7 Best Exercises You Can Do In The Gym To get Muscular Legs Like Cedric McMillan

Build massive legs like Cedric McMillan. (Image via Getty)
Build massive legs like Cedric McMillan. (Image via Getty)

Cedric McMillan was an American IFBB professional bodybuilder.

He retired in 2021 and passed away the next year due to complications arising from a cardiac condition. In 2017, he won the much sought-after Arnold Classic, named after the legendary bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

One of McMillan's most notable assets was his pair of massive legs that even captivated Schwarzenegger himself. The latter said that McMillan was the hallmark of modern-day bodybuilding and his physique is one bodybuilders should aim to replicate.

Cedric McMillan boasted 250 lbs+ of pure muscle and an incredibly slim waistline, accentuating his legs and making them look even bigger. Such notable features are a testament to his dedication as a bodybuilder.

If you're trying to build muscles in your lower body, here are seveb exercises you can do in the gym to blow up your legs:

How To Build Massive Legs Like Cedric McMillan

1) Leg Extensions: The best way to blow up your legs is by isolating your quads.

Leg extensions happen to be the most efficient exercise for doing so. They're a key exercise in building strong, bulky quads, and are far superior in targeting your quads compared to traditional back squats.

Cedric McMillan liked to perform three sets of 12 to 20 reps of leg extensions.


2) Seated Leg Curls: The seated leg curl is a brilliant exercise for growing massive all-round legs.

Just as leg extensions are great in targeting your quadriceps, leg curls are the best exercise when you're trying to grow your hamstrings. This exercise is perfect for adding size to your hamstrings while increasing overall leg strength and functionality.

Seated leg curls can also function as a supplementary exercise to other lifts, as they help build hamstring strength, which is key for countless important lifts.

Cedric McMillan preferred to do three low-weight sets in high rep ranges of 12-20 reps for this exercise.


3) Single-leg Lying Leg Curls: Single-leg Lying Leg curls are an efficient unilateral movement that can help build substantial muscle and strength in your hamstrings.

They can even help out with muscle imbalance and boost hip, back and hamstring strength. Although this leg curl is a variation of the seated one, it engages far more muscles than its variant.

Lying leg curls are great in helping increase muscle mass, especially for bodybuilders and lifters looking to add pounds to their physique.


4) Machine Calf Raises: This one's pretty simple. Calf raises are notoriously annoying to perform, but if you let them stop being a thorn in your flesh, you'll find that they're amazing for blowing up your calves.

There's only one movement that solely targets your calves, and it's this one. While there are variations of this exercise too (standing calf raises, etc.), machine calf raises offer the best support and range of motion, and also allow you to lift heavier.

Training calves are something most gym-goers overlook, purely because they believe that it's redundant. However, if your goal is to build muscle consistently and train every single body part without skipping important exercises, make sure to add machine calf raises to your leg day routine.

Cedric McMillan performed machine calf raises for three sets of 12 to 20 reps, even going to failure for some sets.


5) Walking Lunges: Walking lunges are a great all-rounder exercise that are great for boosting range of motion, flexibility and even building muscle in your quadriceps and hamstrings.

This is a favourite among athletes and bodybuilders alike, simply because of the wide array of merits it offers, apart from its obvious muscle-building benefits.

Cedric McMillan liked to perform three sets of 40 steps of walking lunges, with no additional weight to feel each rep, and go nice and slow, enabling him to work in higher rep ranges.


6) Leg Press: Some think it's overrated, so they never attempt it at all. Nevertheless, whatever you think of the leg press, it's a great exercise to slot into your strength training workouts.

The leg press is great for building strength in your legs and also helps with joint flexibility. It largely engages your quadriceps, although your glutes and hamstrings remain slightly activated during this exercise.

Remember not to lock your knees, as that could permanently damage your legs. This exercise and the next one can be performed in a single superset for maximum output.


7) Stiff-leg Deadlifts: Stiff-leg deadlifts are another popular exercise among bodybuilders. It's an exercise that focuses on muscle hypertrophy and isolates the quadriceps.

They're harder to perform than traditional deadlifts. As their name suggests, your legs must remain stiff while lifting, as opposed to the bending of knees in a standard deadlift. The higher position of the hips makes the weight considerably harder to pull.

Cedric McMillan performed this as a superset with the leg press for three sets of 12 to 20 reps.



Cedric McMillan has set a benchmark for modern-day athletes by redefining how bodybuilders train.

He often performed exercises with lower weights and focused on slow, controlled movements and higher rep ranges, which clearly worked for him.

However, you must find your own way and keep evolving to become a great lifter while also taking inspiration from all-time greats like McMillan.

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