Unfortunately HIIT cardio has been eliminated as my legs are killing me and I sometimes do abs on my days off.
Had similar experiences, Maybe consider starting more slowly and in a more controlled manner. Like doing only one session for starters, or having the HIITs lower volume (only like 10 minutes), then progress up.
Can you guys go more in depth regarding structuring the leg day? This time I am looking more to learn how to fish as opposed to being served a meal.
1) Main lifts are Cash.
Squats and Deadlifts are staples in leg workouts. No matter where you look, no matter what your goal is. But everything around that is based on you. What do you want to improve? Are you going for hypertrophy, explosiveness or strength etc. You get the point. There is a reason why these lifts are high in value. They involve the most muscles, which causes overall strength gains, ultimate fat loss and maximal testosterone production to say a few. They are also great for joints and posture when technique is correct.
2) No categorys.
Deadlifts shouldn't be listed as anything. Yes, they are a lower back exercise. BUT they work your whole body. It involves your whole Posterior chain from upper traps to calves. Also activation happens in anterior core, quads and arms. No wonder everyone Deadlifts. I personally love deadlifting and would never remove it from my program.
BUT it's still okay to have a DL variation in place of deadlifts. That's quite common actually. Once again, it usually depends on your goals. Deficit and snatch grip deadlifts are my favourite, but RDLs and Block pulls are also popular and effective.
3)Supplemental is personal. Do what you feel you need to do.
Right now my supplemental work around DL's and Squats include Glute work and Hamstring work. Why? Because that are the areas I need improvement in. Before it was Snatch-grip deadlifts and deficit deadlifts. Why? Because I needed to improve the lift-off on my deadlift. You probably see where I'm heading. You want to hit hammies and quads? Well hammer them then. I like to put similar accessorial work with main lifts together, but some people prefer different. What I meant was, that I'd work Quads on squat day and hammies on DL. Because it makes more sense to me and I like to give more rest to my muscles.
I like to have my supplement work high on volume (3-5 sets of 8-12 reps). But some exercises differ. I'd never do high volume Deadlifts, especially for supplement. More lower like 3-5 reps would be better.
You don't need no leg extension or flexion machines. There are several awesome exercises for quads and hamstrings using only free weight.
4) Same muscles are involved.
It's okay to Squat and Deadlift heavy only once a week. I wouldn't recommend more. They still use the same muscles and have quite similar function and movement. The loading and muscle firing is different. I'm not saying Squats are deadlifts or vice versa, but there are similarities. Also consider this: You DON'T have to bench twice a week. Consider doing some other pressing exercise on the other Upper day. Like overhead press. It's great for shoulders. Or do heavy pulls. It's quite the same logic as Squats/DL's. Different pressing variations have lots of similarities, but they emphasize different things.