Jeff Nippard shares his leg day workout and gives essential exercise tips.
What’s the day most men skip in the gym? If you said leg day, then you’re correct! Although that’s the day most men miss in the gym, it’s vital to any adequate fitness plan. Jeff Nippard recently uploaded the third video in his push/pull/leg series. This video revealed his leg workout, where he gave key tips on performing leg exercises.
Jeff Nippard is a sensational YouTube fitness influencer who’s amassed millions of viewers. His background gives him credibility for sharing with his audience the knowledge he’s gained as a Canadian natural bodybuilder, powerlifter, and personal trainer. He has a bachelor of science in biochemistry and years of training experience. In addition, he held the bench press Canadian national record in 2014 and won the Mr. Junior Canada title in 2012.
He’s been sharing his approaches to minimalist training and strategies to get lean over the last few months. And recently, he’s been working on a six-part series on minimalist training for push/pull/leg workouts. This article will review the third installment of his series, where he runs through a recent leg workout and shares tips for growing massive legs.
|Full Name: Jeff Nippard|
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Jeff Nippard Leg Workout
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The first movement Jeff Nippard did in his leg workout was the king of all exercises, the barbell squat. This movement is a compound (multi-joint) leg exercise that targets all the muscles in your lower body — quads, hamstrings, and glutes. It also allows you to use heavy weights. Since Jeff Nippard is doing a minimalist training approach during his push/pull/legs series, he only did one hard set of squats. Nippard stated:
“We’re using a minimalist approach to strength and an optimization approach to hypertrophy. So for the squats, bench press, and deadlift, we’re using just one hard set per week, and then we’ll do two back-off sets with some variation for each lift.”
He also suggested doing five warm-up sets with lighter weights and working your way up to heavier weights before attempting the big heavy working set — 85-90 percent of your one rep max.
“This shouldn’t be an RPE 10 max effort that should be something around an RPE of eight or nine. You don’t want to leave more than one or two in the tank. Remember, we’re doing only one set, so it does need to be challenging,” Nippard added.
The heavy set is followed by two back-off sets with lighter weight — 75 percent of the first set. And they should be with paused squats.
Barbell Romanian Deadlifts
Next, Nippard moved to the posterior chain movement — back and hamstrings — barbell Romanian deadlifts. Compared to conventional deadlifts, the Romanian deadlift will place less stress on your lower back and engage your hamstrings more.
“Obviously, the spinal erectors have to contract on RDL to prevent you from curling over. So it’s impossible to completely take your back out, but you can shift the emphasis to the hamstrings a bit more.”
Dumbbell Walking Lunges
After performing Barbell Romanian deadlift, dumbbell walking lunges were next in the plan. This excellent quad-focused movement requires you to move more since you’re lunging and walking simultaneously. This will challenge your balance and stability. Nippard voiced:
“First, avoid cutting that depth short. Notice that on each and every rep, my knee softly makes contact with the floor. It’s very common for people to start limiting their depth toward the end of the set once the set starts getting really hard…
A lot of people try to rush through their lunges because they’re a fairly gruesome exercise. Despite that, you should think of them like you should any other hypertrophy-focused movement where you’re actively taking control of the movement. If you’re letting gravity take over on negative, then you’re missing the most important aspect of the lift.
The third thing to avoid is letting your grip strength limit the load that you can use. A lot of people go way to light on walking lunges. They end their set once they feel fatigued but don’t actually approach muscular failure. One of the main reasons for this is that they just pick up a relatively light dumbbell that they can grip easily… So if your grip is a limiting factor, I definitely recommend strapping in and using the dumbbells that will actually get your legs closer to failure by the end of the set.”
Jeff Nippard then moved to a hamstring isolation movement, seated leg curls.
Seated Leg Curls
According to Nippard, a 2021 study proves that seated leg curls elicit more muscle growth than lying leg curls — a staggering 56 percent! He claims they work the hamstrings in a more lengthened position. Jeff Nippard gave a tip on the setup position to ensure you properly engage your hamstrings.
“If you don’t feel the stretch in your hamstrings in the starting position, you may not have the seat up far enough, or you may want to lean forward on the machine a bit until you feel that tug of passive tension in your hamstrings,” Nippard suggested.
Leg Press Toe Press
The final movement to engage Nippard’s legs was a calf exercise — leg press toe press. Bodybuilders describe the calves as often being a harder muscle group to grow. So you must include some isolation movements for your calves to help them out. To conclude the workout, Nippard did an ab exercise.
Decline Plate Crunches
The decline plate crunches are an ab movement that allows you to get more range of motion due to the decline of the bench. Nippard says he likes to include abs on his leg day since many ab movements also engage your hip flexor muscles, which are part of your core. Jeff Nippard gave tips on doing this ab movement correctly and stated:
“You wanna hold a plate to your chest and focus on squeezing your abs together. Don’t just hinge at your hips. That’ll mostly target the hip flexors. Instead, allow your lower back to round as you squeeze your six-pack together.”
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|Barbell Romanian Deadlifts||3||8-10|
|Dumbbell Walking Lunges||2||10 (per leg)|
|Seated Leg Curls||3||10-12|
|Leg Press Toe Presses||4||10-12|
|Decline Plate Crunches||3||10-12|
*Note: Perform 5 light warm-up sets via pyramid training — light weight to heavy weight — performing 10, 5, 3, 2, and 1 reps for barbell squats. Then, on the first working set, perform weight that’s 85-90 percent of your one rep max for 2-4 reps. Lastly, perform 2 back-off sets with a weight 75 percent of the first set, performing pause squats for 5 reps.
You can watch Jeff Nippard walk through the full leg workout on his YouTube channel below: