Give Lower Body A Try


I’ve noticed a lot of men that work out in the gym focus mostly on the upper body. I cannot recall any time I ever had to wait in line to use the squat rack, dead lift pads, or hip machines. I routinely see people waiting in line to use the bench, sometimes two or three deep. While it is admirable that men have the dedication and discipline to actually work out, working upper body almost exclusively is not utilizing the full potential of one’s physical self.


Why Men Workout

There are three main motivations I’ve seen in men to improve themselves physically. One is to feel impressive, which is good for self-esteem. Another is to appear impressive to other people such as competitors or mates. The third motivation is to actually be impressive, to accomplish physical tasks. Utilizing those three motivations, men should actually put as much if not more effort into lower body as they do their upper body.

Everyone has seen it one time or another, that guy whose physique is disproportional. Those massive arms and chest coupled with chicken legs that make one wonder how he can actually walk around. Maybe he became this way because he only looks at himself from the waist up in the mirror. Maybe he only does the exercises he feels he’s good at. Or maybe he just decided to work out as efficiently as possible to look good for the club and just wears baggy jeans. This disproportionate physique can actually work against him.

Reasons For Working The Entire Body

Building up your upper body to be huge is good but if it is trouble walking up three or four flights of stairs, there might be an issue. All the bicep curls in the world won’t help you run or jump. Your lower body supports your body most of the day in pretty much every you activity do. Therefore working on your lower body would actually improve your strength and stamina in almost every activity you do.


Having a visibly in shape lower body is quite impressive to observers. To a trained fighter an opponent with visibly developed lower body is far more intimidating than one with big biceps. Skinny legs are a turn off to woman for the most part. Well-developed glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps let a woman know you have the actual capability to rumble her ovaries.


I’m not advocating for men that they cut down on working out the upper body. I am merely advocating for the addition of lower body workout for those that avoid it. Try doing a few squats at the end of your usual routine. Add a few dead lifts here and there. While calf raises are good, I find sprinting and bicycle riding build calves up very well. No harm in trying something, and there is no actual legitimate argument against working lower body. In conclusion, if you go to the gym, workout your entire body.

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47 thoughts on “Give Lower Body A Try”

  1. Another key reason to workout out the lower body is that they are the lifts that cause maximum testosterone and growth hormone release, helping every other part of your physique.

    1. Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner.
      If you haven’t done a 20-rep breathing squats program at least once in your life, then you haven’t worked out.

  2. Bulgarian Split Squats will tax your muscles in addition to building good balance…
    Between your compound movements (squats, deads) and a couple Isolation techniques, this will help build the body and more importantly release testosterone

  3. Bulgarian Split Squats will tax your muscles in addition to building good balance…
    Between your compound movements (squats, deads) and a couple Isolation techniques, this will help build the body and more importantly release testosterone

  4. get some killer quads. acquire mens short shorts a la 1970s basketball shorts. sky’s out, thighs out.

  5. Why is there a picture of Christian Bale shooting a robot in the face on a lower body workout article?
    Agree with the main argument of the article though.

  6. Absolutely. And squats should not be something you just throw at the end of your usual routine as an after thought, either. They should be the hinge pin of your strength training program.

  7. Lower body gathers a larger proportion of your muscular mass. Working it generates more testosternoe and human growth hormone than the upper body, in aggregate. That means that working your lower body will help building your upper body.
    You don’t need to be an expert to see that there is several times more muscle in the gluteus, cuadriceps and femorals than in your arms. Only chest comes closer in upper body.

    1. Absolutely!
      Some of the most impressive UPPER BODY gains I have seen in people with already well developed (relative) upper bodies, come from them adding a heavy leg day to their routine, instead of thinking that 20 minutes on the stair master is about all it takes. Skinny legged guys can often achieve rippped and washboardy upper bodies, but they are rarely massive.

  8. Please provide examples of guys who can’t make it up 3-4 flights of stairs because their upper bodies are too big for their legs. I’d also like to see the legions of women who prefer 30″ thunder thighs to broad shoulders, muscular arms and a v-tapered torso. I guess no women watch male gymnasts in the Olympics because those guys don’t have huge thighs.
    Train legs all you want if it’s what’s important to you, like if you have ambitions to compete in serious bodybuilding or powerlifting (which is 2/3 lower body, that’s why every loudmouth internet powerlifter is busy telling you about his hyoooge skwatz n deadz and downplaying his high school level bench press and sub-bodyweight overhead press). But please spare me the SS / Westside / song and dance about growth hormone, it’s a miniscule amount, and it doesn’t last very long.

