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Weighted Vest....good or bad for thunder thighs?


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Ok, so my personal trainer wants me to use a 15-20 pound weighted vest when I am doing the StairMaster or any cardio workouts. I am a 5'2", 118 lb female who already has pretty thick thighs and a pretty ample bum. The last thing I want to do is put more muscle mass or bulk to this area. Will using the weighted vest cause me to bulk up? My fitness goal is to look leaner and thinner. I do like muscle, but I really don't want to look any more stocky on my already short frame!

What are your thoughts on this?

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IMO you have too little muscle rather than too much fat.

Your thights and butt may appear "ample" but you are at the lower end of a healthy BMI.  You would appear "leaner and thinner" if you added some muscle at ~the same weight.

As to the vest, personally using it to make "cardio" harder isn't worth the effort and it definitely won't make you "bulk up".

 

I hike every other day up a mountain with a 30 lb vest for about a hour I used to hike with more weight (my max was 60) but I barley started trying to get back in shape Well i used to hike for about 3 years and I was in the best shape of my life but I got lazy so here I am again The only thing now is 30 lbs extra in my beer belly lol But my legs never lost their strength that's the strongest part of my body and it still is So my opinion yes the vest is good But you will grow the shoulder muscles too

Bulking up doesn't exist! It is a myth! Muscle makes you look amazing... use the vest. I might have to get one myself.

The bulk or leaness of muscles has to do three main factors - Diet, type of workout and genetics...

If you're doing more cardio with it it willl just make you work harder for the duration, though I would strongly recommend starting with a lower weight before jumping up that high... most vests come with removable weights. Start with 5-10 and work your way up, so as not to suffer any injuries that would set you back

 

Original Post by kozushi86:

The bulk or leaness of muscles has to do three main factors - Diet, type of workout and genetics...

I totally agree. The workouts with my trainer have been focused on heavy weights, lunges, squats, deadlifts, etc...I wonder if these exercises are somewhat contributing to my thighs looking thicker! I am developing better strength and probably some muscle, but it's not the "look" I want.

I asked some male friends who work out/weight train quite a lot and they told me that wearing a weighted vest will add "bulk" to my butt and thighs. They said if I want a more lean and toned appearance, I need to focus on low resistance, high intensity cardio and doing lighter weights and more reps.

So I am very confused about which theories to follow. People on this forum keep praising the benefits of lifting very heavy and how it won't make you look bigger, but I truly believe I am a lot thicker looking since I started lifting heavy. I understand genetics are a big part of the equation and not everyone responds to things the same.

Ok well a few things. You are asking guys. Yes lifting weights works to long term bulk up men. They have a bunch of testosterone and we ladies do not. But when you use your muscles more then typical they do for a few weeks hold onto a bunch of extra water. This water in your leg and bumm muscles that you are using can make your legs and bum short term look larger. Longer term they will look smaller but short term like 1-2 months they may easily look larger.

So yes weight training is one great way to get muscles while also burning tons of calories and thus in women creating a lean look.

Yes, If you're working out with heavy weights it will emphasize the areas you're working more so... but again the bulk issue has multiple factors... and don't forget if your (excuse me) large thighs and rear also carry fat tissue, then even as you increase muscle mass in those areas you will still be reducing the overall size because the fat will be burned up as well.

Yes more muscle means more weight loss, and heavier weight means more work. Simple.  There will always be areas of your body that you can't get where you want with them but you can still improve.

Personally I like stong lower body muscles. I think they look great on a woman, but its what you feel strongest with that matters.

Ultimately, I would put some faith in your trainer, if you're being frank with them they'll probably put oyu on the right track.

 

Original Post by baltimoreamt:

Ok well a few things. You are asking guys. Yes lifting weights works to long term bulk up men. They have a bunch of testosterone and we ladies do not. But when you use your muscles more then typical they do for a few weeks hold onto a bunch of extra water. This water in your leg and bumm muscles that you are using can make your legs and bum short term look larger. Longer term they will look smaller but short term like 1-2 months they may easily look larger.

So yes weight training is one great way to get muscles while also burning tons of calories and thus in women creating a lean look.

Great insight! Thanks! I'll keep lifting...and hopefully I will torch some more of that pesky adipose tissue while getting stronger and leaner.

Original Post by starp33:

but I truly believe I am a lot thicker looking since I started lifting heavy.

Stop eating more calories than you burn.

I am assuming that you are using the stairmaster for a decent amount of time to build your endurance and/or burn calories (i.e. not doing some sort of sprints).

And, I am also assuming that you are talking about the down-escalator-like machine, and not one of the other machines that Stairmaster makes (steppers, and steep inclined treadmills etc.). The average person puts too much weight on the handrails while on that machine (even to the point of turning their hands backward to minimize wrist discomfort). If you gave them a vest, they'd just put even more weight on their hands. Most people also get overheated easily on that machine. It is higher off the floor than the other machines (up in the warmer air), and suffers from lack of airflow (unless you have a big fan pointed directly at you) because you don't swing your arms like a runner does on a treadmill. When you are overheated, your perceived effort (suffering) is higher at the same caloric burn, so you tend to use a lower step speed on the machine than you would if the room was cool and you had a fan on you.

Adding a vest would compound these problems, by making you even hotter and even more likely to use the handrails. I suggest skipping the vest, pointing a fan directly at you, not touching the handrails at all, and going as fast as you can. 

On the other hand, if you are going to be carrying a pack over steep terrain any time soon (becoming a wildland firefighter or going backpacking?), using a vest on the stairmaster might be good training for that. Using one to hike up an actual mountain, like ChrisTelmeth, would be even better though.

Original Post by starp33:

The workouts with my trainer have been focused on heavy weights, lunges, squats, deadlifts, etc...I wonder if these exercises are somewhat contributing to my thighs looking thicker! I am developing better strength and probably some muscle, but it's not the "look" I want.

You are right in the middle of the normal BMI range, so it may be difficult to lose much more weight. If the look you want is thinner, then gaining muscle and losing fat will allow you to achieve this goal while staying close to the same body weight.

A lot of times people mistake low body fat for lots of muscle. That's because when your body fat gets low, your muscles stand out more. So if the look you want to avoid is having noticeable muscles, then you want to avoid losing too much fat.

 

Sounds like too many calories perhaps. Everyone carries weight differently and maybe yours is more concentrated in the thighs and behind.
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