How To Build Big Quads with 2 Exercises

Written By: Fitman
February 18th, 2020
Updated: June 13th, 2020
12.1K Reads
How To Build Big Quads with 2 Exercises
These 2 quad exercises aren't commonly performed. But for those who choose to learn about them and train them - they reap the reward of massive quads.

Most of the "build big quads" workouts I see online are pure fake hustle.

They mainly revolve around some combination of these weak movements:

  • Half or quarter squats
  • Half or quarter leg press
  • Half or quarter hack slide
  • Leg extensions

I've got some news for you: unless you are juiced to the gills, these movements are not going to get you residency in Quadville.

What's Wrong With Those Moves?

What's wrong with those moves is that they represent taking the easy way out.

The half and quarter reps are significantly easier to do than doing the real moves.

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Also, trying to impress the commercial gym crowd or tricking yourself into thinking you are stronger than you really are plays a part in this too.

For many men, stacking mad plates on the leg press to do partial reps strokes their ego like a professional streetwalker.

It's significantly easier to do a half squat than it is to get your butt down to the bucket.

Many people will make a ton of hollow excuses about why they can't get to the bucket.

Now some of the excuses are actually valid. If you have bum knees, serious back issues, or an Achilles that is tighter than skinny jeans on a fat man, squatting to the bucket may not be an option for you.

Most of the excuses are all truly just a revelation of the character of the lifter.

These weak excuses are rooted in the fear of having to squat less weight and possibly looking bad during the workout.

If you aren't willing to fail or look bad then you can kiss your chances of ever looking great and being successful goodbye. You have to fail in order to succeed.

Old School, Archaic, and Effective Quad Exercises

Two exercises that you rarely see (one you never see) on social media when it comes to building the quads is the barbell hack squat and the roman chair squat.

The barbell hack squat was created by George Hackenschmidt.

Hackenschmidt was a world-class athlete and strongman.

Squat racks were not commonplace in the early iron game. In order to squat you had to clean and press a barbell from the floor in order to get it on your back.

This is a bad strategy for squatting because the clean and press limits the amount of weight you can squat. If you can squat 300lbs but can only clean and press 185lbs you will only be squatting 185lbs.

Hackenschmidt found a way around this by lifting the barbell from the floor while it was behind him.

The barbell hack squat looks like a reverse deadlift but it does not hit the hamstrings, glutes, or low back like the deadlift does. It absolutely smokes the quads though.

You can learn all about the barbell hack squat in this article.

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Roman Chair Squats Are NOT Sissy Squats

Most of today's lifters think that the Roman chair is an abdominal or a lower back apparatus. They are completely wrong but it is not their fault.

Most of today's lifters also think that the true Roman chair squat is the sissy squat. They are also wrong but again it is not their fault.

Sissy squats are a great move for the quads but they involve you holding onto a squat rack or doing them without holding on to anything (very hard).

Sissy squats do not use a special apparatus. They never have.

The fault for the spread of the misinformation lies with the manufacturers of the Roman chair apparatus.

Almost all of the Roman chair apparatuses are now called sissy squats. I don't know why this happened.

Nevertheless, the Roman chair squat apparatus is designed for building the quads.

The Iron Guru, Vince Gironda, used to use it in his gym for bodybuilders to build up their quads to epic levels.

Of all the quad moves that you can do, none will isolate and incinerate your quads worse than the Roman chair. When you do them correctly your quads will feel like they are about to explode out of your skin.

The other part is that it will not take a lot of weight to get folded on Roman chair squats.

I've seen men who could squat 300lbs get their quads reduced to ash with just a few sets of bodyweight Roman chair squats.

Roman chair squats are not only a fantastic for building stallion quads but also a lesson in pain tolerance and toughness.

2 Exercise Big Quads Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Warm Up 5 5
A1. Roman Chair Squats 4 8
A2. Barbell Hack Squat 4 8


  • You will warm-up by doing a dynamic warm up or/and by doing multiple sets of Roman chair squats and barbell hack squats.
  • For example if you are going to use 15lbs in the Roman chair and 185lbs in the barbell hack squat you could do 5 x 5 for the warm up sets.
  • You would do these warm-ups sets with a lighter weight than what you will use during your work set. Ascend up in weight on each set during the warm-ups.
  • Because this is not a compound superset you will not need as much rest. For this pre-exhaust superset rest 15-45 seconds between moves.
  • The amount of weight you use will determine your rest period.
  • The heavier the weight you use, the more rest you will need.
  • Rest 2 to 3 minutes between rounds.
  • Use constant tension reps to maximize the pump.
  • Don’t use a weight that makes the big quads workout embarrassingly easy. Put some good weight on the bar and challenge yourself.

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1 Comment
Posted on: Sun, 02/23/2020 - 12:17

I’ve been looking to change up my quad workout and keep it interesting. You nailed it! I like the old school nature of these moves - gotta leave your ego at the door when you hit the Roman chair. I love the positive vibes in the videI and text. Keep it up!