If you've ever trained for weeks or even months and ended up not noticing any progress in gaining leg muscle mass, you have no reason to worry, you're not the only one!
Legs are the largest muscle group, so it's no surprise that they're the hardest to build. In addition to this, genetics has a great influence, so we have people who are naturally gifted with big and strong legs or people who can easily gain weight on their legs, regardless of the type of training they perform.
If you do not belong to these two happy groups, then listen to these 5 tips to help develop your legs and gain the desired mass.
1. TRAINING PROGRAM
It is very possible that your leg training is the one that hinders your progress, especially if it is composed at random, then it is almost certain that you will not achieve the desired results.
Volume is very important when creating a training program, many studies have shown that it takes about 30 repetitions per exercise to trigger hypertrophy (muscle building). So when you start making a training plan, 3 sets of 10 reps, 4 sets of 8 reps or 5 sets of 5 reps for each exercise is a good start.
How many exercises per muscle?
After complex exercises, do 2 more exercises per muscle group. Thus e.g. after squatting you can do a leg extension and press or step forward. After the deadlift (separation) you can do a leg bend on the reel and a Romanian deadlift.
It is important to note that complex exercises are the most important, because they contribute the most to muscle growth. Squats and deadlifts activate almost all muscles and provide an extremely strong stimulus, and should be the basis of any leg workout. These two exercises will ensure that your legs grow in balance, because squats primarily affect the front muscle chain, while deadlifts affect the back muscle chain, and by performing them properly you will surely build an enviable back box and quadriceps. For best results, train your legs twice a week, squat one day and do deadlifts the next day.
2. TRAINING FREQUENCY
For natural exercisers (non-steroid exercisers), studies have shown that training twice a week but with less intensity contributes to greater long-term hypertrophy. Of course what you think now is that you can barely recover from one leg workout, as others can do. Don't worry, they will train you with less volume than usual, ie you will not do training that has a high intensity and volume and after which you can barely walk, because that is not what we want here
There is a point in training when it is no more and when it becomes excessive and counterproductive. Which makes more sense to you: training with 90% for each exercise or giving 100% for the first exercise, 80-90% for the second, 60-70% for the third, and then the last few exercises you are so exhausted that you can barely give 30-40%. The trap in this is that when you do the exercises you give 100%, but the 100% you give at that moment is not even close to 100% that you would give if you were fresh!
3. CALORIE SURPLUS
Calories are the building blocks of the body, without them even muscle fibers cannot grow. If you are not in a calorie surplus, or if you do not consume more calories than you expend during the day, your tissue or muscles cannot grow, and this applies to all muscles, not just the legs.
Of course, this does not mean that you need to overeat, because too much calories will make you gain weight and gain fat. Eat about 10% of the calories you need to maintain your existing weight and this will limit your fat gain, but you will still get enough calories to build new muscle mass.
Relying on the previous section on calories, some of those calories should come from protein.Protein is a macronutrient responsible for tissue repair and cannot be produced from carbohydrates or fats, and is essential, especially for people who want hypertrophy
How much protein do you need to consume?
About 2g per kilogram of body weight should be enough to build muscle. If you find it difficult to get all the protein you need on a regular diet, get a protein shake to supplement your daily needs. You can see the whole range of proteins here .
5. FORM AND TECHNIQUE
Proper performance of exercises, that is, the technique for all exercises must be correct, otherwise you are exposed to a high risk of injuries, which will eventually lead to the fact that you will not be able to train. If you are not sure about the correctness of some of the techniques, you have a lot of information on the Internet about proper performance and you can use it as a guide.
This is very important because performing the exercises correctly is the most important aspect if you want to progress, especially when it comes to exercises that are not performed on devices such as squats or deadlifts. When performing squats, squat to be at least parallel to the floor (thighs parallel to the floor), because only with this performance will you adequately stimulate the leg muscles. In addition to this, start with lower weights, ie do not sacrifice the technique at the expense of higher weights, because it is the perfect combination for getting injured.
We will list the holiday here as a short bonus, because the importance of the holiday is immeasurable, there is a saying that says "you do not grow up in the gym, but outside it". These words have never been more true, because when you eat, rest and sleep your body builds a path to new muscle mass. In training, you "tear" muscle fibers, but new, bigger and stronger muscle is built when you finish training.
With enough rest, sleep, adequate nutrition and smart and hard training, fast progress will be inevitable!.