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  1. #1
    Registered User skhatr's Avatar
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    Large muscular calfs... How do I get rid of them?

    I am a very petite female with large muscular calfs. I really feel uncomfortable with how my calfs look and am unsure of how to slim them down. I would like to attempt to also get rid of some belly fat. I have followed HIIT and read that it is the best way to get rid of fat but I have also read that if I want to slim my thighs down this is not the best method and that I should do LISS training. I'm at a loss now and very confused with what I should do to get the body I want. What type of workout program should I be following to acheive these results?
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    Registered User TrexKare's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by skhatr View Post
    I am a very petite female with large muscular calfs. I really feel uncomfortable with how my calfs look and am unsure of how to slim them down. I would like to attempt to also get rid of some belly fat. I have followed HIIT and read that it is the best way to get rid of fat but I have also read that if I want to slim my thighs down this is not the best method and that I should do LISS training. I'm at a loss now and very confused with what I should do to get the body I want. What type of workout program should I be following to acheive these results?
    Avoid calf raises and LISS isnt bad for fat loss. Just not as good as HIIT.
    Why dont you first state What program you use instead of what program to use NOW that you already have muscular calves?
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  3. #3
    Registered User skhatr's Avatar
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    Well this thing with muscular calves has been since I was a child. I have always had large muscular calves.

    In all honesty, I have not been consistent with working out. However, when I do go to the gym what I usually do is I will strength train and perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps and then I will also do HIIT for about 18-20 minutes. Some days I will only do HIIT, others I will strength train, or I won't go to the gym for days in between, but I am trying to develop a consistent pattern to get myself in the gym. In addition, I really enjoy HIIT as it is not as time consuming and burns many calories. As a college student, going to the gym takes up a lot of time that I don't really have so I like to be in and out as fast as I can.
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  4. #4
    Registered User joerevans's Avatar
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    Pick a cardio event that doesn't use your calves and apply the HIIT principles.
    I like 2 min drills in the pool as an option. There are other options as well that use core as the basis for your cardio like some of the kettlebell routines.
    You can also have good results by supersetting during your Strength training....

    You have options, what do you enjoy doing in the gym or for exercise? Tell what you look forward to and it will be easier to make a reccomendation that keeps you going.
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  5. #5
    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I doubt its muscle. It's probably bodyfat - it just doesn't wobble when it's on certain parts of your body. Where you store fat is down to genetics. For most men, this is usually on the stomach and back but it varies a lot more for women.

    Don't avoid leg exercises! They will not make your legs larger. The amount of effort female bodybuilders go to to gain a tiny amount of muscle is enormous and they would probably think you are being silly worrying that your legs will get bigger from training.

    Just aim to lose bodyfat in general. Perhaps look at a stubborn fat protocol if you are already very lean up top.
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  6. #6
    Registered User skhatr's Avatar
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    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...948731&page=26

    View erinlee's legs. I would say my legs resemble hers. However, because I am so short mine look much larger. Another great example of who my legs remind me of are cheryl burke's.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/4216252...in/photostream

    I would say hers are a better representation as I believe she is short like me.

    I enjoy HIIT on the elliptical machine. I prefer bikes too as opposed to the treadmill. I also used to do belly dancing as a way to exercise. I don't enjoy strenght training, but I think it essential in getting my body into better shape. I enjoy riding my bike too, however, that is not possible while I am at school.
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  7. #7
    Registered User skhatr's Avatar
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    http://www.flickr.com/photos/4216252...n/photostream/

    Actually, I would say this pic right here is the best thing that I can compare my legs to. That is exactly what they look like!
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    The low impact HIIT you do on the elliptical isn't going to build your calves as long as you keep your heel planted, because you aren't using the push aspect nearly as much as you would if you were using a run/sprint for your HIIT. However, cycling will build your calves because only the balls of the feet come in contact with the pedals...

    Diet is as critical as the strength training... What do you do for those?
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    I wish I had a problem with big calves. I'm a 6' 5" male and my calves WON'T FREAKING GROW!!!
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    I wouldnt call ANY of those "large, muscular calves" ... the last pic shows zero muscle at all...

    Lean out and do raises to shape your calves
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    Registered User BmS420's Avatar
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    Just a thought on cardio preference... If you don't want to use your lower body for cardio, try the heavy bag out if your gym has one. I'll occasionally do 3x3 minute rounds of boxing with one minute of rest in between. During these bouts, any combo of jabs/crosses/hooks are fine as long as the bag doesn't become perpendicular (has to stay on a lean) during the whole 3minute round! It's intense, but will also shape your upper body and core quite a bit without over stimulating the legs. Just look into learning how to wrap your wrists properly, or you WILL get hurt
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    Stop wearing high heels?
    My Journal:
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    DIY Plyo Boxes:
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  13. #13
    Registered User skhatr's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know if my legs are muscular or fat then but they look like what is given in the third picture. I just want them to be skinnier, but I am not aiming just to improve my legs but lose some belly fat as well. I thought they were muscular because they feel firm.

    As for what I eat... like I said I have not really been consistent but I am trying to learn right now what methods of working out are best for me for what I want to acheive so I can begin an consistent pattern. Once I have established that, I will begin watching what I eat and will try and maintain a low carb/high protein diet.
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    Stick with the Elliptical for your HIIT 20 min 3x week

    depending on what your schedule is, find a 15-20 min total body workout (I like the ones with burpees) and you can do it before/after or alternate days.
    I personally like High intensity workouts when I have limited time... so I superset, triples or giant sets any time I go to the gym, cuts down on rest cycles, burns more calories and keeps the heart rate up.

