

You will probably counter that certain cardio exercises provide the same results and I agree to an extent. But try doing some 20-rep sets of squats and see how that feels.

Us hardcore bodybuilders used to joke about the fact that in most gyms no one even knew what the squat rack was for. Certainly nobody ever used them for squats.

BTW, running stairs is a killer cardio workout and tough on the legs. OMG! I’m 47 now and have been getting into some light workouts after a long layoff and my (old) body kinda resembles more of fitness dude. Maybe I could get my picture in your “Fitness Studs” category. LOL!

Take care dude!

Mark
P.S. Sorry for the long comment

admin October 19, 2007 at 11:40 pm

Mark,

Yeah…I don’t talk about this much, but in my early to mid 20’s I did tons of squats. I worked up to 4 sets of 6 reps with 405 pounds…rock bottom. I’m 6’3″, so this is a pain. My legs got way too big and it spread out my hips a bit. It took me years to get my legs down to a normal size.

Anyway…If I could go back in time, I would have avoided that altogether. I think it is funny that my site get slammed on bodybuilding forums…I’ve “been there done that”…just like you have. I gained over 50 pounds of muscle, couldn’t fit into a suit properly, and STILL felt I needed to gain 30 pounds more muscle. Then I came to my senses and decided to lose the majority of that excess weight and haven’t looked back.

I like the feeling of slim and in-shape much better than muscular and bulky. I know you must feel the same. I know without a shadow-of-a-doubt that women prefer the Men’s Fitness type build over the bodybuilder look as well.

Note: You are right about squats if they are used for more for the HGH response and increasing the metabolism. I just don’t think people need to build much bigger than their natural size for legs.

Rusty

PS: Great contribution, by the way, I hope to hear more comments from you in the future.

Mark McCullagh October 20, 2007 at 10:50 pm

Hey Rusty,

4 sets of 6 with 405!!! And rock bottom! That got my attention and you got me smoked – I could only ever do that with 365 on a good day. And then end up with extreme nausea! Mind you I’m only 5’9″ but I respect a 3 plate squat, let alone a 4-plate squat.

I also agree with you totally. If I could turn back time I probably wouldn’t have bothered with all the heavy squats and especially the heavy deadlifts. My forearms are fried (tendonitis) I think because of all the heavy deadlifts and rows etc. I can’t even do a proper curl with a tiny weight!

It also feels good to me to have broken the attachment to be “huge”. I think a lot of this is due to my age and being more focused on other things and being more balanced.

I also endeavor to be non-judgmental, not just in regards to bodybuilding but in all aspects of life. If a person wants to train heavy and get huge and that’s their thing, good for them.

But the bottom line is this (and this is what you have NAILED Rusty): the vast majority of the population just wants to look leaner, more fit, and feel better and accomplish this goal via the most efficient means possible.

In other words, Rusty, you help people to look good naked without having to become a gym rat or use questionable supplements. And that, my friend, is a VERY GOOD thing.

God bless,

Mark

admin October 20, 2007 at 11:55 pm

Mark,

I was great at squats, but it took me years just to be able to bench 225 once. I worked up to around 275 for a rep or two (which isn’t much compared to a lot of the big guys). Taller guys like me often have really strong legs and biceps, but we are screwed when it comes to pressing movements.

Thanks Mark…I do want to help the world look better naked! That should be my tag line…LOL!

Bill Clarke October 23, 2007 at 5:39 pm

My body has always been relatively lean….I can’t and won’t get huge and bulky no matter what I lift and eat. I’ve been doing squats for years — my legs are reasonably strong, since I also do triathlons — lifting 2+2 plates for 8 reps or so, 1X/wk. I hafta say I’m personally a believer in squats. They’ve really shaped my quads (& hams & glutes) and made me stronger, without getting too bulky. I’d say my legs are my best feature actually. I’ve also heard squats boost the hormones that help you burn fat and gain lean mass. So I think — although I don’t DISagree with your major point (huge legs are unattractive to most people) — whether or not to do squats really depends on your particular body type. “Everything in proportion….”

Michael October 26, 2007 at 4:53 am

Interesting comments. Personally, I squat and my legs aren’t that big at all. At 6’1″ with long limbs, the muscle I have stretches out on my frame quite a bit so I don’t look too bulky.

I think the point here is that people need to analyse their frame before they decide whether they need sqauts or not. Rusty, having squatted 4 sets of 6 with 405, you were in a position where you needed to reduce the size of your legs to get the look you wanted, so cardio did the job just fine. For a lot of people, guys especially, squats would be good as I see far to many guys in the gym with chicken leg syndrome and a pancake butt. These guys need to learn that the squat rack is for squats, not arm curls.

For ladies, I reckon squats should be used more judiciously. The fitness competitor ladies don’t squat because it makes their legs too big. They rely more on uni-lateral exercises like lunges, bulgarian split squats, step ups, sprints.

Chad Waterbury over at t-nation got blasted a while back for writing an article called ‘Sexy Female Training’, which argued against bodybuilding type exercises for ladies. Since then, I have changed my girlfriends training from squats and deads to the exercises I mentioned earlier, with good results.

As I said though, it’s down to the individual. I have a friend who is a recovering anorexic and long distance runner so she has no muscle mass at all. I have her doing squats.

admin October 26, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Michael,

Great comments…I think there is a minority of people who would benefit from squats…but for the most part I think they should be avoided. I wish I wouldn’t have done them, but no big deal.

T-Nation has some great info, but ideas that don’t involve getting larger typically get blasted. It is too bad, because they have some great writers over there.

Great Contribution Michael!

Rusty

julio December 15, 2007 at 4:03 pm

hey, i just wanted to drop in my 2 cents about overdeveloped legs.
The man in the video is most definitely a steroid abuser as no natural weight-training athlete could even come close to achieving that kind of muscularity. No one can reach that size without using drugs for years. Im 21, 6’2” and have been training for four years now and my legs measure around 26-27 inches at their widest, i’d say i probably have the frame of a linebacker and im sure women find them attractive, so stop knocking squats dude, ur just perpetuating the idea that cardio makes a perfect body. As a fitness promoter, you should herald the many benefits of weight training, not try and belittle them. Besides, chicks dig muscular bodies, not marathoners.
peace.

admin December 15, 2007 at 9:42 pm

Julio,

Women are attracted to guys with average to slightly above average muscle mass that is toned. Anything excessive is almost always a major turnoff for women.

