As I arrived home from college this summer I decided it was time to make a change in my diet and exercise patterns, which until this summer were close to non-existant. I have been working out a fair amount this summer referring back to the T-Vixen article rather often, but this is my first post in the forum and I have a few questions.
I have already lost 5 lbs. this summer, but my goal is to lose 8 more and make it under 110. I have been doing 45-60min of cardio and then lifting 3-4x/week. I recently learned of HIIT and am anxious to give it a shot. I was considering doing HIIT in the mornings and then lifting and cardio in the evenings. What do you think of this protocol?
In the article it says to do aerobic activity after lifting, what differences would I expect to see vs. lifting after cardio?
Also, I keep hearing to eat more smaller meals a day as opposed to 2-3. When I hear about eating 5-7 smaller meals, what should they consist of, how many calories should they be, and macronutrient %'s ?
I have musclar legs due to genetics and many years of playing soccer (lots of sprinting). I would like to lose some of this. From my understanding, I would want workouts to become catabolic. How would I go about this best?
Also, I have been supplementing with cycles of T2 and MD6 with good results. Thanks in advance.
HIIT in the AM and lifting + cardio in the PM is a sure fire way to lose fat as long as your diet is in line. Doing this 3-4 x week should be good. Another option is to do your HIIT on off days in the morning. Just don’t take your calories down too far, just far enough to continually make progress.
The reason most of us do cardio after lifting is because weightlifting is the priority and cardio is just accessory work. Always put your priorities first in a workout and first during the week.
For your diet question, you're going to have to do some homework. Read the Diet Manifesto, Massive Eating Part 1 and 2 and the Essential Berardi. That should give you a couple of ideas on how to structure your diet and calculate your calories.
As for your muscular legs, I don't know what to say really. I would not try to lose size (but I'm a guy, so what do I know). If you don't want them to get bigger, just don't do any leg work aside from what they get with cardio and HIIT.
Mia Finnegan was selling a program called Freestyle a couple years ago where women did tons of lunges every day, essentially overtraining the legs and making them go catabolic. It sounds unhealthy to me, but if you want to try to research it, feel free. Anybody else remember this?
I have the same problem, great genetics and can build legs easily,but having muscular legs can be frustrating, especially when shopping for pants. I would have to agree with Jason, just do very little to no legs excersises. That’s pretty much what I don’t. I really don’t think it is possibly to lose to much of your muscle because for me I don’t even have to work them and they still stay nice and defined. I have come to like my muscular legs, because it seems more appealing to see a women with nicely shaped legs rather than no definition at all. Hope this helps.
For calories, I think you have to experiment to see what calorie level you should be at to maintain and lose weight. I think Berardi had a formula for figuring out calorie needs for a woman in one of his recent appetite for construction articles. Just check all the recent appetitie for construction articles for the past 2-3 months and you should find it. Good luck.
Well, I don’t see anything wrong with muscular legs, or arms, or back - especially on a woman.
Anywhoos, if you want your workouts to become catabolic - wouldn't MD6 and T2 kinda make that difficult? Just a thought.
And could there be an imbalance of upper body musculature - you know you have less upper body musculature therefore making your legs look TOO muscular? So, again - going into a catabolic state, may not be a good idea. What type of cardio are you doing? Treadmill, stairmaster, bike? VERY leg instensive. I would say focus on your upper body. Don't be concerned with weight - just your composition. What BF% are you? Where do you want to be (in terms of BF)? Just focusing on weight can be deceiving and cause you frustration - avoid that by looking at the bigger picture.
Also, you know, legs are the largest muscle group in the body. It may be good that you have naturally muscular legs. That'll help in maintaining a nice metabolism to help burn that fat. Just another thought.
And do read Essential Berardi, Diet Manifesto, Foods That Make You Look Good Nekkid. Agree with Jason Norcross on this: your gonna need to do some homework on nutrition!
Thanks for the advice on different places to look for diet examples and breakdowns.
I agree that women who are lean look good, I personally do not want to gain a lot of muscle on top to balance out my legs. That would make me pretty thick, and I am a small person. Not the look I am going for. I want to lose some fat and lean out.
Question the lunges idea: would I want to do those with weights or without, and how many am I looking to do a day?
You go girl, keep up the good work. Doing HIIT in the morning will help a lot I think. Your question about doing whether to do weights first or cardio first is a good one. I would suggest weights first. Doing cardio and then weights will burn a lot of muscle, not good. As far as your meals, just make sure your getting in a good amount of protein and smart carb choices(oatmeal, yams, brown rice, etc). Watch your carbs, (this doesnt mean dont eat them). try it out and holla back if you get stuck again
I seem to remember that most of the lunges were done unweighted. I think Galaxy was selling some poles or something you were supposed to hold onto for balance as you did them at home. I’m sorry, I don’t remember more. Maybe try a search for Mia, freestyle training, or Galaxy. Good luck.
