Weight and Resistance Training - Please Help Me With These Saddlebags!!!!
03-11-2008, 10:04 AM
HELP ME GET RID OF SADDLEBAGS, PLEASE!!!
I have been exercising at the gym for the past few months and am having great success in feeling stronger and slimming down but and that is a big but (or should I say butt!!!) my saddlebags are unbelievable. I have always carried my weight in that area even when I was at my ideal weight but yesterday it just dawned on me that my "saddlebags" are actually getting larger. Could this be happening or is it just my imagination. I was thinking that maybe they just look more prominent since the rest of my body is getting a little smaller or am I going nuts. The only weight machine that I use for that area of my legs at my gym is the inner and outer thigh machine (don't really remember the actual name of it). Use this every day and use about 50 pounds and do about 50 reps. Anyhoo, can this machine actually be making my problem area even more of a problem. Could saddlebags actually get bigger??? This is surely not what I want. Also have just purchased a stability ball to use at home and was wondering if you could suggest any specific exercises that I could do on the ball that might help me slim down this area. Am following a very good eating plan and feel much healthier but these thighs are driving me nuts. Can anyone help me?? Thanks in advance for any tips you can provide.
P.S. HI TO MEG FROM YOUR FELLOW PITTSBURGER!!!!
03-11-2008, 10:18 AM
I can't answer your question in regards to the exercise. I'm sure one of our pros will chime in on that aspect.
But I do know this, I had the worst saddlebags. Even when I was a teen and a young adult, though only 15 -20 lbs overweight. And now, they are non-existient. I always assumed they were just part of me, ya know my body type and all. But, losing the weight, losing the fat has elminated them - completely. Who wouldv'e thunk it?
I'm not sure how heavy you are and how much you are looking to lose, but could be as you get closer to your target weight, they will disappear. :shrug:
03-11-2008, 10:20 AM
I am eager to hear opinions about this also as this is my worse trouble spot. I find the same thing when I lose weight, they appear bigger. I think you are right that they just look bigger because the rest of you is shrinking. We will keep telling ourselves that right?? ;)
03-11-2008, 11:27 AM
I think you are on the right track thinking they just look bigger because your upper half is losing first. I have the same issue - my upper body is dropping weight and is starting to look (almost) pretty good but those saddlebags are poking out seemingly worse than ever. You might want to try a tape measure. When I measured I discovered I was actually losing there too just not at the same rate as my top half (argh!). Totally unscientific, and unresearched opinion here but I also think that a lot of us have areas like our thighs where the fat tissue is a little "thicker" and more firmly ensconced so it takes longer for the body to start tapping those "reserves". We have a tendency to exercise the heck out of those areas thinking we are going to "spot reduce" when actually we are just building muscle under there and if the muscle starts to build (even a little) before our bodies are ready to start letting loose of those particular fat deposits the fatty tissue can get sort of shoved out of the way and end up with new lumps even though it's the same old fat.
There a lots of people here with way more education and experience in the personal training area than me, but I would think about dumping the weight machine and trying more resistance training and body weight exercises for your lower body (and don't forget lots of stretching). You'll still get that "getting stronger" feeling but I don't think you will tend to add bulk using those types of exercises.
03-11-2008, 01:33 PM
Could this be happening or is it just my imagination. I was thinking that maybe they just look more prominent since the rest of my body is getting a little smaller
That would be my bet
The only weight machine that I use for that area of my legs at my gym is the inner and outer thigh machine (don't really remember the actual name of it).
I believe the official name is "the time-waster" If you really want to work your abductors and adductors, do some band walks or use an ankle cuff with a cable machine and do some abductions and adductors. Same prime movers being used but you are placing a great deal of stress on your stabilizing muscles when you get up on your feet and have to keep the body stable as you walk or attempt to keep from slamming head first into the cable column.
Use this every day and use about 50 pounds and do about 50 reps.
If you can do anything for 50 reps you are going too light. 50 reps is simply cardio and then there are much better ways of doing cardio then that machine.
Also, you shouldn't be doing any strength exercise (if you were to drop the reps) every day. First of all, if you put enough stress on the muscle, you need to give it time to recover. Muscles are not built in the gym, they are built when you recover. Second of all, if you constantly do the same exercise at the same weight for the same reps/sets, the body is going to adapt. It is going to become so efficient at performing that exercise with those parameters. You must constantly put additional and new stresses on the muscles. Everything in training, and this goes from cardio, to flexibility to resistance training, starts with the overload principle. If you don't ask the body to do something more than it is used to doing, it will not make positive adaptations.
wondering if you could suggest any specific exercises that I could do on the ball that might help me slim down this area. Am following a very good eating plan and feel much healthier but these thighs are driving me nuts.
Unfortunately you can't spot reduce fat. You can build the muscle underneath with additional exercises for that area, but it won't show until the fat starts to go. Unfortunately, this is your stubborn area which is why it seems to get bigger. Fat is peeling off of you in every direction but that. Keep up with your great work in the gym and in the kitchen and it will come off. It will be the last to come off but it will come off if you keep following the path you are on.
03-11-2008, 03:22 PM
Thanks so much for all the replies. DePalma: Thanks for all the info. I was just reading an article on AOL today on 10 exercises to dump and the the thigh machine (?) was at the top of the list. I will try doing the band walking and as far as I know there aren't any cable machines for the legs in my gym. I know many people think that all the weight machines are useless and to only use free weights but I have only been at the gym for about 3 months and I am just getting use to this exercise stuff so for now that is what I am using. I am going to dump that abductor and adductor thing though and see if that makes any difference. Thanks for all your insight. I will keep plugging away and see what happens. Still would like to lose about 25-30 more pounds (I have lost 30 since last year) so maybe when the weight loss finally comes the huge saddlebags will go. Anyway, thanks again for everyones help. I will check back to see if there are any other suggestions later. Thanks a bunch for answering my question.