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  1. #1
    Member s7nner's Avatar
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    slimming down big calfs?

    hi everyone,

    my friend has what she considers/believes 'big calfs' for a female especially since she's asian and not that tall about 5'1' (or so)

    is there any way to slim down her calfs?

    please if there is any positive responses to this, i would love to know... thanks
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  2. #2
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    Probably not....

    It doesn't soun like she has big calves from working them out so it sounds genetic to me (and boy would I love those genetics!)
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  3. #3
    Registered User maranne's Avatar
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    Lou,

    can I trade my calves with you?lol
    You won´t want big ones once you are having a hard time finding boots that zip up all the way...

    *singing and dancing around in the room and smiling silly*

    hehe..M.
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  4. #4
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    Originally posted by maranne
    Lou,

    can I trade my calves with you?lol
    You won´t want big ones once you are having a hard time finding boots that zip up all the way...

    *singing and dancing around in the room and smiling silly*

    hehe..M.
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    Member s7nner's Avatar
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    sorry to specify.. she has never done weight training before in her life. she is looking to slim down/ reduce bodyfat most of it goes to the lower half of her body.

    she's done mainly a few treadmill sessions and lately i've tried to get her to try HIIT on the eliptical machine + the step master.

    i've suggested two light fullbody weight days with more emphaiss on legs (since that is where most of her fat goes to, arms are thin) and 3 HIIT days alternatively with weekends off..

    my concern also is....
    will training weights on the legs increase the calf size? without doing direct calf exercises..
    ie. light squats/ press/ curls. adductors/ abductors and that glute machine women love to spend their time on.

    she is genuinely concerned about the size of them...

    all advices are welcomed. :P

    is this the right approach for a woman who stores more of the excess fat to the lower half of her body esp the thighs?
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  6. #6
    the coffee killer moody_weasel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by s7nner
    sorry to specify.. she has never done weight training before in her life. she is looking to slim down/ reduce bodyfat most of it goes to the lower half of her body.

    she's done mainly a few treadmill sessions and lately i've tried to get her to try HIIT on the eliptical machine + the step master.

    i've suggested two light fullbody weight days with more emphaiss on legs (since that is where most of her fat goes to, arms are thin) and 3 HIIT days alternatively with weekends off..

    my concern also is....
    will training weights on the legs increase the calf size? without doing direct calf exercises..
    ie. light squats/ press/ curls. adductors/ abductors and that glute machine women love to spend their time on.

    she is genuinely concerned about the size of them...

    all advices are welcomed. :P

    is this the right approach for a woman who stores more of the excess fat to the lower half of her body esp the thighs?
    You cannot spot reduce fat. If you loose weight it will be all over the body. However, if most of the fat ist stored in the lower half that is where the weight loss will be more noticeable.

    I'm not sure the stepper is the right thing for cardio especially if your friend wants to have slimmer calves. The stepper will work the calves. That is OK as long as she doesn't mind some muscle development in that area. If it's combined with overall fat loss it will result in what people like to refer as "toned".

    In any case, diet is the key for fat loss. BuffedWildCat hast posted a very good list of what to eat and what not to eat and such on several threads on this forum. Look around, I'm sure you'll find it.

    Hope this helps.

    Nicky.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Fragz's Avatar
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    Wink

    I believe fat is lost in the following order:

    1. Fat around the organs
    2. Intersticial fat (kind of like the marbelling in a steak) where it is fat within the muscle tissue
    3. Fat under the skin

    Moody_Weasel is right. You can't spot reduce weight anywhere (unfortunately). Basically I find where I gained it first is where I'll lose it last.

    My thighs & ass gain the weight first so that will be the last to fully go.

    A proper diet & exercise routine will reduce her calves to the size they are supposed to be at. Not everyone is pencil thin. We all have things that naturally stay larger than some, or smaller than others.

    Sometimes we just have to accept what we have & not obsess over what everyone else looks like. We are who we are.
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    Registered User raven777's Avatar
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    I have always had larger calves for a woman and never apreciated it, until now that I am preparing for my first figure competition. Your friend should be lucky she has them. Calves are a hard muscle to build. One tip I can offer is if she does decide to weight train, she should use the sitting calf machine, because the standing one tends to build the calves more.
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    Originally posted by raven777
    I have always had larger calves for a woman and never apreciated it, until now that I am preparing for my first figure competition. Your friend should be lucky she has them. Calves are a hard muscle to build. One tip I can offer is if she does decide to weight train, she should use the sitting calf machine, because the standing one tends to build the calves more.
    but for ppl who arent trying to compete and want to slim down their physique, its not a good thing. its her genetics and also her height that makes them look "fat".. it could be mainly muscle too.. do some research on how to make your muslces look longer and so on.
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  10. #10
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    Tell her to gain overall size....

