If you want to show off your abs, then train your legs—every single session.
Ben Bruno 1 / 25
The Workout That Works
Leg training hurts. It's difficult, it burns, and it leaves you gasping for air—which is why it's so effective for losing fat. Most guys in search of leanness will work their pecs from every angle, pedal a bike, or go for a run, then tell themselves they've done their lower-body training.
And that's why they don't see results.
Stop wimping out and stay lean through the holidays with this four-day, full-body split that turns your legs into a body-fat furnace.
HOW IT WORKS The legs have the body’s biggest muscles, and big muscles burn a lot of calories, including when they’re recovering from a workout. That means they help you get lean on days you don’t even train. But you have to challenge them. Tough exercises like deadlifts, squats, and stepups tax the heart and the lungs as much as any type of cardio—so, assuming your nutrition is on point, you don’t have to do any endurance work to get lean. You don’t have to work your pecs from every angle, either—but don’t worry, there’s upper-body training in the program as well.
DIRECTIONS Perform each workout (Day I, II, III, and IV) once per week. Exercises marked “A,” “B,” and “C” are done in sequence, and there are two groups of these sequences in each workout. You’ll do one set of A, rest as needed, then one set of B, rest, and then C, rest, and repeat until all sets are complete for the group.
Use a trap bar (hex bar) and stand with feet hip width. Bend your hips back and grasp the handles. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, drive through your heels to stand up straight and extend your hips and knees.
Hold a dumbbell in one hand in front of you and balance on the opposite leg. Bend your hips back and lower your body until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Allow your knee to bend as needed and keep your lower back in its natural arch.
Sit on the floor and roll a loaded barbell into your lap. (You may need to wrap it in a towel or use a bar pad for comfort.) Lie back against a bench, bend your knees, and plant your feet on the floor. Brace your abs and drive through your heels so you raise your hips off the floor to full extension.
Lie back on a bench and grasp the bar with hands just outside shoulder width. Arch your back and tighten your glutes and abs. Plant your feet firmly. Pull the bar out of the rack and lower it to your sternum. Push your feet into the floor as you press the bar back up.
Place a 12- to 14-inch box on the floor and stand behind it with a dumbbell in each hand. Raise one leg and place your foot on the box. Drive through your heel to raise your body onto the box, but don’t let the trailing leg rest. Step down and repeat. Complete your reps and switch legs.
Wedge the end of a barbell into a corner, or load it into a landmine station. Load the opposite end with weight and grasp it toward the end of the sleeve with your left hand. Stagger your stance so your right foot is in front and press the bar overhead.
Use the same setup as the landmine press. Roll a bench up to the end of the bar so it’s perpendicular to the bar. Kneel on the bench and rest the same side hand on it for support. Grasp sleeve of bar with your palm down and row the bar to your side.
Lie on your back on the floor and extend your legs, resting your heels on a Swiss ball. Brace your abs and drive through your heels to bridge your hips up. Now bend your knees and roll the ball in toward your butt. Extend your knees again and begin the next rep.
Grasp the bar with hands at shoulder width and raise your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Take the bar out of the rack and let it rest on your fingertips. Step back and set your feet at shoulder width with toes turned slightly out. Squat as low as you can without losing the arch in your lower back.
Hold a barbell with a shoulder-width grip. Bend your hips back as far as you can. Allow your knees to bend as needed while you lower the bar along your shins until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Keep your lower back arched.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Step forward with one leg and lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your rear knee is just above the floor. Push off your front foot and step forward with the other foot and lunge again.
Secure your knees under the pad of a lat-pulldown station, reach up, and grasp the handle outside shoulder width. Pull the handle down to your collarbone, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull.
Set up as you did for the barbell hip thrust but without the barbell. Raise one leg off the floor and extend it in front of you and have the other planted close to your butt. Brace your abs and drive through your heel to raise your hips up until they’re level with the floor.