Rethinking leg day: How often should you train?

New data on how to approach training legs.

We’ve all heard the training mantra: never skip leg day. But what if, instead of one long, focused session, you broke it up? Turns out, multiple shorter sessions could boost your gains.

Why more might be better

Recent studies suggest that dividing your leg workouts into several shorter, more intense sessions throughout the week can actually be more effective than one dedicated leg day.

Max out. Researchers found that adults who completed leg exercises across four sessions increased their one-rep squat maximum compared to those who performed all their workouts in a single session.

Rethink your routine

If you typically dedicate one day to lower body workouts, spreading those exercises across several days could be more beneficial. This approach allows you to train harder in each session and potentially see greater strength gains over time.

Woman training legs in the gym

The study specifically included exercises like back squats, deadlifts, split squats, and Bulgarian squats. Distributing these exercises across four weekly sessions was shown to enhance overall strength and stability.

Here’s how you could incorporate the exercises into your training plan:

  • Day One: Back Squats – Start your week strong with back squats to build overall leg and core strength.
  • Day Two: Deadlifts – Focus on deadlifts to strengthen your posterior chain, crucial for overall durability and power.
  • Day Three: Split Squats – Tackle muscle imbalances with split squats, perfect for improving functional movements.
  • Day Four: Bulgarian Squats – Finish your week with Bulgarian squats to target deeper muscle groups and enhance lower body stability.

The bottom line: A more dynamic approach to leg day by spreading intense, targeted workouts across could help to maximize your strength gains.