I had to take a stand and knock squats. Somebody had to have the guts to take a stand. Squats widen the hips over time and ruin the physique. Many people believe this, but don’t want to rock the boat.

Overly muscular guys and marathon runners are two extremes. It is best to be somewhere in between.

Rusty

julio December 20, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Its clear you have a distaste for squats, however upon rereading your original posts it seems you dont advocate weight training at all, this sounds like maybe a personal dislike for the rigors of resistance training. But then again you used to squat a ton so maybe you just realized weight training wasnt beneficial so you stopped doing it. Firstly, weights burn just as many calories as cardio does and can further shape changes in body composition, to a greater degree than cardio. Secondly, i will readily admit the benefits of cardio, its great for heart and respiratory health and can keeps us healthier for years and years; yet you failed to mention this. However weight training also has a miriad of benefits, such as strengthening muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments, as well as strengthening the heart and helping to improve self-efficacy. Lastly, the issue of squats making hips wider is a misconception, popularized over 50 years ago by Vince Gironda, who outlawed squatting in his gym. However, squats dont widen your hip bones, nor do they build “hip muscles,” there is no empirical evidence of this nor any reputable study to support these claims. Years of squatting, especially in a wide stance(sumos) can sometimes lead to enlargement of the gluteus medius which can sometimes be percieved as widening of the hips, this is only seen in some lifetime weightlifters and is greatly dominated by our genes. I mentioned in my previous post that i have large legs but i dont have trouble finding pants like you warn people about. Also on a side note, i found your comment about a bigger but humorous as in actuality this is one of men’s most attractive body parts to women, you’ll find this in almost every survey you read or simply by polling friends or women you happen to know.

The sheer sensationalism and lack of science or any kind of support for your claims makefitnessblackbook.com seem like a very ignorant website that should not be taken seriously by those seeking to improve their lives through exercise. I look forward to you rebuttal on this and respectfully try to touch on all of my points, not just the one you can argue on.

Julio

admin December 20, 2007 at 4:22 pm

Julio,

I am not against resistance exercise at all. I think people look best with a natural amount of muscle, which is accomplished by focusing on low volume strength training…not the bodybuilding high-volume “pump” approach. I lift weights 3-4 times per week and can put on some pretty impressive numbers. I endorse getting stronger, without getting bigger. This is an extremely effective way to display permanent muscle definition.

I don’t like squats, because they quickly add muscle in a non-pleasing way in my opinion. They add excessive amounts of muscle to the hips and butt quickly. They are effective at adding mass and that is why bodybuilders enjoy them. I believe they add mass at the expense of a nice looking physique. They certainly add mass to the hip area in almost every person I’ve seen…have to disagree with you on that point. They also tend to thicken the waist a bit.

Weight lifting in a circuit type manner will burn as much calories as cardio, but I don’t advocate this type of lifting because I don’t believe it is the best way to get deep muscle definition. I like resistance training for strength and intense cardio for fat loss. I don’t like to mix the two as I think it is an inferior way to get lean and defined.

As far as women finding men’s butts to be one of the most attractive body parts that is true. Does it mean that they want that body part to be as big as possible? No. Women like a man who has an athletic body and toned and proportioned butt…like soccer players, actors, beach volleyball players, etc. Believe me, guys that squat tons like bodybuilders, professional wrestlers, etc…are not attractive to women. They certainly don’t like to look at those guys in jeans.

Julio…yes, I knew this article was going to cause a bit of a stir. I still stick to my guns and don’t recommend squats for most guys. I enjoy resistance training, but not in the typical bodybuilding sense. I do quote scientific literature throughout my website, there just isn’t scientific literature backing up opinions like “how big is too big” -or- “what is attractive”, etc.

I appreciate the comment, but I just have to disagree with you here. As far as my blog being an “ignorant website”…I guess this just isn’t a good fit for you. I am not trying to please everybody. God knows that there are dozens of sites and forums full of guys talking about getting as big as possible, using every method known to man (including drugs, questionable supplements, excessive amounts of food). Most of these sites are full of guys just spouting off the latest routines they read in a magazines.

We certainly don’t need another site like that!

Rusty

Mark January 7, 2008 at 6:14 pm

My opinion is that it all comes down to individual motives for doing squats. Either to look like a freak (not most people’s goal), or to simply look normal and get the normal bulk of sporty looking legs that most people actually take for granted even if they don’t do an ounce of training. My goal in doing squats is actually to get the hips, butt, and thighs that people ‘wont’ take a second look at.

Because the “lack” of bulk in all the above HAS been noticed by people all my life and has made me very self conscious and affected how I feel as man. Basic I know, petty perhaps, but it can get to you (especially when a girlfriend once said I had legs like an 12 year old girl). She didn’t say it to be mean. She was being honest at what she saw. All my life I’ve been trying to hide that lack of bulk with long shorts. Now I saw that the ‘game’ was up.

People twig on (excuse the pun) to why guys with an ok looking upper body wear shorts down to their knees or lower. 6 times out of 10 it’s because they’re hiding the lack of something underneath.

My motive for starting leg work is that i wanted legs that don’t ‘stand out’ for being lacking. I wanted legs that are normal and don’t attract any attention as they will now look natural size.

Some of us are naturally given skinny little twigs and live a life of huge self consciousness and restriction about what we can wear. Instead of it being a case of not getting into jeans, some of us have to wear baggy clothing to hide that we can’t fill most clothing enough to look good. I know it caused me intense grief as a teen to 20 something (when my body weight was at its lowest, making these lacking areas even more noticeable). For some people like myself, squats seem to help us get to that ‘natural’ sized sporty look you say looks best (and I agree with you) and means we can finally wear a “proper” pair of shorts or trousers πŸ™‚ They indeed rapidly add bulk to the hips, inner thighs, butt, etc. Even for an ectomorph like myself. 10 years ago when I did some casual weight training, i never did squats. Only bench press, back, etc.

Shyed away, and found the searing lactic burn of leg raises too unpleasant. I found those to be a horrendously unpleasant torture, and as a result ended up doing no leg work at all.

It was the worst possible way to proceed considering how self conscious i was, yet i simply hadn’t discovered the wonder of squats then. 10 years later, i’m back to casual weights at home and have put squats as a priority over anything else and cannot recommend them more for skinny guys like myself, if they want to get moving to build a foundation for themselves. Going by the results of only 2 months of starting weights again, anyway.

