Tom Platz Leg Workout: Explained

Tom Platz Leg Workout

Tom “The Quad Father” Platz is a legend in the fitness world. He was an iconic bodybuilder of the 1970s and 1980s, who was known for his incredibly developed leg muscles.

The Quad Father was able to develop arguably the best leg muscle ever from his legendary leg workout. Here is a breakdown of the brutal Tom Platz leg workout. Read below to learn about the Tom Platz leg workout and how it was developed.

Who is Tom Platz? 

Before we can talk about the legendary Tom Platz workout, we have to talk about the legend himself. Platz grew up in a military family and had to move around a lot during his childhood.

This constant moving helped Tom develop a sense of discipline and adaptability. He was very active and played a lot of sports well into high school.

When Tom got to high school, he got into weightlifting to improve his sports performance and fell in love with lifting. After high school, Platz started down his path into bodybuilding.

At just eighteen years old, Platz won the AAU Mr. Ironman and Mr. Adonis in the same year in 1973. From there, Platz worked his way up the ranks and continued developing his body.

By the late 1970s, Platz became one of the most popular bodybuilders in the world. What he became most known for were his incredible legs, which are considered the best ever.

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He was able to create his well-defined legs through his notorious leg workouts. Tom’s leg workouts were some of the most brutal weightlifting routines ever created.

Decades later, the infamous Tom Platz workout has become sort of a challenge for weightlifters. Many attempt it, but few ever succeed.

Tom Platz Body Builder

The Tom Platz Leg Workout

The Tom Platz leg workout consists of seven different exercises. 

  • Squats or back squats: 8-12 sets, 5-20 reps
  • Hack squats: 5-7 sets, 10-15 reps
  • Leg extension: 5-8 sets, 10-15 reps
  • Leg curls: 6-10 sets, 10-15 reps
  • Standing calf raises: 4-8 sets, 10-15 reps
  • Seated calf raises: 3-8 sets, 10-15 reps
  • Hack machine calf raises: 3-6 sets, 5-10 reps

Doing this brutal workout at its peak would put you at over 70 sets and close to a thousand reps completed. It is not a leg workout for the faint of heart and will completely wreck your legs.

Alterations to the Tom Platz Leg Workout

While the above is the basic blueprint for the Tom Platz workout, Tom always made alterations to it. Those seven exercises would be his base, but on certain leg days, Tom would go way past those numbers.

There have been legends and confirmations that Platz would do squats for hours on end. His philosophy was that he needed to completely destroy his legs in order to get the best results.

The notorious Tom Platz leg workout is how Tom got his legendary quad muscles and the nickname “The Quad Father.”

How Long Does the Tom Platz Leg Workout Take?

When people ask Platz how long the Tom Platz leg workout takes to complete, he always gives a cheeky answer. He’ll often say lines like “until it’s done” or “until you literally can’t move anymore.”

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There have been times where Tom’s leg workouts have lasted well over four hours. He would do squats and hack squats until he could no longer physically move.

So basically, if you decide to attempt the Tom Platz leg workout, just know you’re in for a long day.

Tom Platz

How Often is the Tom Platz Leg Workout Done? 

Tom has been quoted on multiple videos and interviews about how often he did his leg workout. He claims that he would only do squats 1-2 times a month, but this doesn’t include the other exercises.

Since his leg workout is high rep and volume, it’s probably true that he only completed it 1-2 times per month.

What is Tom Platz’s Favorite Exercise? 

Within the Tom Platz leg workout, by far his favorite exercise is the squat. Tom feels that the squat is the best movement that everyone should do in their workouts.

He thinks that it’s the perfect leg exercise and is the secret for how he got his legendary built legs. 

“There’s nothing like squats. Nothing compares to squats. You can do leg presses, but why? Why do an inferior movement that looks good, but hardly provides any results?”

Tom Platz

Five More Reps

To add further to the madness of the Tom Platz leg workout is a phrase coined by Platz. Tom would say any time you’re tired or feeling like you can’t do anymore, you have five more reps.

Five more reps have become a bit of a mantra and a meme in the fitness world. Anytime you feel like you have nothing left, just remember that there are always five more reps.

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Mike Mentzer’s Influence on Tom Platz? 

One person that had a profound influence on Tom Platz was the legendary bodybuilder Mike Mentzer. Mike was a top bodybuilder during the same era as Platz, who was known for creating his own training philosophy.

Mentzer created his own type of training, where he would do one working set to failure. Platz took this idea of going to failure into his own training, which helped build his famous physique.

Mike also influenced Tom to switch his diet to a high-carb, low-fat diet instead of the traditional high-fat bodybuilder diet. The adoption of this high-carb diet and training to failure helped Tom win Mr. Universe in 1980.

Criticisms of the Tom Platz Leg Workout 

It’s hard to criticize Tom Platz’s leg workout when you can see the results of his work. If there was one criticism for Tom’s leg workout it would be that not everyone can do it.

This leg workout is one of the most intense ever created and has broken many high-level strength athletes. As a new or novice weightlifter, it would be foolish to attempt this leg workout without the proper experience.

Before attempting this leg workout just know that it took Platz years to build up his body to withstand the pain. 

Tom Platz Legacy

The Legacy of Tom Platz

The Tom Platz leg workout has become sort of a legend in the fitness world. Numerous weightlifters constantly take on the challenge of the leg workout and few succeed. 

However, despite the brutality of the leg workout, it will provide results, that helped Tom Platz become a fitness icon. Give the leg workout a try, but be aware that you won’t be doing another leg day for weeks afterward.