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  1. #1
    Registered User Figure8's Avatar
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    Can I get my quads smaller?

    I have big legs even when I've competed and gotten very lean. My legs are just naturally big and muscular...is there any way to prevent them from getting bigger but still working them? or better yet make them a tad smaller?
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  2. #2
    Just doin' my thing... BuffedWildCat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Figure8 View Post
    I have big legs even when I've competed and gotten very lean. My legs are just naturally big and muscular...is there any way to prevent them from getting bigger but still working them? or better yet make them a tad smaller?
    Sure, work them in a higher rep range or do some other activity to work them. I only weight train my upper body for the same reason, I have big legs even at 18% bodyfat (which is the lowest realistic bodyfat that I can maintain). My legs get plenty of exercise via my inline speed skating training. And the only time my legs have shrunk in size is when I've leaned up and lost fat off them. Even so, they've still never been smaller than 22 - 22 1/2 inches, at 18% total bodyfat. Things to keep in mind, good luck! Sometimes ya just gotta do the best you can with what ya got and learn to accept yourself.
    Last edited by BuffedWildCat; 06-23-2009 at 11:20 PM.
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  3. #3
    Registered User eal76's Avatar
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    I build legs quite easily and have noticed that by taking spinning 2x's a week in addition to my normal leg routine I've been able to keep my quad size down. I don't love this, actually, because I love the "pop" of a big quad. To each her own, I suppose!
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  4. #4
    Registered User Figure8's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BuffedWildCat View Post
    Sure, work them in a higher rep range or do some other activity to work them. I only weight train my upper body for the same reason, I have big legs even at 18% bodyfat (which is the lowest realistic bodyfat that I can maintain). My legs get plenty of exercise via my inline speed skating training. And the only time my legs have shrunk in size is when I've leaned up and lost fat off them. Even so, they've still never been smaller than 22 - 22 1/2 inches, at 18% total bodyfat. Things to keep in mind, good luck! Sometimes ya just gotta do the best you can with what ya got and learn to accept yourself.
    Thanks for the reply
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    muscular atrophy is directly related to inactivity
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    Member of WACCB cfit82's Avatar
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    I am about to train a woman who does not want her quads any bigger. I wouldn't do classic squats, but just hip extension dominant movements if you want you quads to shrink, sldls,. plate bridges, Romanian deads, etc. Most people can go without training their quads, but not the glutes and hams. Also cardio will keep you legs smaller, I teach spin twice a week and it really did slim my legs also.
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    Like you, I don't want to get my quads any bigger, since I am just training for myself, not for any kind of a competition and it's extremely difficult for me to lean out up to the point when my legs do not look bulky.
    I got to 17% body fat, and it was not so easy for me, honestly:-).
    On the leg day I will try to do squats in an endurance mode (20 reps per set), Romanian deads, dumbbell step-ups, lunges, some calf work, but not in the heavy range.
    I will hit my upper body heavy since my goal is to add more mass to the upper body, hopefully leaving the legs (especially quads) at the same size.
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    Wink

    Originally Posted by cfit82 View Post
    I am about to train a woman who does not want her quads any bigger. I wouldn't do classic squats, but just hip extension dominant movements if you want you quads to shrink, sldls,. plate bridges, Romanian deads, etc. Most people can go without training their quads, but not the glutes and hams. Also cardio will keep you legs smaller, I teach spin twice a week and it really did slim my legs also.

    totally agree.. my quads are insane due to genetics, running etc. At this point I dare not touch them, just gonna work on deadlifts for the hammies/glutes etc, and I actually want another half inch on my calves to bring them up to 18 inches.
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  9. #9
    Member of WACCB cfit82's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gettingthere69 View Post
    totally agree.. my quads are insane due to genetics, running etc. At this point I dare not touch them, just gonna work on deadlifts for the hammies/glutes etc, and I actually want another half inch on my calves to bring them up to 18 inches.
    The thing is everyone thinks "high reps" will keep you from bulking them legs, but what they don't understand is legs THRIVE on volume, so if you do a round of 3*20-50 or 6*9 you are doing about the same number of repetitions, and therefor do what is necessary to gain bulk.

