It is called genetics. The men in my family have chickenesque legs and there is no amount of lifting that can change it.
I always thought the same way. But then I found a way to put mass on my legs.
I used to work legs hard and heavy with squats, deadlifts, leg press, hack squats, leg extension/leg curls. Would get definition without mass. Didn’t matter what I did. Got stronger but still chicken legs…
Then in 2019 in preparation for Norther Tier and Philmont trips with my son and Scouts, I was 56-57 during the training. I started doing high rep body weight squats. At first just body weight until I was able to do 5 sets of 100. Then I started wearing my backpack loaded to 60 lbs. I worked my way up to 10 sets of 100. 3 x a week or 4 days of 10 sets x 100 with no weight.
My quads, hamstrings and glutes started getting bigger. At 60, it’s a great way to keep endurance for snow skiing, water skiing and wakeboarding.
I have kept my leg routine, but switched to a weighted vest (also 60 lbs) I now alternate with my rowing machine too for a different type of endurance. My legs are no longer chicken legs…
It sucks at first, but then becomes addictive. Great way to burn calories and lower your resting heart rate , improve cardiovascular endurance as well.