How to gain mass on Thighs

Dear Dr. Squat ,

Thanks for sharing all such great information with us through internet. I have a query for you.
My height is 5'10" and my weight is 74 kg, my problem is that my thighs are quite slim (only 21 inch). I want to gain mass here. I do squating and excerise , but it does not work. I lift 75 Kg on my last repetition of squating excersie, besides this I do leg press also. Twice a week. Could u please tell me how much weight i should be lifting to gain mass and what should be ideal routines to gain mass on my thighs.
Thanks in advance.

Re: How to gain mass on Thighs

gpgis wrote:
Dear Dr. Squat ,

Thanks for sharing all such great information with us through internet. I have a query for you.
My height is 5'10" and my weight is 74 kg, my problem is that my thighs are quite slim (only 21 inch). I want to gain mass here. I do squating and excerise , but it does not work. I lift 75 Kg on my last repetition of squating excersie, besides this I do leg press also. Twice a week. Could u please tell me how much weight i should be lifting to gain mass and what should be ideal routines to gain mass on my thighs.
Thanks in advance.

I am not Dr Squat, but.....

How much are you eating? Also, you seem to be overworking your legs. For example, using Doc's ABCs principle my legs get worked every3rd, 4th and 5th day depending on workout intensity.

How to gain mass on Thighs

Defranco's Westside for Skinny Bastards might give you some ideas - remember that it's designed more for people involved w/ sports like football or basketball, not just simply for gaining mass.

http://www.defrancostraining.com/articles/archive/articles_westside.htm

Here's an excerpt from it on lower body workouts:

Lower Body Day - Unlike a traditional Westside template, you'll notice there's only one major lower body day in this modified program. There's a reason for this: most beginner/intermediate athletes couldn't recover from two lower body days a week in conjunction with their running and conditioning work. Their legs would never fully recover and it would take away from their speed and conditioning workouts. One day has worked out much better for many of my athletes.

(If you're not an athlete or you only play one sport and it's your off-season, check out the "Extra Workouts, GPP, Conditioning Days" description below for adding another day to your lower body training.)

The first exercise on your lower body day will be a max effort lift. You'll work up to a max set of five reps in this lift. This lift will be rotated every two to three weeks as well.

On this modified program you'll always follow your max effort exercise with a unilateral exercise. This is one of the major differences between this program and a traditional Westside template.

I incorporate unilateral movements for many reasons. First of all, most athletes develop muscular imbalances between limbs. Unilateral exercises are a great way to overcome these imbalances. They also improve flexibility, balance and overall conditioning.

The unilateral exercises I prescribe are mostly quad-dominant exercises. Yes, I said the four-letter word, quad. The quads have gotten a bad rap lately, while the "posterior chain" has taken center stage. We must remember that the quads are extremely important for athletes and you can't neglect them. The quads are very active when an athlete accelerates into a sprint due to their forward body lean. The quad muscle on the inside of your knee (vastus medialis) also plays a major role in stabilizing the knee.

Finally, one of the most overlooked aspects in all of training is grip and hand strength. Improving your grip and hand strength will help with numerous athletic activities. We usually do our grip training after leg workouts. You'll see some of my favorite grip exercises in the training template.

How to gain mass on Thighs

8-12 reps is usually best to stimulate muscle growth. On top of that, you need to rest and EAT. It's really a simple forumula:

1. train hard
2. eat
3. rest
4. repeat

You will grow.

IkeWagner's picture

How to gain mass on Thighs

Train heavy. 8-12 for hypertrophy, yes, but mix in heavy singles/doubles/triples. Why? Because they make you stronger. And if you're stronger, you can do more weight in the 8-12 rep range, which means your body gives you more of a response. Slaving away with the same weight in the same fashion won't get you anywhere.

Methodman's picture

How to gain mass on Thighs

Eat eat eat eat eat and eat! If you want to grow you have to eat lifting weight won't make you muscles much bigger if your calorie intake is the same! And you sound like a beginner! Consistency is the key!