    If you want to maintain do like one maybe two sets, under 20 reps, preferably 6-10, and if you want them to shrink leave them the hell alone.
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  10. #10
    Registered User futurebird's Avatar
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    I'm gonna say a few things:

    1. People think they have "too much muscle" on their quads when it is fat-- the fat... it can hide and look JUST like muscle. I thought I had "a lot of muscle"... but as the fat melts it seems there is not as much as I thought!

    2. Building muscle is hard. It will take a lot to really build huge quads. Like many many months. I have just started lifting heavy and low reps for my legs. At first there was some swelling but I'm starting to see some positive changes. Like a leaner look. Also it's going to help me to run faster... and burn even more calories and stuff. If I do get a few more ounces of muscle so what? I need to become faster and stronger to take my running to the next level.

    I bet if I could get my BF down from 22% to like 18% my legs would look pretty skinny. Look at my pics. It looks like muscle but it's not ... trust me.
    Last edited by futurebird; 06-24-2009 at 05:38 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Sure, send me some
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  12. #12
    Member of WACCB cfit82's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by futurebird View Post
    I'm gonna say a few things:

    1. People think they have "too much muscle" on their quads when it is fat-- the fat... it can hide and look JUST like muscle. I thought I had "a lot of muscle"... but as the fat melts it seems there is not as much as I thought!

    2. Building muscle is hard. It will take a lot to really build huge quads. Like many many months. I have just started lifting heavy and low reps for my legs. At first there was some swelling but I'm starting to see some positive changes. Like a leaner look. Also it's going to help me to run faster... and burn even more calories and stuff. If I do get a few more ounces of muscle so what? I need to become faster and stronger to take my running to the next level.

    I bet if I could get my BF down from 22% to like 18% my legs would look pretty skinny. Look at my pics. It looks like muscle but it's not ... trust me.
    I agree with everything that you are saying. However, OP, has gotten competition lean before (under 12%, I am asuming) and her legs are still too bulky, according to her. And despite what people may hear around here, for many woman(me included) it is really easy to gain more muscle on the leg than they WANT. I actually don't mind having big legs, the cultural I was raised in encourages it. But, the woman I am going to work with already has nice stems and I for one don't see a need to mess with them and she already had a trainer who did high volume training that gave her bigger legs than she desired. In addition, many of women want to just be slim and none jiggly and don't like to be really lean or "hard" and I respect that.

    In addition, functionally people are just quad dominant anyways, so you can't really hurt them by not training the quads, because they will be used no matter what.

    No trying to start an argument or anything, I just think that many of the things said of female physique training is based on the idea that woman can't get too bulky lifting weights, when actually, if it's done wrong, they can gain more muscle than they WANT in the wrong places, or all over. And it's probably a level that we in the FemMisc would think was not even close to bulky, but it is bulky to HER.

    Sorry about the utilization of caps for emphasis, couldn't remember how to do italics and bold!
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by cfit82 View Post
    I agree with everything that you are saying. However, OP, has gotten competition lean before (under 12%, I am asuming) and her legs are still too bulky, according to her.
    Oh I missed that. I really don't know about competitions.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by futurebird View Post
    I'm gonna say a few things:

    1. People think they have "too much muscle" on their quads when it is fat-- the fat... it can hide and look JUST like muscle. I thought I had "a lot of muscle"... but as the fat melts it seems there is not as much as I thought!

    2. Building muscle is hard. It will take a lot to really build huge quads. Like many many months. I have just started lifting heavy and low reps for my legs. At first there was some swelling but I'm starting to see some positive changes. Like a leaner look. Also it's going to help me to run faster... and burn even more calories and stuff. If I do get a few more ounces of muscle so what? I need to become faster and stronger to take my running to the next level.

    I bet if I could get my BF down from 22% to like 18% my legs would look pretty skinny. Look at my pics. It looks like muscle but it's not ... trust me.
    I totally agree with this.^^ I'm so sick of hearing I gain muscle too easily in my legs, blah, blah, blah...Adding lean mass takes a ton of hard work...no one adds mass quickly or easily. (especially females) If your legs are getting too bulky, then it's because you're carrying more body fat than you think you are.

