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People Swear By Bodybuilder Tom Platz's Intense Leg Workout—But Is It Safe?

The famous bodybuilder is known for his massive, muscular legs.

If you're looking to grow your leg muscles, you've likely heard of bodybuilder Tom Platz's intense leg workout. And if you haven't, we're here to tell you all about it and whether it's safe for average fitness enthusiasts to perform.

Platz, also known as "The Golden Eagle" is famous for his incredibly muscular legs. Even at age 68, he's still crushing the leg muscle game. Platz has earned many honorary titles in the world of bodybuilding, including Mr. Olympia (seven different years), Honorary Mr. America, Mr. America, Mr. Ironman, Mr. Adonis… and the list goes on.

According to, Platz has shown interest in lifting weights since he was around 10 years old. The ironic thing about this iconic bodybuilder who is world-known for the incredible size of his legs? He was never a fan of squats!

Although there are several versions of Plat'z routine, let's dive into some specifics of what makes Tom Platz's intense leg workout, well, intense. Continue reading to learn more, and when you're done, don's miss Does Lifting Weights Burn More Fat Than Cardio?

What is Tom Platz's leg workout?

fit man doing barbell back squats

The bodybuilder's workout is based on the below structured routine. It includes several modifications to make it more or less challenging.

    • Back Squat: 8-12 x 5-20
    • Hack Squat: 5 x 10-15
    • Leg Extension: 5-8 x 10-15
    • Leg Curl: 6-10 x 10-15
    • Standing Calf Raise: 3-4 x 10-15
    • Seated Calf Raise: 3-4 x 10-15
    • Hack machine calf raises: 3-6 x 5-10

Although these are pretty standard exercises, the combination is designed to help you grow your lower-body muscles—especially at such a high volume of sets and reps.

"One of the defining features of this workout that makes it different from others is the high volume," explains Tyler Read, BSc, CPT, the founder of and a personal trainer who's been in the health and fitness world for the past 15 years. "If you were to perform the entire workout with the recommended sets and reps, you're looking at hundreds of total repetitions in a workout. This makes for a grueling experience, but if you stick with it and manage your recovery, you will certainly drive muscle growth in your lower body."

People on TikTok are in complete and utter awe of Platz's leg day routine, however, they acknowledge (and respect) the intense nature of the workout. One TikToker explained in a video, "I did the world's hardest leg day, and it was truly one of the most difficult workouts I've ever done. This leg routine is from the quad father himself, Tom Platz, who has some of the most iconic legs of all time."

Bodyweight Exercises vs. Lifting Weights: Which Is More Effective for Building Muscle?

Is Tom Platz's leg workout safe?

man doing hack squat

Although Read explains you're not very likely to injure yourself while performing these particular exercises, the risk boils down to volume. "If you are inexperienced or do not use proper form, the number of repetitions each workout calls for may put you at risk of a strain or overuse injury," he says.

Read recommends starting out with lighter weights and building up your sets as your body becomes more familiar with the routine. This will help you grow in a safe manner and ensure you can complete the program in its entirety

"If you start easy and work up to the full workout, it is similar in safety to most other lifting programs, which statistically have lower injury rates than other common sports like soccer or basketball," Read tells us.

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What fitness level is the Tom Platz leg workout recommended for?

muscular man doing leg extension exercises for bigger legs

If you're curious whether this routine is best for you and your fitness experience, Read offers his professional advice.

"The full workout program definitely requires some reasonably strong experience in fitness, I would estimate one to two years of serious lifting should put you in a position to reasonably complete the lower end of the total workout volume," he says. "It also heavily depends on the weight you select."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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