    That will at least make the calves look smaller. =)

    Naw, honestly there isn't much she can do to make her calves get smaller without dieting, but more then anything, if they are genetic, it is going to make them stick out more (at least for a little while)
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  11. #11
    Member senimoni's Avatar
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    I have this same issue. My calfs/calves?? are way to big imo, I get complements on them but it still doesn't matter, and its not fat imo ....I can stand to lose a little maybe, but its mostly just a big a$$ freakin muscle. I tried training it for a few weeks to see if it would tighten, but I think they got bigger so I stopped.
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  12. #12
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    *sighs at all these big calves*
    *please, please can I have some??*
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  13. #13
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    Yeah I have the same problem, well not really a problem to me I love it lol. She could make them more tone though, BUMP.
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  14. #14
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    geez..if i could have one thing( aside from a women or money )
    it would be nice calves...tsk,tsk,lol.
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    Registered User Eyes Open's Avatar
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    When I read the title of this post, the first thing that entered my mind was, "well, if she's one of those muscular, petite asians, it's going to be an issue."

    Stretching (and I mean a lot of stretching) will help combat the tendency for muscles to "bunch" up.

    She's going to have to do a lot of cardio. Interval training may work on the treadmill, but she may be one of those runners who uses the legs in a way that simply adds mass to the calves.

    In that case, I'd recommend treadmill work only for high intensity interval training. She's going to have to really be serious about doing HIIT accurately and getting her sprint stride very wide so as to avoid stomping and unintentionally making the thighs big.

    She can do all of her cardio on a bike, stationary or two wheel. Gotta be on the bike for 90 or more minutes to make any reasonable dent in muscle mass and her heart rate needs to be in zone 2. She will need to get into heart rate zone 3 at least 2x a week for a good session in order to catabolize her muscle mass (meaning, burning the muscle instead of fat). Standing up is good for getting a breather and to rest the, neck, arms and wrists, but tend to add bulk, so she's going to have to do it sparingly.

    Biking with low resistance and high rotation will also help slim the legs, but she's gotta be consistent and stick with it while she's doing it. The benefit comes from the thigh burning, high heart rate during the "spin" (I'm talking about being on an actual bicycle, not a spin class. Spin classes have too much high resistance mixed in to really help strip the muscle.) The proper cadence is to be pedaling fast enough to ALMOST be bouncing on the saddle.

    This biking method will not do both muscle burning and fat burning. It's result is catabolic, so she's going to have to compensate with appropriate protein. Particularly immediately, immediately after walking in the door from the exercise session.
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    I have always wanted to find a pair of nice leather boots that i can easily zip up...*sigh*

    anyways when i was over weight i had bigger calves, i found as i lost weight my calves dropped in size significantly. They still look large, but defined.
    Its better to have big muscular calves then tree trunks.
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    calves

    I have always had tremendous calves.

    When I weighed 102 lbs (18 and skinny...), my legs were most of that. I could tell you horror story after horror story... spraining my ankle trying to get my riding boots over my calf, the lace up boots that were SO COOL my senior year and amazingly ended under our Xmas tree only to have a 1 inch gap on either side of the tongue...

    Supposedly... depending on who you listen to... they were big because I rode horses/ran track / danced / heavy weight training / walked on my toes / large-boned / eat too much.

    A theory I heard that makes sense is the fast twich slow twitch muscle development theory that says long distance runners develop thinner calves with longer muscle strands as opposed to "power" people, whose workouts emphasize the exact opposite fiber.

    Sounds good... but... I ran long distance in high school: Huge calves. I danced professionally: Huge calves. Couch potato due to calf anxiety: Huge calves, fat ass.

    In my case, it's clearly genetics. Nothing I have ever done has changed a thing. Not to contradict any of the obviously good advice in this thread, but it's just me.

    I took my calf measurement in junior high and wrote it down. I still have it.

    MANY years later... they are the EXACT SAME SIZE.

    I still buy my jeans to fit first over my calves then over my thighs, and they are still fall off without a belt. Zip up boots are an unfullfilled life's dream.

    Well... hope someone laughed.

    RiotGirl,
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    And you know what? Guys tell me my legs are AWESOME. I learned to love them.
    Last edited by RiotGirl; 01-27-2004 at 05:20 PM.
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    Registered User Eyes Open's Avatar
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    Funny post, RiotGirl.

    Just so you don't feel like the odd one out, I've seen lots of runners (even a marathoner) with big calves.

    I think it's a combination of running style and physique. I'm a ball-of-the-foot runner naturally and can't handle trying to run heel-toe. Since my running style is basically like bouncing on a tight spring, my calves get pumped. This form of running is also a sprinter's form, so the quads tend to get big.

    I recently found out that some of my muscle soreness from running may simply be due to tight achilles & hams, which would explain my 'intuitive' running style...too tight to get a heel-toe stride.