    People who a runners, sprinters, cyclists, even speed skaters like buffedwild...yes doing these types of sports for a long period of time will add more mass...a hell of a lot faster then someone who just lifts weights...it's totally different.

    Leaning our your legs is all about getting that body fat low enough...and this once again falls back on your diet.
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    Plain Jane Who Lifts **** kimm4's Avatar
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    I wanted to add yes she did a competition, but she was not as lean as she thought she was. Legs are the last to lean out when it comes to competing. Her body fat was not low enough to bring her legs down where she wanted them.

    I've been competing for years and my legs are my strongest body part...so I know how it works!

    Nothing against the OP, but I think she already knows where I stand on this

    She looked beautiful btw!!
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    I totally agree with this.^^ I'm so sick of hearing I gain muscle too easily in my legs, blah, blah, blah...Adding lean mass takes a ton of hard work...no one adds mass quickly or easily. (especially females) If your legs are getting too bulky, then it's because you're carrying more body fat than you think you are.

    People who a runners, sprinters, cyclists, even speed skaters like buffedwild...yes doing these types of sports for a long period of time will add more mass...a hell of a lot faster then someone who just lifts weights...it's totally different.

    Leaning our your legs is all about getting that body fat low enough...and this once again falls back on your diet.
    Funny thing is even though I know this and also knew this would be your answer, I still read the thread in hopes of some secret.
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  17. #17
    Plain Jane Who Lifts **** kimm4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by blu2xtreme View Post
    Funny thing is even though I know this and also knew this would be your answer, I still read the thread in hopes of some secret.
    There are no short cuts -
    I swear girl I'm the only female on this board trying to add size to my legs lol...

    Sorry...no short cuts
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    I totally agree with this.^^ I'm so sick of hearing I gain muscle too easily in my legs, blah, blah, blah...Adding lean mass takes a ton of hard work...no one adds mass quickly or easily. (especially females) If your legs are getting too bulky, then it's because you're carrying more body fat than you think you are.

    People who a runners, sprinters, cyclists, even speed skaters like buffedwild...yes doing these types of sports for a long period of time will add more mass...a hell of a lot faster then someone who just lifts weights...it's totally different.

    Leaning our your legs is all about getting that body fat low enough...and this once again falls back on your diet.

    actually I put on 10 lbs of muscle (with fat) last yr during my ehh.. 'dirty bulk' we should say Hydrostatic testing..

    I put on muscle very easily, and at 5'10 I have 155 lbs of LBM right now. So some of us women are indeed genetic freaks.

    My legs will never be any smaller than 23 inches. When I was 14 % bf they were 22.5 I'm medium framed too so that probably says a lot. And I was 180 lbs then, its a bit of a mind screw, looking at the scale for me.

    My sis on the other hand is a bean pole. So I really think a lot of things have to do with build and genetics. Shes 6 ft and 22 % bf and 157 lbs.

    but if anyone wants an inch or two, I wouldn't mind giving it away
    Last edited by Gettingthere69; 06-24-2009 at 08:15 PM.
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    Would love to see pics if you have them

    At your height 22.5 inch legs are fine...not too big at all.

    Women are way too hard on themselves...


    I will dig them up.. itll be good motivation as yikes! I have some work cut out (wow pun) the next 10 months Because although I have 155 lbs of lbm, I have a **ton of fat to get rid of, uhmm yeah dirty bulk LOL

    yeah Im really learning while being here, thats its not really the numbers, or the weight, or the bf% , I mean those are all nice but I think we all get too caught up and it should be how we look, the symmetry and being the best we can be individually, and most importantly how we feel about ourselves I sound like a motivation infomercial

    OT I love your arms, what size are they flexed? (haha didn't I just say something about measurements- I mean a tape measure is good to help with progress)

    You have an awesome body!
    Last edited by Gettingthere69; 06-24-2009 at 08:27 PM.
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    I swear girl I'm the only female on this board trying to add size to my legs lol...