How to gain mass on Thighs

If you are currently only lifting 75 kg and only weight 74 kg, that I would say puts you in the beginner cadegory. And I would say it also puts you in the category where you will be able to benefit best off from high reps. Here is a good place to start:
http://www.ironworkout.com/20_rep_squat.htm
Simply stick to that and eat good and once you have gained a significant amount of mass and strength, it might be about time to switch and start hitting the heavy weights. I'd say, you have to get over 200 lbs for 20 reps before you start going heavy.

How to gain mass on Thighs

Ike, in case you are wondering why my advise was contrary to what you said:
Just remember that you were already big and strong when you first started lifting so weight was never a problem. I gained 80 lbs in body weight since I first started lifting. So I know what it's like to be a skinny guy. While I do agree with you that heavy weight has it's place, high reps often work best with skinny beginners in need of body weight gain.

I can even recall when I was a teen ager, working out with high reps was working well. Some of my friends would try to mess with singles all the time and wonder why they weren't progressing, while I would blow up real quick and get strong too. Now it doesn't realy work as good any more; I benefit best off from heavy weight like sets of 5. The thing is, while high reps work fine in the beginning, as you get older, bigger, and stronger, the more you need to rely on heavy weight.

Todd Wilson's picture

How to gain mass on Thighs

2 issues:

1) Loading parameters are not adequate.

2) Structural balance is holding back developement.

Number 2 first: If your low back is weak, it may be preventing you from squatting enough in order to induce hypertrophy.

NUmber 1: Assuming you are eating enough to put on mass, and are performing full squats................try this routine, never seen it not work.

One and a quarter squats:

Sets: 4-6

Reps: 4-8

Tempo: controlled

Rest: 3 minutes

Lower yourself into the full squat position, rise into the quarter squat position just above parallel. Now go back down into the full squat position, then stand up into the starting position. That's 1 rep. You can also rest 90 seconds and perform sets of leg curls alternating sets......or wait and finish the workout off with some ROmanian DLs, glute hame raises, reverse hypers, back extensions, etc.

How to gain mass on Thighs

I like what Todd said. His advice should help if it doesnt then...Join yoga j/k. =)

Re: How to gain mass on Thighs

Thanks a lot for your replies. I'm delighted to receive such advice from top professionals. I shall work on the on it.

How to gain mass on Thighs

20 rep squats wouldnt hurt in your cycle

IkeWagner's picture

How to gain mass on Thighs

Charles Izzo wrote:
Ike, in case you are wondering why my advise was contrary to what you said:
Just remember that you were already big and strong when you first started lifting so weight was never a problem. I gained 80 lbs in body weight since I first started lifting. So I know what it's like to be a skinny guy. While I do agree with you that heavy weight has it's place, high reps often work best with skinny beginners in need of body weight gain.

I can even recall when I was a teen ager, working out with high reps was working well. Some of my friends would try to mess with singles all the time and wonder why they weren't progressing, while I would blow up real quick and get strong too. Now it doesn't realy work as good any more; I benefit best off from heavy weight like sets of 5. The thing is, while high reps work fine in the beginning, as you get older, bigger, and stronger, the more you need to rely on heavy weight.

I hear you. The problem is that the guy didn't give much information regarding his training history. Just because you're skinny doesn't mean you haven't been training for some time. He also indicated that his thighs were his biggest concern, which means that he must be getting reasonable hypertrophy (for his purposes) everywhere else, meaning he has been training for a little while. It's reasonable to assume that he may be slaving away with a higher rep protocol, when a shock (heavy weight) might spur him into a nice little period of size and strength gains. Again, it's all guess work because he didn't specify.

TO gain mass on thighs

Dear Wagner,

I have been training for last four years and I was quite skinny to begin with. I have added 30 pounds since the inception of my gym routines. My MY Vital are gein below:

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 74 Kgs
Chest 42 Inches
Waist: 32 Inch

As I mentioned that my thighs are slim (only 21 inches).. I also realize that I am not lifting much weight. That part I will change now. But do tell me if u lift so much weight, do u think i may have problem in my knee joints later?? I am taking high calorie and also taking a weight gainer. I heard one i m taking is good.

My gym routine for legs is below: i.e. twice a week.

