Two-time 212 Olympia champion Shaun Clarida is always looking to improve and add muscle tissue to his physique. His off-season training to defend his Olympia title underwent a shift as he moved to Dallas, Texas. With his location different, why not try a heavy hypertrophic leg workout? As they say, “Everything’s bigger in Texas.”
On June 5, 2023, Clarida published a video to his YouTube channel covering his first leg day post-move to Texas. Check it out below:
Shaun Clarida Lower-Body Workout
Here’s a breakdown of the 212 champ’s Texas-sized training session:
- Standing Calf Raises
- Seated Calf Raises
- Adductor Pulls
- Seated Hamstring Curls
- Seated Leg Raises
- Pendulum Squats
- Seated Leg Press
- Hack Squat Finisher — 15-second rest between sets, multiple sets to failure
Clarida begins with calves, then trained his adductors and hamstrings before biasing his quads.
Shaun Clarida’s Training Tips
During his leg session, Clarida offered five training tips:
1. Train the Weakest Body Part First
Clarida starts with calf raises because it’s the weakest body part. Working weaker body parts is more optimal as they can be trained while Clarida is fresh. He can train his calves more intensely than if he tacked them on at the end of the session.
2. Implement Warm-Up and Feeder Sets
Clarida performs one to two warm-up sets for almost every movement, followed by one to two “feeder” sets. Feeder sets, a.k.a. ramp-up sets, were taught to him by John Meadows, the legendary bodybuilder who passed away in 2021.
Feeling the weights out via feeder sets before working sets helps Clarida better calibrate the weight he feels good loading that day for his heavier working sets — it helps him gauge his energy and strength levels. After his warm-up and feeder sets, he works in one to three working sets.
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3. Use Partial Reps to Complete Working Sets
As Clarida gets into the hamstring curls and leg raises, he could not reach his target rep count before failure. However, rather than ending the set early, he continues as long as he can with partial reps.
[It’s] a great way to extend that set and get blood to the area.
4. As Much Flexion/Range of Motion as Possible
When training legs, Clarida flexes the knees, ankles, and hips as much as possible at the bottom and/or top of all exercises. Flexion (read: range of motion) is vital for fatiguing the muscle. Training through the full range of motion leads to better muscle growth.
According to a meta-analysis in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport, “Full range of motion resistance training is more effective than partial range of motion to maximize muscle strength and lower-limb muscle hypertrophy.” (1)
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Bigger Legs, Bigger Champion
With the strategies Clarida implements in his leg training, including training weaker muscles first, moving through his full range of motion with every rep, and utilizing partial reps for better muscle exhaustion, we’ll see if Clarida takes the 2023 Olympia stage with an even more prominent lower body to fend off his rivals. The 2023 Olympia is scheduled for Nov. 2-5, 2023, in Orlando, FL.
Pallarés, J. G., Hernández-Belmonte, A., Martínez-Cava, A., Vetrovsky, T., Steffl, M., & Courel-Ibáñez, J. (2021). Effects of range of motion on resistance training adaptations: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 31(10), 1866–1881. https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.14006
Featured image: @shaunclarida on Instagram