High Rep Leg Training for More Mass

Last time I touted the new-found pump from high rep training. Since I had such a good time with that training session I’ve been determined to explore this even further. I’ve been applying the high rep protocol to everything and loving it.

I knew that the always infamous leg day would be a unique challenge, but I was ready for something different and interesting. At 45 I’ve tried almost every type of hypertrophy training technique around: heavy duty, rest/pause, high volume, giant sets, heavy/light, high rep/low rep, and a few I’m sure I’m forgetting.

The high rep training, to my pleasant surprise, was an incredible reminder of how I trained and felt as a newbie. Fast pace, big pumps, and tons of blood flow. So, here is how leg day went down.

Standing calf raise 4 x 10-20
Seated calf raise 4 x 10-20

Leg extension 3 x 15-30
Leg press 3 x 20-30
Squat 3 x 20

Dumbbell Romanian deadlift 2 x 12
Seated leg curl 2 x 10-20



  • Calf rest times were 30-45 seconds, all other rest periods were 60 seconds with the exception of squats which were 90 seconds or so.
  • Leg extensions were executed slow and controlled with toes dorsal flexed.
  • For leg press I allowed a short pause in the extended position after 10 or 15 reps to catch my breath.
  • Squats were performed with an elevated heal.
  • Hamstrings were only two sets per movement. My hamstrings were spent after squats so I felt I could just finish them off with a few sets.


  • My back and knees are thanking me right now. No stress or pain.
  • I feel the work much more in my targeted areas versus joints or even full body.
  • Since this is higher reps with significantly less rest periods I’m getting a cardio benefit and have cranked my metabolism into high gear.
  • This has breathed new life into my training and I no longer dread heavy, low reps squats or leg presses. I’m still going to muscular failure without joint stress.


I’ve always been on the slender side of things and gaining muscle has been a life-long challenge. This type of training reminds me that I must be a “volume guy” and not someone who lives in the low rep, heavy weight world. I’ve never had a big bench press or big squat. Sure I’ve gone to 315 on bench for a few reps and trained with 365 on squats (many, many years ago), but without much benefit. As a bodybuilder your bench press max means nothing.

Give this high rep leg day a try and let me know how you do in the comments below.

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