    Interesting thing is that the running style fits very well with biking, since the power is transferred through the ball of the foot on the pedal. Also, I started biking as a sport before I ever tried running (nope, never ran in junior high or high school), so my tight hams & achilles is probably due to the short range of motion on the bike (the leg never straightens).

    On the topic of big calves and asian women, I've been debating whether to say anything or not and decided that I prefer the freedom of information, whether I agree with it or not.

    South Korean cosmetic surgeons are performing surgery on women who wish to slenderize their legs by REMOVING SOME OF THE MUSCLES.
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    Originally posted by Eyes Open
    .............South Korean cosmetic surgeons are performing surgery on women who wish to slenderize their legs by REMOVING SOME OF THE MUSCLES.
    OK, that's it. I'm getting a plane ticket to see these surgeons so they can add the leftover muscles to my calves
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    She can do all of her cardio on a bike, stationary or two wheel. Gotta be on the bike for 90 or more minutes to make any reasonable dent in muscle mass and her heart rate needs to be in zone 2. She will need to get into heart rate zone 3 at least 2x a week for a good session in order to catabolize her muscle mass (meaning, burning the muscle instead of fat). Standing up is good for getting a breather and to rest the, neck, arms and wrists, but tend to add bulk, so she's going to have to do it sparingly.


    I ride a road bike & I can tell you a lot of distance cyclists have very developed calves. I'm not sure that's the way to go.

    I think it's just genetics. I have bigger calves & would prefer for them to be about an inch or so slimmer -- but they aren't. I'm sure not getting muscle removed. Some people want slimmer calves -- some don't. I would rather mine were slightly smaller (I love the look of slim ankles and the calve muscle looking like a softball) -- but they're not & they're not going to get there -- it's genetic. I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about it. They're my calves. The best thing to do is learn to appreciate what you have.

    If your friend is within her weight range, her calves are her calves. The best suggestion has been given -- Yoga -- that will lengthen her muscles -- but I doubt her calves will get a lot smaller.
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    Re: calves

    Originally posted by RiotGirl
    I have always had tremendous calves.

    When I weighed 102 lbs (18 and skinny...), my legs were most of that. I could tell you horror story after horror story... spraining my ankle trying to get my riding boots over my calf, the lace up boots that were SO COOL my senior year and amazingly ended under our Xmas tree only to have a 1 inch gap on either side of the tongue...

    Supposedly... depending on who you listen to... they were big because I rode horses/ran track / danced / heavy weight training / walked on my toes / large-boned / eat too much.

    A theory I heard that makes sense is the fast twich slow twitch muscle development theory that says long distance runners develop thinner calves with longer muscle strands as opposed to "power" people, whose workouts emphasize the exact opposite fiber.

    Sounds good... but... I ran long distance in high school: Huge calves. I danced professionally: Huge calves. Couch potato due to calf anxiety: Huge calves, fat ass.

    In my case, it's clearly genetics. Nothing I have ever done has changed a thing. Not to contradict any of the obviously good advice in this thread, but it's just me.

    I took my calf measurement in junior high and wrote it down. I still have it.

    MANY years later... they are the EXACT SAME SIZE.

    I still buy my jeans to fit first over my calves then over my thighs, and they are still fall off without a belt. Zip up boots are an unfullfilled life's dream.

    Well... hope someone laughed.

    RiotGirl,
    Newbie

    ps
    And you know what? Guys tell me my legs are AWESOME. I learned to love them.




    Hi Riotgirl. Yes it sounds genetic. My grandma has massive calves if you can believe that. My dad definately inherited her calves also. He is 5 8' or so and stocky with very large legs and calves especially. He never works out either... My mom is 5'10 and thin boned. I turned out to be 6'0 but no calves!

    So I guess I got the height from my moms side. I guess if I inherited my dad's legs, I would be stronger in legs, but I would probably be shorter too, and Ill take the height. My upperbody is doin good anyway.

    and stop being ashamed of your big calves! Go join a gym and all the guys will be jealous of them.
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  22. #22
    Registered User RiotGirl's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Cerbinator: I am no longer bummed about my calves... I got over it a long time ago : ) I am hoping to enter my first First competition in April. My legs might make me a winner! It would totally rock to bring the trophy back to my gym

    Eyes Open: I think you are right about the style of movement also being a factor. I have always been a toe-walker and also danced. It is impossible for me to run heel-toe. I like the spring-pump mechanism... it makes sense.

    Anyone: A thing to be careful of if you are a toe-walker is getting shorter muscles and tendons. Avoid it by stretching adequately and safely. I ended up rupturing my tendon and tearing the grastroc... my ortho guy said it is an unusual injury for most people but quite common to dancers.
    Last edited by RiotGirl; 02-04-2004 at 02:56 PM.
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