“From the beginning I was a big believer in the basic movements, because that was Reg Park’s preference. He would stay with the basic exercises – bench presses, chin-ups, squats, rowing, barbell curls, wrist curls, pullovers, leg extensions, calf raises. These were the movements that worked most directly on all body parts. I was following his example to the letter. And as it turned out, I could hardly have chosen more wisely. The basic exercises were creating for me a rugged foundation, a core of muscle I could later build upon for a winning body. Reg Park’s theory was that first you have to build the mass and then chisel it down to get the quality.”
Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder
Reg Park on legs, 1952 the MuscleMan Magazine: “Since my introduction to weight training, those large “riding breeches” thighs have always been a source of wonderment and admiration, and I always hoped that maybe someday I too would thighs as good as Kimon Voyages, John Grimek & Ed Theriault, the three men whom I considered to have the best thighs in the world.
To be honest, I must confess that as a beginner I always neglected thigh work as it always seemed so hard, and it was not until I won my first contest, “Mr. N.E. Britain 1949”, that I realized how poor my thighs were in comparison to the rest of the body…”
Reg followed this brutal leg specialization workout, 3 days/week (modified a bit according to modern times):
- Full Squats: 3 -10 sets X 5-8 reps (Normal Stance)
- Full Squats: 3 -10 sets X 5-8 reps (Narrow Stance)
- Heavy Leg Curls: 3 –10 sets X 5-8 reps
- Calf raises
15 seconds rest
20 – 30 reps
15 seconds rest
and repeat until it is impossible
His bodyweight went from 190lb in September of 1948 to 205lbs by March of 1949, and just prior to the time he entered and won the Northeast Mr. Britain Contest and his measurements were 48 inch chest and 16.5 inch upper arm. He continued this training routine until October 1949 when he finally weighed 226lb (gain of 36lb in one year). He won the Mr. Britain title.