1. High volume
Quads respond better to higher volume workouts that include a lot of high repetition sets. When training your quads, try to avoid doing low rep sets on a consistent basis.
2. Isolate the quads
If you’re having trouble feeling the “burn” or “pump” in your quads, I would highly recommend starting every workout with a quad isolation movement such as a leg extension machine. Really get the muscle pumped doing these isolation movements before moving on to any compound movement, such as the leg press machine or barbell squats. Another option is to do pre- and post-exhaust sets.
What are pre- and post-exhaust sets?
· Pre-Exhaust Sets:
You’re going to need two different stations to make something like this work. You’re going to need to reserve a leg extension machine and a barbell squat rack. Once you’ve reserved the machines, make sure to set up the weights in both stations before beginning. Then you’ll be ready to begin. First, perform a set to failure on the leg extension machine. Once that is complete, move right away to a set to failure on the barbell squats. These should be done back-to-back with as little rest in between as possible.
Example: Leg extensions for 15 reps followed right away by barbell squats for 12 reps.
This is an ultimate, killer workout and it will definitely make your quads bigger whether they want to grow or not. You’re basically going to have the same setup as listed above, but after you finish your barbell squats, you move right back to the leg extensions and perform a set to failure.
Example: Leg extensions for 15 reps, followed right away by barbell squats for 12 reps, followed right away by leg extensions for 15reps. These should all be done back-to-back with as little rest in between as possible
It is important to keep in mind that, whenever you’re doing a pressing motion such as a leg press or a barbell squat, you always want to drive through your heels and avoid pushing through your toe and mid-foot area. If push through your toe and mid-foot, you’ll be taking the pressure off your quads and placing the pressure on the tendons of your knees. Tendons don’t grow in size, muscles do.
Lesson: always drive through the heel portion of your foot and never through your toe or mid-foot area.
A lot of people neglect this movement because it’s pretty difficult to perform—and because these people are weak and ineffectual. However, based on my experience, nothing builds quads better than front barbell squats. I love this exercise and, if you want freakish-looking quads like mine, then you must include front barbell squats.