Free weight squats tax me in a different way (especially with a 6-8 rep weight range) because i can’t really cheat on squats. I have the weight on my back and have to complete it. I can’t just give up as with leg extensions and get off the bench to go a make a cup of tea and do something less taxing instead (hoping my skinny legs wouldn’t give out on the way LOL) , as I used to do previously.

Squats seem to inspire a determination in me to complete, and that is what has been a pleasant plus of doing them, for me. You feel you’re getting results ‘as’ you do them. What I like is that squats add an immense sense of achievement to my weight training routine. I really feel like something has been achieved when I push through another rep despite my lungs puffing like bellows and my heart thudding like a train. On my rest days, i feel a great sense of foundation and power to my lower body now when i walk which seems to balance everything. Something not present before. In the end i think it comes down to individual motives. And finally I have a butt too. Squats ‘may’ be the worst thing for naturally bulky guys to do. But perhaps gold for skinny guys like myself who once didn’t feel properly connected to earth?

admin January 7, 2008 at 10:53 pm

Mark,

This is the best comment I have ever heard about reasons to do squats! Seriously…incredible comment. Do you mind if I actually do a full post using your story?

Rusty

PS: You have a great ability to explain yourself well in text. People love stories and yours is great. If you have an strong area of expertise I would recommend starting a blog on it. You would do well!

Mark January 9, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Wow, thanks. By all means use the storyy, Rusty. One thing to correct though (I noticed after posting it, but it was too late then), was the line – “…..found the searing lactic burn of leg raises too unpleasant”. I actually meant to say leg ‘Extensions’, not raises. Thanks for the comment on the writing too. It was just a “straight from the calves” comment πŸ™‚ about what Squats are doing for me.

Brad January 10, 2008 at 11:52 am

Interesting post about leg development and not squating. I personally like to squat. I play basketball year round and other sports as well and I like to have strong legs and a decent vertical jump. That said, I totally agree about not wanting big legs. And I definitely don’t have big legs or a big butt. I’m 6’3 and have always been pretty lean, except when I was stupid and used to try and bulk up. Anyways, I really try and use perfect form on my parallel squats and I only use about 200 pounds or so for 8 reps and thats difficult for me. I also only work my legs once a week. I just like the feel of a good leg workout.
I think I will continue to lift my legs once a week, but not for size, just for strength, and for the sports I play and burning calories. If my legs ever did get to big I would definitely back off. I just don’t think thats possible. I obviously don’t lift a heavy enough weight and I’ve always had “chicken” legs, oh well. By the way, 405 pounds is a ton! I’m the same height as you are and I can’t imaging squating 405 pounds parallel.
I read somewhere above that you said a lot of guys lift there legs hard in you’r e gym. It’s funny, in my gym, only a few meat heads lift there legs hard. Most of the other meat heads work there upper body and have chicken legs to go with it. I guess its different everywhere you go. I always find it funny that anytime I need the squat machine its almost always open. I don’t like the big muscle look at all, but if these guys in my gym are going to have a huge upper body, they might as well get a big lower body as well cause they look ridiculous!

Brad

admin January 10, 2008 at 10:35 pm

Brad,

Both you and Mark bring up good points. I am going to do a counterpoint post about squats. I like your viewpoints and believe they have merit.

Rusty

PS: I am naturally strong at squats. I honestly think I would be able to do 495+(5 plates per side) for reps if I would have kept woking hard at them. On the flip side, it took me 6 years to be able to bench press 225 for reps.

Misc January 31, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Legs stimulate massive amounts of testosterone produced and are a critical part of working out. I agree that you don’t need your legs as muscular as bodybuilders, but there is absolutely NO reason to leave these out of your routine.

Misc @ bb.com

bobby d January 31, 2008 at 5:48 pm

i’ve been doing single legged squats.2 or 3 sets twice a week.
i hold onto the side of a doorway and lean way back.doing this is easy on the knees.come springtime,i will resume bicycling,ballfield sprints,and practicing karate kicks on the wavemaster training bag i have in my yard.i do around 5 sets of leg curls on my lil benchpress set with only 40lbs,followed by a couple sets of leg extensions with the same weight,and then i do the squats.come springtime,i’ll probably skip the squat part of my leg training resistance program.i’ll do more plyometric stuff like vertical jumps while holding 10lb dumbells.i DO need to build up my calves quite a bit though.they measure in at 14 and a quarter each.i need to build em up to at least 15 and a half.i will start doing single legged calve raises while holding a 50 lb dumbell.i’m 5-9 and a half and i weigh around 180 usually.my right and left quads measure in at 22 and 22 and a quarter respectively.i think they should be right around 23.my arms are right around 16 each.i’d like them to be around 17.would 17″ arms,23″ quads,and 15 and a half inch calves look a little outta proportion?

admin February 1, 2008 at 12:04 am

Bobby,

Yeah…you are trying to add a bit more size than most of the readers here. That is cool. If your arms get that big it would make sense to add a bit of mass to your legs.

I went to your Youtube page. I was pretty darn impressed by the one arm push-ups. Actually very impressed. You have a dry sense of humor which is cool as well.

Have a good one!

Rusty

bobby d February 2, 2008 at 2:45 am

so…you’re basically sayin that 23″ quads and 15 1/2″ calves are outta proportion with 17″arms right?…what should i go for then?
my waist is 32 1/2″,in case that needs to be included.

ps-thanks for the compliments.it means quite a bit to me to hear positive feedback.you seem honest and sincere,as well as someone who’s as you say,”been there and done that”.heh heh…cool!!

admin February 2, 2008 at 4:18 am

Bobby,

I actually think you are well proportioned. Your measurements are fine. Some people naturally have bigger arms and slightly smaller legs and vice versa.

If I were you, I would just focus on getting lean and showing off more of your muscle density. With the type of strength you display on your videos, you would be very impressive looking at a slightly lower body fat level.

At 6% I have to imagine that your arms and shoulders would look shredded. You have outstanding levels of strength and athletic ability. I wouldn’t worry about adding an inch to your calves…your proportions are fine.

Have a good one,

Rusty

Trevor March 23, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Hey,

I’m a little torn here. I’m coming off an injury, so I haven’t worked out too much in the past month. I want a lean look, but I am also training for mountain bike racing…and those go together, so it shouldnt be a problem. I have a good program set up, but I don’t know what to do about my legs. I have 2 days of plyos, along with cardio of some form everyday. I just don’t know what to do as far as lifting with my legs. I need explosive power for gate starts, but I don’t want unneeded mass. I found some videos of BMX races (similar skill set and conditioning) training for the olympics this summer and they were doing mostly squats and power cleans. From what I can see these are the most “useful” leg lifts for athletes.