    Sorry...no short cuts
    Well, I really respect and admire what you have done with your body, but different people have different goals and different perception of what is beautiful. I am not interested in competing. I am doing weights for health benefits and to look good. I am not comfortable with the idea of living at low body fat.
    So, I'd rather try to add mass to my upper body and maintain the legs than try to get to the point when my legs are not so bulky. It might be 12%, who knows. I am definitely not ready for this.
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    12% would be a really low body fat to live at... ?
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    Originally Posted by juliacheh View Post
    Well, I really respect and admire what you have done with your body, but different people have different goals and different perception of what is beautiful. I am not interested in competing. I am doing weights for health benefits and to look good. I am not comfortable with the idea of living at low body fat.
    So, I'd rather try to add mass to my upper body and maintain the legs than try to get to the point when my legs are not so bulky. It might be 12%, who knows. I am definitely not ready for this.
    Yes I understand everyone has different goals. The OP wants smaller legs and I told her what she needs to do to get them there. I want bigger legs...that's just me.

    I somewhat understand what you're saying about yourself. But how do you think you can maintain legs while trying to add upper body size? In order to add size you need to eat above maintenance and lift like a madwoman correct? So by doing this it's still going to change your overall physique and this would include your legs...even if you don't train them...

    Does this make any sense...it's late and I'm getting tired
    Last edited by kimm4; 06-24-2009 at 09:09 PM.
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    Originally Posted by cfit82 View Post
    The thing is everyone thinks "high reps" will keep you from bulking them legs, but what they don't understand is legs THRIVE on volume, so if you do a round of 3*20-50 or 6*9 you are doing about the same number of repetitions, and therefor do what is necessary to gain bulk.

    If you want to maintain do like one maybe two sets, under 20 reps, preferably 6-10, and if you want them to shrink leave them the hell alone.
    That really helps. So you dont think I should work them at all? Just the exercises you mentioned right?
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    Originally Posted by futurebird View Post
    I'm gonna say a few things:

    1. People think they have "too much muscle" on their quads when it is fat-- the fat... it can hide and look JUST like muscle. I thought I had "a lot of muscle"... but as the fat melts it seems there is not as much as I thought!

    2. Building muscle is hard. It will take a lot to really build huge quads. Like many many months. I have just started lifting heavy and low reps for my legs. At first there was some swelling but I'm starting to see some positive changes. Like a leaner look. Also it's going to help me to run faster... and burn even more calories and stuff. If I do get a few more ounces of muscle so what? I need to become faster and stronger to take my running to the next level.

    I bet if I could get my BF down from 22% to like 18% my legs would look pretty skinny. Look at my pics. It looks like muscle but it's not ... trust me.
    no its not that my legs are fat ( im sure they could be leaner) even on stage at my competitons I've been told their too big muscular that is. Thats what the jugdes told me. It's genetics
    Last edited by Figure8; 06-24-2009 at 09:38 PM.
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    I wanted to add yes she did a competition, but she was not as lean as she thought she was. Legs are the last to lean out when it comes to competing. Her body fat was not low enough to bring her legs down where she wanted them.

    I've been competing for years and my legs are my strongest body part...so I know how it works!

    Nothing against the OP, but I think she already knows where I stand on this

    She looked beautiful btw!!
    not sure if OP is refering to me but my legs were the leanest part of my body when I was on stage so again thats not it. you could see all my muslces..some people really just have bigger legs. I was measured in water at 11.5 percent before my show so i think thats lean enough where you can determine your legs arent too big due to excessive fat. I had to kill myself to get there so theres no way i can live like that so my legs look smaller.
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    Smile

    Originally Posted by cfit82 View Post
    I agree with everything that you are saying. However, OP, has gotten competition lean before (under 12%, I am asuming) and her legs are still too bulky, according to her. And despite what people may hear around here, for many woman(me included) it is really easy to gain more muscle on the leg than they WANT. I actually don't mind having big legs, the cultural I was raised in encourages it. But, the woman I am going to work with already has nice stems and I for one don't see a need to mess with them and she already had a trainer who did high volume training that gave her bigger legs than she desired. In addition, many of women want to just be slim and none jiggly and don't like to be really lean or "hard" and I respect that.

