It is very important for the ego to train legs heavy and hard. Not everyone can do it. A true warrior works the legs, knowing they will be sick after the workout. It is not that some athletes do not want great legs, it is just that they do not want to go through the pain it takes to get them. That is how you can tell who is really serious about putting in the work necessary to build a complete physique.
I think it is a good idea to add one of those mass builders in there. For one, with the romanian deadlift the hamstrings get worked from the hips, not the knees. This means you are working them completely in a different manner than with leg curl movements, even though both target the hamstrings. It helps with shaping the hamstrings and your glute-ham tie-in as well. I don’t think RDLs add too much mass to the bodypart it gives the illusion, which is important in bodybuilding. Sometimes the tape measure does not matter. It is all about the appearance.
Everyone says that the squat is the king of all lower-body lifts. Even people who do not squat say that. Do you agree?
I believe that if you squat correctly, yes you can build some good size. That being said, I think leg pressing is the key to greater leg size. With that exercise, you can lock yourself into a machine, not worry about balancing the weight and just focus on pressing the weight up and down. When you squat, you are using your hips, quads and lower back, and you have to concentrate so much because it is a tough exercise. In leg pressing, if you keep your back flat and your butt close to the machine you can train as heavy as you like without the worry of balancing the weight. So for me, the leg press is the big daddy of all lower-body exercises.
I don’t consider myself a crazy lifter but even with my basic leg routine – squats, romanians, curls and extensions, I leave the gym feeling sick on leg day. What gives?
Legs are the biggest muscle group we have. In order to fill them up with blood, that blood has to come from somewhere else and that means up top. It takes a lot of blood to fill up the leg area, it takes so much that it can literally make your nauseous. I usually feel nauseous after every leg workout. Do not be afraid of it, you will get past it. It usually takes about a month of two for you to become accustomed to it, but it will never fully go away. It is also a matter of food. With hard leg training, you are burning through your energy stores (glycogen) faster, so your blood sugar can get low rather fast. I get lightheaded no matter what I am eating, so I always try to make sureI have enough fuel in the tank to make it a bit easier. You might try eating a bit more complex carbohydrates the day before training legs to see if that helps.
Legs seem like the hardest bodypart to use intensity techniques on. Besides the leg extension what can I do to push my legs to new growth?
Legs are enough of a killer without making your workout harder. Partials are a great technique to use with legs. You can do partial reps on the leg press or with squats in the Smith machine or squat rack. Another good exercise would be partial lunges. Pick a heavier weight than you would normally use, and descend only halfway through each rep.