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Weights are making my butt and legs bigger... help!


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Hi everyone,

I need a little help with this one.  I have been working out like crazy lately, and I am seeing the numbers on the scale go UP.  I am also noticing a thickening of my butt, quads, and hamstrings.  I have been lifting every other day with my legs in an attempt to slim down.  However, I am doing just the opposite.  I am bulking up my legs and butt. 

I know that, by lifting the right way, you can slim and tone your butt and legs, but I am obviously not doing it right.  Can someone help me out by giving me weight lifting tips that I can use to slim down? 

Thanks!

~blondie
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To slim and tone your muscles you want to do low weight with high reps.  That way you are working your slow twitch muscles.  You also might want to try yoga or pilates.  Hope that helps a little!

same here i thought it was just me

If you're on a calorie deficit you won't gain muscle mass.  You can do the exact same workout as you would if you are trying to slim and "tone" as you would if you were trying to bulk and get good results for either as long as you're eating correctly.

Original Post by blondiepants:

  I have been working out like crazy lately, and I am seeing the numbers on the scale go UP. 

 You're eating too much.

You need to watch your food intake -- weight loss is about eating less calories. If the muscle is building under that fat (and GOOD FOR YOU) it might make you look "bigger" in the beginning. Once the weight comes off, your body will be sexy and slim! It seems to take awhile, but that's because there are no quick fixes. Congratulate yourself on being healthy and good to your body, and try not to obsess over the details -- it's hard, but you'll see it pay off.

Keep up the exercise and REALLY focus on a clean diet.

#6  
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Original Post by katiemcguire:

To slim and tone your muscles you want to do low weight with high reps.  That way you are working your slow twitch muscles.  You also might want to try yoga or pilates.  Hope that helps a little!

 I disagree. High reps with lower weights is a complete waste of your time.

If you are gaining size in your legs and butt, your are gaining muscle. This is a good thing. However, in order to lose the unattractive fat covering these areas you will need to deal with your calorie intake.

it is all about food. that low weight high rep is not true 90% of the time (although it did shrink my already muscualr and not fat legs but thats just me). def watch your diet.... eat cleanly and keep up the exercise. all the sudden things will start to move!

Thanks for the responses.  I guess I should watch my eating more than I am, and I don't think I am going to lift as HARD in the next few weeks.  I'll do mostly cardio, I guess.

Thanks for the advice!
#9  
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I would say that to lose weight, you need more cardio!!!  Here is a great article from MSN Health news

http://health.msn.com/fitness/articlepage.asp x?cp-documentid=100164486

And another about the disadvantages of using low weights but lots of reps (personally, I try to go somewhere in the middle)

http://health.msn.com/fitness/articlepage.asp x?cp-documentid=100165047

Original Post by amilojev:

I would say that to lose weight, you need more cardio!!!

Yes, you'll lose muscle which comes off pretty nicely if you're only doing a bunch of cardio.

Wow, this is interesting.  Thanks for all of the responses.  I went to the one site, and it basically said that lifting weights will NOT make me lose weight!  It's all in the cardio.

I think I am going to change my workout: UP my cardio, and reduce my weight training!

Thanks for all the advice (and the great MSN articles).  I love this site!
Original Post by blondiepants:

Wow, this is interesting.  Thanks for all of the responses.  I went to the one site, and it basically said that lifting weights will NOT make me lose weight!  It's all in the cardio.

I think I am going to change my workout: UP my cardio, and reduce my weight training!

Thanks for all the advice (and the great MSN articles).  I love this site!

Weight lifting actually burns fat more efficiently than any other form of exercise.

http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=152 6539 

Floggingsully and Spirochete - I think you forget that what is important is losing WEIGHT - who cares if it is in the form of muscle instead of fat. What matters is that the number on the scale goes down.

 

Sorry, I think I'm getting sarcastic in my old age.

In that case, the best "exercise" for losing weight is sitting in a sauna in a plastic suit.

Hmm, I knew I'd picked apart one of those cardio bunny articles before - check this thread for details.
 Also, going by the list of publications she's written for - Self, Health, Prevention - it's no wonder she sounds like a cardio bunny trying to justify her endorphin habit. All of those publications have about as much credibility in the strength and conditioning field as Weekly World News has in the field of news reporting - they're mostly fit for bird cage liner.
 -me.
 Control your diet. Everything else is secondary to that, but once you've gotten that in order, Cosgrove's Hierarchy of fat loss is a very good guide to prioritizing your available training time.

Flogging you are SOOO RIGHT!!!  If you don't build strength and just lower calories and do lots of cardio, you may lose weight, but you don't have the lean muscle mass to maintain it.  It's NOT all about losing weight, but getting trim, lean and healthy!  That's a long term outlook!

I've done strictly calorie reduction and lost weight.  I've done a high cardio plan and lost weight...and I've always gained back MORE than I lost eventually.  Now I've finally incorporated strength training and the weight is coming off, the inches are coming off and it's STAYING off!

