Thigh Size and Type of Training?


I am a 28 year old female and I'm currently weighing in at 157lbs.

I have set a goal to start doing fitness competitions in 5 months and I am currently trying to lose weight and reduce my body fat to prepare. Both of my thighs have a measurement of 26 1/2 inches which is too big for my taste.

I read in an article that if one's thighs are over 20 inches you should stick to cardio training to lean out the thighs before starting to do lower body exercises, with or without weights, however, one can continue to workout the upper body.

I was wondering if this is true and if I should follow it?

I would love to trim my thighs since they are big, but they are also very muscular. I don't want to continue to add muscle, but I really want to wipe the fat away. I appreciate any advice you have.

Answered By:

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

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Height is very important to know considering there is a very significant difference if you are 4'11" and 157 versus 5'11" and 157 pounds.

Considering you plan to do fitness competitions in 5 months I'm willing to bet you are probably on the taller side rather than on the shorter end of the range mentioned.

Generalizations are a big problem in many articles from fitness magazines and websites. The thigh circumference of 20 inches varies drastically for different body types.

The size of your thighs has little to do with your exercise selection in comparison to your diet. Know your caloric intake and you will know if the size of your thighs will be reduced or increased with exercise.

Of course you are not going to want to do 10 sets of leg extensions, but even if your goal is to reduce the overall size of your thighs, you should still train your lower body with multi-joint (squats & lunges) resistance exercises.  These are essential and should be included in your fat loss/toning program.

You have to focus on your goal. If your goal is to lose the necessary amount of body fat (tone) before your contest, you should focus on cardio. Therefore you should be spending more time doing cardio in relation to weight training for your upper body and legs.

Again, diet is going to be the main determinant of your results so you must have a hypo-caloric (low fat) diet with plenty of water rich foods (fruits & vegetables) and have a good balance with lean proteins.body fat measurement accumeasure

Eat 4-6 small balanced meals and snacks, spaced evenly throughout the day. Drink plenty of water and get around 8 hours of sleep a night.

Another good idea is to get an Accu-Measure skinfold caliper for estimating your body fat. It is very easy and convenient and can tell you if your exercise program is getting you the desired results.

All in all, if you're looking to maximize your results and achieve your thigh fat loss reduction goals before your competition starts in 5 months, you're going to have some work ahead of you, notably in the nutrition department.

Below you'll find some great information on nutrition, resistance exercises, fat loss, and diets to help you out. Best of luck on your goals and upcoming competition! 

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