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Why Does Leg Day Make You Poop? (Especially Calf Raises!)

While people have many excuses for avoiding leg day, one of the most interesting ones I’ve came across is that it makes you crap yourself.

After doing some research, it turns out that many people do poop more on leg day.

Here’s why leg day makes you poop:

When you do compound leg exercises like squats, you squeeze your external sphincter muscle. This is responsible for moving faeces through your bowel and rectum which makes you need to poop.

In this article, we cover the reasons why leg day makes you poop, whether squats make you poop, how to reduce pooping on leg day, and more!

Why Leg Day Makes You Poop

You Eat More Food On Leg Day

Lots of people eat more on leg day, and for good reason. It helps provide your muscles with the energy needed to fuel your workout, which is super important since leg day burns many calories.

It provides other benefits too such as improved muscle growth and recovery.

Well, if you do stuff your face with food on leg day, then it could be the reason why you poop a lot.

Because the more food you eat, the more space your intestines need to absorb nutrients from the food. And the only way you can make more room in your intestines is by… you guessed it – pooping!

You Take Pre Workout On Leg Day

Most hardcore gym goers swear by pre workout – especially on leg day.

It helps you stay more alert, focused, and gives you that boost of energy you need before hitting the squat rack.

But unfortunately, pre workout can make you poop!


Well the first reason is that pre workout is loaded with caffeine.

(Some pre workouts contain 4x as much caffeine as a cup of coffee!)

According to research, caffeinated coffee results in 23% more bowel movements than decaff coffee which suggests that caffeine plays in role in making you poop.

But that’s not all though.

Pre workout is loaded with artificial sweeteners which are difficult to absorb. This causes the undigested sweetener to absorb water into the colon, which makes you poop.

You Take Mass Gainer On Leg Day

Another popular supplement which people take on leg day is mass gainer.

And for good reason – you need a ton of calories to work the biggest muscle group, right?

Like pre workout, mass gainer makes you poop and may cause diarrhea thanks to its high content of artificial sweeteners.

You Engage Your External Sphincter Muscle On Leg Day

Some leg exercises are compound exercises. This means they exercise multiple muscles at once.

For example, when you do squats and box jumps, you engage your core muscles so that your back is straight throughout the movement.

But most people also engage their external sphincter muscle when tensing their core/abs. This muscle is responsible for keeping poop in the rectum until you’re ready to have a bowel movement.

So what pushes poop out of your rectum?

Squeezing and tensing your external sphincter muscle.

In other words, when you’re doing exercises which engage your core, you’re literally squeezing poop out as you’re doing it.

Now obviously, if you don’t need a poop, nothing is going to come out.

But it will shorten the time taken until you do need a poop.

Why Do Calf Raises Make You Want To Poop?

Like other compound leg exercises, calf raises require you to contract and hold your core muscles (including your external sphincter muscle).

This is to help you maintain posture throughout the movement.

Since it’s this small muscle which is responsible for squeezing poop out, calf raises can literally make you feel as if you’re going to poop.

Do Squats Make You Need A Poop?

As we’ve just covered, many people engage their external sphincter muscle when doing compound exercises like squatting. Which can make you need a poop.

But the interesting thing about squatting is that research shows it’s easier to poop when squatting than when sitting.

This is because your puborectalis muscle, which is responsible for bowel continence, relaxes only partially when seated. But when you’re squatting, it relaxes completely.

So if you do need a poop, then getting in a squatting position can end embarrassingly, like for this poor woman below.

Should You Worry If You Poop A Lot On Leg Day?

Worrying when you poop a lot on leg day is always a bad idea. Because worrying puts you in ‘fight or flight’ mode which can make you poop even more!

This is due to the stimulating hormones your body releases when under stress, such as adrenaline.

(Ever wondered why people say they’re sh*tting themselves when worried/scared? Well now you know!)

Also, the reason you shouldn’t worry is that you know why you’re pooping a lot.

Yes, pooping all the time can be a sign of something serious. But since it only happens when you do leg day, you know the cause of it so you shouldn’t be concerned.

Should You Stop Doing Leg Day If It Makes You Poop?

In my eyes, you’re missing out on a ton of benefits if you skip leg day because it’s making you poop.

Instead, you should try the hacks below which should help reduce pooping on leg day. If the hacks don’t work for you, then you may want to replace leg day with cycling.

(Or any other exercise that works your legs hard.)

How To Reduce Pooping On Leg Day

Reduce Caffeine Intake

One of the main reasons why pre workout makes you poop is the high caffeine content.

And so reducing your caffeine intake is a sensible idea, if you want to reduce the amount of pooping you’re doing.

Common caffeine sources to look out for include coffee, tea and energy drinks. So you should limit consumption of these beverages on leg day.

Lower Your Calories

While eating a high amount of calories on leg day is best for gains and recovery, it’s worst if you have loose bowels.

So reducing the amount of food you eat on leg day is a simple way to the reduce the amount of pooping.

Just don’t come crying to me if you’re losing gains!

Stick To Isolation Exercises

Isolation exercises typically only work the leg muscles.

These include leg curls, leg extensions and calf raises.

By sticking to isolation exercises, you’re less likely to squeeze your external sphincter muscle, which as you now know is responsible for moving poop out your rectum.


In summary:

  • Leg day can make you poop for many reasons, including your leg day nutrition and the exercises you do.
  • Calf raises make you want to poop more than other leg exercises.

That’s all for this article, but does leg day help abs? Or perhaps you’re wondering why you feel tired after leg day?

Hope this helped!