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The Best Perfect Quad-Training Program

Your quads might not be in need of work as much as your glutes and hamstrings — but that doesn't mean that you should totally ignore the front side of your upper legs to completely focus on your posterior.

Even though quads are sometimes an accessory or afterthought for leg days, the muscles are still a major key to a strong, shapely lower body. Hammering the group with a specialized workout can do wonders for your gains — especially if you've been avoiding the types of moves that typically address the lower body.

If you’ve suffered from knee pain for any length of time, you start to avoid the exercises that cause this pain: moves like squatting, lunging, running, and jumping.

Over time, this doesn’t help your knees. You just get weaker and your quads get smaller. The result is actually more knee pain and diminished performance!

Even if you don’t suffer from knee pain, building quads of the gods is one of the best ways to prevent knee pain. The quads work as key decelerators that absorb shock from your knees when landing from a jump or lunge or when quickly changing direction on the court or field.

From an aesthetics standpoint, an impressive set of quads is a complete game-changer. For some quadspiration, check out this photo of legendary bodybuilder Tom Platz, who was known for having the greatest quads in history.


When developing a training program for your quads, it’s useful to examine the programming used by athletes with traditionally quad-dominant sports: cycling, speedskating, skiing and Olympic weightlifting.

For cyclists, skiers and speedskaters, their crazy quad development comes from high training volume and extended time under tension, which leads to incredible muscular endurance and, yes, thighs that could crush a coconut. For Olympic lifters, a freakishly high volume of front squats monopolizes their training schedule, since the power clean and the clean-and-jerk require excellent front-squat capacity because it is an essential base component of both those lifts. Moreover, Olympic-lifting shoes have an elevated heel, which forces the knees over the toes while keeping an upright torso, causing even greater reliance on the quadriceps.

With all this in mind, here is the perfect quad-training program: a hybrid of strength and hypertrophy work that uses the front squat for volume and the remainder of the moves for growth, shape and endurance. Consider this your absolute permission to be quad dominant.

The Quad-Dominance Workout


A1 Front Squat8   3
B1 Rear-Leg Elevated Split Squat4  10   (each leg)

B2 Leg Extension
C 10-Minute Leg Press EMOM (every minute on the minute): At the top of every minute, perform 10 reps of a leg press at 60 to 70 percent of your max and rest any remaining time. Continue in this manner for 10 minutes.