Legs: Building tree trunks

Legs day: use circuit training to whip your lower half into shape.

By John Romaniello

Most guys neglect their legs in favour of more chest and arm workouts. If you want to run down the beach on more than a pair of toothpicks this winter,  we’ve got a routine that will bring up your legs fast.

Legs Like Tree Trunks: How It Works

By alternating a heavy exercise with an explosive one, you create an effect called “post-activation potentiation”. The heavy lift recruits a lot of muscle fibres, and the explosive one done immediately after allows for even better muscle activation on the next heavy set. In just a few sets and a few minutes, you can stimulate as many muscle fibres as you normally do in much longer leg workouts. In addition, the combo of strength and power you’ll build will help improve sprinting speed and jump height.



Immediately after your second set of the barbell squat (exercise 1), perform the jump squat* for  60 seconds.

1) Barbell squat, 2 sets of 5 reps (rest for 60 seconds in between).

2) Jump squat, as many as possible in 60 seconds (rest for 60 seconds).

3) Barbell squat, 1 set of 5 reps (no rest).

4) Jump squat, as many as possible in 45 seconds.

Rest for 90 seconds and repeat the circuit once more.

* For the jump squat, simply squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and jump as high as you can.



Immediately after your third set of the barbell calf raise* (exercise 1), perform explosive bodyweight calf raises.

1) Barbell calf raise, 3 sets of 6 reps (rest for 30 seconds between each).

2) Explosive bodyweight calf raise, as many as possible in 90 seconds (rest for 60 seconds).

3) Barbell calf raise, 1 set of 6 reps (no rest).

4) Explosive bodyweight calf raise, as many as possible in 30 seconds (rest for 30 seconds).

5) Barbell calf raise, 1 set of 6 reps.

* For the barbell calf raise, rock back on your heels and then use the momentum to come up on your toes.

No More Baby Calves –  Avoid the dreaded top-heavy “lightbulb” look by crafting a killer set of beach-ready legs.

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