Some of the craziest training stories there are, are about training legs.
There is the one about Olympic Bronze Medalist in Shotput Dylan Armstrong squatting 300kg in the first leg workout after a 4 month lay off.
There is the one about 8time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman deadlifting and squatting over 360kg leading up to the 1999 Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding Contest.
There is the one about Olympic Gold Medalist in Shotput Adam Nelson squatting 300kg for 10 reps leading up to the 2004 Athens Olympics.
There is the one about a Hungarian wrestler who squatted 60kg for 6 minutes.
There is the one about a female Alpine skier doing 60 reps in 60 seconds with 65kg on the squat.
Some are about strength. Some are about volume.
And when speaking of training volume the first story that comes to my mind is from my colleague and friend Juan Carlos Simo who runs a Personaltraining Gym in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The story is about giant sets with legendary IFBB Pro/Coach and his training partner at the time Milos Sarcev. Milos is known for extreme, yet highly effective idea on training, nutrition and recovery. He has himself entered over 80 IFBB Pro Contest and is also the one who has popularized the use of giant sets for Hypertrophy. A giant set is by definition 4 and more exercise done in a row without any rest. The longest giant set I have ever heard of done successfully were 23 exercises in row. The most extreme giant set I have ever heard of is the one below.
Juan Carlos told me about this leg program in fall 2015 and I couldn't believe my ears. My question for him over dinner was "What was the craziest thing you have ever seen in the gym?" and one of his answers was seeing Milos do 10 sets of 10 reps on the squat with 180kg and only 60 seconds in between sets. If someone else would have told me that I would have taken it with a grain of salt. Yet, Juan Carlos was serious. We spoke about the progression leading to this and he then told me the full program they did.
And that was the craziest leg workout I have ever heard of.
And the full program was this:
A Back Squat 10 sets of 10 reps, 2010 tempo, 60s rest
B1 Front Squat on the Power Squat machine, 8 reps at a 3010 tempo, no rest
B2 Back Squat on the Power Squat machine, 12 reps at a 3010 tempo, no rest
B3 Hack Squat Machine with bands, 20 reps at a 3010 tempo, no rest
B4 Pendulum Squat machine, a double drop set with 3 reps at a 10-0-10-0 tempo each drop, no rest
B5 45° Leg Press, 10 reps close stance, followed by 10 reps mid stance, 10 reps wide stance, no rest
B6 Leg Extensions, 100 reps, then 4 to 6 minutes rest and repeat this giant set for a total of 3 rotations.
Basically Low Rest German Volume Training followed by 3 rotations of a 200 rep giant set
This was done once a week.
And it took over 6 months to build up to this specific volume by adding exercises, sets and rotations. And it took that long for someone like Juan Carlos and Milos who had training experience of over 60 years combined at the point they did this crazy leg routine.
This is the craziest leg program I have ever heard of. And heard of someone to complete it with success which is even crazier. Juan Carlos was 110kg at 1.72m with veins on his abs at the time preparing for a bodybuilding competition. Check the picture on the right above, it was right before getting on stage at that competition.
In July 2019 we will run a two-day YPSI Bodybuilding in Personaltraining Seminar with Juan Carlos Simo during the "English Week at the YPSI 2019". The camp includes multiple workouts, some are giant sets, yet none as crazy as the above one, as well as lectures on advanced training & nutrition topics.
Picture: Juan Carlos's legs after training (left). Juan Carlos getting ready backstage for the bodybuilding competition with Milos (right).