Warning this is going to be kind of long lol!
I know that it is important to build muscle but i want to get SMALLER, not bigger especially my lower body.
For arms i do free weights but for legs the machines i typically do on the nautilus circuit are the hip flexion, leg extension, prone leg curl, leg press, and hip abduction for inner and outer thighs. Now a few years ago i had a trainer who had us do 10 reps of each machine with cardio in between and i lost a ton of weight and inches.
What i do now is cardio, then i do nautilus legs straight through. I increased my weight on each machine after a few weeks by 5 lbs and i upped my reps to 20 on each machine so for ex i was doing this:
hip flexion: 150 lbs x 20
leg extension: 95 lbs x 20
prone leg curl: 90 lbs x 20
leg press: 165 lbs x 20
hip abduction: inner 100 lbs x 20, outer 135 x 20
I feel like when i was doing this i was getting bigger in my hips, thighs, butt, etc. i had these jeans that i tried on every couple of weeks and they were not getting any looser at all
but my trainer had always said to up the weights and reps to get results so i kept at it. After about a month of doing everything "right" in terms of diet and exercise and still i wasn't losing inches and getting smaller i pretty much stopped doing nautilus legs and started running and i now feel like i am getting smaller especially my lower body. I've taken measurements and i am losing inches and the jeans are getting looser. But i've been feeling guilty about not doing weights so I started nautilus again last week and decreased my weights and reps to this:
hip flexion: 135 lbs x 12
leg extension: 80 lbs x 12
prone leg curl: 75 lbs x 12
leg press: 140 lbs x 12
hip abduction: inner 95 lbs x 12, outer 125 x 12
However i am terrified that this will either 1. make me gain inches if i build muscle on top of fat or 2. do nothing at all because the weight and reps are too low and i wonder if it's just a waste of my time.
So is there anyone that can advise me on what to do for legs in terms of strength training? Should i not do any? Should i only strength train arms?
I also do a ton of squats and lunges in the cardio classes i take and i also was wondering do those make you smaller????
Thanks for anyone who replies!!!