Tom Platz Workout Routine and Diet Plan

Tom Platz is a well-known old-school bodybuilding legend. Even though he has retired from bodybuilding long back, he is still very much into the sport.

Tom Platz was nicknamed ‘the Quadfather’ owing to his monstrous leg development. His YouTube videos on leg training can get you so motivated that you may start hitting your legs every other day.

So if you too need the motivation to ace your leg workouts, then let us tell you that you are at the right place. Here, we will be discussing Tom Platz’s workout routine and diet plan that he followed during his competing years to build an iconic physique.

We are sure that this post will get you fired up to train your butt off. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Tom Platz Workout Routine and Diet Plan

Tom Platz Workout Routine

Training intensity has always been the name of the game for Tom Platz. During his competing years, his exercise routine used to be extremely intense. He even suggests his clients to train with maximum intensity.

Tom Platz used to lift pretty heavy weights during his competing years, especially on the compound exercises. He also made sure to hit the maximum number of repetitions with such heavier weights.

Well, that’s where lies the secret behind his insane leg development. He used to squat 350 pounds for 52 reps and 635 pounds for 8 reps. And he did all this weighing less than 230 pounds.

On different occasions, he was even seen performing squats with 225 pounds for 10 minutes straight. And we must tell you that his squatting form was absolutely perfect. His quads used to be below parallel in the bottom-most portion of the squat.

Apart from hitting impossible numbers on squats, Tom also used to perform other leg exercises with a similar intensity and volume. During his competing years, hitting over 60 reps in a single set of leg extensions and leg curls was no big deal for him.

Platz used to hit the gym 6 days a week. On some days he even went through two workout sessions.

Tom Platz’s weekly workout routine looked like the following:-

Tom Platz Workout Routine

Monday and Thursday


  • Dumbbell bench press- 10 sets of 5-15 reps
  • Bench press supersetted with dumbbell flys- 5 sets of 5-10 reps
  • Barbell upright rows- 6 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Lateral raises- 6 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Cable lateral raises- 3 sets of AMRAP
  • Standing calf raises- 4 sets of 50 reps
  • Seated calf raises- 3 sets of AMRAP


  • Chin-ups- 6 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Barbell bent-over rows- 6 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Seated cable rows- 6 sets of 20-25 reps
  • Behind the neck military press- 5 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Bent-over dumbbell laterals- 4 sets of 10-12

Tuesday and Friday


  • Dumbbell curls- 6 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Close-grip bench press- 6 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Barbell curls- 4 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Cable pushdowns- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Wrist curls- 4 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Crunches- 2 sets of 100 reps
  • Russian twists- 1 set for 10 mins
  • Roman chair sit-ups- 4 sets of AMRAP
  • Standing calf raises- 4 sets of 50 reps
  • Seated calf raises- 3 sets of AMRAP

Wednesday and Saturday


  • Squats- 2 sets of 25-50 reps
  • Hack squats- 4 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Leg extensions- 4 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Leg curls- 6 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Standing calf raises- 4 sets of 50 reps
  • Seated calf raises- 3 sets of AMRAP
  • Crunches- 2 sets of 100 reps
  • Russian twists- 1 set for 10 mins
  • Roman chair sit-ups- 4 sets of AMRAP

Sunday- Rest/Light Cardio

Before getting started with his intense training sessions, Tom used to stretch out his muscles adequately. Doing so helped him to stay away from injuries that often arise out of muscle stiffness. It also let his body flexible.

Emphasizing Leg Training

Tom Platz’s monstrous quads, hamstrings, and calves were a result of his intense leg training sessions. He further intensified his leg training sessions in the early 1980s.

During that period Tom used to train like a maniac. In each of his training sessions, he ensured to hammer every single fiber of the targeted muscle groups.

Tom Platz’s leg training routine in those days looked like the following:-

  • Squats (635 lbs max)- 8-10 sets of 8-20 reps
  • Hack squats (500 lbs max)- 5 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Lying leg curls (240 lbs max)- 6-10 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Leg extensions(350 lbs max)- 5-8 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Standing calf raises (500 lbs max)- 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Seated calf raises (250 lbs max)- 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Hack machine calf raises (400 lbs max)- 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps

Tom performed the above-mentioned workout 2-3 times a week along with training other muscle groups.

High Reps Are Crucial

When it comes to building strong and massively muscular legs, Tom always advises performing a high number of reps on the leg-building exercises. For him, performing a higher number of reps with strict form is more important than lifting excessively heavier weights and performing just 1-3 reps.

Hence, on almost all the exercises of his workout routine, he performs 8-15 reps. He also advises his clients to follow suit to gain the most out of their training sessions.

