Bodybuilders Brett Wilkin and Iain Valliere Tackle a Heavy Quad-Focused Workout

The two IFBB pros are carving up their legs in the gym.

Open division bodybuilder Brett Wilkin took on a brutal leg session with fellow competitor Iain Valliere and coach Matt Jansen on April 5, 2022. Though he is a relative newcomer to the Open division, Wilkin’s competitive career is up and running, as is his YouTube channel. Wilkin posted his first video, an arms training session, in February 2022, just six weeks before the 2022 Arnold Classic — he ranked sixth overall in his debut. Since then, he’s been regularly adding content, including “day in the life” videos, Arnold prep, and more training.

In his most recent upload, the Colorado resident trained legs with fellow Open athlete Iain Valliere and his coach Matt Jansen at the Revive gym in Stuart, FL. Wilkin visited the gym to train with Valliere and Jansen and explained that he’d relocate to the Sunshine state in six to eight weeks, which he feels is the best move for his career. Check out Wilken and Valliere’s quad training in the video below:

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Brett Wilken

Wilkin turned pro in 2018 as a Classic Physique competitor but then went on to do a few shows in 2019 — Toronto Pro and Puerto Rico Pro — in the 212 division. However, the Iowa native took two years off to pack on even more mass in preparation for his Men’s Open Bodybuilding debut at the 2021 Chicago Pro. He finished second, just behind Hunter Labrada. Wilken acquired the nickname “The Butcher” after this show because of his impressive conditioning

Iain Valliere and Matt Jansen

Valliere is the brother-in-law of three-time Classic Physique Olympia champ Chris Bumstead (also featured in the video). Valliere has been on an absolute tear, recently winning the 2021 Tampa Pro and 2021 Texas Pro shows and placing second at the 2021 Arnold Classic. He’s already qualified for the 2022 Olympia, having racked seventh overall in bodybuilding’s biggest show in 2021. 

Brett Wilkin’s trainer Matt Jansen was the former coach of 2021 Arnold Classic champion Nick Walker.

Brutal Quad-Focused Workout Session

Below is a detailed breakdown of Wilkin and Valliere’s training session exercises. 

Leg Extensions & Machine Adductors

While often used as a warm-up exercise, these leg extensions were brutal from the very start. They worked up to a heavy top set, then implemented a rest-pause training strategy that involves dropping the pin two spots down from the heaviest weight in the rack, performing 10-12 reps, resting 15 seconds, going again to failure, resting 15 seconds, and then doing another few reps to failure. 

If you do [adductors] early on it really opens you up, feels good, and you can get in and just focus on the quads.

Wilken and Valliere included a few sets of the machine adduction exercise to build the inner thighs and warm up the hips before doing other quad-focused movements.

Leg Press & Hack Squat

With their quads fully fired up and activated, it was time to hop on the leg press machine and stack on the weight. The pair of IFBB pros used the Cybex leg press machine — a version of the leg press that Wilkins prefers for quad emphasis.

It just fully loads the quads, it’s a smaller platform up top.

Valliere also mentioned the machine’s steep angle, which shifts the load to the front of the thighs, allows for a more significant stretch through the full range of motion. They performed two top sets, with Wilkin managing about 20 reps with 10 plates on each side. Valliere did about 20 reps with 11 plates on each side.

As if they didn’t have jello legs by now, the mass monsters were instructed to do hack squats with a pause at the bottom which could cause most to reach for the wastebasket. They did a few very heavy top squats on the hack squat machine. 


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A post shared by Brett “The Butcher” Wilkin (@brett_wilkin)

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Great White Bite!

In between sets of leg presses, the camera showed a scar on Wilkin’s right quad, which he said was the work of a great white shark when he was vacationing in the Florida Keys in 2013. Valliere had a similar experience — he was bit on the triceps by a shark. There isn’t any known correlation between professional bodybuilding and shark bites, but it’s yet another similarity these training partners have.

Bodyweight Walking Lunges

Last but not least, walking lunges rounded out the brutal leg session. There are many different variations of lunges, and they have many benefits, especially with additional load. However, the duo performed lunges as more of a finisher to open up and stretch the legs. 


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A post shared by E-in Val-e-air (@iainvalliere)

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Full Quad Workout

Below is each exercise in the order performed by Wilken and Valliere. The exact number of sets and reps is unclear due to the video’s editing.

  • Leg extensions
  • Machine adductors
  • Leg press
  • Hack squat
  • Bodyweight walking lunges

Wrapping Up

This quad-focused leg routine’s intensity and apparent volume are likely to help both bodybuilders stack on size. Wilkin is aiming for significant improvements for his next show, though when he will compete next is not clear as he is about to move to Florida. 

I can already tell Iain’s going to make me raise up my game. I’ve been a big fish in a little pond…[Now I] start at the bottom of the chain and work my way up.

Valliere is preparing to take on the best of the best at the 2022 Olympia on Dec. 16-18, 2022.

Featured image: @brett_wilkin on Instagram