I think the bottom line here is she doesn't want bigger legs - it's possible she is eating enough protein/calorie wise to see the growth / muscle development in her legs- but she hasn't said how LONG she's been working her legs either- and she isn't saying she's seeing growth in other areas (arms/back/shoulders) to truly justify if it's muscle or not.

it points more directly to it being her diet more than her exercise- and as we all tend to think on CC - anyone who is looking to look healthy at the end of losing weight should be lifting in amounts great enough to create mass, not just lose fat.

that being said- any true weight lifter looking for the optimal cut look increases cardio & decreases calories at the end of a bulking phase- we have all done this (those of us who lift regularly). So, let's guide her in that direction-- instead of claiming right off that she's wrong, wrong, wrong!

in order for her to cut weight to be more cut, she needs to maintain mass while increasing cardio to optimize fat loss-- this is nothing different than what sully, body science, melkor, tammy, or spiro is saying-- the only thing really not spot on here is the high reps & low weights-- which is pretty useless muscle wise except for endurance...

she needs to clean up her diet, create a healthy deficit of 1000kcal or so & lift 3-4x a week using loads she has for lifting & increase her cardio to a greater level so as to BURN more calories-- and the MSN article correctly states that doing 1/2 cardio at a certain intensity for the individual will burn more calories than a 1/2 hour of normal person lifting! That's NOT incorrect!

it's how you apply it--

clean up the diet to 6 small high protein/complex carb meals a day at an appropriate caloric level, keep weight training at least 3-4 days a week with the same weights you are at, and increase the cardio to 5-6 days a week, no more than 60 minutes, and weight loss should pick up while maintaining as much mass as possible and losing fat...

throwing out the weights with the bath-water IS counterproductive- bc like said above losing weight is one thing - but losing muscle to achieve a number on a scale is another-

she should check her body fat now & in 2 & 4 weeks to see continued fat loss and be sure that she's at a minimum losing very little mass or at least maintaining.

good post guys-- but clear it up for her so she best understands!

Original Post by iamme1270:

I think the bottom line here is she doesn't want bigger legs - it's possible she is eating enough protein/calorie wise to see the growth / muscle development in her legs- but she hasn't said how LONG she's been working her legs either- and she isn't saying she's seeing growth in other areas (arms/back/shoulders) to truly justify if it's muscle or not.

it points more directly to it being her diet more than her exercise- and as we all tend to think on CC - anyone who is looking to look healthy at the end of losing weight should be lifting in amounts great enough to create mass, not just lose fat.

that being said- any true weight lifter looking for the optimal cut look increases cardio & decreases calories at the end of a bulking phase- we have all done this (those of us who lift regularly). So, let's guide her in that direction-- instead of claiming right off that she's wrong, wrong, wrong!

in order for her to cut weight to be more cut, she needs to maintain mass while increasing cardio to optimize fat loss-- this is nothing different than what sully, body science, melkor, tammy, or spiro is saying-- the only thing really not spot on here is the high reps & low weights-- which is pretty useless muscle wise except for endurance...

she needs to clean up her diet, create a healthy deficit of 1000kcal or so & lift 3-4x a week using loads she has for lifting & increase her cardio to a greater level so as to BURN more calories-- and the MSN article correctly states that doing 1/2 cardio at a certain intensity for the individual will burn more calories than a 1/2 hour of normal person lifting! That's NOT incorrect!

it's how you apply it--

clean up the diet to 6 small high protein/complex carb meals a day at an appropriate caloric level, keep weight training at least 3-4 days a week with the same weights you are at, and increase the cardio to 5-6 days a week, no more than 60 minutes, and weight loss should pick up while maintaining as much mass as possible and losing fat...

throwing out the weights with the bath-water IS counterproductive- bc like said above losing weight is one thing - but losing muscle to achieve a number on a scale is another-

she should check her body fat now & in 2 & 4 weeks to see continued fat loss and be sure that she's at a minimum losing very little mass or at least maintaining.

good post guys-- but clear it up for her so she best understands!

i like you. 

mgosie- aww thanks!

what'd i'd like to know is how all these people do gain mass on a calorie deficit like they claim--

i mean, i make gains when I cut down to lower kcals- but the deficit is so low it's probably negligible given the inaccuracies of calorie counting & exercise kcals burned estimates - and i eat so much protein I have to switch to protein shakes ONLY at the end of the day bc I am so sick of egg whites, tuna, and chicken breast-- how on earth do these people build mass while on a deficit like they claim?!

i mean, again, i do make gains but small-- but i know it's only when my deficit is at 500kcal a day or less- other than that- i'm just doing that delicate balancing act of maintaining mass & losing minimal fat-- it's SOOOO SLOW.

so do you all think it's more fat or mass she gained in her legs?

blondie: what was your kcal intake vs burn? how big was your deficit? how much were you lifting (weights/reps/sets/xweek?)

just curious-- bc after my starvation mode nightmare- it took me 3 weeks to see mass gains again with NO deficit - and now operating in a deficit- i finally am getting fat loss w/mass maintenance!?

how do these people do it?

I can't contribute much more than is already here for the OP, but I really like this thread!

And I second iamme's question - some more info from the OP would be interesting. Not because anyone wants to criticize, but just to see what the stats are that led to her question.

I don't disbelieve people that honestly say they believe they are gaining mass in a slight deficit. I don't believe it's possible to do it effeciently and to the extent you would on a traditional mass building program, but I don't think all of these people are totally out to lunch with regard to their own body's responses and shape and size.

I do believe that we have to leave room for interpretation when people say they are "gaining mass" or "getting big". With people's different frames and perception of body image, I think these can mean very different things to different people.

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