      1. “So the entire reason you workout is to look good for women? Yeah, you’re THAT guy.”
        Be honest — that’s the main reason 95% of guys workout.

        1. No man. Most people I know, started working out, like I did, because we played competitive sports.
          Having girls like your body is a nice supplement. Where I live the big arms / neck and scrawny legs look gets you labelled a douche.
          Guess it depends where you live. Or if you are a “revenge of the nerd” type who discovered weights in his 20s and just wants to look good for the night at the club. That’s not a bad thing, but no, 95% of guys I know aren’t working out for women. If you don’t do anything but pump iron then I guess you are my doing it for women, in which case forget legs – you can wear baggy trousers.

    1. Pretty much noone who has built big chests and shoulders have done so without incorporating heavy lifting in their routine; and heavy pretty much means legs.
      I’m a bit skeptical about all the simplistic “hormonal release” explanations for why this is so as well (it’s not that hard to inject more of either hormine than the body could conceivably produce itself); but practice proves that whatever the explanation; in order to build a big back, chest, arms and shoulders, you need to lift heavy weights with your legs.
      I personally suspect this has to do with the body going into max systemic hypertrophy mode only when there is enough weight bearing down on the spine to trigger some sort of “protect the spinal chord” reflex. Which again may release hormones, but also prime the nervous and vascular systems to facilitate muscle growth. In addition, a stronger core and lower body, allows for a stronger foundation for lifts like particularly the press, but also even prone bench presses. Allowing the prime movers in those lifts to work closer to max without the body sabotaging in order again to protect the important stuff, the spinal chord.
      There is also possibly muscle breakdown explanations for why the big lifts produce systemic gains.
      And then there are purely neurological explanations; as in: How much you can lift, is to some extent limited by how much electrical energy can be fired down to the motor neurons, and that people who only do finger curls never develop the ability to produce more simultaneous motor neuron firing than required to move a finger, while those with the ‘neural strength’ to squat small cars obviously have plenty in reserve for their own finger curling days.
      I doubt anyone knows the exact mechanism, but I have never heard anyone who has ever trained anyone big, doubt that the best model for hypertrophy is one that splits the results from a bout of resistance training into two parts:
      –specific gains to the specific muscle trained,
      –systemic gains.
      , and that magnitude of the latter is somewhat proportional to the size of the lift.
      I once personally observed a guy go to the gym, focusing only on training the left side of the body (He was a punk/trash singer who wanted to look like a freak, not look ‘good’). He still gained a pretty good bit even on the side that received NO direct stimulus; so complete specificity is absolutely out the door.
      I have also seen how much bigger guys’ arms, chests and shoulders get once they start adding heavy leg training to their routine, versus simply pounding out specific reps for their mirror muscles.
      And finally, while that Rusty Moore skinny and ripped look, can look cool in isolation, on camera; in the real world, once one of those ‘hardbodies’ stand next to someone 50 pounds their ‘muscular senior’, the big dude is still likely to play the role of alpha to the ripped tulip in their social interactions. And for people who live off camera, that is a much better predictor of who gets the chick, than whether some woman prefer this or that when viewed in a picture. Regular guys should strive to look like the dominant male in their surroundings; not strive for a look that may make them dominate a fashion agent’s light table. And for that, looking like you can throw the other guys in the room around like ragdolls, isn’t a bad way to go.

      1. If you want to be the dominant male in the room, your body language and social skills are far more important than muscles, so I’ll keep working out as a way to look good, not to dominate.

        1. “Looking good” is much more subjective as far as men goes than women. And most guys are better off at pulling off cockily confident body language around twigs than around a bunch of aggressive NFL linemen. Coked up Bill Maher types are an exception.

      2. Well man You can call me a liar or scoff that the numbers aren’t impressive, but I can overhead press 235 standing, seated with the back at a 60 degree angle I can handle 280 and I’ve incline benched 325, all at a bodyweight of about 175-180, which leaves me light enough to do a double bodyweight weighted chin-up and I couldn’t care less about squatting.

