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Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

Just need a second (or 3rd, or 4th...) opinion.

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Old 11-12-2010, 01:10 PM   #1
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:13 PM   #2
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Same thing happened to me. Mine aren't massive, but a friend saw mine and was all "wow you've really built them up!" and I was really confused. She went on and on about how nice my legs were and I just didn't get it. Then I looked in the mirror and was like 'holy crap what's going on here?'

I don't really notice/care anymore. They might not even be as big as I think they are. I don't know the science behind it, and really I don't care as long as my calves aren't the size of footballs by the time I'm done.

/me not being of any help lol sorry.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:44 PM   #3
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I've always heard that body builders do more weight with fewer reps, to bulk up.

Lots of weight, fewer reps builds muscle (the large weight actually tears muscles and in repairing them lays down new muscle). Lower weight, more reps burns calories, but doesn't damage the muscles (at least not to the same degree) so while the existing muscle gets stronger, it doesn't (in theory) get larger.

I've mostly read that aerobic conditioning burns more calories than strength
training. If you've read the opposite, I wonder if there's any real consensus.

To some degree genetics and gender play a role too. It's generally more difficult for women to add bulk than men.

Also weight loss doesn't necessarily come off proportionally. I'm just not starting to lose inches in my hips. I was beginning to think I'd end up wearing a size 10 tips and size 26 bottoms.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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They'll get smaller. They may change during the process as the muscle grows and takes up space, but once the fat is gone that will leave a muscle.

Calves are funny though. I've heard that a lot of women who have been obese have very large calf and leg muscles just from moving ourselves around. I know I do/did. I can out do a lot of men with the leg press! I thought my calves were hopeless. They have definitely taken shape nicely here just recently. I have never and probably will never have slender calves that will fit into high boots, but I'll take what I have now. Oddly, I'm most happy with my knees. LOL!

There's a lot of debate as to the best method for lifting whether high reps low weight or low weight reps high weight. I prefer to mix it up. If I'm going with lighter weights I lift 20 reps to the point of fatigue by the third set. If I'm lifting heavy I lift 8-12 reps to the point of fatigue by the third set. If I can't get out the last rep, I know I worked it.

For legs I love squats, lunges and running up and down stairs. For the calves I particularly love a movement that involves the bicep. Using light weights, (5, 8, 10, 12...I'm up to 15), stand in place holding the weights in preparation for a bicep curl. Raise up on the toes, then raise and lower a bicep curl, finally lower the heels back to the starting position. The extra hold at the top of the calf raise along with the coordination necessary for staying balanced while swinging the weight to a bicep curl works the calf really well.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:29 PM   #5
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Calves are weird - mine are huge, too! For many years I was an avid bicyclist (about 200 miles per week), didn't do much weight training, and my calves were huge. I believe it's mostly genetic as some body builders actually have implants to establish better proportion (as you can imagine, they are likely working out with heavy weights and fewer reps, and not gaining size). I know with boots I have a hard time fitting my calves.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:38 PM   #6
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Like Eliana said, they'll get smaller as you lose. Women can only build up so much muscle, so you may very well be near your max. As you lose fat, your calves will slim down, leaving firm, sculpted muscle!

I think the fitness community has generally embraced the idea of women lifting heavy weights for fewer reps. I did improve my arm definition doing lots of reps of light dumbbells, but in the few weeks since I started lifting heavy, I've seen a dramatic improvement. I'm hooked!

Check out the book The New Rules of Lifting for Women (subtitle: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess). Lots of good information and a thorough, but not insane, lifting plan. Most libraries have it.

I have heard (and I believe the author states in NRLW) that strength training is better for weight loss and maintenance than cardio. Whatever -- I'm doing both!
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:50 AM   #7
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I think what alot of people overlook is that overweight people generally have a more muscle. Just think...we are carrying (in some instances) more than twice the poundage of that of average sized woman!!!! That's bound to build muscle!

The trick is that when we start cutting calories and exercising (albeit cardio or strength training), our goal should be to burn fat, and maintain the muscle we ALREADY have! Problem is...most overweight woman reduce their calories toooooo low and end up LOSING muscle as well as FAT in what I like to call a very "viscous cycle".

That said...we should also keep in mind that fat loss is not a ONE SIZE FITS ALL thing. Genetics...amount of starting lean body mass and other variables play a factor in how our bodies respond to exercise. Case in point...there's the never-ending debate on whether running helps with fat loss and builds muscle. For me....under this fat is an incredible amount of muscle tissue...part genetic...and part just lugging all this bottom fat around for so long....hard work, I must say! When I run...my body burns fat rapidly and the end result is that I end up looking very "cut up" and lean...as someone who may lift weights. Others may not see the same result from running alone...but may run marathons and store fat! Again...no ONE SIZE FITS ALL here.

My best advice....you are the BEST JUDGE of YOUR body. Try different things and see how your body responds...work with your body and not against it. No two people will respond exactly the same.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
I've always heard that body builders do more weight with fewer reps, to bulk up.

Lots of weight, fewer reps builds muscle (the large weight actually tears muscles and in repairing them lays down new muscle). Lower weight, more reps burns calories, but doesn't damage the muscles (at least not to the same degree) so while the existing muscle gets stronger, it doesn't (in theory) get larger.

I've mostly read that aerobic conditioning burns more calories than strength
training.
I have also heard and agree with this.
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:04 PM   #9
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Low weight with a lot of reps.

That's EXACTLY, what my boyfriend (who is a Marine) told me. Go with that.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:04 PM   #10
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I have big calves as well, so I know what you are going through.

Try some standing calf raises to build a nice cut (heart shaped) to your calves. I find it helps in toning the legs nicely.

Lots of reps with lower weight is for cardio conditioning, and overall toning. Heavy weights and lower reps (8-10), helps to build muscle. I like to do weights where by the third set I am tired and can't do anymore. You will see more results doing it this way in my opinion and you won't get overly big as some women think. Doing weights after cardio helps the aftern burn process where you will be burning more calories after your workout even while sitting.
You do lose calories by weight lifting, but not as much as by doing cardio. Combining the two, blasts fat and increases the metabolism.
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