However, I’m finding conflicting info about building mass vs building speed and power. Some say short and heavy, others say long and light. What do you suggest for me? Or should I skip the leg lifts and stick with more plyos? Thanks…

admin March 23, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Trevor,

Stick with plyos for the most part. I also like “quick lifts” like power cleans. This is a performance lift that won’t build much mass. I don’t see the benefit of doing squats, but again…this is just an opinion. Some people love them. Do they make you feel more athletic as you get stronger at them? They really made me sore and slowed me down more than anything, many years ago when I used to do them.

Rusty

Lorenzo April 13, 2008 at 12:22 am

Dear Rusty, I have to disagree on some of your points.
Squatting don’t build legs. Eating enough to gain weight and squatting will. Other than that, to become like the guy in the video you posted you have to train in a certain (extreme way), take drugs, and live a kind of lifestyle that is all about bodybuilding.
If you train your CNS there will be little muscle growth, compared to bodybuilding standards. Look at Olympic Weightlifters.
Sportwise, a professional sprinter will have to squat in his 400’s to be competitive. Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Vince Carter all squatted 400 pounds with chains routinely. An above average high school kid in the high 200’s or, better, 300’s.
If we are talking about the random guy who goes to the weight-room to get in shape, he will probably need some muscle to “tone” (i don’t like the word) those legs, butt, whatever he wants. Cardio burns fat, don’t build muscle. A low fat % is worthless withouth some muscles to show.
And if you are so afraid to get those “huge hips”, just Front squat.

Cheers =)

admin April 13, 2008 at 11:52 pm

Lorenzo,

Well put comments. I know it would be near impossible for 99.99% of the population to get legs like the guy in the video. I just put it up there for the shock effect.

My view on squats and dead lifts isn’t one shared by many people. If people are careful to stay in a calorie deficit and do cardio along with squatting and dead-lifting then they can get away with doing them without adding way too much mass…I just don’t even think it is worth the risk. It is so easy to get growth in the upper thighs and butt/hip area doing these exercises. If someone slips up on their diet and goes into a calorie surplus…then they have a very good chance of bulking up with these exercises.

I will recognize that high level sprinters and basketball players do these, but they burn so many calories outside of squatting that they have a much bigger calorie deficit than the average guy or girl who goes to the gym. I’m not saying it is impossible to do these without gaining mass…I just believe it is risky.

Very well written comment…I agree with the points you made,

Rusty

mark May 23, 2008 at 10:01 am

Hey Rusty,

I starting implementing your suggested cardio routine for leaning out the legs. My lower body is way too bulky. I perform 20 min. of interval training walking for sprinting for 1 min at 5.0 – 6.0 and walking for 2 min at 3.0 Afterwards I walk on an incline at 3.0 and increase my speed to 3.5. for about 45 addl minutes.

My question to you will walking on an incline build up the size of my lower body or should I walk with no incline and increase to speed to 4.0

I avoid the stairmaster, bike and eliptical as you also suggested.
Thanks for all your advice, it’s really making a difference.

Mark

admin May 24, 2008 at 2:04 am

Mark,

You will do fine walking on an incline…it won’t build leg mass. After 3-6 months of doing this, your legs (along with the rest of your body) will lean down substantially. I find that this type of cardio keeps you at the size you were meant to be…not super-skinny and not too much muscle. It creates a “natural” amount of muscle for your frame.

This will work well for you,

Rusty

TOm June 12, 2008 at 11:20 am

Do you know anything or is your head just full of sh*t?

You know nothing about sports. You cannot be fast without being strong. All fast athletes Athletes such as gymnasts, basketball players, football players and track athletes are all fast & explosive because they have strong legs. Natural muscle is built with heavy squats, unilateral movements, deadlifts etc. If your legs are not strong, you’re core will also be weak.

admin June 12, 2008 at 2:46 pm

TOm,

Let’s go into a gym and find the strongest 10 guys in the squat rack. Then pick 10 random guys from a high school soccer team. Lets have a race. I guarantee to that the guys who are best at the squat, will get smoked in a race of any distance by the soccer players.

Want to know why? The best way to get better at a specific activity is to perform that activity. Want to run fast? Then “run fast”. Some supplementary lifting can help if it is kept to a minimum, but the bodybuilding approach to building massive legs will slow you down big time.

A natural amount of muscle is fine. I actually think that hardcore intervals and running stairs is a better way to build the legs to a natural level. I also think that this is a better approach to building true athletic ability…along with plyometrics, jumping rope, etc.

Have to disagree with you,

Rusty

Josh June 27, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Rusty i have to disagree ben johson could squat close to 600 pounds at about 200 pounds. Even though he was on steroids he was still very fast and strong. Most World class sprinters can squat double to triple their body weight. So i think that people who are good at squatting will probably destroy anyone who just runs sprints but doesn’t weight train legs. Football players lift weights. Football players are very very fast.
Just my take

admin June 29, 2008 at 4:45 am

Josh,

The weird thing about sprinters are they just seem to be strong at squats. I was a long jumper back in school and at 175 pounds I was squatting 405 for a few reps. This isn’t anything insane or anything, but I did this within just 2 months from never doing the squat and also I am around 6’3″.

They didn’t hurt my jumping or running until I did them for higher reps and for mass. They didn’t help at all. The only thing close to squats that felt like it made me quicker was power cleans from the hanging position. I don’t talk about these much on my blog, because I don’t want people to do them wrong and get injured.

If I was a trainer for the NBA, NFL, or track and field I would recommend the “quick” lifts over squats. I wouldn’t recommend anything like a bodybuilder’s leg routine. I think the Denver Nuggets trainer has implemented Olympic lifts into the player’s training.

The fastest NFL players are just amazing physical specimen’s period. I went to school and trained at the same gym as Napolean Kaufman, who went on to play for the Oakland Raiders. He was around 5 foot 9 and weighed no more than 175 pounds when he was going to UW. He could bench press 405 for reps the same way most guys can do 225.

Some of these guys are just good at speed and strength. It is tough to say if the heavy squats that they do help much for speed.

Good points!

Rusty

Pete July 4, 2008 at 4:32 pm

These bodybuilders are more intelligent than you think. I know they are all on steroids but they still need a lot of knowledge of how the body works and what foods to eat. Also a lot of time and dedication especially when it comes to the diet.

