Old School Leg Training with Tom Platz

The following video was brought to my attention by the good folks at Reddit Bodybuilding. Featuring a re-invented Tom Platz training the German bodybuilder David Hoffmann, the video is a fantastic example of Platz’s old school training methods in action.

Similar to Vince Gironda, Platz dislikes the common form of squatting which he believes places too much emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings. The goal for Platz when squatting was, and is, to build the quadriceps. He therefore advises squatting in a much more upright position, which if you’ve never tried it, is a different beast to your regular squat.

Platz’s next piece of advice concerns volume, a topic that gets spoken about ad nauseam today in the fitness industry. To build the legs, Platz stresses high reps with as heavy a weight as you can handle. Given that Platz was known for his training intensity, this is perhaps no surprise. What I found refreshing was Platz’s training tricks for getting through long sets. Rather than counting in terms of 20 or 30 reps, Platz introduced the idea of counting in 5s. So if you’re doing 20 rep squats, aim for 5 reps…then 5 more…then 5 more etc. It’s incredibly simple but it works.

Finally Platz gives Hoffmann permission to fail during the training session. David is pushed to his absolute limit, allowed to rest and then put under the bar once more. All of us, myself included get sucked into the trap at one time or another of believing that failure in the gym must be avoided at all costs. Platz stresses the importance of failing in achieving your goal and getting the most from your workout.

So to conclude:

  • Platz is still as god damn crazy as ever
  • For bigger quads, squat in a more upright position. If you struggle with this try weightlifting shoes with a heel or even switch to front squatting for a while.
  • Do high volume exercises for legs
  • Don’t fear failure

Check out the video below and let us know what old-school gems you took from it. As always… Happy Lifting!

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