Powerlifting

8 Weeks to Massive Legs


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If you have read, listened to, or watched anything I have said in the past you will know that I hate the definitions we give ourselves. “I’m a powerlifter, bodybuilder, strongman, etc.” We need to just get back to a point where we respect strength for strength, and stop badgering it, and disrespecting others because what they choose to focus on may be different than what you do. So when I was thinking about what to share with you all, I had an idea, a challenge of sorts. As a powerlifter this is a great “blast cycle” to run after a meet, as I have done this many times over in my lifting career with much success. Hopefully, you will step up to the plate and grow from it as well.

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I began doing this while a geared lifter, and after a meet to give myself a mental break from the gear I always did a 4-8 week cycle raw. Being an upper body dominant lifter I always wanted to maintain balance, and focus very hard on my legs so that I didn’t become the “Johnny Bravo” in our gym, walking around with pencil legs.  This rotation can be implemented for anyone, and is not a part of the Cube rotation as you will see, it very progressive, and very taxing, but at the end of six weeks I guarantee you will be able to tell a difference, and you will need some new pants. This is a step by step, rep by rep detailed plan. You will lift Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and one of the weekend days. The split mimics the Cube, in that on Wednesday you will need to Bench, and fourth day will be a bodybuilding day. Monday and Friday will no longer be Squat, and Deadlift, it will just be a dedication to lower body entirely.

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Weeks 1-4

 Workout A

Olympic Squats (Feet shoulder width apart)- 3 x 6-10 reps with 60 seconds rest

Deadlifts Standing on 1-2” Block- 60% x 1 x 12 reps x 20-30 seconds rest

Lunges- Short Strides 3 x 15 x 45 seconds rest

Leg Press- Wide Foot Placement 4 x 15

Ankle Weight Leg Curls- 100 reps

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Workout B

Deadlift from the Floor- Work up to a heavy Triple

Wide Stance (Comfortably Wide)- 60% x 2 x 8 sets

Stiff Leg Conventional Deadlift- 3 x 12 (Weight should be light enough to move quickly, but challenging for 12 reps)

Leg Press- Narrow Foot Position 5 x 10

Ankle Weight Leg Curls- 100 Reps

Weeks 5-8

Workout A

Competition Stance Squat- 3 x 3-5 reps (Use a weight that would challenge you to do for 6 reps)

Deadlift from 4” Blocks or Pin Pulls from just below Knee- Work up to a Max Double

Romanian Deadlift- 3 x 10

Sissy Squats- 2 x 20 reps (These are brutal if done properly, add weight only if using perfect form)

Leg Curls- 4 x 15

Workout B

 Deadlift standing on 1” Mat- Work up to heavy 5 x 5

Front Squats- 3 x 12

Pause Squats- 3 x 6

Lunges w/DB in Hand- 3 x 15 Strides (Long Steps)

Leg Curls- 4 x 15

*Squat Depth is crucial to this program as we are trying to maximize leg stimulation, this occurs through maximum range of motion. Even if you enjoy squatting high regularly, give this a chance for 8 weeks and you will be shocked at the difference.

Upper Body

The design of this program is to allow you to train outside your gear if you are a geared lifter, but primarily for anyone that wants to increase leg size and power. The upper body should take a back seat to the lower body for this time period. That does not mean you should slack off of the upper body work, just take into account that you are going to be taxing your body, so train the upper body smart, don’t chase heavy doubles, or singles, rather keep the rep ranges at 3 or above. Also this is a great time to dedicate to some upper body mobility work, and trying new exercises.

Progression

The first week of an exercise, begin by handling weights that you know you can move well. Begin at the upper end of the allowable rep range and add weight accordingly each week. The next week, increase the number of reps from the week before but steer clear of failure. Repeat for the next week: keep the weight the same and shoot for more reps from the week before without hitting failure For the fourth week, keep the weight the same and try to beat the numbers from the week before,  but the difference on this week is you can go to all out failure.

Let’s use the Olympic Squat as an example over the first four-week period using a 3×6-10 rep scheme.

  • Week 1: 405/9 – 405/7 – 405/6
  • Week 2: 405/8 – 405/8 – 405/7
  • oin
  • Week 4: 405/10 – 405/10 – 405/12

Keep in mind that this is just a reference of an example. Everyone is different, the goal being to challenge yourself as much as possible. If you start hitting 10’s on the first three weeks for all your sets, you need to up the weight. You need to be in the low to middle end of the rep ranges for maximum growth.

Nutrition

You better believe you are going to need to ingest tons of food on this. Like I said I like to run this after a meet, and for me my only focus after a meet, is growth and recovery. I feel like you should be on a food free for all, and only scale back if you start to see a dramatic increase in bodyfat.

Rest and Recovery

This program is going to be hard on your body, and the only way for anyone to grow is to recover. Dedicate to this portion of the program just like you would in the gym, and you will get maximum results.

  • Sleep – Make sure you get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a day. I say “day” because I tend to only sleep in bursts of a few hours at a time, but I love to take naps, so make sleep a priority, if you can’t sleep at night, take a nap during the day. Whatever it takes get it done.
  • Stretch – Make sure you stretch upon waking, when you get to the gym, and after your workout. I’m talking 20-45 minutes a day. Make time for this and you will see the benefit.
  • Foam roll – Foam rolling single handedly changed everything for me. I started using the roller every night, and upon waking and I feel like a new man. I also use it to warm up, and also if I get tight between sets I roll. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Wrapping up this program is fun, it’s hard, and rewarding. I challenge you to try it, and see what kind of gains you can get on it. But remember this is not a program you want to do year round. Once, or twice a year is plenty to maximize the potential of this program, now go out and kick some ass! I wanna see some pant legs begging for mercy!

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Brandon Lilly is very well traveled, Elite powerlifter. He has trained at Guerrilla Squad Barbell, Westside Barbell, Lexen  Xtreme, and is now home at Berea Barbell. In his strength journey he has competed in bodybuilding, strongman, and powerlifting. Brandon is one of only 19 men to ever total over 2200 raw, having 2204 which ties him for 16th all time (826.5 squat, 573 bench, 804.5 Deadlift). He also amassed a 2530 total in Multi-Ply, and has best lifts of 1005 squat, 820 bench press, and 765 Deadlift. Brandon is the author of The Cube Method and is aiming to create a paradigm shift in the Powerlifting world.
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