“It’s been a while, so we’re gonna go hard on this one,” is how bodybuilder and reigning Arnold Classic Champion Nick “The Mutant” Walker described his forthcoming leg workout with 2019 212 division Mr. Olympia Kamal Elgargni.
Walker posted a training vlog to his YouTube channel on Friday, May 20, 2022, in which he and Elgargni teamed up to tackle a truly harrowing leg session that married both athletes’ preferred training styles.
What followed was a collaborative training session at the Mi40 Gym in Tampa, FL, that was light in spirit but heavy in steel.
Over the course of five exercises, Walker and Elgargni took themselves — and each other — to the brink of failure, and then a little further. Here’s a full breakdown of their session.
Exercise 1: Hamstring Curl
Beginning their campaign to burn their legs to a crisp, Walker and Elgargni took turns warming up with seated leg curls for a few light sets each before they began their work in earnest. While Elgargni warmed up, Walker tested his hamstring flexibility. He revealed that he was surprisingly mobile, able to place his hands on the ground behind his feet with locked knees.
Starting with hamstring curls helps my knees feel better than anything else.
The pair worked up to one heavy set of 15 to 20 reps before dropping down to Walker’s tried-and-true “10-10-10” method, wherein both athletes performed ten repetitions with a full range of motion, then 10 additional reps focusing on a controlled eccentric, then 10 final partial reps.
Elgargni remarked that he had never kicked off a leg day with hamstring work before, which prompted Walker to note that it’s how he keeps his knees in fighting shape. Many bodybuilders start off with leg extensions for a similar reason, but Walker notes that he never got much value out of that.
“Once we’re done here, I’m gonna put you through some Hell,” Walker told Elgargni once they’d wrapped up their appetizer.
Exercise 2: Leg Press
Elgargni took the lead for the next movement and chose the standard leg press. Again, the duo started with a conservative warm-up set of two 45-pound plates on each side. Things rapidly got out of hand, though, as they scoured the gym for as many spare plates as were available to make their two working sets of 15-20 reps worthwhile.
[Related: The Best Bodybuilding Leg Workout, Customized for Your Experience Level]
Walker performed his two sets with 10 plates on each arm of the leg press and a close, feet-forward stance, while Elgargni used nine plates and a wider foot position with his feet turned out.
Exercise 3: Band-Assisted Hack Squat
“Everyone likes to go full range of motion on everything, and obviously that’s important, but you don’t always need to,” Walker remarked as he and Elgargni proceeded to their next compound exercise — a resistance-band-assisted Hack squat.
Over the course of several warm-up sets, Walker expanded on his position that he’s found success by using partial reps during his leg workouts, to which Elgargni nodded in agreement. The two fixed a sturdy resistance band to the Hack squat machine to provide some extra assistance coming out of the bottom of their range of motion.
You don’t always need to use a full range of motion on every exercise.
They followed the same procedure on the Hacks as they did the leg press; a thorough ascending warm-up scheme followed by two heavy sets of 15-20 reps, with the latter set taken to absolute muscular failure.
As they wrapped up, Elgargni, visibly uncomfortable at the intensity Walker employs, noted that he was “going to do his best to get the title back,” referring to his impending return to the Mr. Olympia stage in 2022.
Exercise 4: Leg Extension
As the two bodybuilders sweatily sauntered over to their fourth exercise, the leg extension, Walker continued to dish out training advice to the camera. He mentioned that he’s taking a surgeon’s knife to his quad training in an attempt to carve out a very specific result.
“I have enough of this,” he said, pointing to his inner quad. “But I need more here,” as he traced the outer profile of his leg. To build a bigger quad sweep, Walker adjusts his foot position on his leg exercises. For him, bringing his stance closer together emphasizes his outer quadriceps.
You’re gonna die on this one, Kamal.
Walker took Elgargni through an FST7-inspired (that’s fascia stretch training, a technique employed by industry coach Hany Rambod) leg extensions, which demanded that they both perform five sets of 12 reps with 30 seconds rest. The kicker, though, is that neither Walker nor Elgargni could leave the seat between sets. They had to fix their legs in the stretched position during the “downtime”.
[Related: How to Make Bodybuilding Gains With the Smith Machine]
The unique set-rep scheme on the leg extension induced an excruciating amount of metabolic stress. While a key factor in creating muscle growth, the pain was ultimately too much for Elgargni to bear. He approached the sets with confidence at the beginning, opting for the same weight and more reps than Walker, but threw in the towel at the very end of his cluster.
Exercise 5: Hip Adduction
After four harrowingly-hard leg movements, Walker dragged Elgargni over to their final exercise, the hip adduction machine. This time, neither opted for any fancy training techniques as they were both in visibly agony.
Each bodybuilder banged out three sets of 20 reps to thicken up their thighs before calling it a day. Elgargni commended Walker’s approach to training by telling the camera that his pump would “stay forever.”
The Full Workout
Both bodybuilders clearly took inspiration from one another. 51-year-old Elgargni’s veteran status in the game inspired Walker, known for being a work horse, to push himself even further. The 212 Mr. Olympia was no slouch himself, though, and closely matched Walker’s weight, tempo, and commitment on each and every exercise.
Nick Walker x Kamal Elgargni Leg Workout
- Seated Leg Curl: 1×15-20, followed by a 10-10-10 drop set.
- Leg Press: 2×15-20 reps to failure.
- Band-Assisted Hack Squat: 2×15-20 reps to failure.
- Leg Extension: 5×12, with 30 seconds rest and legs fixed in the stretched position.
- Hip Adduction: 3×20
Note: Perform several ramp-up sets on the leg curls, leg presses, and Hack squats. For the leg presses and Hack squats, pick a weight that has you hit complete failure between 15 and 20 reps.
Elgargni, who is training hard for his return to the 212 division at the 2022 Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition, affirmed to Walker’s audience that the workout is guaranteed to lead to serious leg gains.
Walker himself, who has won the Arnold Classic bodybuilding show back-to-back, the 2021 New York Pro, as well as placing fifth at the Olympia during his debut, appears to be taking his career — and his legs — just as seriously.
Featured Image: Nick Walker on YouTube