There are many ways to train for bigger muscles, but by far the most reliable way, and the way which produces the most profound results, is to get progressively stronger and stronger within the volume parameters most conducive to hypertrophy.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw the legs of Tom Platz. It was the mid 80’s, and THIS picture (or one very similar) in one of my older brothers bodybuilding magazines, made my jaw hit the floor as soon as I’d turned the page!
Obviously Tom had a genetic predisposition towards being capable of building big legs. But there’s big legs, ten layers of freaky, THEN Tom Platz! So you can’t write ALL of it off on genetics. Can’t really say steroids either because all the guys back then were taking the same stuff, but only Tom had a pair of wheels that would STILL stand out on an Olympia stage today!
The ‘secret’ was Tom’s commitment to becoming super strong for high volume in the toughest leg exercise there is, and one which most bodybuilders of the time liked to avoid. Namely, high bar, narrow stance, ass to grass, DEEP back squats!
This coupled with an almost supernatural pain threshold/toughness, allowed him go places on leg day where others wouldn’t dare tread. Including his famed squat battle with the late great, Dr. Fred Hatfield (the first man to squat 1000lbs), to see who could do the most reps with 500lbs.
Despite a significantly lower 1RM, Tom squatted the much higher percentage of his max for many more reps than Fred. A total of 23 reps to be precise!! With 500lbs (227kg)…ROCK bottom!!
So if you’re wondering why your legs (or any other muscle group) aren’t getting any bigger. And you think it’s due to diet, supplements, equipment, or some secret rep cadence (“have you tried the 3-2-4 rep cadence bro”?), but you HAVEN’T gotten stronger for reps since Mark Wahlberg was Marky Mark…maybe try that first.
(Paul McIlroy is the founder and creator of the globally successful Amazing 12 Body Transformation Business, a sports scientist and a strength & conditioning specialist who has developed national and world champions in various sports and disciplines, all from a square one starting point, in only 8 to 18 months in every instance. Leading from the front, Paul is also a lifelong athlete himself, competing against world class competition in 3 different sports).