        1. You’d probably do 285 standing at a bw of 200 if you did more lower body work. And have the added shoulder mass than would go along with it….
          Unless you’re talking solely about avoiding squatting. If you do heavy deads and other leg/core work already, squats by themselves aren’t going to change you too much. Many big guys don’t even do them do to knee issues, and instead do good mornings or other less knee intensive substitutes. The article author wrote about lower body work in general.

        2. Hahaha you sound like you’ve bought the rippetoe koolaid. Yeah bro, heavy skwartz will make my standing overhead press go up 50lbs how could I have been so blind to the magical power of squats? Tell me what they’ll do for weighted pull-ups? Hahaha

        3. It’s not heavy squats. It’s heavy lifts. Standing overheads aren’t solely limited by deltoid strength. If you have never lifted anything heavier than 235 while standing on your two feet, you’ll benefit quite a bit from getting used to doing so.
          235 is pretty good for a guy your size these days, but still weakling territory compared to the big pressers back when the clean and press was still an Olympic lift. But, if you’re happy with plateauing at 235, you’re still waaaaay ahead of 99% of the population, so it’s not like you strictly “need” to squat for your shoulder development.
          Gaining 25lbs in your lower body, particularly from deads, WILL increase your weighted pullups, as long as you measure by adding your body weight (or 90% of it, roughly sans arms) to the plate weight.
          Also, I don’t know your age, but one of the most telling signs of men getting older, is their legs getting skinnier, while their bodies get bigger. Leading to the matches stuck in a potato look which is the hallmark of a true geezer.

        4. Ah, you mean the Olympic press with the increasing amounts of layback that led to it being dropped after 72. If you go back and look at the older records you’ll see that I’m not far off from the record holders of the 20s who were around my weight. And with a wicked amount of backbend my dad could clean and press 210 @ 132, and he also gave no fucks about massive squats. I don’t think you’ve done as much homework on this as you think you have. Still trying to decipher your meaning with regards to gaining 20-25lbs somehow improving my strength to bodyweight ratio with regards to weighted pull ups.

        5. I don’t really know what the records were back in the 20s, so I’ll take your word for it. And I’m in no way trying to diss yours, or your dad’s, strength. You’re both lots stronger than me. But by the time the press was dropped, records were much higher. Layback was part of it; but so was much more scientific and sophisticated, hence effective, training protocols. Which happened to include lots and lots of lower body and core work…. As well, the ability to lay that far back while pressing, requires a level of core strength you’re not likely to develop without lifting heavy ass weight.
          If you gain 20-25lbs of body weight, from squats and deads, some of that weight will be in muscles that are used in pull ups. Dead lift training in particular, has some carryover to pullups. Grip strength, back strength, rear deltoids, biceps, rotators…… Plus, regardless of how strict your form is, on a record attempt, you’ll use ‘some’ body english. And core and leg muscles are more amendable to body englishing, than a 25lb iron plate hung from a belt.
          But regardless; you’re obviously in pretty good shape as it is. Heck, even your lower body is stronger than most people’s, as demonstrated by your ability to actually carry 235 in a standing position. Your average pencilneck would probably end up flatfooted and with crushed knees from simply having that weight draped over his shoulders.
          But I have no doubt you are shortchanging your pressing ability by refusing to do any lower body work with heavy weights. Why don’t you try for 6 months to a year? Get with a good strength coach used to working with strength athletes, and see what the two of you come up with for increasing your max press. I’m guessing, based on what you’re writing, that he’ll prescribe a fair amount of lower body work; and that if you actually follow his program with the same determination that got you to your current PR, you will be able to press a god bit more than you can now. And have bigger shoulders to boot….

    2. After 3-4 years of competitive oly lifting I agree. Sorry guys, but becoming an extremely proficient squatter will do nothing for your physique in ways that non lifters will notice. I’ve been around too many guys who squat over 2x bw, deadlift only ~30% more than their best clean, and look like skinny guys who barely even lift. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t squat; certainly doing a once a week squatting program like 5/3/1 just to have a proportional physique will be beneficial. But the t/gh release impact of squats is indeed completely overrated. If you can at least work up to like 300x5x3 high bar back squat weighing around 200 or whatever and equivalent number would be for under 200 your legs are going to be about as developed as they ever need to be just to maintain proportionality. If you derive satisfaction from true athletic power as I do, you need to squat a lot more than this.
      Deadlifting on the other hand gives visible changes that non-lifters will notice and doesn’t hit a point of diminishing returns nearly as fast as squatting.

