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Hi all

I could use some advice (training/diet). I am feeling like my upper body is in pretty good shape now, and am seeing some nice new definition in the abdominal region. Even my calves are shaping up nicely.

The region from the hips down to the knees is another story, though. While I know my legs are getting stronger, they just don't look all that good.

My summer training has been doing the Insanity workouts 5 times a week in the AM (high intensity interval cardio) and lifting four times a week. My leg workout starts with 9 or so sets of squats, hack squats and/or leg presses, followed by leg extensions, leg curls, and a few other leg exercises.

My diet isn't particularly tuned up right now...just a few simple rules, keep it vegan, get enough protein, and try to stay under 2000 cal per day. I take a few supplements, mainly a multivitamin, creatine, Vega and some B12. I also do a bit of running, cycling and dance...and walk a fair bit.

 

Any suggestions of ways I could improve in this area? It seems I have a pretty stubborn layer of fat!

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How many total sets for legs are you doing? And at what rep range? Are you male or female? If you're male, 2000 calories is nowhere near adequate to build any appreciable muscle.

 

Too much volume is counterproductive, intensity and progressive resistance build muscle, provided the diet is adequate.

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My diet isn't particularly tuned up right now...just a few simple rules, keep it vegan, get enough protein, and try to stay under 2000 cal per day. I take a few supplements, mainly a multivitamin, creatine, Vega and some B12.

Looks pretty tuned, but how much protein is 'enough', and how hardcore are you with measuring the 2000 accurately?

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How many total sets for legs are you doing? And at what rep range? Are you male or female? If you're male, 2000 calories is nowhere near adequate to build any appreciable muscle.

 

Too much volume is counterproductive, intensity and progressive resistance build muscle, provided the diet is adequate.

 

I am female, so I'm hoping the calorie range is about right. Lately, I'm seeing a slight drop in weight at that range with the exercises I'm doing. I'm fairly happy with the size of my legs and the strength, it's mainly that I have a pretty stubborn layer of fat on top.

My typical leg workout these days is 8-9 sets of leg presses and/or squats...I usually pick three exercises from hack squats, regular squats, lunges, leg presses, or a squat machine, and do 8-10 reps each.

Then I do three sets each of leg extensions and leg curls, and finish up with a few sets on the abductor and adductor machines, plus a set or two on a machine that resembles the movement pushing off while ice skating (I play some hockey so it seems like a nice way to finish off a leg workout)

 

Looks pretty tuned, but how much protein is 'enough', and how hardcore are you with measuring the 2000 accurately?

I've been tracking with SparkPeople, so I'm guessing it's fairly accurate, but I take one or two days off of tracking...usually the weekends, where I likely eat a bit more.

 

One reason I'm asking is that I'm looking at maybe competing again in bodybuilding...I did it many years ago, and while I dieted down enough to basically get the fat off my legs, I ended up losing a lot of size everywhere else to do it, and ended up looking just like a skinny sorta fit person. I'm hoping I can do it again a bit smarter this time.

 

Thanks

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I am female, so I'm hoping the calorie range is about right. Lately, I'm seeing a slight drop in weight at that range with the exercises I'm doing. I'm fairly happy with the size of my legs and the strength, it's mainly that I have a pretty stubborn layer of fat on top.

My typical leg workout these days is 8-9 sets of leg presses and/or squats...I usually pick three exercises from hack squats, regular squats, lunges, leg presses, or a squat machine, and do 8-10 reps each.

Then I do three sets each of leg extensions and leg curls, and finish up with a few sets on the abductor and adductor machines, plus a set or two on a machine that resembles the movement pushing off while ice skating (I play some hockey so it seems like a nice way to finish off a leg workout)

 

When you say a slight drop in weight, do you mean weight used during exercises, or your body weight? Is your goal right now to cut fat and maintain strength?

 

If i was you i'd cut it down to 4 or so intense sets of squats, then finish off with the 3 of leg extensions and leg curls.