As far as trying to reduce the size of your legs by putting yourself into a catabolic state: In order to do this you would be putting yourself into a chronically overtrained state, which has numerous negative implications. In other words, your whole system would be overtrained.
The second point I have to make is that one of the reasons you now have muscular legs besides genetics is that you are a soccer player. Soccer demands not only endurance, but alot of explosive, sprint-like movement, not unlike HIIT training. What I would suggest is that you concentrate on lower intensity cardio and forget about HIIT; it will only encourage your legs to become more muscular. (Just look at the legs of a sprinter compared with a marathon runner- high intensity vs. low intensity cardio). I am surprised no one else on this board pointed this out.
But definately focus on weight training for your upper body, and read up on nutrition.
“I agree that women who are lean look good, I personally do not want to gain a lot of muscle on top to balance out my legs. That would make me pretty thick, and I am a small person.”
First of all: Muscle does not make you look thick. Muscle is more compact and sleek than fat. If you've seen pictures of fitness chicks, then you'll understand this. They look nice, small, "light" - but they're not. Compared to the average woman, they're not. Most natural female bodybuilder competitors are also this way. I'm just thinking, from your last post, that you have this preconceived notion that muscle on a woman will instantly make her "bulky". So to finalize my point: Muscle ain't bulky. Fat is.
Okay, so going into a "catabolic" state will indeed do you a disservice. My question now for you is this: have you EVER weight trained? I'm thinking that while you may have conditioned yourself for soccer and that means you performed only lower body specific exercises, you neglected upper body. So your build could be out of whack. So, again, I GUARANTEE that if you were to train your upper body, the "my legs are too big" would be a thing of the past.
And it is in my experience, 19-years, of weight training, that there are very, very, very, few women who possess the ability to get "too big" or "too thick" from weight training. I throw around weights in the gym that are deemed more than most guys, but I certainly ain't a powerhouse.
One other factor to consider whne training your legs is your muscle fiber makeup. Slow twitch fibers repond best to low intensity, high rep protocols, and fast twitch fiber responds best to high intensity, low rep protocols. Most women tend to be mostly slow twitch fiber, so low intensity high reps may actually make you bigger. A lot of my soccer girls found themselves getting bigger while they were doing high reps. When we experimented with low reps/multiple sets, they got stronger without getting bigger. Just experiment and see what works best for you. If you are an advanced athlete (played in college) you may have a higher than normal percentage of fast twitch fibers. The easiest way to test for this is to select an exercise, then find your 1rm. Rest ten minutes, than lower the weight to 85%. Do as many reps as you can. If you can only do 2-3 reps, you are fast twitch. Over 15, you are mostly slow twitch. As far as accelerating muscle breakdown in your legs … I’m not sure that any of us would be able to help you with that. We’re after the opposite effect. Good luck.
Jess: I can’t add much more to what’s been said other than to realize that this is not like shopping for clothes - you don’t get to pick and choose what body/genetics God gave you. All you can do is make the most of what you have. If you have the genetics to build muscular legs and you live the active lifestyle which develops that potential, you can’t be unhappy that you have beautiful muscular legs!
I would try adding in some GPP. It is hard but extremely effective. GPP is neglected and when added will take your physique to a new level. Many people I work with have shown tremendous progress with this simple addition (8 min).
Also, choose your cardio carefully. Bike, stair master are leg intensive and therefore will add to leg mass. For example I added ropework to my cardio and my calves grew an inch (I’m a guy so it is ok). People always come up to me now asking how I train my calves and funny thing is I don’t do too much. The rope is sufficient.
One other thing that has been really good is high rep dumbell snatches. A killer exercise that will firm everything (legs torso arms). a definite must
There is more but those few tips ought to get you started
I think you normally have very good advice to give, but no offense, you’re being kind of stubborn here. My girlfriend, Jess, does have muscular legs, as well as a muscular torso. She’s not huge or anything, but you can definitely see her father’s genetics in her. And like i said, i think you have good advice to give, but my girlfriend asked questions how to achieve on her goals based upon what she wants to look like. It seems like you’re trying to tell her to change her goals and give her advice on what your goals are and not hers. This is not meant to be offensive at all, but she is not trying to look like you.
She is not happy with her muscular legs. Most of you say she can’t change that. I disagree. I think HIIT in the mornings and long runs later would certainly reduce some size. I did cross country for 3 years in high school (when T is at it’s highest) and my legs didn’t grow at all. I would think lower T in females combined with long runs would really reduce some muscle. Of course i think she should be lifting too. Comments, anyone?
