Safest Way To Work Your Quads Posted on 10 Apr 20:57 , 0 comments

11909894_1153511061331818_871946370_n (1)By Todd Lee M.D.


For those of you who don’t know, despite being a medical doctor, I do not practice medicine. I am a full time competition coach and trainer who specializes in helping people achieve their goals who have medical issues like injuries that no one else can help with. Additionally, I specialize in fat loss in people who have tried and failed everything they have tried before. Yes, I have several champion athletes I work with but I can help literally anyone. If you want to get ahold of me click HERE for a link to set up a phone consultation, HERE to get online coaching and HERE to get training sessions!

Now my buddy Jason hurt his knee at work, so instead of having him do his usual leg routine I wrote him, I went with him to the gym and put him through this quad workout. We’re going back tomorrow to do hamstrings. I did this to ensure we did not exacerbate his knee injury. Contrary to what a greedy doctor, like an orthopedic surgeon will tell you, most of your injuries will heal on their own if you don't do anything to make them worse. If you have knee pain, you’re probably doing something wrong during your workout and it’s slowly making your injury worse. I put these videos together to show you a workout I designed to be knee trauma-free and I was right! Jason had ZERO knee pain the whole workout!

Warm Up

To further warm up the knees and pre-exhaust the Quads we did leg extensions. Started with super lightweight and 20 reps a set with 2 second holds. This allowed Jason to slowly assess his knee and see what was happening inside it. He demonstrated all the advanced techniques I know and I asked him where he learned them from. He reminded me that I taught him them when I trained him years ago. When he moved to New York he continued with his training and didn’t hire anyone else. After he moved back and started again with me earlier this month, I was blown away by how great his form was on all the exercises! Helping loyal friends and clients are what makes this job the best in the world!

Leg Extensions:
50 lbs 20 reps
60 lbs 20 reps
70 lbs 20 reps
80 lbs 15 reps
90 lbs 15 reps
100 lbs 12 reps
110 lbs 10 reps
120 lbs 8 reps ( I failed below the minimum reps (10) for quads so I’m done)

Leg Press
I use the Cybex pendulum press for quads because it’s heavier at the top than the bottom, unlike a traditional 45 degree angle leg press. This means more quads, less glutes and hamstrings. Just like how the lock out on the bench press is all triceps and not chest. Thus by doing “half reps” with super heavy weight, we get to work the quad safely without risking the force transferring to the other muscles. It’s like a powerlifter working a 3 board on bench day.


We started light with 8 plates (360 lbs) for 12 reps. The ideal amount for the quads is 10-12 reps and then we pyramided up, like we did with the leg extension. This resulted in him having NO knee pain.

12 plates for 12
14 plates for 12
16 plates for 12
18 plates for 12
20 plates for 12
ended with 22 plates for 11 (me) and 6 (Jason)
That’s a final weight of 990 lbs plus the sled. Jason said it was a PR for him right before he slid in the leg press; that he has never handled weight like that before and suffered no knee pain. So despite this being a ‘light’ leg workout, he still handled the most weight in his life.

Sissy Squats
Like all my leg workouts the goal is to not make the waist bigger, so I always try to wear the legs out way before the waist gets involved. Starting with squats results in your waist growing along with the legs, but if your main mass builder is your leg press then your legs get the workout and your waist isn’t involved. NOW you can use spinal loading exercises like squats and hack squats. The legs will fail at a weight way too light to put enough strain on the waist to make it grow.

The advantage of this squat is it is very quad dominant and very hard to do. If done after double pre-exhausting the quads like we did with the leg extension, the leg press then will TRASH your quads before your waist ever notices!


12 reps
12 reps
7 + 1 reps

Smith Squat

Since the goal of a quad workout is to work the quads and not to do squats just to do squats, I do Smith Machine squats at the end of the workout. Now that I have triple pre-exhausted the quads and double pre-exhausting the glutes and hams, I NOW hit the squats. By doing them in the Smith, I get to put my feet out in front of me, so it’s all legs and no lower back or waist. I go all the way down so I stress the legs to the max with less weight again, as to not grow the waist. After 24 years of this ‘Iron Game,” I have no joint issues. None. Not a single one. I always use the hardest way to work a muscle with the least weight and not use shitty form to hoist heavy weight. Yes, I can squat 500 lbs for 1, but I get more of a leg workout doing 135 lbs for 10. I actually fell out of my chair at dinner after this workout. Yes, 135 lbs took me out like a bitch!


After that did 3 sets of ody weight lunges to tie all the muscles together and did 5 more minutes of the bike to wash the acid out of our legs so we would be less sore. Jason has had no Knee pain days later and my quads twitch and spasm periodically for the past 36 hours lol!

Who am I? Click here for my Bio!



Nothing in this article or on this site should be considered medical advice or as an endorsement to violate any law of the country in which you reside. The information given is for fun and entertainment purposes only. All claims are 100% dependent upon proper diet and exercise. Please consult a medical practitioner prior to any diet and exercise program.