Learn how to get massive legs without training to failure. How? With this brutal lower body workout from Mike Israetel.
Dr Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, is a well-respected professor in the bodybuilding community. He doesn’t only talk about workouts and fitness tips, he often talks about the science behind it and uses his knowledge to help people make better choices for their health.
And for this super effective leg workout, Israetel is not the one going through it himself, but rather he puts IFBB Pro Dylan White to the test.
See it for yourself below.
How to Get Massive Legs Without Training to Failure
This is a hypertrophy high-volume leg workout designed by Dr Mike Israetel. This is what he had to endure:
- Lying hamstring curl – 2 dropsets (drop 20-30% of the weight and do it to failure every time)
- Leg press – 3 sets of myorep match
- Paused Smith squat – 2 sets of 5-10 reps
- Bodyweight deep squat hold
According to the Israetel, it is really hard to train the hamstrings if you get strong legs and focus primarily on doing squats as the first exercise for your leg workout. So this is a great way to blow up and target your hamstrings, by doing dropsets first thing in the workout.
Myoreps involves performing a cluster of high-intensity, short sets with minimal rest periods. The goal of myoreps is to accumulate a high volume of repetitions with a relatively heavy weight while allowing for brief recovery periods. This approach maximizes muscle fibre recruitment, metabolic stress, and mechanical tension, all of which are key factors for stimulating muscle growth.
The paused Smith squat with low reps will blow up your quads for that finisher on gaining massive legs. Descend with a 3-4 seconds eccentric, at the bottom of the squat, you hold for 3 seconds on each rep. This creates a lot of tension directly on your legs.
The finisher is, without taking a rest after coming out of the Smith machine, to do a bodyweight squat hold at a deep position. Hold it for as long as you can for a killer finisher.
To see how to perform each of the movements, watch the video below in its entirety.
Training to failure, which refers to performing repetitions of an exercise until you are unable to complete another repetition with proper form, is a technique commonly used in strength training and muscle building. There are a few reasons why people incorporate training to failure into their workout routines:
- Muscle fatigue and stimulation: Training to failure pushes your muscles to their limits, leading to a high level of muscle fatigue. This fatigue stimulates a greater number of muscle fibers, including those that may not be activated during less intense efforts. By fully fatiguing the muscle, you provide a strong stimulus for muscle growth and strength gains.
- Progressive overload: Progressive overload is a fundamental principle in strength training, which involves gradually increasing the demands placed on your muscles over time. Training to failure can be one way to achieve progressive overload by challenging your muscles with higher intensity and workload. By pushing beyond your previous limits, you create an adaptive response in your muscles, encouraging them to grow stronger and larger.
- Mental toughness and determination: Training to failure can be mentally challenging. It requires focus, determination, and the willingness to push through discomfort. Some individuals find training to failure beneficial in building mental resilience and discipline, which can carry over into other areas of life.
- Time efficiency: Training to failure can be an efficient way to maximize your workout time. By pushing your muscles to exhaustion, you can achieve a high level of muscle stimulation within a shorter period. This can be particularly useful for individuals with limited time for training.
While training to failure can have its benefits, it’s important to note that it may not be suitable or necessary for everyone. Training to failure places significant stress on your muscles and central nervous system, increasing the risk of overtraining and potential injury. It is crucial to use proper form, listen to your body, and gradually incorporate this technique into your routine to avoid excessive strain.
Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that training to failure is not the only way to stimulate muscle growth and strength. There are various other effective training methods, such as progressive overload, varied rep ranges, and sufficient rest and recovery, which can also lead to positive results. It’s important to find an approach that aligns with your goals, abilities, and preferences. Consulting with a qualified fitness professional can provide personalized guidance on incorporating training to failure or other training techniques into your workout routine safely and effectively.
- Leg press: Scott Webb / Pexels