The Most Brutal Leg Session

by Dean McKillop 3054 views Training

The Most Brutal Leg Session

That got your attention didn’t it? The truth is, only the sadistic minded individual will be clicking on this article because it takes a certain kind of mental disconnect to be willing and able to take your leg training to the next level.

And by next level, I mean self-induced brutality…Now before we go further, let’s remind ourselves of a few things.

  • Muscle tissue grows from progressive overload.
  • Muscle size can be enhanced from metabolic waste.

So with that in mind, the primary goal of this leg workout is to maximally overload the strength component of leg training with a maximal effort in a compound movement, followed by volume overload and some metabolic fatigue at the end of your session.

Please note…It is my opinion that metabolic fatigue based training should only be used at the end of the session and not the beginning. While concepts like pre-fatiguing seem cool in theory, in practice they actually tend to result in a greater overload of the strongest (and least fatigued) muscle as opposed to the intended weaker (more fatigued) muscle.

To demonstrate the above, in a review of the literature, it was found that motor unit recruitment in a pre-fatigued muscle versus fresh is essentially the same, however, the smaller muscle group tends to suffer from performance detriment (1), thus, limiting volume accruement. 

This means when you pre-fatigue a weaker muscle you actually LIMIT your potential to overload that muscle due to ZERO benefit in increased activation while simultaneously inducing noticeable regressions in performance…

Not ideal if you ask me.

So, now that is out of the way, let's look at a brutal leg session designed to maximise both strength progression and metabolic fatigue for optimal hypertrophy.

Enter…Concurrent Accumulative Myofibrillar Sarcoplasmic Stimulation (CAMSS).

Let’s break that down real quick:

  • Concurrent - Happening at the same time.
  • Accumulative - Gathering or slowly increasing
  • Myofibrillar - Muscle Sarcomeres (actual tissue)
  • Sarcoplasmic - Muscle content (fluid + energy)
  • Stimulation - Encouragement of something to become more active

So we will be combining two primary training variables to stimulate muscle cell and tissue growth via an accumulation of stress caused by mechanical tension (heavy weight) and metabolic fatigue.

Easy-peasy right? Let’s get it!

leg training table

27 sets of absolute annihilation…

Please note: RIR stands for Repetitions in Reserve and should be used to gauge your fatigue intensity on each set with the score of 1 meaning you only have 1 more rep in you before you fail completely.

On exercises where you see a 1 and a 2 like ‘B1’ ‘B2’, these sets are designed to be done back to back without rest. The rest interval allocated is to be taken at the end of the superset, not in between exercises, hence why it is only on the 2nd exercise and not the 1st.

Are you ready? Before you go any further…

I know it’s easy to get excited, but before you jump into the deep end, please read the following 2 articles on Occlusion Training as they will help clarify why you are doing this style of training and secondly how to complete it appropriately.

Blood Flow Restriction Training - Theory / Blood Flow Restriction Training – Application

Be ready for some pain.

No seriously, occlusion training is up there with the toughest, most painful training methodologies out there and despite only using 20% of your maximum, it is hands down one of the most painful things you will feel.

Furthermore, it will be even more painful given it is being placed at the end of a relatively high volume workout as well.


The goal of this leg session is to create a simultaneous progression of absolute strength gain through your squatting and then to metabolically overload the legs towards the end.

leg day

To maximise the benefits of this session, it should be completed once weekly for a minimum of 4 weeks consecutively and a maximum of 8 weeks. Within this time frame, your goal should be to continually attempt to get stronger in the squats, leg press, romanian deadlift and lunges, while allowing the occlusion to act as a finisher.

Instead of adding weight to the occlusion sets, increase the concentric squeeze of the contraction as this will create more metabolic waste and reduce the risk of injury.

Finally, the true potential for muscle growth is found in your ability to force progression.

Without progression, you will remain stagnant.

This means sticking to the program and forcing your muscle to achieve more work through increased effort in a MEASURABLE way.

Follow this method, eat properly, rest enough and muscle growth is almost a guarantee.


Dean McKillop

Exercise Scientist

I completed my Exercise Science Degree at the University of QLD and have worked in the fitness industry for over 8 years, including a short stint at the Brisbane Broncos in 2010 as a student. I also hold my Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Coach accreditation (ASCA) and have competed in 1 bodybuilding season, placing 2nd at the IFBB u85kg Nationals.

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