Jay Cutler Leg Workout (Build Strong Legs like a Pro)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: November 28, 2023
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Jay Cutler’s legs have captured the attention of fitness enthusiasts everywhere.

As a bodybuilding legend, his leg workout routine is a topic of great interest for those eager to become the next generation of elite bodybuilders.

Fortunately, Jay Cutler is transparent about his workout approach. After a thorough investigation, I’ve compiled a comprehensive guide outlining his leg routine, diet, and workout principles.

Let’s begin.

Quick Summary

  • Jay Cutler has various leg routines that comprise a combination of free weights and machine-based exercises.
  • Cutler is known for training in the 10–12 rep range with maximum intensity, which helps him achieve optimal muscle growth.
  • Cutler’s diet is heavily protein-based, but he doesn’t shy away from carbs, especially before workouts.

Flex Wheeler Stats

  • Date of birth: 3 August 1973 (age 49 years)
  • Weight: 265 – 275 lbs (120.2 – 124.7kgs)
  • Height: 5’9” (175 cm)
  • Arms: 21 in (53.3 cm)
  • Chest: 58 in (147.3 cm)
  • Waist: 34 in (86.4 cm)
  • Thighs: 30 in (76.2 cm)
  • Calves: 19 in (48.2 cm)

Jay Cutler’s Leg Workout Routine

A man doing leg extension the same as Jay Cutlers leg workout routine

Jay Cutler doesn’t stick to one routine. Depending on his fitness goals, he switches his training methods, either focusing on doing a variety of leg workouts in a day or focusing on different leg muscle groups.

Based on our research, here are the leg workouts done by the four-time Mr. Olympia winner.

Leg Day: Variation #1

Also called the “Grow ‘Em & Show ‘Em’ routine, this leg day variation is perfect for beginners wanting to train like Jay Cutler.

Here are the exercises:

  • Leg extensions (warmup): 2 sets x 12 resp
  • Leg press: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Hack squats: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Rear or front squat: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Lunge (barbell or dumbbells): 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Single-leg leg press: 3 sets x 12 reps

To maximize results, pair Cutler’s leg routine with a wholesome diet and consider one of the recommended supplements below:

Leg Day: Variation #2

A man doing a lying leg curl

Jay Cutler’s second leg variation is based on a video where he trained delts and legs on the same day.

Here’s what he did for the legs:

  • Seated calf raise: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Standing machine calf raise: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Plate-loaded lying leg curl: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Single-leg plate-loaded hamstring curl: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Plate-loaded leg extensions: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Dumbbell Romanian deadlift: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Barbell walking lunges: 3 sets x 12 reps

Quad Workout Routine

Jay Cutler performs the following routine on days where he focuses entirely on his quad muscles:

  • Leg extension: 2 sets x 12–15 reps
  • Free-weight squats: 4 sets x 6–10 reps
  • Leg press machine: 3 sets x 7–9 reps
  • Hack squat: 3 sets x 8–10 reps
  • Stationary barbell lunge: 2 sets x 8–10 reps
  • Stationary dumbbell lunge: 2 sets x 8–10 reps
  • Smith machine front squat: 3 sets x 8–10 reps
  • Leg extension: 4 sets x 6–8 (addition 5–6 reps to failure)

“Returning to free-weight squats has been a pleasure. I enjoy getting under the bar and pumping up some real weight. They’ve added more quad sweep, which I was known for early on when I first turned pro.”

- Jay Cutler, IFBB Pro Bodybuilder

Hamstrings Workout Routine

A guy doing a hamstrings workout routine

Jay Cutler performs the following routine on days where he focuses entirely on his hamstrings:

  • High foot placement leg press: 3–4 sets x 12 reps
  • Standing leg curl: 3-4 sets of 12 reps
  • Seated leg curls: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Lying leg curls: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Stiff-leg deadlifts: 3 sets x 10 reps

Calves Workout Routine

Jay Cutler has three favorite calf exercises. He performs all of them on chest days (around once every five to six days for him).

Here's his calves workout split:

  • Standing calf raise machine:3 sets x 12 reps
  • Seated calf raise machine: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Donkey calf raise machine: 3 sets x 12 reps

Leg Training Principles

A man following the leg training principles by Jay Cutler

Here are three major leg training principles Jay Cutler abides by:

  • Low rest between sets: Cutler takes very short breaks between his sets to increase his workout intensity and muscle breakdown [1].
  • Variations: Cutler performs different variations of leg exercises to attack his muscles from different angles. For example, he does high-placement leg presses to focus on his upper quads.
  • Hypertrophy-focused rep range: Cutler performs most of his leg exercises with 10–12 reps for optimal hypertrophy gains [2].

What Does His Diet Plan Comprise?

Jay Cutler’s diet plan comprises six to eight highly nutritious meals. Most meals consist of 12–16 oz of meat and 3.5–5 oz of carbs.

Here’s what he eats:

  • Meal 1: 2 cups of egg whites, Ezekiel bread (flourless), 2 eggs, 3 slices of turkey bacon, coffee with sugar-free creamer, whey protein, BCAAs, and multivitamins, and 2 packs of oatmeal
  • Meal 2 (pre-workout meal): 12 oz chicken and long-grain rice
  • Meal 3 (post-workout): Protein shake (40–50 g protein), 1 cup of oatmeal, 12 oz of chicken
  • Meals 4–6: 12 oz of chicken and 2 cups of long-grain rice
  • Meal 7: 12 oz of chicken or beef and 2 cups of broccoli

Diet Principles For Bulkier Legs

A high-protein foods for bulkier legs

Cutler doesn’t seem to depend much on protein supplements. He gets most of his protein from eating protein-rich meals for muscle gain.

Unlike many bodybuilders today, Cutler doesn’t shy away from carbs.

He consumes plenty of carbs throughout the day.

Does Jay Cutler Take Supplements?

Yes, to support his workouts and diet, Jay Cutler takes several supplements.

He has reported taking high-quality supplements like pre-workout, whey protein, multivitamins, vitamin B-complex, vitamins C and E, zinc, calcium, chromium, and glutamine.

Also Read: Is Jay Cutler Natural or Enhanced with Steroids


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19691365/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7927075/
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