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Proportion balancing

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Hi all,

Hoping for some input. I have been lifting regularly for the past year and am down to pre-pregnancy weight but look a lot more toned. For the last 4 months I have been doing NROLFW which is 3*week, full body program and very limited cardio.

I am noticing that my upper body looks very toned but my lower body is making my pants tight. Don't get me wrong, my lower body looks way better than it did but it isn't getting smaller in the way I would like. I am not going to be happy to buy pants in a larger size after all the work I have done!

My diet is sloppy and I need to address that.

Training wise my instinct is to maintain the muscle gains I have made whilst adding a significant amount of cardio to take off some body fat on my lower half.

What is the minimum amount of stress a body needs to maintain it's muscle?

My sister is an olympian who had to drop weight fairly rapidly for Beijing while keeping her muscle and she says to weight train once a week, in the 5-8 rep range and to do cardio in the 120-140 BPM range for at least 40 mins, the longer the better. I can't get anymore info out of her and I know she is repeating what her coaches told her.

Any thoughts?



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Diet is number one.


For maintaining your muscle mass, eat lots of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Keep it clean, and eat 5-6 small meals a day.

Lift weights about 2-3 times a week, do cardio about 5 times a week for about 30+ minutes.

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Keep lifting!


This is my opinion only and what works for me. If I diet and do a lot of cardio I lose lean mass. If I diet, keep cardio to a moderate level and keep lifting like I do when trying to add mass - I maintain more lean mass. It is difficult, if not impossible to add lean mass while dieting (depending on where you start) but it is very easy to lose it if you cut too many calories, do too much cardio and/or stop challenging your muscles with heavy weights.


As for your lower body, this is part genetics and part female hormones. You may be a woman whose legs/glutes respond to lifting more than her upper body (in which case I'm jealous as I have a very difficult time adding mass to my legs). If this is the case then you may want to work your lower half with lower weights and up the weights/intensity on your upper body to balance your symmetry. I see female bodybuilders with upper bodies that look like they have 2-3% body fat who turn around and still have fat hanging on their upper thighs. Even the ones who've gone through menopause. Female hormones haunt you for life.

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Hi Marcina,

Is that full body program 2-3*week?

I'm thinking a three day split with cardio every day. I was not recovering well doing a full body program 3* week.

Thanks for your help



Yeah alternate upper and lower body. DV summed it up better than I ever could.

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