The Elite Physique

How To Build Figure Competitor Legs

Tips on How to Build Figure Competitor Legs That Turn Heads

how to build figure competitor legs

Do you want to know how to build figure competitor legs?  Leg training for overall development is the key factor in placing well in a competition.  To place well, and even be noticed you need to build figure competitor legs.  Forget the basic junk online, you know; those freebie leg workouts that are a dime-a-dozen.  You need some good solid information that will get you the results you want and these 7 tips to build legs is just the candid information you need!

What most figure competitors in hard training don’t realize is that the legs need to go through two phases to even be ready for the competitive stage.

  1. First you need muscle development in the legs, so that requires some hardcore and intense leg training in the off-season.  Yes, off-season training is a real thing. It’s not just a myth.
  2. Second, you need to sculpt those leg muscles like an artist does when he or she is creating a fine work of art.  This sculpting process comes in your 12-14 week figure prep process.

Build the Foundation for Figure Competitor Legs

To have figure competitor legs you need to build the leg muscles.  Phase 1 is your muscle building phase.  You need to dedicate a good year to building muscle if you want me to be honest with you.  Would you want to buy a house that didn’t have the foundation built?  Probably not.  Why would you do or expect any less from yourself?hope squatting

You see, without a solid muscle foundation built BEFORE you start your contest prep, you will lose the muscle you originally had, making your legs soft and lacking the development and the necessary detail needed for stage presentation.  Having soft legs that lack muscle and definition will surely make you stand out, but you don’t want to stand out in THAT way!

You want to be noticed because you look GREAT and have the complete package.  Right?  If so keep reading because I’m going to share with you some tips to build legs and tactics that will get you the overall muscle develop you need to go into figure training mode so you can step on stage with confidence and a great pair of legs of course.

Training To Build Legs

To build figure competitor legs, your off-season leg training program needs to include the proper training days, exercises, techniques, reps, and sets needed to allow for proper leg development.  This means you need to implement 100% focus and dedication and training with maximum intensity.

When To Train Legs

What does all this actually mean?  This means gather your focus.  I find that if you want to improve a body part, such as the legs, you do better with training that muscle group the first of the week, like Monday, when you are fully charged mentally and physically.  Every Monday is leg day.  Got it?  Great.  Let’s move on.

By the way, don’t train legs again mid-week.  You are in muscle building mode so each body part needs to be trained only once a week, and that’s it!

Exercises To Include for Figure Competitor Legs

Okay, now that you know when to train and how often (each body part once a week) let’s move on to what exercises to include.

Let’s see, there are all those fancy leg machines that are fun to do.  There’s the butt blaster, machine, the abductor and adductor machines, and there’s the leg machine where you stand stationary and swing your leg out to the side.

Interesting… But are all these machines necessary?  Well, maybe, I mean they do have their place and maybe we can use some… but later.  They aren’t going to build those figure competitor legs right now.

Compound Your Training

Here is what you do.  After a good 5-minute warm-up, start your leg workout with a compound exercise, one that works ALL the muscles in your legs at the same time. adds, “Make compound exercises a priority if you really want to build killer quads.”  Squats are the best compound exercise.  The leg press is good too, but squats rank one higher than the leg press.figure competitor doing leg press

Do NOT do both the squat AND leg press in the same workout because they target the exact same muscles with only a slight variation in angle. If you do squats in this week’s leg workout then do the leg press next Monday.  Got it?  Cool.  Moving right along…

All right, we did a compound exercise so let’s move on to the hamstrings, since that’s a muscle group that many figure competitors lack in development.  Start your hamstring training off with a power movement like stiff-legged dead lifts (SLDL) or Romanian deadlifts (RDL).  These hammie exercises are great for targeting and really building the hams for good leg symmetry and proportion.  Having well-developed hams is a MUST when you are on stage posing for the judges.

Shaping It Up

Okay, the sweat is dripping off your face if you just nailed some squats and SLDL properly.  We aren’t done yet.  We don’t have a LOT to do, but still there’s work to be done.  Move on over to the leg extension machine.  Leg extensions are an isolation exercise and I like to think of it as a shaper movement.  It will help bring out some quads detail later down the line when you begin to diet down and prep.  You will most definitely see a difference in the off-season too, but the real detail comes when you begin your contest diet.  Now don’t go too heavy on leg extensions.  Keep the poundage that you use light to moderate.

Follow-up the leg extensions exercise with leg curls.  This further targets the hamstrings and is also an isolation movement.  It’s hard to do this exercise wrong since you are bounded to a machine, either lying, seated, or standing.  Choose one form of leg curls.  Save the other form for your next leg workout.

Finish Off With This

To really build figure competitor legs you need to finish your leg workout with some walking lunges.   These activate the entire leg and are absolutely great year around, off-season and during contest prep training.

You can do walking lunges with and without dumbbells; just lunge away.  You can’t go wrong with them and you can’t do too many of them, in my opinion.  I’ve seen what they can do to a physique in a very short amount of time, so lunge often!

Leg Training Solution for Figure Competitor Legsred arrow pointing down

Now, I’ve given you some really sweet tips on how to build figure competitor legs.  Once you’ve spent at least 12 weeks on a leg building phase, you need to sculpt your legs.  Just as an artist takes a hunk of clay, he packs it all together building a base, then he beings to sculpt his creation.

You need to do the same.  Take these tips to build legs and use them to build  better than average legs, something that is going to make the judges notice you, and make your competition envious.

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If You Aren’t Using Killer Quads, You Ain’t Training Hard Enough!


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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

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My name is Karen Sessions and I am a life-time natural female bodybuilder, multi-certified fitness instructor, author, specialist in performance nutrition, and a success coach. I've been in the fitness industry since 1988! I teach people Just Like You how to transform their bodies, get in shape, build muscle, lose fat and compete in Bodybuilding, Physique, and Figure Competitions. When you have the CORRECT information you can have total confidence and turn your dreams into reality... and I can help transform YOUR body. I have helped THOUSANDS of clients reach their goals and I can help you, too. Be sure to grab my free gift above so you can start moving toward your goal.

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