Michal Krizo’s Off-Season Leg Workout for Hypertrophy

michal krizo leg workout

The Slovak IFBB Pro utilizes pyramid training to grow his legs. 

Michal Krizo has garnered a recent buzz around the bodybuilding community, and his remarkable physique has been turning heads. This 32-year-old Slovak is toned and symmetrical, and his YouTube channel is filled with inspiring workout videos. Krizo competed in his first Mr. Olympia last year and is in the off-season bulking to prep for the 2023 Olympia. This article will review his leg hypertrophy workout. 

Born in Slovakia, Krizo started his sports journey playing football but only went to the gym when he was 15. His bodybuilding journey began in 2016 with training from Alexandar Hlobik, with his first bodybuilding competition in 2017. Krizo has won the IFBB Pro 13 times.

To qualify for his Mr. Olympia debut, Krizo won his pro card with a dominant win in the Amateur Olympia Italy of 2022. He also competed in the EVLS Prague Pro 2022 and finished first place. Krizo believes in working hard and is a promising Slovakian bodybuilder.

After a disappointing first Mr. Olympia outing which he attributes to fatigue, the Slovak contender is looking to make some changes. One of those is building his massive legs during the off-season. Building strong leg muscles is essential for balance, strength, and stamina (1). In a recent YouTube video, Krizo shows us what he’s doing to grow his legs. 

Full Name: Michal Križo Križánek
Weight Height Age
290 lbs 6’1” 32 Years Old
Division Era Nationality
Men’s Open 2010s, 2020s Slovak

Michal Krizo Leg Workout

We’ll tell you ahead of time Michal Krizo’s leg workout routine for hypertrophy are brutal. The Slovakian bodybuilder doesn’t play around when building leg muscle; you can see the results with his massive legs. Krizo followed standard pyramid training throughout his leg workout. Pyarmaid training starts the set with light weight and more reps and increases the load and reduces the reps each subsequent set. Here’s an in-depth look into the off-season leg workout load of this Men’s Open Slovak.

Exercises Sets  Reps
Hack Squat 2 9, 6 
Leg Extension 4 17, 15, 15, 15
Leg Press 4 17, 12, 12, 15
Lying Leg Curls 4 20, 15, 12, 10
Seated Calf Raises 4 25, 20, 17, 15

Hack Squats 

Hack squats are a great way to build your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, and calves. While the quadriceps are the main targets of any squat, your glutes and hamstrings do the work too. Even your core muscles are affected because they help with stabilization. 

The hack squat is a lower-body mass builder that is a favorite for many lifters because it’s less stressful for the spine. With this movement, the weight passes through the body’s center of mass, and as a result, you can lift more weight leading to more hypertrophy. In addition, you won’t have to focus too much on stabilizing the weight as with the barbell squat.     

Start light when doing the hack squat, and gradually increase the weight as you get stronger. It would be best to do some warm-up sets before going heavy. 

Leg Extensions 

Leg extensions are an isolation exercise that targets the quads. Building your quads helps improve your posture and can benefit your squats. You use a machine for leg extensions, a great strength exercise that gives you massive quadriceps.

Leg extensions are essential in bodybuilding because they allow you to slow down and engage your quads, encouraging hypertrophy in the anterior leg muscles. However, this is one exercise where you should use less weight. While you’ll feel the work in your quads, it could stress your knee over time, and you should avoid that.

Leg extensions should be combined with other leg routines to avoid imbalances. Building your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and other leg muscles is essential as a bodybuilder

Leg Press

Leg presses are seated multi-joint exercises that build your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. You can also adjust which leg muscle you’re working on by changing your foot position on the footpads. For example, placing your feet higher will target your hamstrings, and lower will favor your glutes more.

To get the best out of leg press, it’s better to prioritize a range of motion and form overweight. You could also work your stronger leg more as the machine will move whether both legs are pushing equally. To avoid this, you can do single-leg presses but watch out that you don’t pile on more weight than one leg can carry. 

Leg presses are a safe way to build the muscles in your legs. You don’t need a spotter for this, as the machine supports your back. Krizo did one set of single-leg presses for 15 reps on each leg and two sets of bilateral leg presses for 12 reps. He then rounded up the routine by doing one set of 15 reps with both legs simultaneously.

Lying Leg Curls 

Lying leg curls, or hamstring curls, build your hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calf muscles. The lying leg curl is considered an isolation exercise because it targets the back of your legs. A 2015 study showed that lying leg curls are a better way to build your hamstrings than stiff-legged deadlifts (2).

To get the best out of your lying leg curl, do it slowly and under control; you can also vary the tempo of each rep. However, proper form is crucial as you won’t get good results if you swing the weight with momentum or push your butt in the air as you lift the weight. 

When doing leg curls, you should ensure the machine’s joints align with your knees. This makes the machine suit your body to avoid injury. To finish his brutal leg hypertrophy workout day, Krizo headed to a calf workout. 

Seated Calf Raises

Seated calf raises are a great way to build mass in your calves and reinforce soft tissues like the Achilles. They’re an isolation exercise that targets the gastrocnemius and soleus of the calves. In addition, seated calf raises strengthen your lower body as a whole.

Seated calf raises are better with lighter weights and more volume (sets and reps) than heavier weights. Your calf muscles benefit more from time under tension, so doing this exercise slowly is excellent for muscle hypertrophy.

Raising your shins when doing a seated calf raise will shift the impact from your calves to your quads. So let your foot and ankle be the primary source of motion. 

You can watch Michal Krizo’s leg hypertrophy workout that he uploaded to his YouTube channel below:

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  1. Wang, H., Ji, Z., Jiang, G., Liu, W., & Jiao, X. (2016). Correlation among proprioception, muscle strength, and balance. Journal of physical therapy science, 28(12), 3468–3472. https://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.28.3468
  2. Schoenfeld, B. J., Contreras, B., Tiryaki-Sonmez, G., Wilson, J. M., Kolber, M. J., & Peterson, M. D. (2015). Regional differences in muscle activation during hamstrings exercise. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 29(1), 159–164. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000000598 
Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.