Squat (4 sets)
1. 50 Kgs
2. 55 kg
3. 60 Kgs
4 70 kgs (10 reps each)

Leg press
1-4 sets (with 110 kgs) 8 reps each

Leg curls
4 sets (20 Kgs) 8 reps.

Please comment.

Re: TO gain mass on thighs

Please read my weight as

74 kg.

IkeWagner's picture

How to gain mass on Thighs

The first red flag is that you can map out your routine, sets, reps, and weight, so easily. Pounding away using the exact same thing won't induce gains. Also, half your workout is a glorified warmup. You need heavier weight. Not all at once, but you need to start introducing a greater stimulus.

Maybe something like this:

Week 1:
Work up to 70 kgs (not 10 reps at each stop, more like 2-4).
70 kg x4
65 kg x6
70 kg x6
65 kg x8
70 kg x8

Week 2:
75 kg x1
65 kg x5
75 kg x2
65 kg x7
75 kg x3

Week 3:
75 kg x1
70 kg x5
75 kg x2
70 kg x6
75 kg x3

Something like that. This simple NS facilitation has sparked some pretty good gains for me when it is first introduced (that's why the weight is going up and down, along with the reps). Anecdotal, but take it for what it's worth. Basically, ANY change you make will yield results at this point. By the way, as you start to work with heavier weight and challenge yourself, you need to work out only once per week (as a basic starting point to avoid overtraining and as a place where you can start to assess what's working). It can be adjusted later if need be.

If you use proper form, your knees will only become more healthy. I've been struggling with a hip problem for the better part of a year, and now it is very close to being gone because I'm attacking it (albeit intelligently) with heavy weight (wide box squats, for example). It responds by getting stronger. Now, that's a little different than injury prevention/caution (what you speak of) but the idea is the same. Heavy weight + proper form + not being stupid never hurt anyone; it only made them stronger.

I'm not an expert, and there are many on this forum who know much more than I; I would be interested in hearing their opinions regarding your situation. I don't consider what I've given you to be bad advice by any means, but listen to and read all that you can, and use your head.

How to gain mass on Thighs

Thanks Ike , for such an elaborated reply. Do u think once a week for legs is enough?? and apart from this what else (excerise) do u think i should be doing apart from squating to gain mass??
I'm very keen to change my excersie routines after getting the information from the portal.

IkeWagner's picture

How to gain mass on Thighs

Workout frequency depends on a variety of factors, from nutrition to rest to stress management to level of activity to individuality. Fred (Dr. Squat, in case you didn't know) has said that squatting only once a week is not ideal. I only squat once per week, because it's where I've seen my biggest gains (I train for strength, however) because I ensure I'm getting plenty of recovery, and my recovery habits are not always consistent. Am I maximizing gains? no. But a longer rest period (within limits obviously) leaves a greater margin for error. I'm just suggesting you start off at only one lower body workout per week because, considering you are introducing more weight than you have handled for 3+ years (I'm assuming here), it wouldn't be smart to do that twice per week. When you're trying new approaches, you have to have a "wait and see" attitude, and not rush into things doing too much too soon. As you learn what you are capable of, and can start to interpret the various things that go into making gains, then you can decide for yourself if bumping up the frequency would propel gains further.

Assistance exercises could include split squats, RDL's, snatch grip deadlifts (increasing back strength will help you in the squat, and more weight handled means more muscle gained), olympic squats, or front squats to target the quads. About leg extensions.....I'd suggest that those come later, if at all. I'm not a fan of them

How to gain mass on Thighs

gpgis,

Considering the information you provided, the advise given by Ike, I would say is good. If you have been lifting with higher reps for some time and had made gains previously then it would be benefitial to mix in some heavy weight. I have to disagree with him somewhat on the session length though. For mass building cycles like for bodybuilding short workouts less than 1 hour work great. But for powerlifting, longer workouts are often required. You can train for longer though if you like. I have been training sort of for a mix of mass and strength and my workouts end up being 90 minutes including warm ups and these itty bitty assistance exercises I have been doing to rehabilitate my shoulders. Still, I would recomend if you can to keep the workouts under 1 hour. Also you should change things up periodically. Doing this in an organized manner is called periodization. Don't get frigntened by fancy words; I can explain and give you an example of how this can be done.

