View Full Version : Weird Question

Brandon Enos
03-24-2009, 11:49 PM
Everyone knows that squats and deadlifts are a couple of the best mass builders out there.

Now, if you were doing squats and deads as your lower body work, but your upper body work consisted of nothing more than pushups, pullups, pike presses, etc instead of benching, bent-over rows, or whatever. Would you still gain a lot of mass in your upper body, or at least enough to be properly porportioned? Or would you be very disporpotioned with massive legs and an average looking upper body?

I prefer bodyweight work, at least for the upper body, I love pushups, dips, pullups, etc over benching and bent-over rows. But they are hard for the lower body. I throw in sandbag work and sleds, but I just dont feel like Im growing strong from it. So I was thinking of throwing in front squats and deadlifts and/or power cleans. I just dont want to look oddly disporportioned or something...

Steven Low
03-24-2009, 11:54 PM
You need to do progressions with decreased leverage bodyweight exercises.

For example, planche, front lever, back lever, etc. as well as other such movements on rings. It' definitely possible to build "decent" mass... just look at most gymnasts (or rather Coach Sommer's older gymnasts if you want a more realistic goal).

I pretty much do all bodyweight work with upper body and most of the people I know would like to have the upper body mass I have... although it's not a lot compared to if I was lifting weights and eating everything in sight.

George Mounce
03-25-2009, 03:29 PM
I pretty much do all bodyweight work with upper body and most of the people I know would like to have the upper body mass I have... although it's not a lot compared to if I was lifting weights and eating everything in sight.


Chris H Laing
03-25-2009, 05:03 PM
How bout lifting BODYWEIGHT and eating everything in sight? ;)

Steven Low
03-25-2009, 10:37 PM
Yep... everything depends on your goals.

If you wanna be able to have cool party tricks and/or master your own body and/or have super good proprioceptive ability and/or do cool things that gymnasts do, etc.... bodyweight may be for you.

If you want tons of mass you might wanna lift more weights... and eat more.

sollo rick
03-27-2009, 12:58 AM
I have to say it is not that easy to get big legs, unless you are taking magic supplements, especially if you run, Stairmaster, row, crossfit or kick. Occasionally you see this happen to women and it is body fat related could anybody find a picture of a man with legs to muscular? No Tom Platz please. Nothing beats out lifting meatheads in a globo gym either and then there is this for a goal

Brian DeGennaro
03-27-2009, 05:35 AM
Sollo, are you saying that it's really hard to get very muscular legs unless you're juicing?

sollo rick
03-27-2009, 10:53 PM
There is a difference between big and muscular
The original comment was legs too big for the upper body
Unless one has some pretty spectacular genetics do you disagree
That it is hard to get really big legs? Especially if one does other things
Like running… cut legs are not that hard and that is not what was meant
It’s rick by the way my blood was flowing into my big legs when I filled out the name thing

Brian DeGennaro
03-28-2009, 09:15 AM
I don't have great genetics (parents were never athletes and do not have athletic builds) and I ran track, and I've been told on al occassions my legs are pretty big. Here's an ok quality photo from the 400m I ran about 10 months ago. At the time I was CF'ing as well.


There were other people I'd race against (or even throwers and jumpers) who had legs like mine as well.

I'll agree that if you're a BBer that doing your cardio will diminish some of your size gains in the legs. There are plenty of examples of that (Draper, Arnold, etc).

sollo rick
03-30-2009, 09:43 PM
This is good practice for when I run for president, lots of discussion on small things. I stand by my statement that it is not that easy to get big legs. Starting to do some squats is not going to make someone look out of proportion. Especially if you run, crossfit… I daresay this man has done plenty of squats and his legs do not look out of proportion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GaZXCdVdpc&feature=channel_page My parents came from more simple times and managed to go their whole lives without doing a Squat, Bench Press or Deadlift. A genetic trait needs an environmental trigger to manifest, so I have unknown genetics, not bad genetics. As do you for your parent were not athletes.
Magazine racks are filled with articles on how to get big, globo gym trainers charge for helping people lose weight and get big. This market does not exist because getting big is easy. Here is a chance for you to make a lot of money if you have such knowledge. We can both agree you have big legs; my question is was it easy? Was it done quickly? 400’s are darn hard for me. I applaud your success and look foreword to reading about your training

Brian DeGennaro
03-31-2009, 10:54 AM
It was only by senior year did my legs seem to balloon up and this was the year I actually started to squat on a regular basis (3x a week compared to 1x). Getting my squat up wasn't easy at all and I never really measured any increases in mass. And actually my BW only went up a few pounds my senior year, topping the scales off at 152lbs, 154 on heavy days. However, my legs did get disproportionate as a result of squatting.