    3. Ok… Had a SWAT officer go down on an operation I was on, exactly because his upper body was ridiculous + heat and wearing an LBV w/ NIJ III+ armor… Dude could not do cardio and made an ass of himself a day earlier chiding another officer of lesser (physical) stature about how to do the job. That smaller officer, who was like all cardio, kicked that muscle neck’s ass and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it happen. I’ve seen it again and again in my career with urban SWAT and SRT. Guys put way-too much emphasis on upper body, can’t get up the stairs and then get owned by skinny little ripped dudes.

    4. Ok… Had a SWAT officer go down on an operation I was on, exactly because his upper body was ridiculous + heat and wearing an LBV w/ NIJ III+ armor… Dude could not do cardio and made an ass of himself a day earlier chiding another officer of lesser (physical) stature about how to do the job. That smaller officer, who was like all cardio, kicked that muscle neck’s ass and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it happen. I’ve seen it again and again in my career with urban SWAT and SRT. Guys put way-too much emphasis on upper body, can’t get up the stairs and then get owned by skinny little ripped dudes.

    5. thunder thighs? you’re making a false dichotomy.
      having a fully developed body transfers better to nearly all activities. the dudes who always blow at basically any sport are the ones with large upper bodies and poorly developed lower bodies.

    1. A lot of athletes experience knee problems — then they develop strength training routines to rebuild the muscles around it. Talk with an orthopedist about the status of your ligaments and tendons, and then see what sort of rebuilding program you can do.

      1. Problem is, I dont have any cartilage left. Orthopedist told me to not put any kind of pressure on it anymore (incl. jogging). I workout and have heavy upper body, but my legs stay very skinny.

        1. Tai Chi. Utilizes the legs heavily without jaring them in any way that could further damage the knee joint.
          To the incredulous, trying holding the Horse Stance (Ma Bu) for over a minute.

  9. I experience the same thing at the gym – bunch of guys working arms and chest and looking at themselves in the mirror – gym can be packed and I finish my lower body workout in a consistent 30 minutes. I make sure to workout my upper body off hours when it’s not busy.
    If you want to boost your metabolism and burn fat when you sleep, you need to work every muscle, and the biggest muscles are in your lower body.
    Don’t forget to burnout your hands last on your upper body workout (just hang from the pull-up bars as long as you can). You can have the biggest arms and chest in the world, but if you neglect your hands, you won’t be able to do shit when you need to.

  10. fuck this, captain upperdbodys need to get out of the squat rack. you’re fooling no one with your partial squat poser shit. just stick to to doing 5 variations of cable flys weak fags

    1. Things get complicated when you go to gyms where the only chinup bar is the crossbar of the squat rack……..

      1. Or they use it to do bicep curls with the barbell…
        Checking their smartphones between every set. Then they leave their weights on the ground or on the bar.
        I think I’m the only member where I work out that actually does squats NOT on a Smith Machine.
        Except for those bicep curl dudes that will not use the preacher stand or dumbbells, but insist on using the barbell with 20 lbs on it at the squat rack.
        AT that gym there is one squat rack, 2 smith machines, and a bunch of bench press and incline/decline benches,as well as numerous leg press and calf raise machines. And as you might have guessed a lot of Captain Upperbodies.
        I’m glad that more people aren’t aware of the benefits of squatting and dead lifting. If they were I’d have to change gyms to get my workout done in the time that I have.

  11. This is especially important because so many of us, Americans, live in suburban sprawl where we don’t walk and use our legs nearly as much as mother nature intended us to.

