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My Legs are getting Big WHY


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Hi Guys,

I'm 97 pounds, small frame 5'1 female 28 years old.  I try to work out at least 4 days a week, cardio all four and 2 days weight training classes.

The classes entails alot of squats and lunges.  For my squats I use 10 pound on a barbell on my neck.

What I've noticed is that my legs and butt are getting bigger, to the point that my pants are WAY tight, possibly even bumping me up a size.

This this normal?  Should I stop working out my lower body?

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same thing happened to me.

I ruptured my achilles tendon March 2008 and was in a cast for 3 months.  My leg muscles shrunk to a size they hadn't ever been because I lost so much muscle mass when I wasn't using them.  Once I started walking and working out again they got bigger, but not to the size they were before the rupture.  Now they are all muscle.

Most people would admit that muscular legs are more attractive than skinny legs.  Plus muscle burns more calories than fat does, so having more muscle on your legs will keep other parts of your body looking good too. 

I went up a pants size within a few months of starting weighted squats, lunges, etc. but I've stayed there for at least a year now.  It's worth mentioning that this is all at about maintenance calories though.

I think if you were pretty skinny before (which I definitely was) and you start doing weighted squats and the like, you're bound to put on a little bit of muscle, but after that initial growth I doubt you'll see much of a change in the size of your legs - hopefully they will just continue to get firmer.

 

a 97 pound human...should never say their legs are big...

I never said FAT, I said BIg and YES they are on my samll frame.

I said big too...hehehehe

ummm...listen...I think "thick/big" ...but FIT...legs on any woman is super super super sexy.  Skinny legs is an extreme turnoff.  look at Jessica Biel...very fit, and she has thick legs....super hot babe....look at the Olsen twins....ummmmmmmyeeeaaaahhh....they are not ugly, but if they put some weight on...they would look much much better. 

What I'm trying to say is...worry more about your health, and the PROPORTIONS of your body more-so than having big thighs...cuz I'm sure you look just fine with thicker thighs....by the way...I'm 6'0 190 LBS, and when people see my legs...they call them tree stumps, because my thighs and buttare so big. 

Original Post by eddiepotter:

look at the Olsen twins....ummmmmmmyeeeaaaahhh....they are not ugly, but if they put some weight on...they would look much much better. 

 

I beg to differ, Eddie - there is nothing attractive about those girls. But not the point of this thread....

stella - I don't know how long you've been doing lower body workouts, but when you first start, you can get fluid retention in your muscles that can affect the scale and the size of your legs. For instance, at the beginning of this week I found that my jeans felt tight, following an intense workout that included way more lunges and squats than I ever care to do (my first attempt at the NROLFW BWM, if anyone cares), a dinner that I'm sure was high in sodium, and the first day of my period.

Now it's 3 days later, and my pants fit fine (no, they haven't stretched) - lower sodium meals, I took a small break from workouts to let my knee recover, and my period ended (TMI, i know).

So I agree with turnthequietup - you might see a small change to start, but it won't continue. And the benefits of doing lower body strength training outway the negatives, in my opinion.

Muscular legs are SEXY.  Why do most girls want get-away sticks instead of muscle tone?  There is a reason that female athletes are at the top of most men's sexiest-women-alive lists! 

Original Post by amethystgirl:

Original Post by eddiepotter:

look at the Olsen twins....ummmmmmmyeeeaaaahhh....they are not ugly, but if they put some weight on...they would look much much better. 

 

I beg to differ, Eddie - there is nothing attractive about those girls. But not the point of this thread....

stella - I don't know how long you've been doing lower body workouts, but when you first start, you can get fluid retention in your muscles that can affect the scale and the size of your legs. For instance, at the beginning of this week I found that my jeans felt tight, following an intense workout that included way more lunges and squats than I ever care to do (my first attempt at the NROLFW BWM, if anyone cares), a dinner that I'm sure was high in sodium, and the first day of my period.

Now it's 3 days later, and my pants fit fine (no, they haven't stretched) - lower sodium meals, I took a small break from workouts to let my knee recover, and my period ended (TMI, i know).

So I agree with turnthequietup - you might see a small change to start, but it won't continue. And the benefits of doing lower body strength training outway the negatives, in my opinion.

 lol...well I didn't want to pick Nicloe Richie...hahahahaha....

Original Post by eddiepotter:

a 97 pound human...should never say their legs are big...

 LOL!

Even though you say you are short and small framed, 97 pounds is underweight, no matter how you look at it!  I don't know what your BMI is [bc even 'skinny' people can have BMI's too high] but if I had to just guess right now, I bet it would be in the underweight catorgory. 

Your legs are probably just getting 'defined' through strength training. Group fitness classes such as the one you state you are taking [sound like a power or pump class] and not designed to make anyone - male or female - get ''big''. It's much easier to 'squish' legs that lack muscle [all parts of body] into clothes than it is muscle.

So, I say, keep up the strength training. Sounds as if you are getting fit! But, if you don't like the way your body looks, stop doing it!

 

Original Post by fitnessgirll:

Even though you say you are short and small framed, 97 pounds is underweight, no matter how you look at it!

Not necessarily. You aren't taking factors like age, ethnicity, and natural metabolism into consideration here. A lot of posters are going off topic and not answering her question here, they're just attacking her for her petite size which is senseless and cruel.