D Rock: I’m not really being stubborn and neither do I expect ANYONE to “look like me”. And neither do I expect anyone to eat like me, train like me, or god forbid, dress like me. But if you think I’m REALLY muscular - than you’re in for a surprise. I’m actually not THAT muscular. SO with that in mind, that means your girlfriend, Jess is less muscular than I. Correct? By even current standards, she’s probably what you would say “toned”. Am I incorrect?
She may have what would be considered "overly muscular" legs. And you know how she got those legs? From training for soccer. You know how they train for soccer? Via similar HIIT methods. So, if she were to do HIIT in the mornings and run in the evenings - you can bet her legs would either remain muscular or gain more muscle.
So I was introducing a option: to accept this genetic reality and rather than go into a "catabolic" state and risk losing upper body mass - cuz I betcha that's what would happen first - learn to "shape" what has been "god given". And to add a bit to her upper body to create a physical balance. Yes, she can probably limit her leg training to maybe cables for leg exercises - but as I had stated above: focus on upper body. She needs to LIMIT lower body training.
“…accept this genetic reality …” I can’t believe someone on this board actually said to accept their genetics. If everyone here decided to do that they wouldn’t be on a body-building/improving forum and magazine learning about how to train/eat/take buckets of supplements so they can look better than what their genetics dictate.
D Rock: Forgive my ignorance as I am not a scientist, but wouldn’t about the only way to take genetics out of the equation be to somehow genetically alter yourself? Myostat is the closest thing I’ve read about that will ‘alter’ genetics - but it doesn’t even really ‘alter’ anything, it just binds stuff. Any other supplements/steroids a person takes don’t genetically ‘alter’ them either - they either enhance or inhibit what your genetics already do/are. If they ‘altered’ your genes then you’d never have to repeat a cycle of something and your offspring would be genetically programmed to grow the same way you did when you took supp’s/steroids. Which obviously isn’t the case. That being said, anyone committed to a proper diet/exercise lifestyle is attempting to fulfill their genetic potential. I don’t believe we will ever know what our genetic potential is and that is why we keep striving towards it. Sure, some get stuck on plateaus but that does not mean they’ve reached their full potential - they’ve just not manipulated their lifestyle enough to overcome the body’s natural ability to adapt and maintain.
If your girlfriend doesn’t like the shape of her body, then she needs to manipulate her lifestyle to achieve the desired results but also bear in mind that she cannot change her genetics. I’d love to add another 3" to my lumbar spine as I am very short-waisted, but no amount of exercise or diet can do that. I have to learn to live with having less than 2" between my bottom rib and my pelvis. That’s genetics for you. I’d love to have a slender, lithe figure but genetics have determined that even at absolute peak condition, I’ll always be curvy and look “thick” due to dense musclature. There is no training or diet in the world that will change these realities. So, I make the most of what I have. I eat well, plan to change my workout routines often enough to keep me progressing toward MY personal, realistic ideal and accept that I’ll NEVER have a gap between my thighs. My thighs will be damn tight, shapely and strong, but my genetics have determined for me that the angle my femurs and hip sockets will never, ever allow for a gap. BFD.
I don’t think Patricia, or anyone else for that matter, was trying to press THEIR goals on your girlfriend but was offering some sound advice on how to achieve a realistic goal of fitness relative to what she asked for, with the caveat that she shouldn’t be looking to change, but to improve upon what God/Mother Nature gave her.
So, then what does your girlfriend want to look like? You had said that she has based her questions on what she wants to look like. I’m curious.
You also said that she has her father's genetics - I take it that it means she has a build similar to her father's. How about height? How tall is she. What is your girlfriend's current BF%? Since she was still in college I am also assuming she is in her early 20's. Am I correct in assuming this age? As for your beat with genetics - genetic can also mean "inherited characteristics". Correct?
Are there ways to begin a catabolic effect? Sure, one way is overtraining. Undereating. I've actually done a search here on T-Mag using "catabolic" as my search word. The articles that popped up were ones that were about "avoiding" or stopping the catabolic process. Maybe reading on a article about the process itself will pop a lightbulb for you to help solve your gf's problem.
Ok, I have to agree with Patricia. Jess’s genetics are what they are. You can train and eat to build the best physique your genetics will allow,although with Myostat out now this may change, but if her legs are more muscular then she is likely to build them up faster no matter what she does whether it be HIIT or leg exercises. Also, I have seen pictures of Patricia and I think from that you can see she knows what she is talking about so I would be glad to consider any advice she offers. If anything Jess just take all the different advice given in these posts and start experimenting to see what will work for you.