In bodybuilding circles, it’s a well known fact that the king of legs, specifically quads, is no doubt the legendary Tom Platz. Branch Warren is also an honorable mention who somatotropin hormone has built some pretty insane wheels. Men like Platz and Warren are who many bodybuilders have set as the bench mark of building absolutely insane legs. Even Bakhar Nabieva has cited Tom Platz as her inspiration for building her lower half. So, if you’re being compared to Platz in anyway, then you must surely have some insane legs.

Tom Platz early years

Tom Platz was born June 26, 1955 in one of the US states – Oklahoma. When the boy was 10 years old, the parents did not want their son to just sit idle, they decided – let Tom begin to play sports. They purchased simulators and a detailed training manual for illustrious Joe Vader, the man who founded the prestigious Mr. Olympia tournament. Tom so fired up with a new hobby that he devoted all his free time to it.

Training continued, but so far only at an amateur level. Tom’s body slowly began to take on an athletic profile. Soon, quite by chance, a magazine caught the eye of a boy, which depicted bodybuilder Dave Draper. Tom literally fell in love with his muscles, he immediately wanted to become like this bodybuilder. And here, perhaps, it is possible to give a start to the report, when Tom seriously decided to do bodybuilding.

Some time passed, the guy grew up and decided to move to live in California. And this is no coincidence – there he trained with the same front cover man Dave Draper. In addition to him, Tom was also in students with the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger. Through communication with Mr. Olympia, he learned a lot from him.

Looking at Tom Platz, you involuntarily pay attention to his legs – they are so inflated that the question immediately arises: how does he put on jeans or trousers, are they really not torn? In fact, some oddities in the athlete’s life are precisely connected with this matter – since he really could not get into jeans, and all the trousers he put on immediately diverged at the seams, he had to wear “training” and go only in them. Yes, apparently, Tom’s favorite exercises were squats. By the way, I want to note that his training system can truly be called extreme – he hung on the bar six six-pound pancakes on each side and began to squat with such a burden almost to a complete “blackout”. Of course, such training led to the fact that his muscles ached constantly from pain, but the athlete did not pay any attention to it. His main goal was to become the best in bodybuilding.

When Tom took part in the “Mr. Olympia” tournament, the judges often made a comment about His legs – they said that he violated the rules of proportion.

tom platz

Tom Platz Leg Workout

Tom Platz is a legendary athlete, ahead of his time. He first built the huge muscles of his legs and set this trend of such muscles development. But the whole paradox is that like many geniuses in other spheres, Platz was underestimated in due time.

During his appearances at the Mr. Olympia contest (1979 – 1986), insanely huge leg muscles were considered a sign of disproportion and imbalance in muscle groups, and the judges were simply not ready for it. But over time, in the mid-80s, bodybuilders best steroids for women gradually began to make a more solid emphasis on the legs in their training.

Tom Platz and his 1960 Corvette

In many respects, the reason for this was precisely Tom Platz. The fact is that other pro-bodybuilders competing with him at Mr. Olympia, participated in the kamagra aanbieding mandatory comparative position, which is held simultaneously between several participants in turn. In the comparison of the leg muscles, all the competitors were divided into two categories:

1) Tom Platz; 

2) All the rest. 

This is amazing, but he excelled at all times, both by the volume of quadriceps, and by their relief, and also by the general separation of quadriceps and biceps hips!

tom platz nowadays

However, gradually more and more athletes began to increase the volume of their leg muscles and approach the standards of Tom Platz.

Viewers liked such changes and judges began to evaluate it from a better side by changing their criteria. Along with Lee Haney, the king of bodybuilding of the 80’s, and his broad back, the extreme quadriceps began to become fashionable.

Only Tom Platz, himself, had already completed his competitive career by that time as he was a veteran in professional bodybuilding, who participated at major contests for many years. In 1986, he performed at Olympia, just like the good old days.

In 1987, he appeared at the Detroit Pro and stopped competing in bodybuilding, becoming a trainer for himself, from time to time showing a master class in various strongman shows.

Tom Platz was legendary for his workout intensity.

He reports that while weighing less then 230 pounds, he squatted eight reps with 635 pounds and 52 reps with 350 pounds. On numerous occasions, he squatted for 10 minutes straight for more than 100 reps with 225 pounds.

