Pro Bodybuilder Regan Grimes Shares Low-Volume, High-Intensity Leg Workout

Top Men’s Open competitors Regan Grimes shows his heavy leg day routine for building massive wheels.

IFBB professional bodybuilder Regan Grimes is one of the promising young prospects in the Men’s Open division. However, despite his fast rise to popularity in the sport, the 28-year-old has not quite had the competitive success he’s hoped for. Grimes finished 15th at the 2020 and 2021 Olympia, and placed seventh in his two most recent shows, the 2022 Arnold Classic and Boston Pro, respectively. 

However, thanks to a win at the 2021 KO Pro contest last year, Grimes is already qualified for the 2022 Olympia, set to occur from December 16-18 in Las Vegas, NV. Until the O, Grimes’ plan is to grind in the gym with legendary coach Milos Sarcev to bring his best package yet. On April 10, 2022, the Canadian bodybuilder visited “The Mecca” Gold’s Gym Venice and took to YouTube with a low-volume, high-intensity leg workout routine and it looks killer.

[Related: Bodybuilders Brett Wilkin And Iain Valliere Tackle A Heavy Quad-Focused Workout]

For the session, Grimes was joined by training partners and fellow competitors Fran Soriano Rodriguez and Rodrigue Chesnier.

Regan Grimes Low-Volume Leg Workout For Growth 

Regan Grimes is currently doing a maintenance phase and following a two days on, one day off training split to help him recover from competition. The current training split:

  • Push
  • Pull
  • Off day
  • Legs
  • Arms
  • Off day

You can check out the full leg day below:

Seated Calf Raise 

Regan Grimes likes to start off leg workouts with seated calf raises to pump up his bulls. He emphasized the importance of training calves and even teased his partner for not focusing on them. 

“A lot of people neglect the calves, or you’re like, ‘Ok I’m going to hit calves after the workout’ and then you you don’t,” Grimes says. He also admits that he and his training partners are occasionally guilty of this. 

While this variation trains the calves overall, it’s believed to emphasize the soleus, the calf muscle located underneath the more superficial and bulkier gastrocnemius.

They performed two warm-up sets and the video showed one working set in the 10-12 rep range. The goal was to achieve muscular failure through maximum intensity using a two seconds up, two seconds down tempo

“The key here in this workout is just absolutely squeezing the sh*t out of the muscle and just getting maximal contraction out of the muscle being worked,” Grimes adds. 

Standing Calf Raise 

The bodybuilders then move on to the standing version of the calf raise, this exercise may be better for recruiting more of the gastrocnemius or two-headed calf muscle. Unlike the soleus, the gastrocnemius is a biarticular muscle that crosses both the ankle and knee joint, and may have better activation when the legs are fully extended. 

The group performed one warm-up, or feeler set as Grimes calls it, and then two working sets with a three seconds positive, three seconds negative tempo. The former Classic Physique competitor gave a great pro tip to warm up the rear leg muscles before squats because it provides a cushion in the back and feels so much better.

Seated Hamstring Curl

The crew did two warm-up sets and two working sets of hamstring curls; they focused on the contraction during each repetition. This exercise isolates the three-headed group of muscles located on the back of the upper leg opposite the quadriceps, collectively known as the thighs. 

All were exhausted at this point and before Grimes performed a grueling set, he referred back to what his coach Milos Sarcev said: “Clearing your mind completely of all the distractions, everything here and just thinking about the hamstring only.”


Next up was the v squat machine, a quad-focused exercise that also works all of the lower body muscles and the core as well. It’s a great mass and strength builder because you can load up the machine with a lot of weight and not have to worry about balancing or stabilizing a barbell

Grimes coached his partner through the movement, reminding him to stand up from the squat slowly to really challenge the quad muscles


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A post shared by REGAN GRIMES (@regangrimes)

“Slowly come out of it, don’t power out it,” Grimes says. They also did two warm-up sets and two working sets for this exercise.

The goal was to load up the machine with what appeared to be eight weight plates on each side and reach failure in the 10-12 rep range. 

Machine Leg Extension

The leg extension is a staple for most bodybuilders because it allows them to really focus on stretching and contracting the quadriceps muscles. It’s also a nice break from compound exercises that can be taxing on the body and joints.

Grimes says to not think about the feet during the movement but focus on contracting the quads. They also threw in one set of single-leg extensions to work on unilateral training and to identify any imbalances

Lying Hamstring Curl

The lying hamstring curl was added in for more isolation work and they did just two working sets before moving on. 

These curl-type movements are always good to include for leg training because they emphasize the short head of the biceps femoris (hamstring muscle) that, unlike the other heads that cross both joints, crosses only the knee joint. 


The gang wrapped up their session with three sets of 10 repetitions on the adductor machine that works the inner thigh muscles. Many avoid this exercise because it’s not seen as a serious movement, however, Grimes disagrees.

“People underestimate this exercise but this part here builds what makes your legs look crazy big,” he explains.

His tips for this exercise were to let the feet float in the air which makes the movement a lot harder and to position the knees slightly outward and use a chopping motion to really target the inner thigh muscles.

Low-Volume Leg Workout Routine For Growth

Below we’ve included the exercises in the order performed during Regan Grimes’ leg workout. 

  • Seated Calf Raise 
  • Standing Calf Raise
  • Seated Hamstring Curl
  • V Squat
  • Machine Leg Extension
  • Machine single leg extension
  • Lying Hamstring Curl
  • Adductors

Featured Image: @regangrimes on Instagram