Article: Building a Bigger Quadsweep
How many times have you seen it in the gym? A guy training legs with heavy weight, seemingly good form week in and week out and his legs just donít look big. You see guys maybe squatting 405 for sets of 8-10 (the rep range for optimal growth?) Yet, their legs just donít have that sweep? They donít have that size?
Well, I will tell you something I learned on my last off season with
master trainer and top bodybuilder Pete Ciccone. It isnít always about
the weight (well, weight matters), it isnít always about the reps, but
it IS about form. Form matters the most when training legs Ė or any
body part for that matter.
So, what can I do for a bigger sweep? There are several things and I will go through them here.
- Depth/Range of Motion
- Foot placement
- Mixing up your rep scheme
If I had a dollar for every time Iíve seen someone on leg press only
doing a Ĺ rep thinking they were going all the way down, or someone
doing hack squat without taking the sled to the bottomÖ I probably
wouldnít need to be writing this for ALR and I would be sitting on a
tropical beach right now.
First thing you may have to work on is your hip flexibility. If your
hip flexors are tight, it is going to be hard for you to get super deep
on the leg press or squats for that matter.
Second, you need to make sure you are taking it as deep as you can.
You donít want your ass to come out of the seat (on leg press) and you
donít want to be bending over like the Queen of England is in front of
you on squats. All this comes with building your flexibility over time.
You will have to bite the bullet and lower the weight if you have a
problem with taking the weight too deep. Perhaps have a workout partner
spot you and help you out of the hole so you can start building your
strength at those levels.
Your legs work through the entire range of motion. When you train
biceps you donít stop half way down on every exercise and curl up to the
top do you? So, on legs, you shouldnít stop half way down and only work
part of your legs. By going deeper, you are going to be activating
muscle fibers that have not been targeted before Ė further up your leg
and out in your sweep as opposed to just your teardrop.
This holds true for the leg extension too. ALL the way up and all the
way down. If you donít fully extend your leg, you arenít flexing your
leg all the way. It is like you arenít fully extending on a triceps
exercise. Range of motion is the key for these exercises as well!
2.) Foot Placement
I see a lot of guys going with a wide stance in the gym. They use a
wide stance on their squat, they use a wide stance on their leg press,
on their hack squats, and just about everything is wide, wide, wide.
There is a good reason for this. You generate more power and can move
more weight this way. You have a stronger base and can push the weight
up using more combined muscle groups.
That is fantastic if you are a powerlifter. However, if you want to
develop your quadsweep, you are going to have to start thinking narrow
stance and your toes facing forward (as opposed to out to the side).
Yes, yes I know. That goes against what you read about in the books
about form this form that. Maybe that is why so many people struggle
with building their sweeps. I added 2Ē of size to my legs in just one
year by making a few simple changes to my form and casting my ego aside
so I could lower the weight and learn how to do it correctly.
Keeping your feet inside your shoulders with your toes pointed
forward will smash the ever-loving hell out of your sweep. Leg Press,
Hack squat, front squats, squats, IRIS machine, AFS Leg Press, etc.
Combined this with your depth and you are hitting a home run for
building an awesome sweep.
Granted, you should still hit some wider leg stuff as well Ė you
donít want to completely neglect that part. But your primary focus, as a
bodybuilder or someone who wants a bigger quadsweep should be to keep
your stance narrow, toes forward and taking it to the house.
3.)Mixing up your rep scheme
Now that Iíve discussed the form issues, letís talk reps!
Legs operate a little differently than most muscle groups. Yes, you
still aim for the 8-12 for optimal growth. However, legs need a little
more. 20-30 rep sets (with a weight that you are pushing to actually HIT
those reps) will flood those legs with blood and help to carry you on
your way to hugeness of the sweep in no time. Sometimes, we used to
finish off with 100 rep sets on either the AFS Press or the Leg Press.
Starting with a weight we could only do for 10 reps and then slowly
stripping the plates until we hit 100.
So, a decent Quad workout might look something like this.
- Squats Ė 3-4 working sets of 8-12 reps.
- Leg Press/Hack Squat Super set Ė 15-20 reps each, going as heavy as you can go through it. 3 total supersets.
- AFS Press Ė 3 sets of 20, then one set of 50-100.
- Leg Extensions (if I donít hit the 50-100 Iíll do FST-7, if I do, then usually 4 sets with regular rest)
Granted, I like to incorporate different schemes on different days
and not all of this is set in stone. I may not superset during prep and
try to keep it heavy (lower nutrients). However, this is an idea of
something different you might want to try if you are struggling with
your current leg training to build a bigger sweep.
Stay Sexy my friends,
Lou ďThe Big SexyĒ Uridel
(article content from ALRIndustries.com)