This might seem like hyperbole, if not the fact that Platz is seen in a video shot in 1992 squatting 495 pounds for 23 reps with his thighs going below parallel.

Tom Platz behind the scenes of Olympia, 1981

So, what kind of leg exercises did Tom Platz do in his competitive years to achieve a record development and what scheme did he use in training?

The training of the legs of Platz has always been based on squats and his attitude to this exercise, in his own words, is very special. For him, squats are like a separate sport, which causes incomparable emotions in him . He considers squats as the main exercise for the legs.

Of course, his training program for legs is unlikely to suit an ordinary gym visitor, there are too many approaches, but it is important to see the order of the exercises, as well as the number of repetitions in the sets and draw some conclusions for yourself. It is always interesting to learn how the Legends of bodybuilding were practiced.

Tom Platz now

Tom Platz now still attends the gym, as he once put it, that this is his home. In one of the films about training an athlete, there was a very bright moment. The champion loses at Olympia and returns to the hall and begins to train his deltas to failure. Along the way, he comments on the fact that he has nowhere else to go from the stage, except to the gym, because this is his house.

Modern athleticism upsets the athlete a little. In his opinion, they go there solely for fame and profit, only for the sake of money. Previously, it was different. Bodybuilding was done solely out of love for him. The entire bodybuilding community was like one single family. Even despite the fact that they were all competitors on the stage, they became again best friends in the gym.

Performance history

Tournament Category Date      Country and city Place
Mr. Olympia 1986 Bodybuilding Absolute 1986
Columbus, USA
Mr. Olympia 1985 Bodybuilding Absolute 1985
Brussels, Belgium
Mr. Olympia 1984 Bodybuilding Absolute 1984
New York, USA
Mr. Olympia 1982 Bodybuilding Absolute 1982
London, Great Britain
Mr. Olympia 1981 Bodybuilding Absolute 1981
Columbus, USA
Mr. Olympia 1980 Bodybuilding Absolute 1980
Sydney, Australia
Mr. Olympia 1979 Category -200 lb (up to 90.7 kg) 1979
Columbus, USA

Tom Platz Leg Workout:

  1. Back Squats: 8-12 sets, 5-20 reps
  2. Hack Squats: 5 sets, 10-15 reps
  3. Leg Extension: 5-8 sets, 10-15 reps
  4. Leg Curls: 6-10 sets, 10-15 reps
  5. Standing Calf Raises: 3-4 sets, 10-15 reps
  6. Seated Calf Raises: 3-4 sets, 10-15 reps
  7. Hack Machine Calf Raises: 3-4 sets, 10-15 reps.


  • Ensure you warm up thoroughly before attempting this workout with stretching and mobility. Platz liked to perform a series of bodyweight squats before he even set foot in the gym.
  • Keep your form as strict as possible and ensure you are going below parallel on each rep to maximize gains.
  • Counting reps. Platz preferred to count his reps in sets of five as for him this was easier psychologically.
  • Exertion. Attack every set with everything you have, Platz-style!

The intensity and volume of this workout may seem extreme when compared with the popular training protocols of today. With this particular routine, for example, you’re going to be performing between 33-47 sets a session. As such, this is very much an advanced workout.

However, it can be adapted; for example, you could quite easily cut the volume in half to make it more achievable. Although, if you do modify this routine, make sure you still uphold the mantra of all-out hard work.

Ultimately, if you want huge legs you’re going to have to go through hell and back at the squat rack, over and over again.

How to squat: common mistakes

Tom Platz says many squat today incorrectly.

Everyone’s nose goes forward, as if they are going to dive into the water, and should – up and down, as if you are jumping a soldier.

I didn’t think about it in such a way, and I’ll try to follow up in the next training session if I’m biting my nose.

Squatting is a difficult exercise, and therefore you constantly need to improve your technique.

Tom Platz as the mastermind of other bodybuilders

Indeed, high rep squatting was the weapon of choice for one Korean bodybuilder who used this methodology to build his colossal, world-beating physiques. His name is Nam Eun Cho. He’s dubbed by many as “The Korean Tank” and “The Korean Tom Platz” thanks to his massive and aesthetic quadriceps.

tom platz legs

Nam dominates the bodybuilding stages across Korea and beyond,  taking part in international professional contests like Toronto Pro, New York Pro, and IFBB Vancouver Pro every year. There are no signs of Nam Eun Cho slowing down anytime soon with his accomplishments; he looks set to become the next big name in the Open Bodybuilding category.

