Destroy your leg muscles with this 3 week cycle leg growth workout! This workout is not for the faint hearted, Be prepared to train your legs hard! Workout includes squats.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Single Muscle Group
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration3 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout60-75 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

If you are serious about putting size on your legs, this 3 week cycling leg workout is for you. This leg workout combines heavy and controlled lifting with shocking techniques like drop sets and supersets to stimulate muscle growth.

We're going to be moving serious weights with this workout, so minimum of 10 mins warmup is required. Power walking or light jogging is fine. Plus about 50 bodyweight squats and stretching of quads, glutes and hamstrings.

Weekly workout schedule:

Week 1 - Heavy Week
Heavy Week
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat (heavy pyramid set) 6 15, 12, 10, 8, 10, 15
Increase the weight on each set until you peak at 8 reps, 4th set. If you want to go heaver you could do 6 reps for that set. You do not need to squat down too low, just above horizontal is fine. We don't want to hit the glutes to much.
Exercise Sets Reps
Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 12
Really want to focus on stretch and contraction with these, not weight. If you're not feeling the stretch on the hamstrings on the way down and at the bottom you're not doing them right. Keep rep timing slow, 3-1-2 should be about right.
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg press/leg extension superset 4 8 press / 12 extension
Again, we're going heavy on the leg press here, maximum 8 reps. Straight on to the leg extension after the set for 12 reps. Weight is not as important here. Make sure you squeeze at the top for a count of 3 seconds.
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg curl 4 8
Heavy again with leg curls. Heavy, but controlled. You should still be able to manage the weight. Use 2-1-2 rep timing.
Week 2 - Quad Week
Quad Week
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat / Lunges / Leg Extension Tri-Set 5 10 sq, 6 lun, 15 ext
We're working with less weight on squats this week, but killing the quads with this tri-set! 10 reps squatting, slow and controlled. Followed by 6 reps on each leg dumbbell lunges. Followed by 15 reps on the leg extension with very light weight and 4-2-4 rep timing. Sound hard, it is.
Exercise Sets Reps
Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 12, 10, 8, 6
Time to put some more weight on your deadlift. Last week we stayed at 12 reps, now we're going to increase the weight and lower the reps with every set. Start at the weight you used last week, and increase!
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg curl 4 12-15
We just went heavy on deadlifts, so curls we're going to a bit lighter and slow down rep timing. Use 3-1-3 for these 4 sets to finish off the workout.
Week 3 - Hamstring Week
Hamstring Week
Exercise Sets Reps
Stiff Leg Dead/Leg curl superset+dropset 5 8 / max, max, max
Today we're really going to attack the hamstrings. We're doing heavy deadlifts for about 8 reps (if your technique is not so good, or you have a weak lower back, stick with 12). Then straight onto the leg curl machine for a drop set. Don't worry about going heavy at all on the leg curl, we just did heavy deads so just focus on getting a nice long stretch and solid contraction. By the third set fo the drop set, you should be in serious pain. If you're not, you're not trying hard enough!
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Press 5 12
We're having a week off from squats this week to prepare for the heavy week next week (starting the cycle again at week 1). Keep to a weight that you max out at around 12 reps.
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg extension 4 12, 10, 8, 6
Going a bit heavier with extensions this week. Increase the weight on each set.
Posted on: Sat, 04/02/2022 - 12:12

Hi I wanted to ask can I use hackbsquat machine in the third week in place of leg press

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 04/18/2022 - 19:46

You sure can, Sayan! Follow the same sets and reps.

Madhavi tennakoon
Posted on: Mon, 03/12/2018 - 10:29

What about the 4th week ? Will u give me another workout after i did this ?

Posted on: Sun, 12/24/2017 - 13:02

hi, thankyou for this workout. I have a guestion. what is 3-1-2 or 2-1-2 or 4-2-4?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2017 - 09:09

Hi somayeh,

That is the rep tempo you should perform the exercise with. the first number referes to the lowering phase, the second the hold, and the third, the concentric phase.

Hope this helps!

Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2019 - 22:09

4 count up, hold for 2, 4 count lower.

Posted on: Thu, 04/27/2017 - 10:19

Hi, can this all be done in a week like Mon ,Off, Wed, Off, Fri, Off, Off ? As I have a frozen shoulder I am looking for a legs only plan. In week 2 how can I do the tri set if my leg extension machine is upstairs from the other exercises ? Likewise on week 3 the leg curl machine is upstairs from the racks ? Thanks.

