The 6 Toughest Leg Press Variations

One of my goals this off season is to add some serious size to my legs. Here is an excellent article by John Meadows on how to use the leg press to help with that goal. What have you found to be effective for adding mass to your legs?

Here’s what you need to know…

You don’t need to choose between squats or leg presses. A smart lifter knows that exercises are just tools and simply uses the right tool for the job.

While the leg press may not be as “hard” as the squat, it’s in a class by itself for sheer leg size since there are many different ways to safely crank up intensity.


The barbell squat is the king of lower body exercises. If I were limited to performing just one exercise for the lower body I’d choose barbell back squats. For overall leg size and strength there’s simply no equal.

Fortunately for me (and you), I’m not so limited in my options. I have literally thousands of leg exercises in my overgrown toolbox, many of which are very effective in their own right. Ranking high on my list is the classic leg press.

The leg press gets a bit of a bad rap amongst strength training purists simply because it’s easier to perform than the squat. You don’t need much in the way of mobility or athleticism to perform the lift – you just load up the plates, hop on and go.

However, just because the leg press isn’t as “hard” or even as “effective” as the squat doesn’t mean it’s a bad exercise. In fact, for sheer leg size, the leg press may be in a class by itself since there are so many different ways to safely jack up the growth-producing intensity.

To that end, here are my top 6 leg press variations for freaky size and strength.

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