Speaking at amateur competitions, Yoon Cho was nicknamed “Korean Quadrosilla” because of his incredibly developed legs.

He earned the professional card in 2015 after a successful performance at the amateur Olympia in Hong Kong, where he confidently won in his category and became the absolute champion.

In the professional arena, the Korean Quadrozilla made its debut in July 2016 at the Vancouver Pro 2016 tournament, where he stopped a step away from victory, taking an honorable second place in the under 212-pound category.

Nam Eun Cho’s Workout

Professional Bodybuilding Contests – 2017

Toronto Pro, Bodybuilding : IFBB 212, 2nd

New York Pro, Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212, 13th – 2016

Vancouver Pro, Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212 Bodybuilding, 2nd

As a fan of heavy compound lifts, Nam makes sure to thoroughly warm up his muscles before putting them under heavy pressure. By doing this, Nam not only decreases chances of causing an injury to his muscles later on, but he also increases his strength by getting more blood and oxygen into his muscles.

bodybuilding tom platz

Here is Nam Eun Cho’s shoulder workout, in order to keep all muscle groups in balance (in addition to massive legs!):

  • Rotator Cuff Warm-ups – Here, Nam does few different exercises, one of his favorites being external and internal shoulder rotation with a band, or light-weight dumbbells. He also might add in a couple of sets of front and side dumbbell raises, just to be sure his shoulders are ready for heavy weights.
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises – This exercise is the staple of Nam’s shoulder workout. Here, he makes sure to exhaust the muscle by doing many sets; starting out light, then pyramiding it up to a weight he can barely lift for around 6 reps.
  • Seated Smith Machine Shoulder Press – In this one, Nam isolates his shoulders without involving any stabilizer muscles. This helps him maximally focus on his middle deltoids, making them ‘burn’ by the time he’s done with the exercise.
  • Rear Deltoids Raises– As with all previous exercises, Nam does many sets here, focusing on squeezing the muscle at the top, and moving the weight slowly on the way down.

After these exercises, Nam might do one more exercise, which is either dumbbell front raises or reverse peck deck machine flies for rear deltoids.

What we can learn from Tom Platz and Nam Eun Cho and their story goes like this: success doesn’t come overnight. However, those who are willing to put in the work, and stay consistent will eventually reach the same heights as those bodybuilders. With enough dedication and consistency, that can be you, too.

Here is also a video how Nam Eun Cho does barbell press:

And leg press:

This is how Nam Eun Cho looks today

After these exercises, Nam might do one more exercise, which is either dumbbell front raises or reverse peck deck machine flies for rear deltoids.

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comments (13)

  • perhaps this is the best training for the legs

  • i wonder how much time he spent in the gym, if so much time devoted only to the legs?)

  • One has only to dream of such legs!

  • Hello! What supplements did Nam Eun Cho use? Thanks!!

  • Hi! Nam sticks to the basics here. He used whey protein to hit his daily protein goal, as well as BCAAs, creatine, and glutamine to help his muscles repair from his demanding workouts.

  • So Tom Platz did not win Mr Olympia or what??

  • No, bro. Only 3rd place in 1981. But with all due respect to Franco Colombo, who took first place back then, Tom Platz was in top form.

  • For how long did Nam Eun Cho worked out to get his form?

  • Hi! He worked hard for years on his training and diet before he got the recognition. However, success doesn’t come overnight. Those who are willing to reach the same heights as Nam Eun Cho must work hard, and stay consistent.

  • Hi! Did Tom Platz use steroids or anything like that?

  • Hi! Yes, Platz admitted that he had taken steroids before major competitions. But who didn’t?

  • What was tom platz cutting diet?

  • Tom’s diet was a typical bodybuilder’s diet. It consisted of high protein meals and frequent eating. You need to make sure that your nutrition is on point and that your maintaining enough calories each day.
    • Prior to training : Two Pieces of whole grain toast with butter and jelly, juice or milk, coffee
    • After Workout: 3-6 eggs, Hamburger patty, sliced tomatoes , juice, two pieces of bread
    • Snack : Cheese and crackers, a glass of milk
    • Dinner : Very large prime rib salad, bread and butter, pie or ice cream , coffee or milk
    • Snack : Couple pints of ice cream or bag of nuts

comments (13)