I think those legs are really impressive.

Julie July 5, 2008 at 7:34 pm

Rusty,

Do you recommend ANY leg lifts?

I see that advocate lifting for the entire upper body (as to tone). Why would that be any different for the lower body?

How do you feel about step ups, single leg lunges, the leg press, romanian deadlifts, etc?

Thanks for all the time and effort you put in here!

admin July 6, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Pete,

I know it is tough work to get legs that big. It is impressive to get that big, but not necessarily in a good way. Obviously he is a competitive bodybuilder, so the bigger the better.

Julie,

I’m not 100% against leg lifts…but I do think that tough HIIT goes a long way to build leg definition. I like to save all my explosive leg strength for sprints, running stairs, etc. Athletes like professional soccer players (male and female) have great leg definition with very little if any leg lifts.

The nice thing about doing tough cardio and HIIT as your leg work is that it burns fat over your entire body. When you work legs, you don’t always have the strength left for a great HIIT session.

Anyway…if leg lifts are working well for you and your legs are slim, feel free to do leg lifts.

Rusty

Sanby July 11, 2008 at 11:49 am

I don’t really have the patience to address everything that you’ve said so I’m just going to touch on the “bigger butt” issue you mentioned. You aren’t distinguishing between excessive and average. I understand that you don’t want to build an excessive butt, but if you are anything like 90% of the males in the gym, the fact is that you DO want to build a bigger butt. Most guys don’t have one and I can tell you from experience and talking to a lot of girls, that the guys who do have shape and a nice round butt are the guys that get looked up and down by girls. And, guess what. Those guys all do serious squats, lunges and other leg exercises. So while I can respect your right to have an opinion, you are doing a serious disservice to those people who are looking to you for advice. Sorry, but I you missed the mark big time with this article.

admin July 11, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Sanby,

I’m not against leg development, but I believe sprinting and tough cardio creates much nicer looking legs and butt for both men and women. Believe me…this is one of my more controversial opinions and posts. You do a good job of presenting you case, which is why I enjoy it that blogs have a comment section.

Have a great one,

Rusty

tom hall July 30, 2008 at 1:09 pm

I don’t agree. Legs are an extremely vital part of overall power. I do agree that an excessive amount of muscle may be deemed as ” un-attractive “to the opposite sex, but is that not true with nearly all muscle groups. At the end of the day, you do not want to have an enormous upper body, and then two weedy legs, which, in my opinion will look unattractive. Also i think that it would be extremely difficult to build muscle on the legs to the extremes of the guy in the video without the aid of a significant amount of steroids.

James August 16, 2008 at 10:49 am

Lots of conflicting opinions here. All have some validity to them. Not everyone wants a body like this guy in the video. For those who do, coudos to them for their dedication. Its hard to do that. As for intelligence, there may be some stupid weight lifters, conversely, there are stupid skinny people too. I agree with squats and deadlifts. To what extent you want to grow to is a personal decision. For myself, I like a lean look with a bit of size and definition. Enough to look like I work out, but, not so much peole think I live in the gym to do it. One thing lacking in all these submissions, is talk of body symetry. I feel that it is really important to be well developed all over. Big upper body and skinny lower is no good, and the reverse is true. As far as leg work being good for you? I’d say yes, large muscle groups being taxed will help shed weight faster than cardio alone, that has been proven by many studies. They also build stabalizing muscle groups, which tend to get underworked and become a point of weakness and injury. Also, the core gets heavy work, and the subject of core is a great way of shedding weight and building a strong body. Sounds like to me the benefits of working legs is being missed and its impotance to an exercise regimen. Are we talking about the good that these exercises to do? Or is this more about how this guys legs look? From an exercise point of view, you can’t ignore the benefits of leg work. From a ‘looks’ point of view, its all a matter of pesonal preference. I guess the answer is, there are lots of answers, all with some validity. It comes down to the type of body you desire having. That should be the catalyst for the exercises you use in your regimen.

Just another point of view.

James.

tsugume August 27, 2008 at 12:10 am

I don’t wanna build leg muscle but I wanna make them stronger because it helps reduce my knee pain that I have had for a long time. I’m only 23 yrs old but have had bad knees since I’ve been 16. Because of this I don’t run, it hurts my knees real bad. I just do cycling for cardio. What strengthening excercises would be good?

Steve D. September 7, 2008 at 10:58 am

What’s wrong with adding muscle to the hips and butt or with adding mass to the hips or thickening the waist? I’m a guy and have that and get appreciative looks from everybody.

Everyone is built different and we all have to experiment & figure out what works best for us. For me squats are a great cardio; gets my heart, breathing, sweating and all that. I feel better doing this for 40 minutes than riding a bike or running.

Mark October 28, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Your missing the point here. Bodybuilders don’t lift for OTHER people, they lift for themselves, how else are you going to keep it up, day in and day out for 10+ years, just doing it for women?! You talk like it is so easy to get leg muscle “out of hand”, for some, like me, who have good genetics for leg growth it’s easier, but big legs DO NOT make you slow contrary to popular belief. Go race an olympic lifter or bodybuilder for a sprint and let’s see who wins (of equal height and weight).

Mike Baggett December 12, 2008 at 2:12 pm

For the recreational bodybuilder or physique trainer, as I am, I tend to agree with the administrator. I’ve backed off all squats and any exercise that might make me have a fat butt. Overeating can give you this effect too, if you are predisposed to gain weight there.

I really like the old classic v-tamper that emphasizes wide shoulders and back down to thinner waist and fit legs but not monster legs.

The professional bodybuilders of the 50’s, 60’s and up thru the 70’s really had a much more attractive physique than the monster’s do today. Life after Arnold has, for the large part, not been very good for bodybuilding.

Question: when you say leg lifts are you talking about leg curls for for the hams or all leg lifts as in leg extensions?

Enjoying the good reading.

Mike Baggett

Tree trunk December 15, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Very ignorant comments, you’re stating things as if they were facts. You know every women’s opinion about how attractive one’s legs may be? I know those monstruously huge legs do not look good to MOST women, but you’re just talking about big legs, and there are big, athletic looking legs, just like 100m runners’ legs, or soccer player’s legs, do you really believe ALL WOMEN (or even most) would find them horrendous?