    In addition, functionally people are just quad dominant anyways, so you can't really hurt them by not training the quads, because they will be used no matter what.

    No trying to start an argument or anything, I just think that many of the things said of female physique training is based on the idea that woman can't get too bulky lifting weights, when actually, if it's done wrong, they can gain more muscle than they WANT in the wrong places, or all over. And it's probably a level that we in the FemMisc would think was not even close to bulky, but it is bulky to HER.

    Sorry about the utilization of caps for emphasis, couldn't remember how to do italics and bold!
    What do you recommend if I dont want to add more muscle all over? I just switched to higher reps 12-15 is this the right approach? I'm still doing the basic bodybuiding exercises bench press shoulder presses ect. Input is greatly appreciated!
    Thanks!
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    Originally Posted by Figure8 View Post
    no its not that my legs are fat ( im sure they could be leaner) even on stage at my competitons I've been told their too big muscular that is. Thats what the jugdes told me. It's genetics
    I know tons of female figure competitors with a hell of a lot of muscle. In all the years I've been competing (yes forever) and watching all my friends compete...never have I ever heard a judge tell a female competitor that their legs are too muscular. That's like a judge telling a competitor they're holding too much water...it's a nice way of saying you're still holding too much body fat and need to come in leaner...

    Some judges are not meant to be judges and that's all I will say about this...
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    ...But how do you think you can maintain legs while trying to add upper body size? In order to add size you need to eat above maintenance and lift like a madwoman correct? So by doing this it's still going to change your overall physique and this would include your legs...even if you don't train them...

    Does this make any sense...it's late and I'm getting tired
    It makes sense to me Kim, however, heh, I'm going to throw one at ya...

    I have always been somewhat obsessive about my body so I actually used to measure all my body parts every so often and so I dug up my measurements from when I was 24 years old, in 1997, BEFORE I started weight training AND about 5 months after I started speed skating and check it out, my quads were the same size then as they are now. At that time I was really bottom heavy, I needed more upper body mass to be more in proportion... for instance my flexed arms were only 11 inches and around my shoulders was only 39 inches... fast forward to now... now my flexed arms are 13 inches and my shoulders are 42 inches. Soo... apparently weight training my upper body like a mad woman but just speed skating or doing nothing for my lower body, worked, for me anyway. For the first year that I lifted I did not diet, I was still learning how to eat properly and I put on 8 lbs, so I'm guessing I was eating over maintenance however I didn't put on any size on my legs and I actually WAS weight training them at that time because that was before I knew it negatively affects my speed skating. By the second year of lifting I had figured out the dieting part and had quit weight training my legs. So anyway, I know it doesn't make sense, that somehow I was able to gain exclusively upper body mass but the numbers don't lie. Worth noting though that the one time I DID purposely try to bulk, one of the first articles of clothing that got too tight were my jeans. The only logical explanation I can come up with is that I hadn't reached my genetic potential for upper body mass and maybe I had with the lower body mass especially since I had been speed skating for 3 years prior to beginning weight training. So perhaps my legs had done all their growing, had reached their genetic potential/setpoint before I started weight training because of the speed skating (now I wish I had measurements from BEFORE I started speed skating just to see if they DID grow at all from speed skating) whereas my upper body had not. But anyhoo...
    Please don't PM me asking for personal help with diet and/or training, I just don't have the time.

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    Originally Posted by BuffedWildCat View Post
    It makes sense to me Kim, however, heh, I'm going to throw one at ya...