Posted on: Fri, 10/31/2014 - 12:43

Hi Steve,
Thanks for sharing this awesome routine. How many weeks should I perform this routine?

Posted on: Sat, 10/11/2014 - 16:22

Hi, on Week 2 it says Quad Week and the last exercise is leg curl (for hamstrings). Then, on Week 3 it says Hamstring Week but the last exercise is leg extensions (for quads).. was this made on purpose or is it a mistake?

Just did Week 1 today, and it was great! Can't barely walk! Thanks!

Posted on: Fri, 09/19/2014 - 00:03

Could you explain the third week a little better to me? For the drop sets, do you go 8 reps of deadlifts into leg curls and do drop sets of leg curls?

Posted on: Thu, 09/18/2014 - 03:42

And what i do after 3 weeks for legs.

James Avants
Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2014 - 23:33

Can you explain week 2 workout? The squat / lunges / leg extension tri-set. When you say 5 sets of 10 sq / 6 lun / 15 ext, are you saying do 5 sets of each? I'm just confused on what to do. Can you write me back at please

would the workout go like this?
5 sets of 10 squats
5 sets of 6 lunges
5 sets of 15 leg extention
= a total of 15 sets and

Posted on: Tue, 08/19/2014 - 17:27

How would you work a running routine around this schedule? would running hinder any efforts to build leg mass?

Posted on: Tue, 07/29/2014 - 23:20

Hi Steve am from noida( INDIA)


Posted on: Thu, 05/15/2014 - 12:44

Can I use this as a women's leg workout?

Danielsson, Joe
Posted on: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 07:22

Yes! Generally, the muscles of men and women are the same and will perform and respond in a similar manner. The muscle tissues in all humans are actually the same, but individuals have different amount of different types of muscle fibers. Most women have the advantage of recovering faster and being more fatigue-resistant. So maybe doing legs twice a week could work better. Also note that women tend to have more slow twitch fibers, so higher reps (over 12 reps) or longer sets with minimum rest should work this muscle better if "hypertrophy" is important... But hey, What do I know - I just read online stuff and try to learn. Would like to see more information regarding scientific research in building bigger muscles and how different muscle fibers adapt and grow stronger and bigger with different types of set, reps and stress. Anyone reading this and know of a good place to start reading scientific research regarding maximizing hypertrophy?

Posted on: Thu, 05/08/2014 - 03:47

Hi Steve,

I have finished 8 months of your leg workout. It really works great. Thnax a lot

Posted on: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:10

Wouldn't front squats be more beneficial to the quads? Back squats will always isolate hips and glutes more.

Posted on: Thu, 03/06/2014 - 19:14

well that workout destroyed my legs

Posted on: Wed, 01/29/2014 - 21:47

What is the rest timing for the first exercise like? Thanks!

Stian Eidem
Posted on: Thu, 01/09/2014 - 14:42

In week 3 on the Stiff leg dead/ Leg curl (Supersett + dropset) 5 - 8 / max,max,max..
Are you supposed to do 8 reps on the STIFF LEG DEADLIFT and 3 Dropset five times ?
So you go like: 8 - Max, Max, Max
8 - Max, Max, Max
8 - Max, Max, Max
8 - Max, Max, Max
8 - Max, Max, Max

Correct ?

Posted on: Tue, 12/31/2013 - 23:40

sir i live in india and we do not have many facilities in our country.i am a powerlifter at the intermediate level .i weigh in at 200 pounds and my best lifts are 440 pounds in gym and 415 pounds in competition in bench press,540 pound squat, 560 pound deadlift and all this lift is raw.but recently sir i have hit a plateau in my bench press and should i follow this schedule of yours will it help increase my squat.

Edward Breault
Posted on: Tue, 03/22/2016 - 07:46

Someone with numbers like that wouldn't be looking for advice from the internet, that's for sure

Posted on: Wed, 10/30/2013 - 15:38

Does anyone know of some good workouts to increase calf mass?
I ran cross country for 8 years so I have skinny but strong legs and I'm trying even my body out
I push 450lbs on the leg press easily if that helps.

