How 7-Time Figure Olympia Champion Cydney Gillon Trains Legs During Her Off-Season

With seven consecutive Figure Olympia championships, Cydney Gillon is arguably the most dominant bodybuilder currently in the IFBB Pro League. Her graceful stage presence, flowing symmetry, balance, and shape set her apart from the field on the judges’ scorecards.

On Feb. 12, 2024, Gillon published a video on her YouTube channel wherein she shared her off-season, high-volume, hypertrophy-focused lower body workout and training tips:

Cydney Gillon’s Leg Training

Here is a summary of Gillon’s lower body off-season training:

Superset — Alternating Leg Extensions & Alternating Jumping Lunges

Pendulum Squats

Superset — Seated Hamstring Curls & Leg Presses

Superset — Stiff-Legged Deadlifts & Plate Romanian Deadlifts (RDL)

Watch how she performs the above movements in the below:

[Related: Elisa Pecini Is Out of the 2024 Bikini International Contest]

Superset — Alternating Leg Extensions & Alternating Jump Lunges

Gillon opened with single-leg extensions on an iso-lateral machine. She superset leg extensions with bodyweight jumping lunges. Plyometric training involves short, intense bursts of activity to bias the fast-twitch muscle fibers. 

A review published in Sports Medicine suggests bodyweight plyometric and resistance training might have similar effects on whole muscle hypertrophy in the lower extremities. (1)

Gillon did alternating lunges and alternating leg extensions to balance exertion and recovery for each leg; crucial for symmetry and muscle growth.

Image via @vytamin_c on Instagram

Gillon monitored her heart rate throughout the training session to align her high-intensity interval training (HIIT) goals. She aimed to maintaina heart rate above 165 beats per minute (bpm) throughout the session.

After almost a minute [of jumping lunges], my heart rate is at 154 beats per minute.

Gillon progressively added 10 pounds with each set of leg extensions and superset them with 16-rep sets of alternating jumping lunges.

Pendulum Squats

Gillon switches up her programming weekly to dodge plateaus. She favors pendulum squats for how it loads the quads and glutes without straining the knees and lower back:

I always look for what’s going to add to my longevity and ensure that exercises don’t hurt my joints.

The 32-year-old assumed a wider-than-shoulder-width stance on the pendulum machine’s foot platform to bias the vastus medialis, colloquially known as the “tear drop muscle” on the quad.

Gillon recommended staying on your feet while resting between sets on leg days, as it lowers the possibility of resting for too long. 

Superset — Seated Hamstring Curls & Leg Presses

The Georgia native transitioned to hamstring training via seated hamstring curl and leg press supersets.

According to a European Journal of Applied Physiology study, traditional workouts showed the greatest decrease in countermovement jump (CMJ) — a measure of lower body power — performance immediately after exercise. This suggests that traditional workouts cause more fatigue than superset workouts. (2)

Image via @vytamin_c on Instagram

Gillon positioned her feet wider than shoulder-width apart on the upper section of the leg press machine’s foot platform, deliberately placing her toes off the platform to bias the hamstrings.

Superset — Stiff-Legged Deadlifts & Plate Romanian Deadlifts

Gillon performed stiffed-legged deadlifts on a pendulum squat machine. She superset them with RDLs while holding onto a weight plate.

Gillon is expected compete at the 2024 Olympia, scheduled for Oct. 10-13 in Las Vegas, NV. She will attempt for her eighth consecutive Figure Olympia title. Should she succeed, she will join the ranks of legends such as Lenda Murray, Lee Haney, and Ronnie Coleman, each boasting eight Olympia wins.


 Grgic, J., Schoenfeld, B. J., & Mikulic, P. (2021). Effects of plyometric vs. resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A review. Journal of sport and health science, 10(5), 530–536.

Weakley JJS, Till K, Read DB, et al. The effects of traditional, superset, and tri-set resistance training structures on perceived intensity and physiological responses. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2017;117(9):1877-1889. doi:10.1007/s00421-017-3680-3

Featured image: @vytamin_c on Instagram

The post How 7-Time Figure Olympia Champion Cydney Gillon Trains Legs During Her Off-Season appeared first on BarBend.


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