As for the butt, that’s quite ignorant as well, do you really think women dislike big butts? WRONG. Very wrong. A LOT of women love big, muscular butts, which is what you build with squats and other leg exercises.

admin December 16, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Tree Trunk,

There are always exceptions. For instance some guys like women with a lot of body hair…but for most it is a turn-off. Also, as far as big legs go…I’m not talking about sprinters legs…those are slightly bigger than normal athletic looking legs. I’m referring to bodybuilder legs, which most women (95%+) find repulsive.

Rusty

Walsh January 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm

First of all, laying down a blanket statement like “building big legs is a waste of time” is a pretty broad statement. I am an all natural bodybuilder, always have been, and for me, the quest for impressive legs is a valiant one. Not in a million years would my legs reach the grotesque proportions as in the video posted. I am simply saying that as an all natural, the pursuit of bigger legs is NOT a waste of time but a staple in a competitive environment. Thanks.

Kiefer January 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm

The only thing that I absolutely agree with you on is bodybuilding is absolutely useless for the most part and can make you physically unattractive for the majority.

I have read all the post so I won’t waste time by stating the obvious about the person in the picture.

But what I will tell you is that squats are the foundation on which you build a better overall body. Weather you like to do them or not are irrelevant, they will help produce testosterone and give you a solid foundation that is necessary for speed, endurance, and strength combined.

You can only disproportion your body on purpose; your diet dictates that end result. Not what you lift, lifting is secondary!

If you want to become stronger without adding much size increase the tempo of your workouts.

Here is my typical leg routine:

I do 1000 pounds leg presses, Squats up to 405, 225 pound lunges, 225 pound hack squats, and 225 pound calve raises. I do 4 sets with high intensity of each with no rest between sets.

And I buy my clothes off the rack just like any body else.

Working out is about getting in shape to live a longer and more youthful life.

Not working legs is like buying a Corvette and having them install a 4-cylinder engine in it.

It looks good on the outside but is all show and no go!

Jessica January 27, 2009 at 10:15 pm

As a female, I lOVE big legs on men!!!!!!!! I think skinny legs on men are disgusting and remind me of a teenage boy. Men should definitely be big and strong. YUM!

Edwin February 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm

i know that hitting cardio hard works legs but can i still do bodywieght squats if im trying to get slim

chris March 1, 2009 at 6:41 pm

hey dude, im 20, always been skinny and underweight, ive always been an athlete though having represented my state in athletics at 17(my peak) i ran 100m at just udner 11secs), soccer, basketball(can dunk and i am 5’10) and cross country throughout high school and junior school. but for all my achievements on the field i have always been teased because of my ‘chicken legs’. i actually started going to the gym to blast my legs because i wanted to look normal! all i can say is, the feeling i get when i and other people notice the even littlest defference in my legs, is undescribeable. i do agree with you about the whole body builders legs, but then again, some people need to do it, whether or not they are bulky or not.
best set of comments ive ever read, so kudos to your writing dude!

rugby April 5, 2009 at 11:19 pm

so say you have previous leg injures and your pyso theripists suggests you rebiuld the strength in your legs through some exerceses like quad curls and whatnot if you do them in moderation and keep taps on how you work your legs out will they still get super bulky like that or is that just an extreme example.

Pyjammez June 2, 2009 at 2:38 am

Arnold’s legs will do me fine.

Any bigger and I wouldn’t be able to run!

Daniel June 3, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I think rusty’s advice is more for people who have trained like a bodybuilder for years and haven’t enjoyed the results they have been getting.

I used to do heavy squats and leg pressed and wearing trousers or jeans was a complete nightmare – I had a huge ass as well.

Since I dropped the heavy leg training I can wear slim fitting jeans and my legs are in great condition. Obviously if my legs ended up like “chicken legs” (which is unlikely) I would just throw in a couple of sets of hamstring curls and quad extensions during my work out for a month or two.

I can definately see where rusty is coming from though – I look so much better for loosing the big legs

Ivan June 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I gotta agree with this stuff. I used to bodybuild and had got to the point that i almost couldnt walk because my legs were so big. There were times when i was simply bed ridden for days because i couldn’t bear the humiliation of attempting to walk in public with legs so enormous.

Thankfully, i quit training with weights. now i just do cardio and eat salads twice a day. And you know what? I look 10x better. the chicks love me.

Joe September 10, 2009 at 8:39 am

I do have big legs too, both due to genetics and exercise as I was a sprinter back in the day, I used to be self conscious about my legs because they were big and I was told that my legs were pretty for a man and I stopped wearing shorts as a result, but now living in a tropical climate in the South Pacific, I see a lot of men like myself with big legs so now I feel free to wear shorts again

Kelly September 15, 2009 at 8:41 pm

I think you have some interesting points in this article. I just have one question. The reason I think it’s so valuable to work out the lower body is because it has the largest muscles (legs and butt.) Because of that, you will burn more calories post workout because there is more muscle to repair, correct? However, I am a woman and I carry most of my weight across the hips and lower body so I definately don’t want it getting any bigger!!! So what do you think? Keep the lower body exercises or take them out of my routine? I am very open-minded…. and curious about this now!

Shoke September 21, 2009 at 12:50 am

Rusty,

Any commentsfor someone who just loves doing squats and deadlifts? I love working the legs since like Kelly mentioned above, they are the largest muscles and seems to help greatly in building overall strength, balance and core strength. I only stick with 5×5 though for both these lifts…btw, my thighs and glutes are quite “meaty” (have always been, long before I started weight training).

Shoke September 21, 2009 at 12:55 am

OH yeah, I also find that squats get my heart running real quick! I do a 5×5 set of 1.5x BW squats and that tires me out much more than 20 min of running

Mike October 16, 2009 at 2:11 pm

>I think most people can get enough leg development with intense cardio.

No this is not true at all.. there is a point where cardio stops growing the applied muscle and starts shrinking it.. particularly the legs where they only need a limited amount of strength to keep moving the body and only need greater endurance… they actually shrink to get better suited to working longer..the additional bulk actually wears them out.

If you don’t believe me look at the difference in legs on long distance runners.. you’ll see some very skinny guys.. then look at sprinters.. there is lots of variation there too but they tend to be on the beefier side.. they don’t need endurance, they need power.

Mathias October 19, 2009 at 5:57 pm

yea, because if I do a couple of squats I will end up like him the next day!!

Come on, thats hardly possible without steroids, and the same can be said for the upper body, no women like steroid freaks, no matter the body part.

Squats will build your upper body as well and will give you a nice shape, its the eating that puts on too much mass, not the exercises.

