Without weights, most trainers would tell you to do endless reps of bodyweight squats and lunges for legs. Fortunately, Men's Fitness contributor Ben Bruno isn’t one of those trainers. Bruno has one of the most creative—and, perhaps, devious—minds in fitness, and he’s designed a workout that may bring tears to your eyes while it adds muscle to your thighs. We can’t promise you’ll enjoy this routine, but we can assure you that it’s not like any you’ve done before.

How it works

The muscles of the legs are stubborn. They carry you around everywhere, so it takes more than bodyweight squats to convince them they need to get stronger. This workout brings the pain with moves that ask the legs to work independently or without the benefit of locking the knees out (which lets them rest momentarily during a set). Correcting imbalances in your legs and keeping tension on them for prolonged periods will burn like hell, but you’ll be amazed you could get such results without putting a barbell on your back, or doing the same old exercises that didn’t work before.

Directions

Perform the exercise pairs (marked A and B) as alternating sets. So you’ll do a set of A, rest, then a set of B, rest again, and continue for all the prescribed sets.