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I think you might be doing too much as well. I am doing Insanity as well and I am finding my quads and hamstrings have bulked up a little in the past two weeks. I wouldn't consider doing more than this workout once a day.

 

You can try going deeper in the exercises which will work those muscles more.

 

Where are you at in insanity? I was suppose to do the fit test yesterday, but I tried the max interval video and made it about 40 minutes in. The second month videos are way way harder than the first month.

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The slight drop in weight is referring to body weight. I'm maintaining or increasing my weights used in leg exercises right now.

 

With the Insanity, I'm not exactly following the program schedule. Right now I do 5 insanity workouts a week, and I usually do 2 from the first month, two from the second and then the recovery. I did the program by itself a while back, right after a couple of cycles of P90x, then I mixed the two for a while.

 

These days, though, I'm trying to both gain a bit of size and really get rid of the fat on the lower body.

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The slight drop in weight is referring to body weight. I'm maintaining or increasing my weights used in leg exercises right now.

 

 

I am assuming now that your goal is fat loss, so if you are slowly losing weight while maintaining strength, are you not achieving what you'd like to?

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Hi all

I could use some advice (training/diet). I am feeling like my upper body is in pretty good shape now, and am seeing some nice new definition in the abdominal region. Even my calves are shaping up nicely.

The region from the hips down to the knees is another story, though. While I know my legs are getting stronger, they just don't look all that good.

My summer training has been doing the Insanity workouts 5 times a week in the AM (high intensity interval cardio) and lifting four times a week. My leg workout starts with 9 or so sets of squats, hack squats and/or leg presses, followed by leg extensions, leg curls, and a few other leg exercises.

My diet isn't particularly tuned up right now...just a few simple rules, keep it vegan, get enough protein, and try to stay under 2000 cal per day. I take a few supplements, mainly a multivitamin, creatine, Vega and some B12. I also do a bit of running, cycling and dance...and walk a fair bit.

 

Any suggestions of ways I could improve in this area? It seems I have a pretty stubborn layer of fat!

 

if you don't mine me asking how tall are you and whats ur weight? post up exactly what you eat every day, its all in the diet regardless of what the scale says.

 

I can tell u right off the bat ur doing way too much leg work.

 

stick w/ 4 sets max for legs with 1 beginning warm up set.......and up ur rep range 8-10 is not enough volume, stick w/ 12-15

 

if ur doing squats, don't do hack squats, its okay to rotate but putting them both on the same day is not ideal IMO.

 

Pre exhaust ur legs on leg extension first....then go to leg presses, then follow up w/ squats last.....and thats all I would do for one day on legs.

 

put ur leg curls on a different day and add some straight leg deadlift w/ dumbells and if ur doing lunges throw them out of ur work out.

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I have the same problem. And I agree, lighten it up. This is what I did over the last few weeks and it made a huge difference in my lower body. I had to stop using any weight for squats, and make my lower body routine lighter and quicker. I do sets of 15 and make sure that the weight is challenging but not very heavy. I take very little rest in between sets. Also, for women this is usually where the last of our bodyfat is. So if you have any to lose, this is where it is. So to get rid of it you will probably have to work on dropping BF. Keep that diet spot on and you will see results.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I've made a few changes, and I think it's paying off. First, I changed up my leg workout a bit. Instead of a large number of sets of leg presses and squats, I'm doing 4 sets of 10 reps, but it seems I am working much harder...I'm making sure I'm going through a full range of motion and using enough weight to really feel it at the end of the sets.

 

I've also been working a bit harder on the cardio and yoga/stretching, and I've started to get a massage every once in a while, which seems to help as well with the appearance of my legs. I'm beginning to feel optimistic that I might have a decent lower body again someday soon!

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Instead of a large number of sets of leg presses and squats, I'm doing 4 sets of 10 reps, but it seems I am working much harder...I'm making sure I'm going through a full range of motion and using enough weight to really feel it at the end of the sets.

 

Excellent. This is the right change to make.

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