    Finish with core strenghteners like planks, crunches and leg raises
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  15. #15
    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by skhatr View Post
    Well, I don't know if my legs are muscular or fat then but they look like what is given in the third picture. I just want them to be skinnier, but I am not aiming just to improve my legs but lose some belly fat as well. I thought they were muscular because they feel firm.

    As for what I eat... like I said I have not really been consistent but I am trying to learn right now what methods of working out are best for me for what I want to acheive so I can begin an consistent pattern. Once I have established that, I will begin watching what I eat and will try and maintain a low carb/high protein diet.
    Looking at the picture, I would say fat. If you are wanting to get rid of belly fat too, the answer is obvious - low calorie diet. I strongly recommend weight training too so you prevent loss of lean muscle mass. Muscle gives you your shape - even for women, not just for men. Look at Angelina Jolie - she used to look great, but now looks like a scarecrow with arms like sticks. She obviously did some wacky weight loss scheme that involved losing a lot of muscle in the process.

    The main areas for women to work are legs and butt - deep squats, deadlifts, lunges are all your friend. You don't have to come away from it with manly shoulders and big biceps - that is very unlikely to happen anyway unless you really try hard and take steroids.

    Do low carb by all means and high protein is a good idea - but you should do carb refeeds twice a week IMO otherwise other problems can occur.
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    Are you sure its not just cankles
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    LoL@ replies...

    Anywho large calves look attractive on a woman who works out. /thread
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    Originally Posted by JasonDB View Post
    large calves look attractive on a woman who works out.
    Agreed, but thats not the OPs goal...
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    Registered User skhatr's Avatar
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    I see so is it that some of you think they are muscular. The thing is I have always had legs that looked like that even when my stomach was completely fat and I was a little girl. That is why I am very curious. I am actually fairly skinny. If someone saw me they would never guess I have belly fat but I have a little.

    Also I know that having the muscle is really important. I really want to increase my muscle to increase my metabolism and in addition I want to lower my bodyfat. I joined lifetime fitness over the summer. When they initially examined my body I believe they said my fat percentage was about 23-24% and I had 76-77% lean muscle mass. I dont know if that helps but I guess I need to be doing exercises then that build muscle and be lifting a large weight with my legs.
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    Registered User joerevans's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by skhatr View Post
    I see so is it that some of you think they are muscular. The thing is I have always had legs that looked like that even when my stomach was completely fat and I was a little girl. That is why I am very curious. I am actually fairly skinny. If someone saw me they would never guess I have belly fat but I have a little.

    Also I know that having the muscle is really important. I really want to increase my muscle to increase my metabolism and in addition I want to lower my bodyfat. I joined lifetime fitness over the summer. When they initially examined my body I believe they said my fat percentage was about 23-24% and I had 76-77% lean muscle mass. I dont know if that helps but I guess I need to be doing exercises then that build muscle and be lifting a large weight with my legs.
    Muscle is important for a healthy look, which is what I assume you want. The girls that are just skinny can be scary and seem downright fragile...
    As for the go heavy theory, don't worry about it until you can get good form with your exercises. There are also a lot of bodyweight exercises that are used by women involved in crossfit, P90X, TRX and Yoga that build good strength and muscle tone without discouraging you by being the only person in the gym with 35lb plates on the bar for your squats.

    You also don't need to lose the fat unless you want to. 20-24% is in a healthy range, at most, you only want to lose another 6-10%, otherwise it becomes unhealthy. Since you are a student, the college gym probably has most of these resources already, some of them that can be taken for credit, as well as several qualified (probably more so than most gyms) trainers willing to coach you through your routines and even help you write them up. Also, if the community is large enough, you can check adult continuing education programs that will provide blocks of instruction for beginning fitness and community sports leagues...
    And since you already spent the money for the membership at the gym.... Ok, the lifetime advertising looks like its a step above the average chain. Use the TRX and Kettlebell training that's available there and don't be afraid to give the Crossfit section a shot.
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    Thanks! I actually have a little pooch and hate my legs so I really do want to cut the fat even though I know I'm at a healthy weight. Unfortunately, I am not earning money and I don't think my dad would want to pay for me to get a personal trainer though they are available and I don't have the time in my schedule to take courses. I think I'm gonna stick to the strength training with HIIT and hopefully that should take care of the fat on my body. I am not afraid to be in the strength training room... I really like using the machines over yoga. Haven't looked into p90x or TRX but I have also heard they are very rigorous and I'm a little scared to try it but I will check it out. I also have given up my lifetime membership since I started school.
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  22. #22
    Registered User bethanyboo's Avatar
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    Try New Rules of Lifting for Women. It's basically a recomp program. Since you're a beginner, you should be able to successfully lose fat while putting on some muscle (aka "tone"). NROLFW has you doing HIIT 2x a week and compound lifting 3x a week.

    Neither of those calf pictures even look big to me. I've always had pretty big calves (fat, not muscle) but I'm pear shaped and they eventually shrink down after a cut. But it's one of the last places I lose fat.
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  23. #23
    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bethanyboo View Post
    Try New Rules of Lifting for Women. It's basically a recomp program. Since you're a beginner, you should be able to successfully lose fat while putting on some muscle (aka "tone"). NROLFW has you doing HIIT 2x a week and compound lifting 3x a week.

    Neither of those calf pictures even look big to me. I've always had pretty big calves (fat, not muscle) but I'm pear shaped and they eventually shrink down after a cut. But it's one of the last places I lose fat.
    Sounds good to me ^^
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  24. #24
    do you even bambiemcfly's Avatar
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    hey i have big calves. theyre sweet. just train your quads and hams to match. at least then youre proportionate. curvy, but proportionate.
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