7-Time Figure Olympia Champion Cydney Gillon Shows How To Build a Leg Day Program

On March 28, 2024, seven-time and reigning Figure Olympia champion Cydney Gillon published a video on her YouTube channel sharing tips on designing a lower body workout to maximize results. 

The video targets lifters who train their legs once per week. Gillon balances hamstring and quad exercises for optimal strength and muscle development with the following sample programming:

Cydney Gillon’s Weekly Leg Workout

Leg Press


Lying Hamstring Curls

Romanian Deadlifts (RDL)


Leg Extensions 

Check it out below:

[Related: 2024 Will Be Breon Ansley’s Final Year In Classic Physique]

Leg Press

While performing lower body compound movements, Gillon adjusts her stance and form to shift between biasing the quads or the hamstrings.

When performing leg presses, Gillon positions her feet lower on the foot platform and drives with the heels during concentrics to bias the quads. She places her feet toward the platform’s top and pushes through the toes during concentrics to target the hamstrings.

When I have three hamstring exercises, I do a curl, stretch, and general contraction.

Leg presses emphasize the stretch, and V-squats and lying hamstring curls target the contraction.

[Read More: 15 Best Hamstring Exercises & Workouts for Stronger Legs, DPT-Approved]


Gillon advises against pausing after each rep to minimize rest and maximize muscle stimulation when performing walking lunges. The 32-year-old recommends rotating lunge exercises to keep workouts interesting (i.e., target the muscles from different angles and prevent strength and muscle plateaus).

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Gillon alternates between walking lunges, reverse lunges, and Bulgarian split squats. She recommends using dumbbells or an aerobic stepper to make the exercises more challenging.

Unilateral lunges can help build a weaker leg and balance strength with the more dominant leg.

[Read More: What Is Unilateral Training and Does it Really Fix Imbalances?]

Lying Leg Curls

The Georgia native Gillon kept her feet shoulder-width apart and toes dorsiflexed throughout the range of motion (ROM). The Georgia native drove her hips and quads into the pad during the concentrics to peak contraction.

Gillon highlighted that the correct form optimizes results and significantly reduces the risk of injuries.

Romanian Deadlifts & V-Squats

Gillon grabbed dumbbells with a pronated grip and initiated the RDLs by hinging at the hips and pushing her glutes back for a deep hamstring stretch at the bottom.

Gillon revealed she hasn’t performed a conventional barbell back squat since 2019, preferring to squat on the V-squat machine, which limits the strain on the lower back. 

Leg Extensions

“You can start with the leg extensions or use them as a finisher,” said Gillon. “I’m going to the ROM that allows me to get a deep stretch at the bottom and then push back up to get the peak contraction at the top.”

Gillon recommends placing the legs together to bias the vastus lateralis (quad sweep) or using a wide stance to load the vastus medialis and rectus femoris. 

[Read More: The Anatomy of Your Leg Muscles, Explained (and How To Train Them)]

Looking Forward

Gillon will defend her Figure Olympia title at the 2024 Olympia, scheduled for Oct. 10-13 in Las Vegas, NV. Should she win again, her victory would tie her with legends Lee Haney, Ronnie Coleman, and Lenda Murray, each boasting eight Olympia titles.

Featured image: @vytamin_c on Instagram

The post 7-Time Figure Olympia Champion Cydney Gillon Shows How To Build a Leg Day Program appeared first on BarBend.


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