  12. I am 49 years old, and only took the red pill about a year and a half ago. I have found squats and other leg exercises essential to general fitness. I remember when I was young, and I could run stairs three at a time just because. I lost the ability to run stairs in my worst blue pill/AFC days, but I can do it again now, because of squats, and other leg exercises, like lunges and plyometrics.
    They say that men today have lower T levels than earlier generations. If so, then many men in their 20’s have lower T levels than I did in the 80’s, when I was that age. T levels correlate closely with strength. T helps build muscle in general, and T motivates men to go out and engage in strenuous activities that will build muscle. Therefore, unless he is actively lifting weights, or otherwise getting a lot of execise, then any man past 25 to 30 years old has probably already lost the level of strength and energy he got for free due to being young. Even a young man won’t be strong unless he exercises, with some rare exceptions due to outstanding genes. There are plenty of 24 year old doughboys out there, who would be strong as an ox if they followed the right lifting regimen.
    Getting strong and building a good physique are two different things. To some extent, if you build a good enough physique, you will also be strong, but if you are not in good shape, and are going to the gym to try to turn this around, then in most cases, it is more important to get strong first, and worry about body composition later. If you are trying to get strong, the legs are the foundation, and the core follows closely after. If you can’t carry your overweight aunt out of a burning building, then you’re not strong enough as a man. If you are that strong, then you will feel it every moment of your life, and it will fill you with the confidence and swagger that girls like to see.
    Some of the other comments in this thread question the existence of guys who lift but are unable to run 3-4 flights of stairs. I couldn’t run 3-4 flights of stairs for a number of years, but I can now. I bet there are a lot of guys reading this who can’t do this now, including a number of guys under 30, and I bet at least a number of these guys do some kind of lifting or exercise.
    The advice in this article is extremely valuable for anyone who isn’t young enough to get their fitness for free, and who doesn’t already make sure to do their squats. There is a big disconnect in the manosphere between guys who are already players but want to move up from fucking 6’s to fucking 7’s and 8’s, vs. guys who need to learn the basics.
    Many of the guys in the second group are in poor physical shape. For these guys, the advice in this article is one of the most important things you need to know. Leg and core strength is the foundation of strength in general. Being strong will make you feel like a man. It will raise your confidence, it will raise your T levels, and it will make you look better. Even if you are in the first group, and are already able to fuck 6’s reliably, you will be way better off if you get strong.

  13. Not only is there no argument against lower body workouts,it really ought to be the most emphasized of the whole body workout .
    In a lot of major sports, and nearly all track and field athletics,most power comes from the lower body(and to a lesser extent from the core). Boxing,MMA,Basketball,Soccer,Swimming,Tennis,Golf,Volleyball.
    Even various dances and pretty much every weight lifting activity.
    One of the major impediments of senescence is reduced mobility,due to deteriorating limb musculature.Leg exercises should therefore be an imperative in one’s life.

  14. Stair master and squats are great for missionary position sex, you will thrust better and have more stamina. Women love it and it enforces your dominant psychological mindset over her as you show raw power on top.

    1. If you’re pushing up against your sexual limit, due to thrusting stamina, you’re either way out of shape, or have some seriously tight game……

      1. You get on top in the missionary position and thrust flat out, full speed and strength, for 15 minutes with no breaks, while cupping ass and holding her hair simultaneously, using your core to support you and keep body weight off her. That is some is shape shit and I do it. It is not a sexual limit it is a physical limit in a fixed position, and is cardio from hell, that feels like heaven.

  15. Legs are generally ‘harder’ and less convenient than upper body.
    On top of that you don’t really show off your legs like you do your biceps.
    I 100% agree with the article, except I wouldn’t be so easy on the readers. Legs are SIGNIFICANTLY more important and should be absolutely done more than upper body.
    I’ve got a tall and skinny build plus i spent a lot of my life sitting down. My form has been shit forever people used to always bust my balls about having a goofy walk. I could never do squats good during HS football workouts.
    I’ve been doing Bikram yoga for 8 months now and it is really helping me discover the proper muscle mechanics i’ve been missing my whole life and giving my legs some life again. My calves are starting to show a little bit of muscle and I feel like im starting to walk better.

    1. Also, legs and back go hand and hand. weak legs most likely means weak back which means weak posture
      Highly recommend a serious yoga routine for guys who have poor muscle mechanics.

    2. Many men are concerned about “overdeveloping” their lower body, since it makes it harder to look “v-shaped.”, or “broad shouldered” or whatever. It’s the same reason many go for low rise skinny jeans: to chase the illusion of a bigger upper body, by reducing the visual bulk of the lower body. Never mind how exceptionally gay and dweeby it may look, to those used to being around genuinely well trained people.

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