Posted on: Sun, 09/29/2013 - 12:12

"You do not need to squat down too low, just above horizontal is fine. We don't want to hit the glutes to much."

Seriously I stopped reading after this.

Posted on: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 05:46

Hello! I wanted to know just one thing... When I am done with the cycle.. Do I have to continue with the first week and begin again... Or do I change the routine completely? Thanks

Posted on: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 05:40


I wanted to know just one thing.. After I am done with the cycle, do I continue with the first week again or should I change the routine completely? Thanks

Posted on: Thu, 08/29/2013 - 10:02

Would it be ok to do this leg workout twice a week on Mondays and Fridays? Also would it be okay for me to do steady state cardio(elliptical or bike) for 30-45 mins at 70% of my MHR the day after one of these workouts?

Posted on: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 21:28

On week 2, can you sub out leg curls with front squats for the finish or would that be pushing it?

Posted on: Thu, 05/30/2013 - 09:49

my gym doesnt have a leg curl mechiene can i have a suggestion that can replace this exercise??

Posted on: Fri, 04/05/2013 - 22:00

Hii steve,
thi Workout sounds gr8, as thigh muscle are the biggest muscle does it takes more time n pain to grow .

Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:54

What is good for toning the booty?

Posted on: Wed, 03/06/2013 - 10:44

What happens after the 3 weeks? Do we go all over again?

Ahmed Alaa
Posted on: Sat, 03/02/2013 - 17:35

captain Steve the gym i go to doesn't have a leg press machine also i want to be a soccer player is there a specific routine to follow

Posted on: Mon, 02/11/2013 - 02:57

I'll try that and see the turn out i think I have added weight am weighing 98kgs from 94

Brian wandera
Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2013 - 06:32

i would like to gain more chest muscle n massive thighs and leg power what should i do

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2013 - 15:37

Choose a well-balnaced routine and work on progressing. You'll also need to eat for muscle-building.

Posted on: Fri, 01/11/2013 - 23:10

Still not sure on one thing. In week 3 when you do the SLDL, leg curl superset+drop set...
So ya do ya 8 reps of deads, then straight into the curls say at 60lbs, then drop it down three more times? So it would look like this Eg: 60lbs, 50lbs, 40lbs, 30lb. Then rest and repeat all that again for 5 sets?

Posted on: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:47

is this workout plan complete in 3week .after that can tell me whats the new routine

michael brockman
Posted on: Mon, 12/24/2012 - 11:45

looks good

Posted on: Sun, 12/23/2012 - 11:06

Yeah so I tried this cycle and had a lot of annoyance with it. Reasons being, the layout of the gym. The squat rack is in the free weights area and the leg press is in the resistance training area.There were others who needed to use the equipment and didn't share so all my exercises were delayed... AND yes I went at times when less people were at the gym. Great cycle but better to do it in a small private gym. I personally recommend making your own plans that work for you to develop muscle growth.

Posted on: Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:25

Hi, it looks a very good workout but it is too heavy for me to do all these in one day can i split the workout into two days (Tuesday and Thursday)?, or i have to do complete this in one day?

Posted on: Mon, 12/10/2012 - 01:29

Doesn't clarify what days of the week, or how many times top do it. Us a good workout seemingly but I'm only giving it a 3*, someone could've done better when writing up this article.

Posted on: Sun, 12/09/2012 - 03:12

I did this workout and it was great!! I have done this routine a couple of times now and I can see the diffrence.

Posted on: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 22:54

does somebody knows what he meant we "3-1-3" thanks

Posted on: Mon, 10/22/2012 - 17:47

This sounds like an awesome workout. The only thing I noticed is that there is no calf workouts. Should I throw in 3 sets of calf raises? And if so, which week?

Posted on: Wed, 09/05/2012 - 22:40

Very good routine, thanks a lot for sharing. However, one quick question, please explain to me the resting concept.

Francisco A. ortiz
Posted on: Wed, 07/25/2012 - 17:35


Posted on: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 16:27


In week one when pyramiding the what sets should you be failing at? Ie I know when pyramiding you lead up into usually one or 2 all out sets thats it.

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2012 - 08:47

hi i have had a cruciate ligament reconstruction and i play football semi pro. it been a year since my op and need to build muscle on the operated leg, is this the best way? also i keep getting hamstring strains how can i avoid this?