The form of periodization I would recomend is called undulating periodization and is said to be the best. It consists of 2 phases, an accumulation of volume phase and an acumulation of intensity phase, each phase lasting perhaps 2 to 8 weeks, what ever works best. When both phases are complete you can change things up a bit and repeat.
Example:
Phase 1 = 4 weeks.
high reps and lighter weight are done
more sets are done
workouts are done more frequently like 2 to 3 times per week
less rest between sets is done
A good example would be 5 sets of 10 to 15 reps with 90 seconds rest between sets and 3 workouts per week. Note, that's just an example!
Phase 2 = 4 weeks.
less reps and heavier weight is done
less working sets are done
more rest is given between sets
workouts are done less frequently like 1 to 2 times per week
A good example would be 3 working sets of 4 to 6 reps done 1 to 2 times per week with 3 to 4 minutes rest between sets. That too is just an example!

Mainly what I mean is alternate between volume phases and intensity by weight phases. Let each phase last at least 2 weeks and as long as you can benefit off from it, probably up to 6 weeks. The more taxing the phase is on your body, the less time you will be able to stay on it.

You asked about exercises. I say keep it simple for now. Do olympic squats. And if you happen to be into bodybuilding throw in 1 exercise for the calves. You can and should include regular deadlifts to help strengthen your back, but I would recomend a lower frequency of training sessions, meaning no more than 2 times per week. Also, for deadlifts, you want to keep it heavy always, no more than 6 reps! That should be all you need. If your hamstrings aren't getting enough work from doing squats and deadlifts, just throw in keystone deadlifts and that should do the trick.

IkeWagner's picture

How to gain mass on Thighs

Thanks for lending your opinion Charles. I don't agree with your assessment, however, about workout length. It is merely 5 sets. They are not to failure by any means. If it were 10 sets, you'd have a beef. But 5 sets with, say, 5 minutes rest in between? That's 25 minutes. That's nothing.

gpgis.....

If I were you, I would seriously consider following the very simple plan Todd has layed out for you earlier in this thread. It will work.

How to gain mass on Thighs

I'll agree on that. Todd has some great advise. He helped me out with things I couldn't figure out myself like how to eat right and how to fix my shoulder problem, so I trust him. I would still recomend doing some sort of undulating periodization in the long run though as that is what Todd has said to be the best. It doesn't have to be as in my example though. You can spend some time, feel things out, and see what methods you like the best. Spend enough time with it and you will find your "groove".

How to gain mass on Thighs

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, especially to Ike, Charles and Todd. I take yor suggestions and will workout this way. The plan suggested by Todd looks great..Seems its going to test me.
I was looking for such a forum for quite sometime.. I am glad I find it at last.

How to gain mass on Thighs

Well here's a workout that works for me. Alternating between the two sessions allows me to add about 5 lbs to my squats every "A" session. I can keep it up for about 8 weeks before taking a break.

"A" session
+++++++
1. Sting-Ray Squats: 5 sets @ 4 rep max (or thereabouts)
(As fatigue sets in drop some weight off the bar. As far as technique goes use compensatory acceleration on the concentric and a quick but controlled descent. Squat all the way down!)

2. Good-mornings: 2 sets @ 15 reps
(It's not wise to max out on these. Go for the stretch at the bottom.)

3. Single-legged Curl: 3 sets @ 5 rep max

"C" session
+++++++
1. Sting-Ray Squats: 2 sets @ 4 reps
(Use a slow 4 second negative before blasting back up. You probably will have to use less weight than on the "A" day.)

2. Sting-Ray Squats: 2 sets @ 12 reps
(Again use a slow negative phase. Don't lock out at the top.)

3. Single-legged Curls: 4 sets @ 8 reps

4. Step-Ups: 2 sets @ 40 reps

There are lots of different routines out there. You'll just have to experiment. Note that back-squats just never seemed to help my thighs much. It always seemed like my glutes got all the overload stress, hence the use of the front squat with a StingRay device. Perhaps you have a similar situation.

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