Johnnie Jackson’s Size & Strength Leg Workout
IFBB Pro Johnnie Jackson, the strongest man in professional bodybuilding, explains how to train legs for maximum gains in both power and mass!
Strategy: “This is a great move, whether you’re just beginning or an experienced trainee,” Johnnie says. He places it second in his workout to maximize muscle-building. “Squats engage all lower-body muscle groups: glutes, hams, quads and calves.”
Start: Place the bar as low as you comfortably can across your shoulders for better balance. “Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width and turn your feet slightly outward to release your hips,” Johnnie recommends.
Execute: Bend at the hips first, then your knees, holding your spine in its neutral position as you lower your body. Maintain control until your thighs are parallel to the floor or deeper.
Change Up: “I like to use box squats every once in a while,” Johnnie says. Place a bench or a box behind you where your glutes will touch at the bottom of the move. “Just allow your body to touch the box or bench,” Johnnie says. “Don’t allow the weight to compress your spine.” Driving up from a static position through the hardest part of the rep helps you gain more power.
Strategy: “Hack squats maximally stimulate your quads,” Johnnie says. He uses them to target this muscle group after barbell squats to bring out as much detail as possible.
Start: “Even though I’m only 5’8″, I still place my toes a little over the top of the platform to protect my knees,” Johnnie says. Position your feet about shoulder-width apart and turn them slightly outward. Press your lower back into the pad.
Execute: Bend your knees to lower the weight until your thighs are parallel to the platform or below. Press back up using the power of your legs, keeping your back in contact with the pad.
Change Up: If you want to place more emphasis on the outer sweep of your quads, stand with your feet a little closer together.