5 More Reps

Tom has always been known for taking the intensity of his training sessions to a whole new level. He does so by following the ‘5 more reps’ approach.

As per that approach, you force yourself to perform 5 more reps after your muscles get decently fatigued. Now, this may sound like pure insanity, but that’s what gave Platz monstrous leg development.

The logic behind this approach is pretty simple. Our mind gives up much before our body. If at that point, we stay strong and continue to push through, the body will have no other option but to follow.

But you must keep in mind that this approach ain’t for beginners. However, intermediate and advanced lifters can surely try it out to get the maximum muscle gains.

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Strict Form

Undoubtedly, Tom squatted enormous pounds to develop his freakish leg muscles. But he did all that with strict form and technique.

Tom always advocates the importance of performing any exercise with strict form and technique. Lifting heavier weights is crucial for muscle growth, but if you do so with a lousy form, it can be counterproductive for your training goals.

Performing any exercise with strict form also saves one from many training-related injuries.

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Tom Platz Diet Plan

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A post shared by Tom Platz (@tomplatz)


In order to gain the best out of his training sessions in terms of strength and size gains, Tom has always relied on a nutritious diet plan. It follows the old-school way of eating.

Tom Platz’s diet plan has plenty of whole eggs, beef, and chicken. They are known for their rich protein content which is great for muscle building.

Tom doesn’t follow the modern trend of eating skinless chicken breasts. His poultry intake always tends to have meat off the bone with the skin still in place. Talking about it, he says,

“We ate the skin. We considered the skin immensely important. The meat closest to the bone has more nutrition. The turkey legs, chicken legs, oxtail stew, and rib-eye.”

Tom also doesn’t believe in the idea of eating just egg whites. He has always preferred eating whole eggs and that has worked pretty well for him in fetching his body with vital nutrients. During his competing years, he used to eat around a dozen eggs for breakfast.

Tom stays away from processed foods. He says that one should get as close to the original source of food as possible. He terms it “farm-to-mouth” food.

Amongst all the processed meats, Tom only includes bacon in his diet plan. It has always been a breakfast staple for him.

During his bulking phase, Tom used to eat 5 meals a day. Now let’s find out what all food items were there in Tom Platz’s meal plan:-

Meal 1

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 4 slices of toast
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • Protein powder

Meal 2

  • 2 large baked potatoes
  • 12 oz. beef steak
  • 8 oz. fibrous vegetables

Meal 3

  • 1 cup of almonds
  • Protein powder
  • 1 pint of ice cream

Meal 4

  • 2 large baked potatoes
  • 12 oz. chicken off-the-bone
  • 8 oz. fibrous vegetables

Meal 5

  • 2 servings of fruit
  • 12 oz. turkey off-the-bone
  • 8 oz. fibrous vegetables
  • 1 pint of ice cream

Tom Platz also ensured to drink a gallon of whole milk throughout the day.

Chew Your Food Well

Tom always ensures to chew his food well. He also advises others to do so. He says,

“Digestion is important, and digestion begins in the mouth by chewing your food slowly.”

That’s the reason why Tom advises others to eat slowly as it provides the person adequate time to chew the food well.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods were a part of most old-school bodybuilders’ diet charts. And Tom was no different in this regard. Consuming fermented foods assists in facilitating the proper digestion of meals.

They include yogurt, cottage cheese, kimchi, sauerkraut, etc. Tom still includes them in his nutrition plan.

Tom Platz Supplements

Iconic bodybuilders like Tom Platz flourished in an era when there were only a few supplements available. Pre-workouts and fat burners were non-existent at that time. Protein shakes used to be available but their taste really sucked.

Bodybuilders of that era usually drank coffee before hitting their intense training sessions. Talking about his own supplements consumption, Tom says,

“We would get brewers yeast, desiccated liver, other food extracts. There wasn’t engineered foods. There were One a Day Vitamins, things like that. But that was it.”

Platz used to take around 75 desiccated pills in a day during his competing years. It fetched his body a decent amount of protein, iron, and vitamin B12.

Platz always believes that a person’s major nutritional intake must come from whole food items only. The use of supplements must be limited to just supplementing the diet and nothing else.

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Wrapping Up

After retiring from the sport, Tom has been involved with training numerous professional bodybuilders who want to be at the top of their game. Lee Priest and Sergio Oliva Jr. have also been among those.

Tom Platz’s approach to bodybuilding is pretty simple yet extremely brutal. He believes in the idea of giving one’s everything in every single set and rep.

Relying on such a training approach requires one to have a great amount of mental fortitude. And if you are able to cultivate it, then following Tom Platz’s workout routine and diet plan will take your gains to newer heights.