In the world of bodybuilding, many people agree that the there is one set of legs that are in a league of their own. Hence why I’ll be giving you a snippet of the one and only, Tom Platz Leg Workout.
While his highest placing in Mr Olympia was third in 1981, his legs have become legends all by themselves. In fact, Platz’s legs were so remarkably huge and their striations so well-defined, they were once mistaken for tree trunks. Therefore, it comes as no surprise why he became so popular during the golden era among the public, his peers, and judges during competitions.
Tom Platz’s Secret
The secret behind Tom Platz leg workout that developed monstrous legs is fairly simple: squatting— and a whole lot of it. He lived on the principle that the harder you go, the better your results would be. The way he worked out was so intense, he instantly became legendary. While Platz weighed less than 230 pounds, he has been reported doing 8 reps of squats carrying a whopping 635 lbs and 52 reps with 350 lbs.
Many times, he would squat for 10 straight minutes doing 100 reps with 225 lbs. All of this might seem like simple exaggeration if not for the 1992 video showing him doing 23 reps of deep squats with 525 lbs or 238 kgs shown below!
Platz’s training was not only high in intensity but high in volume as well. If his set didn’t end with an obvious struggle, he felt that he hadn’t trained hard enough. Although many would think that Platz’s training methods are extreme, you can’t argue it doesn’t work. The sheer size and definition of his legs are still unparalleled even 28 years after his retirement in 1987.
An Example of Tom Platz Leg Workout
If you wish to go heavy on the squats like Tom did, here is an example of what his squat workouts looked like. He performed this workout twice a month: (obviously adjust it to your own level!)
135 lbs. – 10 reps
225 lbs. – 10 reps
315 lbs. – 10 reps
415 lbs. – 10 reps
405 lbs. – 30+ reps on high rep day
– OR –
600 lbs. – 15 reps on heavy day
Platz’s leg-building workout routine will push your body and mind to the limits. If you don’t think you’re quite ready for the soul-crushing intensity of this workout, you may want to walk away. But if you think you are prepared… well, don’t say that you haven’t been warned.
|Squats||8 to 12 (Max: 635 lbs.)||5 to 20|
|Hack squats||5 (Max: 500 lbs.)||10 to 15|
|Leg extensions||5 to 8 (Max: 350 lbs.)||10 to 15|
|Leg curls||6 to 10 (Max: 240 lbs.)||10 to 15|
|Calf raises (standing)||3 to 4 (Max: 500 lbs.)||10 to 15|
|Calf raises (seated)||3 to 4 (Max: 225 lbs.)||10 to 15|
|Hack machine calf raises||3 to 4 (Max: 400 lbs.)||10 to 15|
Remember to warm up and stretch thoroughly before attempting this workout to avoid the risk of injury. You may also want to do bodyweight squats before you head to the gym. Strive to maintain proper form throughout the set, and go for deep squats to ensure the best results. Most importantly, give it all you’ve got for every set!
This high-intensity, high-volume workout may be too much compared to the training regimens we have today. As you can see, this workout requires you to do 33-47 sets per session, making it taxing even for advanced weight lifters. Of course, this routine may be modified to suit your training level, but make sure that you still go all out when you do each set. Remember, if your ultimate goal is to have monster legs like Tom Platz, you will need everything you can get to face that squat rack again and again.
Modified Squat Workouts
Most people will probably be better off doing Tom Platz leg workouts every 3 weeks instead of 2 like he did. You should also try performing squats with less intensity in between the high rep day and the heavy day. It is also recommended to exclude squats in your routine the week after the intense squat workouts. Here is what the modified routine will look like for clearer reference:
1st week: 1 – 2 sessions squats
2nd week: 1 – 2 sessions squats
3rd week: Tom Platz style squats (high rep day)
4th week: no squats
5th week: 1 – 2 sessions squats
6th week: 1 – 2 sessions squats
7th week: Tom Platz style squats (heavy day)
8th week: no squats
Then, begin the cycle again on the 9th week. Assuming that you can already perform 15 reps with 300 pounds, here’s how you should perform the workouts during the Tom Platz style days:
135 lbs. – 10 reps
185 lbs. – 10 reps
205 lbs. – 10 reps
205 lbs. – 30+ reps for high rep day
– OR –
300 lbs. – 15 reps for heavy day
If you are strong enough to carry more weight, make sure that you adjust the weights proportionally. This means that for high rep days, you should lift 2/3 of the weight you can take for 15 reps.
Things to Keep in Mind
Remember to avoid any form of leg training 1-2 days before the Tom Platz style squat sessions. See to it that you have a trusted spotter with you because the workout intensity is too risky to be accomplished alone. When you are doing a high rep workout, focus on doing five reps at a time to make the set more manageable. As you start to tire out, take deep breaths and then go at it again once you’re ready.
The Tom Platz style workout is sure to give anyone monster legs. But this training routine will demand a lot out of you, so make sure that you can give your all to see each session to completion!