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Beginner Leg Routine - Legs Workout Program

By John Paul Catanzaro

Ladies, need some help training those legs?

Those just starting to weight train are considered beginners. Initially, lower loads (intensity) with higher repetitions (volume) can be used on a frequent basis. Here’s an excellent leg workout for a beginner (i.e. less than a year of training experience.) It should be performed three times a week (e.g. Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) for a month.

A) Back Squat (heels elevated)
B) Dumbbell Deadlift
C) Supine Hip Extension
D) Seated Calf Raise

Do 2 sets of 15-20 reps for each exercise. Maintain a moderate tempo throughout with a pause at the top and bottom of all movements. Keep the rest interval as low as possible between sets (no more than 2 minutes.), and most important … have fun!


Intermediate Leg Workout Routine

With a good year of training under your belt, you should use higher loads with less repetitions and train the legs only twice a week (they’ll need greater recovery due to the intensity increase.) Below is a 4-month progression for intermediates.

Routine #1

A) Side Step-Ups
B) Split Squat with Front Foot Raised
C) Wide-Stance Db Deadlift (1 db)
D) Supine two-Legged Bridge on Swiss Ball
E) Seated Calf Raise

- 2-3 sets
- 12-15 reps
- moderate tempo
- 60 sec. rest interval

Routine #2

A) Db Deadlift (2 db’s)
B) Seated Good Morning
C) Reverse Hypers
D) Standing Calf Raise

- 3-4 sets
- 10-12 reps
- slow tempo
- 90 sec. rest interval

Routine #3

A) Forward Step-Ups
B) Split Squat
C1) Hack Squat
C2) Supine Bridge + Leg Curl
D1) Seated Calf Raise
D2) Dorsiflexion on Leg Curl Machine

- 2-3 sets
- 12-15 reps
- moderate tempo
- 60 sec. rest interval

Routine #4

A) Back Squat
B) Romanian Deadlift
C) Reverse Hypers with Db Between Feet
D) Standing 1-Leg Calf Raise

- 3-4 sets
- 10-12 reps
- slow tempo
- 90 sec. rest interval

What? No leg extension or leg press? That’s right, but there are plenty of squats and deadlifts for you to enjoy! Also, notice how the parameters change every routine. Research indicates that greater progress is made when volume and intensity are manipulated in an undulating fashion (i.e. alternating or wave-like manner) rather than the typical linear approach. This time perform each workout only twice a week for a month (e.g. every Monday and Thursday, or Tuesday and Friday).

Incidentally, all the routines listed above require no machines whatsoever. All you need is a simple barbell set, some dumbbells, a good (anti-burst) Swiss ball, and a mat. That’s it – you can do everything in the comfort of your own home even all the calf raise variations. Although meant for intermediates, you should receive some very advanced results from this progression. Good luck!

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About the Author

John Paul Catanzaro, B.Sc., C.K., P.F.L.C., is a certified kinesiologist and professional fitness and lifestyle consultant with a specialized honours Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. He owns and operates a private gym in Toronto, Ontario providing training and nutritional consulting services. For additional information, visit his websites at and or call 416-292-4356.