I squat heavy twice a week and women love my butt, it sure as hell beats my face, haha…

Training your legs is one of the most important things you can do, and if you train simply to impress others around you then thats just wrong.

Train legs hard people, be a man! Thats what women like, MEN!

P.S. dont shave your damn chest either……jesus christ

David November 12, 2009 at 1:43 am

Actually, I only work out my legs (believe it or not). I have very, very skinny legs. It runs in my family. So I do squats, presses, ride bike, and sprint all in hopes of getting my legs to look at least normal… In fact, I’ve stopped lifting weights from my upper body to try to even things out a bit.

I would love to have legs like a pro sprinter or even a dancer or figure skater.

I agree with Mathias that women do love a big HARD butts on men.

Anyway, everyone has their own opinion, and I respect yours. But you probably don’t have the skinny legs that God or my parents gave me…

Thanks

Ira December 9, 2009 at 4:01 pm

I’m 5’7″, 194 lbs., 32y.o., and muscular. BMI calculators say I’m obese and that I should be about 160. I used to lift really heavy until I got a few injuries and realized…what’s the point?! I’m trying to lose like 20 pounds now so I can fit into my pants / suits better and look more shredded and fit. I don’t think I look too bulky but apparently I don’t see myself as others do. I actually like the fitness model look more than the heavy BB look too. I’m gonna quit training heavy and reduce my lifting frequency as well. Definitely gonna ramp up the cardio and cut down on the calories. Maybe I’ll eat my foot long sub in 2 settings as opposed to one.
I think functional strength / athleticism is the way to go. The body should be purpose built. Wish me luck in my quest to reinvent my body.

Thanks

Joe January 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I read a few posts about having big legs, but not being built enough in the upper body region. I have come to notice that my legs are getting too big for my frame. I am coming back from a long lay-off of not working out and am no longer following my ” Gironda Principles” of not doing traditional squats. I do like his Sissy Squats and Delinger Squats though… I have out grown boxers because of too many squats. For me the worst part is that they grew so fast yet my upper body is still lagging. I’m 6’3 and want to slim down overall, but mostly get some of the fat and size OFF the legs.
What would be the best starting approach for getting to a normal sized leg again?

Niklas March 5, 2010 at 3:03 am

Jessica is probably a bodybuilder girl.
And actually I think offensive remarks about teenagers are like offensive remarks about homosexuals. Just ignorant and crude stuff from the bb crowd.

emma March 5, 2010 at 12:34 pm

hi.. i m a female with an inverted triangle body-shape, so my hips n legs are smaller than my upper body. it seems like thr are mixed feelings abt doing sqats, so tts y i decided 2 ask u personally, instead of just reading the comments above. i want 2 increase mass in my lower body, namely the hips n butts, so as to make it proportionate to my upper body, while achieving a smaller waist..cn i do squats? what other exercises would u recommend?

Darrien March 12, 2010 at 3:08 pm

This is a great article. I personally do leg training with weights; however,I never really liked it that much and I wouldn’t mind dropping it from my workout routine. I already have nice sized legs so im nt worried bout getting “chicken legs”, but i have a question. Whats the best cardio for legs?

Joe March 20, 2010 at 9:37 am

Genetically speaking, I was born with good sized upper legs and calves (19 1/2″) too but no where the size as that guy in the video, however when I spoke to my lady friend about my wanting to lose at least 20lbs she said “whatever as long as you don’t lose those big gorgeous legs” so some women do like men with big legs especially African-American women

Wim June 16, 2010 at 2:05 pm

That’s true. It builds a big butt. I mean I’m sixteen, and I have a bit of striae on my butt. How hard sucks that? Just by squatting on the bodybuilding way. I’m going to avoid this any further by not squatting for a whole summer and doing some rope skipping exercises. I didn’t even lift big.

carl September 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm

are you crazy? the idea that women do not like muscular legs is riduculous. the idea that a run is going to build the best legs is also just plain insane. the big butt thing is too dumb to even comment on. i wold love to meet the women who prefer the body of distance runner to that of a speed skater.

Kyle December 29, 2010 at 8:50 am

Hello,

Came across this topic and just had to reply.
You seem to be very short sighted on this subject as you are only talking about huge muscular guys like Jay Cutler etc. which I personally think look ridiculous, you don’t even mention guys like Frank Zane etc. bodybuilders who did squats, alot of squats etc. and look great and yes the female’s did like him. I don’t know if this is because you chose to ignore this fact or if you just don’t know much about this subject.

On to your claim of your belief of a good looking athletic guy, I will go on the a professional rugby player ( A backline player ) all of these guys work out in the gym and squat and look fantastic, and sprint the 100m in under 12-11 sec. I don’t know where you get your knowledge from but it’s come across very short sighted.

Look forward to your reply,

Grtz

P.S.
If you want an example of a pro rugby player just type in Daniel Carter or Jerry Collins in google.

William May 3, 2011 at 10:30 am

professional basketball players have the best legs

Brian June 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I have been lifting weight since I was about 16 and I am not 47. I can understand your reasoning for not wishing to get overly large and muscular thighs, I personally enjoy the challenge of getting under a super heavy bar and squatting. I have not had the build to squat but started out weighing about 140 lbs. at 5’10″” tall. I am pretty sire that I would never had gotten past 200 lbs without some kind of heavy, ultra – intense leg workouts. These workouts became the cornerstone of my weight training goals. I still feel if you can handle squatting 85% of your max for at least 6 plus reps then it sits up an anabolic effect that releases natural hormones through your hole body, I am sorry but no amount of cardio is going to accomplish this. If this was so then when I was 19 years ole and running 7 plus miles a day in basic training then my legs should have been enormous. I am happy that you enjoy your bouts of cardio instead of heavy leg training but give credit where credit is due, heavy high intensity leg training will cause more overall anabolic effect then about anything going. I challenge any cardio nut to get under a loaded barbell with his ir her body weight and go until they cannot get back up or barley get up. To accomplish this same effect in cardio it would take you 10 times more time to accomplish this effect. So as far as efficiency is concerned hi rep leg training with wights is much more efficient.