    I have always been somewhat obsessive about my body so I actually used to measure all my body parts every so often and so I dug up my measurements from when I was 24 years old, in 1997, BEFORE I started weight training AND about 5 months after I started speed skating and check it out, my quads were the same size then as they are now. At that time I was really bottom heavy, I needed more upper body mass to be more in proportion... for instance my flexed arms were only 11 inches and around my shoulders was only 39 inches... fast forward to now... now my flexed arms are 13 inches and my shoulders are 42 inches. Soo... apparently weight training my upper body like a mad woman but just speed skating or doing nothing for my lower body, worked, for me anyway. For the first year that I lifted I did not diet, I was still learning how to eat properly and I put on 8 lbs, so I'm guessing I was eating over maintenance however I didn't put on any size on my legs and I actually WAS weight training them at that time because that was before I knew it negatively affects my speed skating. By the second year of lifting I had figured out the dieting part and had quit weight training my legs. So anyway, I know it doesn't make sense, that somehow I was able to gain exclusively upper body mass but the numbers don't lie. Worth noting though that the one time I DID purposely try to bulk, one of the first articles of clothing that got too tight were my jeans. The only logical explanation I can come up with is that I hadn't reached my genetic potential for upper body mass and maybe I had with the lower body mass especially since I had been speed skating for 3 years prior to beginning weight training. So perhaps my legs had done all their growing, had reached their genetic potential/setpoint before I started weight training because of the speed skating (now I wish I had measurements from BEFORE I started speed skating just to see if they DID grow at all from speed skating) whereas my upper body had not. But anyhoo...
    Your speed skating has worked to advantage for sure! I'm guessing you pretty much reached your genetic potential (or pretty close to) with your lower 1/2 1st because of your skating.

    Now you say your legs are the same size now as back then. But did you lose a certain amount of body fat which was replaced with lean mass? Do your legs look any different now compared to back then? They've got to look leaner due to your years of training and skating.
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    cfit82,

    Let me first start by saying I'm not trying to start a fight here but you are giving out some information that I disagree with and that could potentially be harmful... I'm surprised that you are a personal trainer with some of the info you posted, who are you certified thru? And out of curiosity are you required to earn continuing education credits to keep your certification?

    There are two things you stated that I don't agree with, the first was in your first post you advised to only train hamstrings and not quads if you don't want your quads to get bigger. I totally disagree with the concept of EVER training one muscle group WITHOUT training the OPPOSING muscle group. As a personal trainer you should be aware of the danger in doing so.

    Secondly...

    Originally Posted by cfit82
    The thing is everyone thinks "high reps" will keep you from bulking them legs, but what they don't understand is legs THRIVE on volume, so if you do a round of 3*20-50 or 6*9 you are doing about the same number of repetitions, and therefor do what is necessary to gain bulk...
    Doing loads of repetitions is NOT what is necessary to stimulate maximum hypertrophy. And are you saying that doing 3 sets of 20 would be the same as doing 6 sets of 10?? With the assumption that you would obviously be lifting more weight if you are only doing 10 reps otherwise you'd really just be wasting your time. Am I understanding that correctly? Do you know at what intensity different muscle fibers are recruited? Do you know what physiological changes take place depending on the type of stimulus provided to the muscles? I mean cause reading the above makes it sound like you don't and as a personal trainer you definitely should. Whether you are doing 6 sets of 20 or 10 sets of 20, you are still just recruiting the Type I muscle fibers, the endurance fibers, so what you said doesn't make any sense, about the legs "thriving on volume", as in bulking due to a high volume of high reps?! Different muscle fibers are recruited in differing amounts depending on the intensity of the exercise.

    In at least two of your posts you are saying a lot of stuff that just doesn't make any sense. Forgive me if I have misunderstood but if not, um, yeah, I disagree with those two items.

    1) In a healthy individual you never weight train a muscle group without training the opposing muscle group, that's just asking for imbalances to occur which will eventually wreak havoc on one's body if left to continue.

    2) A high volume of high repetitions is NOT the recipe for bulking one's legs or any muscle group for that matter. High volume with high repetitions is the recipe for improving ENDURANCE, which basically means hypertrophy is pretty limited since you are only recruiting Type I muscle fibers.

    Feel free to discuss, bottom line is that I am here to help and educate therefore when I read information that does not seem right or is clearly wrong I make an effort to get it corrected and/or clarified so that misinformation and myths are not getting spread around. Many times I learn from such discussions as well.
    Please don't PM me asking for personal help with diet and/or training, I just don't have the time.

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