Do You NEED To Squat / Deadlift To Build Legs?

I used to believe the answer to this question was YES. As if there’s something inherently magical about the patterns of squatting and deadlifting which make them essential to getting any muscle growth out of little chicken legs.

Now I know the answer is NO. You can build muscle on your legs without squatting or deadlifting and in fact many people have (take a look at the legs of the dudes riding their bicycles down beach road every Saturday morning)

YET, go into your gym. I can guarantee every single person in there who has a really good set of legs - who built their legs from what they do in the gym - they all squat or deadlift regularly and intensely.


You have to see the question differently. If training is a chore for you - something you have to grind through a few times per week for the end goal of trying to get a better body - you probably won’t enjoy squatting or deadlifting. They’re hard and tough and if you’re doing them right then they’re a little scary. If you don’t love training then why the fuck would you put yourself through that?

You wouldn’t. So you don’t squat and you don’t deadlift - not with any intensity anyway. You focus most of your leg work on machines. And thats OK if you don’t want an exceptional or stand out physique. Maybe your goal only goes as far as NOT WANTING TO BE FAT or you just want to keep disease / dysfunction at bay so you use resistance training as a tool. But if you’re reading our content you’re probably not this kind of person.

You probably want an exceptional physique. You might not want to be in stage condition, but I guarantee if you’re connecting with our content then you want a physique which is EXCEPTIONALLY BETTER THAN THE AVERAGE.

This is why you need to squat. And deadlift. And you need to do it with intensity. And you need to love it. .
Not because theres something magical about the mechanics of these movements (although they really are hard to beat). But because the body you want will only come to someone who fucking LOVES training.

The body you want is a reflection of living a lifestyle of being absolutely in love with the hobby and meditation and lifestyle of training. You can not hack your way through this. .
In this way, squats and deadlifts have worked their way up to being king of the movements in gym culture because the only people weird enough to put themselves through this shit are the ones who absolutely love training. And they recognise that the only other people putting themselves through this shit are ones who love training. And surprise surprise - the only ones building exceptional physiques from training are the ones who fucking love training.
If you aren’t at the stage yet where you genuinely can’t stand to go a week without getting under a bar or ripping one off the platform, you need to realise this is a hobby and the only way you get good at a hobby is when you genuinely love it and it feeds your soul. If training is still a chore to you then reach out - it may just be you’ve been doing shitty programs or training with the wrong people. Join us and we’ll turn this chore into something that FEEDS YOU and that you can’t get enough of. The exceptional rig will come as a happy side-effect.

Strength Lab - Personal Training, Body Transformation Coaching and Competition Preparation

Personal Training Camberwell, Melbourne