Hungarian Oak Leg Blast: Timed Sets for Hypertrophy

NbleSavage

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Interesting article for those in the high rep / high volume camp / hypertrophy camp.

May give this a try 1x per week as I've already been doing Cash's pre-exhaust routine the other day.

Hungarian Oak Leg Blast
The Leg Program That Worked Too Well
by Christian Thibaudeau


Benoit Brodeur has been the President of the Quebec Bodybuilding Federation for around 20 years. Muscle — especially bodybuilding — is his passion. He's traveled around the world from Tahiti to California, trying to learn and develop the art of building muscle.

Benoit has been trained by the likes of Vince Gironda, Mike Mentzer, and Robbie Robinson, and he's trained alongside legends like Tom Platz, Bertil Fox, and other such monsters of the past era.


Recently he's been in contact with a lot of top pros, the likes of Gunther and Ronnie, hiring them to guest pose at the shows he promotes.

The bottom line is that this guy has seen it all!

He called me the other day and rather than say, ''Hi Chris, how are you doing?" he just exclaimed:

''I just saw the freakiest pair of legs I've ever seen since I trained alongside Tom Platz!''

Now, even today in an era of freaks, Platz's legs are still recognized as the freakiest in the history of bodybuilding. When a guy who's seen it all gets excited about something like that, you know he saw something special!


''The guy isn't even a bodybuilder'' he added. ''He's an Olympic wrestler from Hungary who's visiting some friends in Montreal."

Benoit and the Hungarian got to talking and the wrestler was complaining that he has to stop training legs because his new program got them so big, he had to move up two weight classes! Benoit measured the guy's legs...they were 34 inches in circumference! That's almost a yard!

To help you grasp that, a 28 inches pair of muscular legs is darn impressive, but 34-inch legs are kinda' like 24-inches arms — something that normally belongs to the world of unicorns and sorcerers. But this guy was for real.

Obviously Benoit, being the student of bodybuilding he is, wanted to learn about this seemingly ''excessively effective training program.''

It wasn't some secret Eastern European method. In fact, it's so simplistic that it boggles the mind:

• One set of squats

• Two sets of leg extensions

• Three sets of leg curls

That's it!

But the efficacy wasn't to be found in the amount of sets or the exercise selection; rather it was in the way each exercise was being performed.

Exercise 1) Full back squat: for this first movement our Hungarian friend would perform two warm-up sets with 135lbs. By the way, that 135lbs was all that he used for his work set too! Once he felt properly warmed-up by doing 2 sets of 6-8 slow reps, the wrestler would begin his work set from hell.

Understand that when Benoit met this guy, he had used this program for about 8 weeks or so. But here's the twist: his one work set of squats consisted of squatting in non-stop fashion for 8 minutes straight! That's right.

He didn't start there though. He began the program by doing a set for two minutes and gradually adding time each subsequent session.

Week 1

Session 1.1: (Monday) 1 x 2 minutes
Session 1.2: (Thursday) 1 x 2:20

Week 2

Session 2.1: (Monday) 1 x 2:40
Session 2.2: (Thursday) 1 x 3 minutes

Week 3

Session 3.1: (Monday) 1 x 3:20
Session 3.2: (Thursday) 1 x 3:40

Week 4

Session 4.1: (Monday) 1 x 4 minutes
Session 4.2: (Thursday) 1 x 4:20

Week 5

Session 5.1: (Monday) 1 x 4:40
Session 5.2: (Thursday) 1 x 5 minutes

Week 6

Session 6.1: (Monday) 1 x 5:30
Session 6.2: (Thursday) 1 x 6 minutes

Week 7

Session 7.1: (Monday) 1 x 6:30
Session 7.2: (Thursday) 1 x 7 minutes

Week 8

Session 8.1: (Monday) 1 x 7:30
Session 8.2: (Thursday) 1 x 8 minutes

He kept using the same 135lbs for the duration of the whole cycle. That weight represented around 30% of his full back-squat maximum. The reps were kept smooth and controlled but the lifting portion was performed explosively, at least as fast as his fatigue level allowed.

Exercise 2) Leg extensions: Honestly, after doing squats (especially when the sets got to be longer than 3 minutes), I have no idea how he even made it to the leg extension machine! But once seated he would perform 2 sets of 30 reps; 10 reps with the legs turned inward, 10 reps with the legs straight, and 10 reps with the legs turned outward. Each rep was ''squeezed'' at the peak contraction point and held for a second or so.

2 sets x 30 reps

Exercise 3) Leg curls (lying): Three sets were performed in extended fashion. He performed 6-8 reps with the maximal weight possible for that number of reps (at that point, just being able to flex at the knee is impressive since the quads are so pumped!). He'd then pause for 10-12 seconds and then continue to failure.

3 x 6-8 (with a 10-12 second pause, and then continuing to failure)

That's it!

At it's longest (week 8), this workout lasted around 20 minutes, the bulk of the time being spent puking and tumbling toward the different workstations!



Conclusion

This workout can seem to be fairly simple (it is) but if you give it all you've got, it will be one of the hardest routines of your life! It can be deceptive, though. The first 2-3 sessions are somewhat easier as they're designed to get you used to the type of effort you'll have to give later on.

Regardless, once you reach the point where your set of squat reaches 3 minutes, you'll have the feeling that you've been hit by a Mack truck!

Not many people can actually tough out the plan and reach 8 minutes, as it requires a special breed of individual. But those who do tough it out will achieve a level of lower body development that would otherwise normally have taken years to achieve!


[Editor's Note: I apologize that we don't have any pictures of this Hungarian monster, but the article was so damn interesting that I decided it should be posted anyway.]
 

DF

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Tom Platz's leg were friggin huge! too bad his upper body was over shadowed by those tree trunks.
 

NbleSavage

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Tom Platz's leg were friggin huge! too bad his upper body was over shadowed by those tree trunks.

Great observation. His legs were epic, are now legendary, but he was not balanced / proportional to his upper body.
 

NbleSavage

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So for kicks, I gave this a shot today using the leg press as my back was still fried from yesterday's leg training session. I made it 3:30 before I lost my sh1t. Epic quad pump, good times. Going to do this more often.
 

NbleSavage

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Found a video of some fawk doing squats for a full 8 mins...respect.

 

Jada

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That is tough! 8 min is a long time
 

amore169

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Paul Demayo also had some of the best leg development!
 

Hero Swole

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I heard insanity is good for leg development too. :)
 

NbleSavage

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What a waste of time.

I don't necessarily disagree but I'll mention that Dude's legs are thick and there are other vidz of him pulling 500+Lbs for reps. Not saying its cause and effect (as one could easily argue its the heavy deads contributing to the thick legs as much as the 8 min squats) but TUT as a contributing factor to hypertrophy is proven which seems to be what this approach emphasizes. I'll not give up heavy deads myself anytime soon but I can see the intrigue behind time sets if ones goal is pure size.

Peace.

- Savage
 

gymrat827

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interesting.... may have to try.
 

NbleSavage

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Well they burn like bloody hell I can tell you that much. Been working in timed leg press sets (made it up to 5 mins) and the pump is insane. Also did the leg exts and leg curls. I still find it in me to do 5 x 5 deads after a rest though. Will keep an eye on leg size and get a feel for how effective this technique is.
 
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