Note of great importance

So long as you can squat at least reasonably well, you will probably never find a more productive exercise for growing bigger legs and putting your body in anabolic mode. ^e benefits from the squat go well beyond just developing the directly involved musculature of the thighs, glutes and lower back.

If you do not squat, you must find an alternative that at least approaches the quality of the squat. If you do not squat (either with a barbell or Tru-Squat), you should Trap Bar deadlift, or leg press, ball squat or modified straddle lift/handle squat—see the insider's tell-all handbook on weight-training technique—along with some form of deadlifting for the latter three. If you do not find a good alternative to the squat, you will greatly reduce the potential value of your training.

Many people have found that whenever they stop squatting for a month or two they lose leg size no matter what exercise they substitute for the squat. But had they tried the Trap Bar deadlift they might not have experienced that loss of leg size.

Intensive squatting once a week on a consistent basis supplemented with a handful of multi-joint exercises, supported with five or, even better, six nutritious meals each day that supply a slight excess of calories, along with lots of rest and sleep, can make anyone gain lots of muscle. ^is combination really makes things happen. Do your utmost to master the squat!

B 35

By taking the lower back out of the exercise, assuming you use good form, the leg press enables you to work your thighs and glutes to the limit without having your lower back come into the picture other than as a stabilizer. ^is is great for people who have lower backs that fail before their legs do when squatting. With some machines, because of the control over pressing depth and foot placement, knee stress can be lessened substantially in the leg press relative to the squat, thus enabling people with knee limitations to get heavy work for their thighs and glutes.

Do not see the leg press as a cop out from squatting, or as a last resort exercise only for if you get injured and cannot squat. See it as a fine exercise in its own right. Do not wait until you get an injury that restricts or prevents squatting and deadlifting before exploiting the leg press. Pay your dues on it at any time and you will find it can pack muscle on your thighs. Not only that, but it may help increase your potential in the squat and deadlift because of its assistance value for those two great movements.

But to repeat a very important point, in a straight comparison, and assuming that you can perform both exercises safely and intensively, the squat is a superior exercise to the leg press—no question about it. ^e Trap Bar dead-lift is also superior to the leg press. But if you truly cannot squat or Trap Bar deadlift well, despite having pursued all possible form modifications, the comparisons are irrelevant.

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