Can You Gain Mass With Split Squats?

Got this question yesterday?

Q- With using split squats, RFE split squats, etc. instead of back squat or any bilateral lifts besides deadlift; can
you still put on mass successfully?

A- The answer to the question would be “why not”. Do you think the body knows how many legs it on?

One idea that is thrown around is that heavy weights produce an anabolic effect. Although this may be true, I don’t think there is any evidence that the heavy load needs to be applied bilaterally? Do you really think your hormones say “I’ll hold off here, he’s only using one leg”?

Also, hypertrophy in response to high volume bodyweight work can be seen in a number of examples. Distance runners tend to have unusually large calves. Speed skaters and cyclists tend to have large quads. Any female athlete that jumps or sprints tends to have great glute development.

The reality is that heavy loads are not a requirement for hypertrophy and, that light loads might actually work just as well.

In any case I don’t think the body knows whether each leg squatted 150 lbs or, both legs squatted 300. In fact, if we look at bilateral deficit, the average weight per limb might be heavier.



2 Responses to “Can You Gain Mass With Split Squats?”

  1. mboyle1959 Says:

    Exactly. I don’t think a muscle needs to be contracted at the same time on both sides to create the proper metabolic and mechanical environment for size or strength.

  2. Very good stuff sir. i would definitely think that single leg exercise can create hypertrophy. Especially if the trainee follows the scientific criteria for it: mechanical tension,metabolic stress and muscle damage a they train!

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