Bodybuilder Krizo goes through a quad-focused leg workout.
Michal Krizo, the subject of our leg workout, is a prominent Slovakian bodybuilder acquiring much attention this season. Initially competing in the IFBB Elite Pro League, the 33-year-old redirected his focus to the NPC in 2021. Bodybuilder Krizo’s remarkable muscular development and impressive physique make him an eminent contender to watch in the Men’s Open division. Now, he’s prepping for 2023 Olympia.
Despite winning the Amateur Olympia in Italy to get his pro card last year, one thing bodybuilder Michal Krizo needed help with was his conditioning. This got further confirmation after he won the EVLS Prague Pro to get his direct Olympia qualification but came 12th at the biggest stage. Many professionals criticized his conditioning.
|Full Name: Michal Križo Križánek|
|Men’s Open||2010s – Till Date||Slovak|
As a result, the Slovakian bodybuilder has added many changes to his training to get better results. He’s fixed his digestion, added cardio, and increased training volume. The results were visible in this year’s Empro Classic Pro, which he won to get his second direct Mr. Olympia qualification.
Michal Krizo is now in training for the Olympia, and this leg workout is part of his training for the big stage. Although he’s reduced his training intensity after the Empro Classic, he still sticks to his routines and dieting. Below are the exercises which he uploaded on his YouTube channel.
View this post on Instagram
Michal Krizo’s 2023 Olympia Leg Workout
For this leg workout, Michal Krizo does mainly quad-centered exercises to prep for the 2023 Olympia. All are machine exercises, and Krizo does multiple sets of each movement before moving to the next one. Let’s look at these leg exercises and how you can use them to build muscles as a bodybuilder.
|Machine Seated Calf Raise|
The leg extension is a machine movement that targets your quads. This study shows that leg extension, as an isolation exercise, increases muscle growth in the rectus femoris of your quads (1). This is especially important during other routines like squats since the quadriceps don’t get direct activation because many muscles are involved.
Working with a weight that allows you to extend your legs slowly and control is best. Holding the side bars also helps to increase your stability. This allows this exercise to keep the tension on your quads, leading to more muscle hypertrophy.
Leg extensions also work on your knee extension, making it more stable and helping to prevent injuries in the future. Since this exercise is machine based, your risk of injury when doing it is also greatly reduced. Michal Krizo does several sets of leg extensions to start this leg workout.
The hack squat is a compound exercise that targets multiple lower body muscles. These include the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. The hack squat is a great way to build your legs and increase lower body.
Hack squats happen on an angled machine, which helps you safely carry weight while using your legs to drive the load. You can also lift more with this routine as this machine offers some support. Hack squats are a great complement to other squatting exercises like the deadlift and barbell squat.
When doing hack squats, control your breathing and brace your core. Also, ensure that you load an appropriate weight that you can handle. You can use a Smith machine for a hack squat, but Michal Krizo uses a hack squat machine.
The leg press is another machine exercise that builds your lower body muscles. This routine primarily builds your glutes, quads, and adductors and recruits your hamstrings. It’s a popular exercise requiring less mobility, balance, and control than a squat with barbells.
The tension will stay on your quads if you avoid locking out your knees. Pushing through your heels also emphasizes your glutes. Note that placing your hands on your knees will break your form; instead, grip the handles.
When doing a leg press, you can alter your foot position to change how you recruit your muscles (2). If you place your legs higher on the platform, your glutes and hamstrings receive a bit more of the work. Michal Krizo uses a 45-degree leg press to do multiple sets before moving to the final routine in this video.
Machine Seated Calf Raise
Machine seated calf raise, as the name says, is an exercise that targets your calves. It builds your soleus and gastrocnemius but mostly focuses on your inner calves, the soleus. Standing calf raises target both muscles with equal intensity.
You can build your muscles by doing progressive overloading when doing calf raises. You can also gradually increase the number of reps. This study shows that both methods are viable for growing muscles when raising the seated calf (3).
The calves are usually hard to grow, but for most people, this is often because it’s neglected. Seated machine calf raises help you target and build your calves while improving your stability. Michal Krizo does multiple sets of this exercise before calling it a day in his 2023 Olympia leg workout preparation.
You can watch the full workout below:
- Zabaleta-Korta, A., Fernández-Peña, E., Torres-Unda, J., Garbisu-Hualde, A., & Santos-Concejero, J. (2021). The role of exercise selection in regional Muscle Hypertrophy: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of sports sciences, 39(20), 2298–2304. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2021.1929736
- Escamilla, R. F., Fleisig, G. S., Zheng, N., Lander, J. E., Barrentine, S. W., Andrews, J. R., Bergemann, B. W., & Moorman, C. T., 3rd (2001). Effects of technique variations on knee biomechanics during the squat and leg press. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 33(9), 1552–1566. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005768-200109000-00020
- Plotkin, D., Coleman, M., Van Every, D., Maldonado, J., Oberlin, D., Israetel, M., Feather, J., Alto, A., Vigotsky, A. D., & Schoenfeld, B. J. (2022). Progressive overload without progressing load? The effects of load or repetition progression on muscular adaptations. PeerJ, 10, e14142. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.14142