Brian June 18, 2011 at 9:00 pm

GO higher on your reps on legs. Start training your back harder, also hit triceps, shoulders and chest harder. If you increase the number of reps on your leg training it should increase the output of natural hormones in your entire body. Don’t fall into the lazy mans trap and discontinue leg training. Remember the old saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day”

Brian June 18, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Cardio to me is about improving oxygen intake function and getting the blood flowing the ole body. All this cardio just for legs is goofy. Just get off your duff, go outside and walk. Unless you super obese this should work. Try bicycling its easy on the joints and fun. I see cardio as a fun evening activity to burn calories and build up my wind. Weights is a more serious, less time consuming intense activity. Ide hit the iron every other day and once every 6 days take 2 days off, you gotta rest mentally and physically.

curt July 24, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I read every post while my nitric oxcide kicked in. I admire anyone who at least gets off the couch nowadays and does something, witch sounds like everyone here , that’s awsome! I am 40 and started working out right after high school. The only time I slowed down was when my wife and I were raising the kids but still found time to do some kind of work out. Train legs like there going out of style only the person doing the training knows how far they want to take them. I believe that good strength now will mean good strength later, 70’s 80’s and beyond. I am stronger now then when I was in my 20’s and 30’s . Squat 470, bench 355 natural. If you want the big weight though you will or might have to give up the beach body.

anduarto September 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Excessive bulking up isn’t real attractive, no matter what the body part, I’m not sure why you’re singling out the legs. The slim but muscular body that currently seems to be in vogue, is much more attractive to me than the overly bulked out look of a decade or two ago. It’s also a functionally fitter physic and in many way, a more difficult one to attain.

But I have to disagree. Leg train – leg strength training specifically – is extremely important for most men. Both functionally and aesthetically.
In a world full of flat butts and chicken legs, most men are in no danger of overly developing these areas. In fact, most have a way to go before they achieve proportional.

Prashanth October 13, 2011 at 4:04 am

hi.. I m prashanth.. physically I m short looking. my legs are compare to my face and stomach it’s thin and it’s looks like disable person. Please how to solve this problem and how to make my whole legs equally fit to my body?

Thank you.

big G February 5, 2012 at 6:00 am

the muscles in the leg are designed to be capable of a very fast sprint to outrun something trying to kill you and chase down any animals your trying to eat so to optimise your legs athletically you need to combine sprints with long distance running.

Ectomorph February 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Rusty,

I know this post is old but I just wanted to put a few words from my perspective and would appreciate your comments on it.

Long time ago I read somewhere that women find men attractive if they look the opposite of them. This makes sense if you think about it.

The ideal body of a woman looks like a diamond. Thin upper body, connected to wide core (hips/thighs/butt), followed by legs slimming down to the feet. Looks similar to this:

The ideal body of a man looks like the letter X. Big arms, broad shoulders and wide back, connected to a slim core (tight butt with defined abs), followed by slender athletic legs and powerful calves. Looks similar to this: ><

If you watch closely you'll find that the symbols I made are the opposite of each other.

If women wanted big thighs, hips and ass, they would'v been better of chasing other girls, and the same goes the other way around.

Also you may notice that the exercises that build thighs, hips and ass, like squats and dead-lifts, are quiet suited for females. Butt sticking out in the air for the audience to watch while performing the movement? You get the idea.

BTW, I have noticed your picture, the one on the beach with a cigar. You are in great shape, but I can certainly see that you still have quite developed hips, probably due to does heavy squats long time ago.

Cheers!

mikayla February 8, 2012 at 6:49 am

Idk what you people are thinking… Those legs are sexy<3

William May 20, 2012 at 10:43 am

Performance Optimization. This is how I would suggest each person determine the training for their legs. What do you do and how well do you want to do it? Then develop a strength training regimen to address that within the range of motion that you require for your activity.

The size you get or lack of size or tone will just be the result. My best advice is to accept that result if your performance is getting better, you become more or less injury free, and all factors are positive.

A decent reasonable deadlift, proper squat and bench press can help any performance athlete learn better coordinated muscle fiber recruitment, increase key hormone levels by tasking the largest muscle groups, affect joint hypertrophy and increase overall flexibility. Once a week once the skill is learned is sufficient to grow tremendously and improve in performance.

I disagree with the author about what women like. In my experience as a professional athlete, women LOVE a thick, well defined and muscular lower body, especially from the lower back down to the toes. I am not sure, though, how large or small the author meant. I know that my development was due to my sprinting, bending, jumping and weight training. It kept and keeps me injury free, fast, and balanced.

I think many bodybuilders isolate development with machines too much, and that, perhaps what the author is referring to, is asthetically kinda of unattractive. But that is not functional strength. Functional strength comes from doing compound exercises with good control. It should feel good minus the effort needed which sometimes feels irritating. To me, not much in the gym feels better than a properly executed set of a squat, incontrol, with good form, the proper weight, and pushed to near limits of reps. It doesnt have to be crazy, just once or twice a week, sometimes once every other week.

eric July 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Only fools would leave legs out of theire routine firstly you have no Idea how much more energy you have when training legs . True enough it takes a lot out of you but the reward is well worth the pain. let those weak fools walk around with their huge arms and big chest all on top of two toothpicks sounds stupid does it. that what you are if you d’ont train legs

meintn September 2, 2012 at 10:49 am

I got to do legs…I like my butt like that fluffy, tight, jumpy, bublble like… I love it.

meintn September 2, 2012 at 10:51 am

I could probably work out to stand two fifty..
not yet but possible to do…one hundred reps ten, ten, ten, tec….etc.etc.

Ric November 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I have found this article while looking for ideas on how to find business pants fitting my legs, since I am training them hard as well as the rest of my body.

I think the author has ZERO idea of what he is talking about, especially in regards to bodybuilding.

1) You bodybuild to build muscle, not to attract girls in the first place. If you bodybuild for that reason, you are missing the point.
2) If you don’t train legs, forget also training the rest of the body properly, since legs being the biggest muscle group of your body, they will spike up the metabolism rate and direct more nutrients towards ALL the working parts of the body: summing it up: you want big chest? Train legs!
3) Saying that cardio is helpful in building mass is like saying that resting on a couch will make you win a marathon. Complete nonsense. Cardio, as the word itself says, is concentrated on your cardiovascular system, aka the heart and blood circulation and oxygenation. It uses energy stored in the body and in the food to produce long resistance motion, not to store in the body as muscular fibre.

I don’t know where this dude is coming from to speak like he knows what he’s talking about, but I reckon he should go back in the hole where he comes from and stop misleading with his terrible advices.

Cheers,

R

Luchesar Tomov February 2, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Skinny legs on a big body are not only dysfunctional, but ugly. I can beat anyone with skinny legs in any real situation

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