I am always talking about how to build legs, since I always had bird legs and it took a lot of hard and heavy training to get them to where they are today. However, not everyone is in the same boat I once was. There are those who genetically have thicker thighs and wish they didn't, or they would like to slim down their pre-made "killer quads". If you fall into this category then this newsletter is for you!
The Primary Factor for Leaning Your Legs
Losing fat on the legs is primarily in the nutrition and added cardio. Diet is most important, as it will lay the path for weight training and cardio.
-Eat a balanced meal every three hours
-Take in optimal protein for your body
-Choose fresh and natural food over processed
-Don't go hungry or skip meals
-Limit and/or omit junk food
-Limit and/or omit alcohol
Bad Information about Leaning Your Legs
There is a lot of bad information out there and many times you waste your time sifting through the junk to find something quality. Should you include cardio or not? Should you incorporate heavy or light weight training? Should you engage in low or high repetitions?
These are some of the factors I will cover to help make your leg transformation possible.
Heavy Training vs. Light Training for Leaning Your Legs
To build muscle you need to do heavy resistance training in the 4 to 6 repetition range to failure. Lighter weight and repetitions in the 15 to 20 range will build more endurance and strengthen the joints. Both of these tactics can be used to their advantage.
Being that you already have thicker thighs, you will be better off alternating heavy, moderate, and light training with a variety of repetitions to target all the muscle fibers, from strength to endurance. This also serves as constant shock to keep the legs responding.
Train the legs, as well as every other muscle group, only once a week.
Sample Training Program for Leaning Your Legs
Week #1 - 4 sets of 20 repetitions
Light Squats (wide stance using full range of motion)
Light Front Squats
Light Leg Curls
Week #2 - 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions
Moderate Leg Press
Moderate Hack Squats
Moderate Stiff-Legged Dead Lifts
Week #3 - 3 sets of 4-6 repetitions
Heavy Squats (shoulder with apart and squat to parallel)
Heavy Leg Extensions
Heavy Leg Curls
The Cardio Side for Leaning Your Legs
Training and dieting alone won't create those legs you are after. You must put in cardiovascular time. Now this does not mean jump into it with both feet, hitting high intensity cardio six days a week for 45 minutes. That's a surefire recipe for burnout fast.
For best results, start off on the low end and build up weekly. Engaging in cardio in this manner will prevent plateaus and burnouts, and it constantly challenges the body.
Cardio comes in many forms, such as walking, jogging, sprinting, cycling, inline skating, the elliptical, etc. You will notice that runners have lean and many times shredded legs. These are some of the best examples of cardio for those who want to lean the legs.
I don't recommend using the stepper if your goal is leaner legs. Also, if you use the treadmill do not set it on a high incline. These two methods could possibly add more bulk to your thighs.
Vary your cardio method, intensity, speed, and time to prevent cardio adaptation. If you are doing the treadmill every day for 30 minutes on the same speed, you are not giving your body a reason to change. You must always stay a step ahead of your body by keeping cardio mixed up to avoid hitting that dreaded plateau.
When you have all three factors working (nutrition, weight training, and cardio) in a balanced fashion while mixing it up constantly, you will see results soon and on a continual basis.
About The Author
Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.
Karen has written six e-books on fitness. She also writes articles for several fitness websites, and distributes two monthly newsletters regarding weight loss and female bodybuilding.