Training

Juan Morel's Two-a-Day Leg Workouts for Huge Quads and Hamstrings

Add inches to your quads and hamstrings with 2018 Toronto Pro champion Juan Morel’s twice-a-day training plan.

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Juan Morel's Two-a-Day Leg Workouts for Huge Quads and Hamstrings
Chris Nicoll
Chris Nicoll
Exercises 3-5
Equipment Yes

After taking second at the New York Pro and first at the Toronto Pro SuperShow in 2018, Juan Morel still wasn’t happy with his physique. “Diesel” ditched his leg routine, cutting down on the weight while increasing the reps to carve out some quality detail and better stimulate muscle gains. “I was focusing too much on lifting heavy, and it was hurting my knees,” he admits.

The result? A fresh three inches on his thighs when he took the stage at this September’s Mr. Olympia. The 36-year-old New York native credits his double-split routine, in which on Wednesdays and Saturdays he hits quads in the morning and hamstrings in the afternoon.

Divide and Conquer

Morel hits two body parts per day, six days per week. The first at 11 a.m. and the second at 5 p.m. He does legs on Wednesdays and Saturdays, chest and arms Mondays and Thursdays, and back and shoulders on Tuesday and Fridays. He says that this split “helps release more natural growth hormone in the body.”

Plates Piled High

Morel goes light while training legs, but that’s a relative term. On leg presses, he’s still topping out at 1,500 pounds on his final set, while pyramiding up on hacks to 600. “For the leg press, I’m pushing for the pump in the quads, which is why I go as high as 20 reps,” he says.

Raises on Repeat

“I’ll do four sets of standing calf raises at the end of the morning and afternoon leg workouts,” he says. He’ll go as high as 20 to 30 reps per set, working through a full range of motion on each rep to prod muscle fiber recruitment throughout the thick gastrocnemius muscle that dominates the back of the lower leg.

Wednesday A.M. Quads

Exercise 1

Leg Press You'll need: No Equipment How to
Leg Press thumbnail
6 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Hack Squat How to
Mike O' Hearn Doing A Hack Squat thumbnail
5 sets
12-18 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Leg Extension How to
Leg Extension thumbnail
6 sets
20-30 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Leg Press You'll need: No Equipment How to
Leg Press thumbnail
4 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest
*Vertical

Exercise 5

Single-leg Press How to
Single-leg Press thumbnail
4 sets
12-15 reps
-- rest

Wednesday P.M. Hamstrings

Exercise 1

Lying Leg Curl How to
Lying Hamstring Curl thumbnail
4 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Seated Leg Curl How to
Seated Leg Curl thumbnail
4 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Single-leg Standing Hamstring Curl
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
12-15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Seated Leg Curl How to
Seated Leg Curl thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest
*Plate-loaded

Saturday A.M. Quads

Exercise 1A

Leg Extension How to
Leg Extension thumbnail
8 sets
20-30 reps
-- rest

Exercise 1B

Leg Press You'll need: No Equipment How to
Leg Press thumbnail
8 sets
15-20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Smith Machine Front Squat
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
12-15 reps
-- rest

Saturday P.M. Hamstrings On Saturday, Morel does the same exercises for hams, but in reverse order.

Exercise 1

Seated Leg Curl How to
Seated Leg Curl thumbnail
4 sets
12-15 reps
-- rest
*Plate-loaded

Exercise 2

Single-leg Standing Hamstring Curl
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
12-15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Seated Leg Curl How to
Seated Leg Curl thumbnail
4 sets
12-15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Lying Leg Curl How to
Lying Hamstring Curl thumbnail
4 sets
12-15 reps
-- rest
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