4-Week Lower-Body, Muscle-Building Workout

September 9, 2013

Must See Strength Training Videos


This article is part of a two-part series designed to help you build upper- and lower-body strength in as little as four weeks. Click here to read the first article in the series.

Do your friends look at you and tell you not to miss a leg day? If so, you're probably suffering from a case of SLS (scrawny leg syndrome).

But fear not, you can get bigger and stronger legs in as little as four weeks. Just follow this workout plan, inspired by Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 program and the Westside method.

Guidelines

  • Perform the recommended weekly sets and reps for each exercise.
  • Day 1 (max effort) calls for heavy weight loads to make you stronger; Day 2 (dynamic effort) focuses on speed of movement to develop power.
  • Perform grouped exercises (A and B) in superset fashion with no rest between them. Rest one minute between sets.
  • Record the results of each workout, so that you have benchmarks to exceed in future workouts. If you cannot complete the specified reps with proper form, reduce the weight.
  • Warm up before all workouts. (Try this warm-up before each of the following workouts.)
  • Each workout should last no longer than an hour, including your warm-up and eight minutes of core work.
  • Perform each workout once a week. Devote another two days to your upper body. Take 48 to 72 hours off between upper-body days and lower-body days.
  • Before starting this workout, you will need to know your one-rep max on the Squat. Read this article to learn how to calculate your one-rep max.

Your week can look like this:

  • Monday: Upper body
  • Tuesday: Lower body
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Upper body
  • Friday: Lower body
  • Weekend: Off

Max Effort Day (Lower Body, Day 1)

1. Box Squat

Week 1

  • 2x5
  • 1x3
  • 3x5 @ 65%, 75%, 85%

Week 2

  • 2x5
  • 1x3
  • 3x3 @ 70%, 80%, 90%

Week 3

  • 2x5
  • 1x3
  • 1x5 @ 75%
  • 1x3 @ 85%
  • 1x1 @ 95%

Week 4

  • 4x10 @ 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%

Coaching Points

  • The first three sets are warm-up sets, but your max will determine how many warm-up sets you need.
  • Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.
  • The percentages indicate the amount of weight lifted based on your one-rep max. For example: 2x10 (80%, 90%) means do the first set of 10 reps at 80% of your max and the second set at 90%.
  • If you reach the specified reps on the final set and feel you can perform more, continue the set until failure.
  • Be sure to use a spotter.

2. Trap Bar or Conventional Deadlift (Weeks 1 & 3) / Sumo Deadlift (Weeks 2 & 4)

  • 2x5 (warm-up sets)
  • 3x5 @ 75-85%

3. Bulgarian Split Squat

  • 3x4-8

4. Russian Hamstring

  • 3x8

5. Barbell Glute Bridge

  • 3x8-12

Dynamic Effort (Lower Body, Day 2)

1. Vertical Jump Exercise

2. Box Squat

  • 1x5 @ 30%
  • 1x4 @ 40%
  • 9x2 @ 50-60%

Coaching Points

  • The percentages help determine the load, but they can be changed. Bar speed is important. If the bar isn't moving quickly, the weight is too heavy.
  • Pause on the box for half a second and stay engaged before exploding up.
  • If you have chains or bands, use them during this exercise.
  • Rest 60 seconds between sets.
  • This exercise helps your rate of force development (RFD), teaches you to accelerate the bar (so those max-effort lifts can be performed fast enough to avoid failure in the middle of a rep) and allows you to perfect your form.

3A. Step-Ups

  • 3x6

3B. Box Blast Off

  • 3x6

4A. Kettlebell Swings

  • 3x15

4B. Sliding Leg Curl

  • 3x15

5. Leg Press

  • 1x50

Coaching Points

  • Use a moderate weight.
  • Take as much rest as needed to complete the set.
Read more:

Topics: LOWER BODY
Bill DeLongis
- Bill DeLongis, CSCS, is the assistant director of speed, strength and conditioning at Stony Brook University, where he works with baseball, volleyball, men's lacrosse, women's...
Bill DeLongis
- Bill DeLongis, CSCS, is the assistant director of speed, strength and conditioning at Stony Brook University, where he works with baseball, volleyball, men's lacrosse, women's...
Must See
RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 25,543,650
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,772
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,309,063

Featured Videos

Get in Shape for Baseball With Austin Adams' Metabolic Conditioning Circuit Views: 2,372
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 7,149
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Views: 330,200
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 848,711
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,309,063
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 883,074
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 4,541,559
Dwyane Wade Jumps Onto a 42" Box
Views: 10,741,081

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

Train Like a Pro: Baseball Strength Workout Program

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

2 Brutal 10-Minute Workouts That Deliver Serious Results

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Build Athletic Strength with the Playground Sandbag Workout

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

4 Tips for Reducing Deadlift Back Pain

Kevin Love's In-Season Workout

Paul Rabil's Powerful Rotational Strength Workout

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

Train Like a Pro: Julio Jones 3-Day Sandbag Strength Program

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises