Written by Ron Harris
27 February 2019


Build Huge Legs with Jason Huh's Strategy



A Little Genetic Gift From Dear Old Dad

Nobody builds a spectacular body part without at least some help in the form of DNA programmed for extraordinary growth and superior shape. In the case of Jason Huh, he does owe a small debt to his father Won, who was known for his own leg development in his prime as Korea’s best bodybuilder. It’s only fair to note that with the occasional exceptions of calves and forearms, nobody creates a standout body part without putting out a lot of effort in the gym over time.

“As a kid I remember my dad as such a madman with his heavy squatting and leg pressing, making these ungodly noises,” he laughs.

But when Won tried to indoctrinate his son in the ways of the iron at age 13, Jason wasn’t terribly interested. “My dad showed me good form on all the basics and emphasized cardio because I was a little on the chubby side, but I felt like lifting weights and bodybuilding was his thing that he was trying to push on me, so I quit.”

The Prodigal Son Returns to the Gym

By age 17, Jason suddenly got the urge to become bigger and stronger when he started a class in weight training (something public high schools in Florida have that doesn’t seem to exist in other states, as far as I know). On his very first day, having not gone near a weight in four years, Jason proceeded to annihilate his quads with multiple sets of leg extensions and leg presses until his legs were so tight he couldn’t walk. That was nothing compared to the soreness that followed. “For an entire week, walking, sitting down, going up or down even a few stairs, anything involving my legs was agony.”

Nonetheless, Jason was hooked and there was no going back. His only guidance in terms of training, nutrition, and supplementation— and I swear this is true— came from the pages of MD. “I tried going online a couple times for information, but it was a disaster,” he shares. “There was too much conflicting information and too many self-proclaimed experts who even a novice like me could tell were full of shit. I stuck with MD and it never steered me wrong.”

But still, without a watchful and experienced eye in the gym, Jason made a lot of typical beginner mistakes, especially on leg day. “I was all about using heavy weight,” he admits. “I remember toward the end of my teens, jumping up from 315, to 405, and then 495 on my squats— but the reps looked like shit, just stupid half reps. I was an idiot.”

Luckily at age 19, Jason met Jeff Hall, owner of a local supplement store and a seasoned veteran of the gym. “Jeff cleaned up my form, revamped my routine, and that’s when I really started to grow,” he says.

As we’ve been saying, Jason’s legs are indeed amazing, but they didn’t get that way by luck or accident. Young Mr. Huh has put a lot of hard work and thought into his leg workouts. These are his core movements, and how he does them for maximum results.

1) Leg Extensions

Some of what Jason Huh does in his training defies conventional practice. It doesn’t take long to see that on leg day. On his first exercise, leg extensions, Jason does not come to a full contraction and lockout at the top of each rep. “I don’t lock out on anything I do,” he reveals. “I’ve always believed that muscle growth is stimulated more by loading in the stretch position, and keeping constant tension on the muscle.” Clearly, his physique is evidence that he has responded well to this technique. “It’s actually a lot tougher and more painful when you don’t lock out, especially on something like the leg extension,” he claims. “And in terms of keeping your knees injury-free, locking out with any appreciable amount of weight would be a terrible idea.”

Jason usually does leg extensions twice in the quadriceps workout: once at the start as a general warm-up, and then later as part of a superset with sissy squats for a finishing movement designed to pack a final skin-stretching pump into his massive quads.


2) Squats

For squats, Jason goes to parallel or a touch below, but does not see the point in “ass to heels” depth. “When you’re that far down, it’s the glutes and lower back getting the weight back up, not our thighs,” he comments. His stance is just outside of shoulder-width, with the toes pointed slightly outward. But he was quick to note that this is the stance that’s best for him, not necessarily another guy. “We all have different structures, leverages, and so on,” he notes. “You have to play around until you find the very best stance that suits your body.”

Jason also learned just a couple years ago that he was flat-footed, and since he’s started using custom orthotic arch supports, his leg training has been far more productive. Squats are such a key movement that Jason will often do as many as 6 sets of them, with the last one being a drop set starting with five plates— and going all the way down until he hits failure with 135.


3) Leg Presses

As a teenager, Huh used to pile on all the plates a leg press would hold and do embarrassing half-reps. Furthermore, to make things easier he would give his quads a break between every rep by locking out (not realizing the force he was putting on his knees). These days, a set bears no resemblance to one from those early years. Now, Jason goes deep, never locks out, and seeks out the best-quality stretches and contractions for his quads without worrying about the weight. Of course, now he’s actually big and strong enough to load up the leg press and use good form.


4) Hack Squats

Though the hack squat has a reputation as being excellent for improving “outer quad sweep,” Huh feels this is a myth. “The hack is just another pressing movement like squats or the leg press,” he states bluntly. “Applying more or less stress to selective areas of the quads has more to do with foot placement and pushing from either the outside or inside of your foot.” Jason likes to alternate these variables from workout to workout to provide different types of stimulus for his quads, but generally works up to five or six plates a side, regardless.

5) Walking Lunges

The turning point for Jason’s inspiration to become a pro bodybuilder was watching Ronnie Coleman’s seminal training video, “The Unbelievable.” To this day, Huh has only seen two training tapes— that one, and Dorian’s “Blood and Guts.”

“Bodybuilding to me is about self-exploration and discovery, so it never made sense to me to watch all these pro DVDs and just copy what they do.” But one thing he definitely picked up from Ronnie was the value of walking lunges. “I consider these to be as basic and important as squats,” he says. Whether he’s training alone or as is often the case on leg day, with a group of four or five guys, this is where someone usually loses his lunch. “It’s funny that lunges used to be considered a girlie exercise, because they will beat the shit out of not only your legs, but your whole body.”


6) Standing Leg Curls

Jason has always done quads and hams on separate days. “Working legs all at once to me would be like doing your whole upper body in one workout,” he explains. “And who does that?” He typically does lying leg curls as well as either seated or standing leg curls in the same hamstring session. “Each will either give you more stress in either the stretch or the contraction, so you really should do more than one type of leg curl,” he emphasizes.


7) Stiff-leg Deadlifts

Seeing the range of motion that Jason is able to achieve on stiff-leg deadlifts is a testimony to his flexibility (which we’ll explain in a moment). In fact, he has to do his stiff-legs off a platform to get the depth and full stretch he likes. In addition to stiff-legs, Huh also regularly does glute-ham raises on a hyperextension bench. To the uninitiated, they would probably appear to be hyperextensions for the lower back. But the execution is such that Jason is able to make his hamstrings do the work of raising his body back up.


8) Seated Calf Raises

I was really surprised to learn that Jason’s “no lockout” rule applied even to his calf training. “If anyone hasn’t seen any new calf growth in a long time, they really should try the constant tension technique of not coming all the way up,” he advises. But he does caution against the common calf-training blunder of bouncing up and down in a ballistic motion. “This is where you see most tears and pulls happen, and I think anyone who’s ever had an injury to the calf or worse, the Achilles tendon, would tell you it’s not fun.”


That’s A Stretch

More and more bodybuilders these days stretch, particularly after leg day. The man with the greatest legs ever, Tom Platz, was a stickler for intense stretching during and after leg workouts, and four-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler dedicates plenty of time to it as well. Jason Huh has been incorporating stretching into his physical fitness regimen even long before he touched his first weight. “My mom was a ballerina, and both my parents were very flexible,” he tells us. “Mom even enrolled me in ballet, tap, and jazz classes for a while when I was 8 or 9, and I also did plenty of stretching in my years of martial arts.”

These days, no leg workout is complete without a final few minutes on the floor mats. “I get a foam roller and roll on the front and outer quads, and then spend about 15 more minutes doing a very thorough stretching routine. Obviously it helps with flexibility and better range of motion, but stretching is also great for preventing injury as well as improving overall muscle separation and detail, which are really what I’m after at this stage with my legs.”

And as good as his legs are, Jason isn’t done with them yet. “The size is there, but I still want a lot more refinement and detail— and you will see that,” he assures us. If you want to supersize your wheels, try his workout. Maybe in about a year, people will be freaking out over your legs, too!


Training Split

Monday:          Chest and tri’s
Tuesday:         Back and bi’s
Wednesday:    Hams and calves
Thursday:        Shoulders
Friday              Bi’s and tri’s
Saturday:        Quads
Sunday:          Rest

Leg Workouts: November 2010*


Leg Extensions       5 sets

Front Squats           4 sets

Leg Presses           4 sets, last is a drop

Walking Lunges      135 pounds, 3 sets

Leg Extensions       3 sets

superset with

Sissy Squats          3 sets

15 minutes on StepMill



Seated Leg Curls                              5 sets

Standing Leg Curls                            5 sets each leg

Stiff-leg Deadlifts                               4 sets

Glute-ham Raises on Hyper Bench     3 sets



Seated Calf Raises        7 sets (last 2 sets are drop sets)

Standing Calf Raise       5 sets

*Jason uses the same rep range for nearly all exercises, pyramiding up in weight as the reps decrease from 20 to 8.


You Bet I Use A Belt!

Some bodybuilders I have spoken with take it as a matter of pride that they never, or at least very rarely, wear a lifting belt. Either they feel this makes them more “hardcore,” or they are legitimately trying to build as much “core” strength as possible. When I put the belt question to Jason with regard to squatting, he didn’t hesitate to let me know how he feels.

“Unless it’s my first warm-up set with 135, I always wear a belt; and it’s a big sturdy leather powerlifting belt,” he began. “I’ve tried training without a belt, or even with a softer belt, and I could literally feel my whole midsection getting pumped and looking thicker almost immediately. There are some areas that should not be developed to the max, and the midsection is one of them.”

Jason also threw in a confession that assures we will never run an ab-training article on him. “I can count on one hand the number of times I have trained my abs,” he says. “The bigger everything else gets and the smaller you can keep your midsection, the better. The abs will be there if you diet down, don’t worry about that.”

Ron Harris got his start in the bodybuilding industry during the eight years he worked in Los Angeles as Associate Producer for ESPN’s “American Muscle Magazine” show in the 1990s. Since 1992 he has published nearly 3,000 articles in bodybuilding and fitness magazines, making him the most prolific bodybuilding writer ever. Ron has been training since the age of 14 and competing as a bodybuilder since 1989, and maintains the popular website www.ronharrismuscle.com, most notable for its blog “The Daily Pump.” He lives with his wife and two children in the Boston area.