Anyways, weight training as a petite woman will typically = bigger, at least those the results that I have gotten in my OWN, PERSONAL experience with taking weight-training classes that focus on the lower body (and NO, I have never taken testosterone, et cetera!) The people arguing this fact are obviously thinking of the average to plus sized woman instead of a small one.

If that's not what you signed up for, you can always take a different course such as kickboxing, capoiera, or taekwondo--all types of training that build lean "toned" muscle instead of big "ripped" muscle. I'm petite as well so I have to avoid overdo-ing exercises like squats, since bulking my legs out makes me look shorter than I already am.

Weight training does not equal bigger muscle! It does equal improved strength, form,  tonality, increased metabolism equaling burning the heck out of fat/calories, and overall general health.

Body building =bigger.  They are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!!!

Weight training + surplus (+ testosterone) can = bigger (and all the things fitnessgirll said)

Weight training + deficit = just all the things fitnessgirll said.

im sorry but i have to agree eddiepotter. im 5'2 110 lbs and think you sound ridiculous. sadly, i am the same way and think my legs are too big all the time (im very athletic i run alot and go to the gym and used to be a soccer player, hence the legs). i could quick working out and not eat very much and get skinny legs, and probably gain more of the weight when im older b/c i won't have as much muscle mass and dont exercise. or i can deal with the fact that im being slightly neurotic thinking my legs are actually big and continue exercising which will pay off when im still a size 2 when im 35. when you get older, you can either go to fat or muscle. with muscle you can eat more and maintain easier and you overall look smaller.

saying all of this, my dad is pretty into lifting and he has told me NEVER to do squats for the reason you are saying (he says they give you a big ass haha). maybe try some lunges or other type of leg exercises if you want to keep your legs slim yet muscular. pilates might be helpful. i just dont think you should do squats anymore if you dont like them getting bigger.

rikaj don't listen to your father, sheesh

 

well about squats that i

why? stella's post makes me want to! haha. my legs have gotten much smaller since i dont play much soccer anymore anyway.

Why would my post sound ridicoulous.

Is there a reason why we get ridiculed on here.  I thought these forums were to help people, give advice.

People cannot judge until me as you cant see me. I am VERY muscular, and my legs do bulk fast when lifting weights.

Glad people think Im funny!

Original Post by bellastella:

Why would my post sound ridicoulous.

Is there a reason why we get ridiculed on here.  I thought these forums were to help people, give advice.

People cannot judge until me as you cant see me. I am VERY muscular, and my legs do bulk fast when lifting weights.

Glad people think Im funny!

Because when most girls say they bulk up easily or that they are really muscular, it's in their heads - it really and truly is.  I really don't mean to be disrespectful when I say that - I haven't seen a picture of you - but most girls (all my friends!) tend to have a somewhat distorted view of their own bodies.  The last time I took one of my girlfriends to the gym and had her do squats, she swore up and down that she could see more definition in her legs the next day (can anybody say power of suggestion?).  Sure, girls can build a little muscle but they have to work (and EAT) really hard to do it. Smile

A lot of the people on this site come from the perspective of folks trying to get healthier/fitter and most are trying to lose a significant amount of weight in the process.  So, a 97 lb. woman saying her legs are getting too big is kind of an eye-roller, you know?  That's certainly no excuse for people to get *mean* but if your goal is to be supermodel thin, I don't think you're going to find a lot of support and understanding around here.

I won't doubt that you've built a little bit of muscle since lifting weights but I promise you, it ain't a linear process.  If you genuinely don't like what you see in the mirror and it is something that is really going to bother you, cut out the weights.  It's simple.

On a side note: if you really think your legs are disproportionate, take a picture of yourself and see what you think.  I find that I'm always surprised how different I can look in a picture! (vs. the mirror)

#18  
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Bella -

I don't think your post is ridiculous but at 97 lbs and 5'1 you are technically (via BMI) underweight, so most people would probably not think you have "big" legs even if they seem bigger to you. 

Even though you are 28, you probably still have a body more akin to that of a young teenager and what I have heard some people call a "little boys butt".  Nothing wrong with that, but any change will seem bigger.

Personally, I would say keep doing the lower body work, particularly the squats and lunges and you will become more shapely and womanly even if it slightly "bigger". 

just my 2 cents as a 47 year old male.

Pretty much what turnthequietup said - but to add - looking back at your original post, you say you are doing "a lot" of squats and lunges, using a 10lb barbell - so I'm interpreting that as low weight/high reps.

I've seen melkor post something that says for legs, doing low weight/high reps is more likely to increase the size of your legs, whereas high weight/low reps won't.

So if that's true, you might want to ditch the class, and start doing heavier weights (as much as you can handle while keeping good form) for 3 sets of 8-12 reps, instead of endless squats and lunges with a relatively light weight.

Which, frankly, I'd recommend regardless of the size of your legs.

sorry i wasnt trying to be mean! thats why i included that i do the same thing, i really didn't want to offend you. Sometimes though, i know for MYSELF, i need a little reality check, b/c we all tend to be much harder on ourselves than everyone else. i just highly doubt anyone else thinks your legs are big at all at 97 lbs. my dad always reminds me that there are many people out there who would kill to be my size, and im going to say the same is for you! i being one of the people who would love to be your size! good luck though!

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