Hypertrophy, or increasing muscle size, is typically achieved through a combination of resistance training, nutrition, and rest. Different researchers propose different ideal repetition ranges for maximizing muscle hypertrophy, but a commonly accepted range is between 6 to 12 reps per set, with multiple sets per exercise (around 3 to 6 sets), performed at around 70-85% of your one-repetition maximum (1RM).
Here's a simple example of a leg workout routine that is targeted toward building bigger legs through hypertrophy:
- Squats: 3-4 sets, 6-12 reps
- Leg Press: 3-4 sets, 8-12 reps
- Romanian Deadlift: 3-4 sets, 6-12 reps
- Walking Lunges or RFE Split Squats: 3-4 sets, 10-15 reps per leg
- Lying Leg Curls: 3-4 sets, 8-12 reps
- Calf Raises: 3-4 sets, 15-20 reps
Rest periods between sets should be between 1 to 2 minutes, allowing you to recover enough to maintain high intensity on the following set, but not fully, as some degree of fatigue will aid in muscle stimulation for hypertrophy.
It's also important to progressively overload your muscles, that is, to increase the intensity of your workouts over time. This can be done by increasing the weight, increasing the number of reps or sets, or decreasing the rest time between sets.
Lastly, remember that everyone's body responds differently to training stimuli, so it's always beneficial to experiment with different approaches, monitor your progress, and adjust your training accordingly.
And as always, be sure to prioritize good form over heavy weight to avoid injury. Seek professional advice if you're unsure about anything. Nutrition and recovery are just as important for hypertrophy, so ensure that you're getting adequate protein and sleep as well.