Maybe I do have a genetic predisposition towards strength/size but it'd never been present in anyone in my family where diabetes, heart disease, and other problems are there. I was a scrawny little kid growing up so I'd like to say that I did work hard (120lbs my freshman year). I worked smart more than hard which resulted in any of my gains I feel. I never got into any of the BB crap out there: I went from bodyweight skills to deadlifts and presses, sets of 5 at heavy weights, I sprinted and I jumped. The people I know who were genetically gifted in this manner never did anything but were still freakishly muscular just as muscular as I was after I started training.

I still attribute it to training smartly rather than genetics. I've seen people add some nice mass to their legs when they train squats smartly for that purpose. I've seen people not train smartly and go nowhere. If you know how to train for size then you can add some nice mass.

It's a bold statement to say that you cannot get big, proportionate legs through smart training and that big legs are a genetic trait. I don't think it is so black and white.

sollo rick
04-04-2009, 12:00 AM
A very bold statement
And not one I made or believe
What I said is very simple and true
I am only responsible for my own statements
And I stand by what I said
Please repeat that and not something else
What you have is some awesome muscle growth
Good on you
Please share with us some smart training ideas

Brian DeGennaro
04-04-2009, 09:25 AM
Yes, you're right I may have overlooked your statement or somply tried to remember it off the top of my head while writing my post. So let me clarify for myself. Your statement is: unless you are genetically gifted (or getting outside "help") it is extremely difficult to get big legs (or disproportionate), that something like this requires damn hard work and quite a commitment?

Is that the statement you are pretty much getting at?

Kevin Perry
04-04-2009, 09:44 AM
Wait, so the only way to get big is by juicing is what your trying to get at? Sometimes it's best just to be blunt and say it.

I don't know dude, my legs get pretty big when I actually commit towards eating good and big and lifting heavy alternating higher rep weeks with lower rep ones. A couple of friends thought I was juicing at one point a year or so back because of it.

sollo rick
04-05-2009, 09:59 PM
Brian you are giving me hope for humanity. Yup that is what I am saying. People who worry about getting too big should not be worried. It is darn hard to get big particularly in the legs. Now some people work hard and work smart for a long time and get fantastic results. That is to be admired and this board is to share such information. I would put squatting three times a week while running and doing crossfit in that damn hard work category.
Everybody who works out seriously has at some point been told or asked if they are on roids, and if you haven’t you should work harder, smarter or eat better. If anyone knows how to get “big” with out hard work, commitment and smarts, please write a book on how to do it and make a million dollars. Than you can take Brian and me for a ride in your Ferrari. Please post a picture of the Ferrari.

05-18-2009, 09:26 AM
I think the take home message here should be, anyone can get their legs bigger through training, how much bigger depends on your genetics and your training style. And, there are extremes, a few of them at least, people who train their butts off and have a really hard time adding size, and others with legs that respond really well and look very "big and muscular" even with limited training.

simple as that, really.


Gant Grimes
05-18-2009, 11:47 AM
Missed this one the first time. Glenn put it best. Brian, you are genetically predisposed to have superhero legs, provided you put the work in.

I'm not like that. I've done numerous sports and lifting programs over the last 20 years and never had big legs (the most mass I ever carried in my thighs was when I was doing endurance mountain biking...go figure). I can squat and deadlift weekly and my legs won't grow that much larger. On the other hand, I could do nothing but drink beer and flip ribs over on the smoker and build a large upper body.

So that's that. To get large legs you have to be predisposed for that and put the work in. If you're not, you'll never get there, even if you do steroids.

Garrett Smith
05-18-2009, 11:56 AM
From what Brandon was saying originally, I think it would be pretty dang hard to develop leg mass that is out of proportion to the upper body, both due to the fact that he would still be training his upper body and the systemic hormonal effects that leg training would have on benefiting whole-body musculature.

I haven't done any BBing in years, just the type of gymnastics strength training that Steven talks about in his above post, with mainly OL for weight training, and I've stayed very proportionate. Genetically, I did have a tendency for that previously as well. I often get comments asking what I do for my "shoulder" or my "arms", so something is happening.

Hope that helps.

For those debating Rick, he merely said, in my interpretation, that building significant leg mass is not easy (leg training is never easy if done right) especially if one is lacking genetic propensity for it.