So I overheard a conversation recently between some people and I heard a woman say that her son was having trouble putting size on his legs. Now we know each other a little so I like a petulant child I blurted out “volume, he needs more volume”. She said to me “oh he gets plenty of protein and he eats tonnes”, I said “oh no I meant volume for his leg work”. The woman said “he is a tiler so he is using his legs all the time and he goes to the gym 6 days a week for like an hour”.
For legs, volume is where the secret lies. Some smaller muscles and less used body parts such as the arms may be able to get away with doing less volume, but in general volume is key for leg growth. It is assumed that a decent amount of weight is being used. Some programs like German volume training (GVT) have been used to produce massive tree trunk legs. GVT uses a 10x10 scheme with a starting weight that you could do for 20 reps about 60% of your 1RM. Now I won’t get into detail about the program except to say it is hard and puts on size. I know from personal experience Olympic weightlifting styles of training also help put on size. One of my programs had me squat 3 reps at different weights, all above 85% of 1RM for 12 sets. I was lifting about 4 tonnes of weight four times a week. My legs grew like no one’s business. I had to get looser fitting pants.