“The Mutant” says controlling the weight trumps heavier loads for building those leg muscles.
We all know the importance of training legs, so bros don’t let bros skip leg day. Just look at Nick Walker and his ridiculously huge quads. Have you seen them? Lucky for us, he just dropped a video on YouTube where he spills the secrets to building those massive leg muscles. So, let’s dive in and discover what it takes to get legs like “The Mutant’s.”
Nick Walker has been a pro bodybuilder since 2020, winning the Arnold Classic in 2021. After a top-five Mr. Olympia debut in 2021, Walker made it to the top three last year and is strongly preparing for Olympia in November. He also talks about how things are going smoothly, although his weight is slightly higher than planned.
If you want big quads like Nick Walker, then keep scrolling. We closely examine his chosen workouts, share his trusted tips, and review what science says. Here’s our in-depth look at Nick Walker’s secret to building quads.
|Full Name: Nick Walker|
|Weight||Height||Date of Birth|
|270 – 295 lbs||5’7”||08/03/1994|
|Men’s Open||2020s – Till date||American|
View this post on Instagram
Nick Walker’s Quads Building Tips
Nick Walker states it’s important to use proper form, control weight, and rest properly when training. For him, it’s not about focusing on training to failure or progressive overload. He says controlling the weight and contracting the muscles help him grow his muscles the most effectively.
“My number one tip that I think will help grow quads, which I think has drastically helped grow mine, is controlling the weight, contracting the muscle as hard as you can, doing some sort of full range of motion.”
This study shows that doing muscle contractions improves your mind-muscle connection and lets you recruit your muscles more efficiently (1). Nick Walker also thinks that people spend too much time overloading the machines, which leads to poor technique and form.
“You might have a big a**! But your quads didn’t get nothing out of it! So lower the weight, contract the muscle as hard as you can, and stop trying to ego-lift.”
Next, Nick Walker talks about frequency and recovering properly. He says he trains his legs every four to five days instead of once a week.
“It’s all about frequency. I train my legs every four to five days instead of once every seven days or every eight days, and they just grow a lot better.”
Walker also says that recovering properly helps you know how to train. You can hit more exercises because you’ll know what you can recover from, and your rests are more effective.
“You gotta find the proper way to recover. Once you know what you can recover from, you can begin to hit things more frequently with your return. The more frequent you can hit it over and over again, the more it’s going to grow, and then you can even take time off for training once a week. Now you’re giving it more rest in that time frame, sometimes that allows it to grow even more.”
The American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM) acknowledges that the combination of frequency, intensity, and duration effectively produces the best muscle-building results (2).
Nick Walker Quads-centric Leg Workout
|Lying Leg Curl|
Lying Leg Curl
Lying leg curls are an isolation exercise that majorly targets your hamstrings. However, this routine also engages some of your quads, calves, and glutes. Nick Walker uses this one to warm up his knee joints.
Leg presses benefit your lower body by focusing on the quads (3). The leg press also builds your hamstrings, calves, and glutes. Nick Walker starts with warm-up sets using three plates on each side. Then uses progressive overload for his working sets, rounding off with a top set of eight plates on each side.
Squats are a great lower body exercise, too, but the hack squat offers similar benefits while being less brutal on the lower back. When doing this routine, Nick Walker says that it’s okay to do partial reps at the end to burnout the legs. He does two initial sets with 315 pounds weight and then takes off two plates to do the lighter set to failure using a partial range of motion.
Walking lunges are great for building your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, abs, and hips. Nick Walker uses this movement as a finisher and says there’s no need to use further weights when doing walking lunges at the end of a workout.
“So again, it’s not about the weight. It’s about control. That’s what grows. If I started with lunges, I might use weights for sure. But towards the end, there is no need for it. Your legs are already fried…In my mind, I could use weight but I don’t really see a need for it, you know. If you’re contracting and training as hard as you are on the other exercises, really shouldn’t feel the need for weight on walking lunges.”
Lastly, Nick Walker does hip adductions on a machine to round out his workout to engage his hip adductor muscles. These are the muscles responsible for bringing your legs together, aka adduction. Nick Walker calls it a day after performing a few sets of his exercise on the machine.
Watch Nick Walker’s full quad workout on his YouTube channel below. (This video takes place two weeks into his training for Mr. Olympia.)
- Oranchuk, D. J., Storey, A. G., Nelson, A. R., & Cronin, J. B. (2019). Isometric training and long-term adaptations: Effects of muscle length, intensity, and intent: A systematic review. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 29(4), 484–503. https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.13375
- The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness in healthy adults. Position stand of the American College of Sports Medicine. (1993). Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Sportmedizin, 41(3), 127–137.
- Rossi, F. E., Schoenfeld, B. J., Ocetnik, S., Young, J., Vigotsky, A., Contreras, B., Krieger, J. W., Miller, M. G., & Cholewa, J. (2018). Strength, body composition, and functional outcomes in the squat versus leg press exercises. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 58(3), 263–270. https://doi.org/10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06698-6