T Nation

Please Don't Think Less of Me...


I need some help shrinking my legs. I'm a retired football player and while I've prided myself on my XL legs for a long time it's time to be able to fit my dress pants again so I don't look so damn strange at my new office job.

A little background...I was about 185-190 my whole life until I started training hard to play ball for my university. Over a few years I got up to almost 260 pounds during my last season. It was great for football...but now with my desire to return to a more comfortable bodyweight (being this large is brutal on my body...I know its not this way for everyone but it is for me).

My waist is trimming up nicely but I have no idea what to do about the legs...they've always been my biggest bodypart and as it stands right now I have to buy size 40" pants (with a 34"waist!) because smaller dress pants cling like frickin spandex around my thighs.

Any help would be appreciated.



If that's the only reason for wanting smaller legs, would you consider getting pants tailored instead?

I'm sure they can make them fit in the waist and legs.

Just a thought in case you may still want to keep them. Plus, think of all the added fat you might gain with a significantly less amount of muscle in your legs (unless you change your eating habbits as well).


Well, as long as you're not an anorexic little girl, I supposed you can be forgiven, with proper atonement :slight_smile:

Here are helpful links;

Tony Meazell's specialization perodization. Tells you how to adjust you level of resistance to aerobic training ratio so you can gain or lose muscle.


Mike Meija, who coauthored the book 'Scrawny to brawny' with T-Nation's diet brainiac Dr Berardi



I agree. There are many professionals on this board who have "clothing issues". We get clothes tailored...instead of shrinking to blend in with sedentary people. Your problem isn't that much of one. I have heard of much worse and there is no way I could fit in pants that small regardless of my waist size.

Hell, imagine what some of us go through if we bulk up and then drop weight later.

Honestly, think about it. You are on a bodybuilding forum asking how to lose muscle for esthetic reasons. I am wondering how your weight is "brutal" on your body with a 34" waist.


He might have to become one if his goal is to lose 60lbs of lean body mass. The only way you will lose solid muscle mass is to starve it off of you while not training it with significantly heavy weight. That is essentially the advice given in that first article as well.


I would definitely try custom tailored pants first.

I think most bodybuilders/weight lifters have this issue. Even I have to buy 38" waist boxers (i'm 34") because the leg openings are not big enough. I also have a couple pairs of shorts that are tight. If I wear them within a day after working legs, I get a wedgy from just walking. (unless maybe its the boxers again)

But anyways, I wish I had 30" thighs!


Get the tailored pants dude! You don't want to lose all that muscle. Now, if you want to trim back the training and diet, and you lose a little muscle as a result, I can see that. But to go out and in effect starve yourself to lose muscle just sounds silly.

I have no doubt I'll need tailored pants at some point. I've got big legs - unfortunately, I also have too much bodyfat at current, so the pants I buy fit. Once I go to a lower waist size though, I'll be in the same boat as you.

Trust me, spending the extra cash is worth it.


you're 6'3" 225 lbs with a 34" waist ...shit dude you're thin! if you're that concerned about it by your clothes from a big and tall store...

I'm 5'9 230 lbs and can find clothes that fit me so I'm damn sure you could too...

and besides, why in the hell would you want to blend in with the average out of shape pathetic office worker?


What was the point of him mentioning he was 260lbs if he is now down to 225lbs? At 6'3"? On a bodybuilding forum, someone who could pass for thin is trying to lose more muscle?

I think you got the wrong site. That would be MENSHEALTH.com


As you can see, you may have come to the wrong place not to be thought less of for having your own goals.

I'd agree that tailoring pants is fairly practical, and usually not that expensive. You may want to be really sure what weight you'll feel comfortable living the rest of your life in before tailoring all your stuff accordingly.


I doubt anyone has written anything in this thread in response to him simply having his own goals. 225lbs at 6'3" is not big, especially for someone claiming so much muscle that they need to actively begin to lose it through dieting (he has a 34" waist) and lack of training.


Just so you know, Creidem, I have the same problem. I'm 34, a 19-year gym veteran and a former ball player. At 6'4" and 280lbs, my waist is 38". I've recently become the executive director of my agency and it requires a better wardrobe, better presentation, and a better overall and long-term fitness. So I've recently started a new regimen to come back down to around 260 and a 36" waist.

But, my legs are huge. And regardless the workout, they grow. Tailored pants are part of the answer. I have several pair, but even so, less leg girth would be more comfortable.

There are several things I have to do to keep my legs in check. The first is to obviously not work them; or at least not as directly. Right now I do a basic circuit: upper body, lower body, upper body, lower body. However, for the lower body I do deadlifts, partial deadlifts, and cleans; keeping the reps around 10. I sometimes do a partial leg sled movement. I keep the movements explosive on these exercises. I'd also do hyper-extensions if my gym had the necessary equipment. I never (or very, very rarely) do squats, lunges, extensions, or hamstring curls.

Next, where I would usually spend time on legs or a leg day, I go to the track (in my gym) and do 15-20 minutes of sprinting and walking. Or I play a good 30 minutes of basketball.

For cardio, I've been going down to the spin class once or twice a week.

If you're taller than maybe 6'2", the mechanics of many of these exercises are different (there is an old thread around here to that effect, "why won't lurch grow", maybe?). So I think that might be why bringing your legs into order and symmetry can be a little trickier. I know it is for me.

That's my two cents for now...



The only thing you could possible do beyond starving is to take up some searious endurance training, but even then it would take a very very long time to get all that muscle to slim down.

Start running / swimming etc.

However, I agree with the group, don't just hack off all of that hard earned muscle.