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Squatting causing larger thighs?

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  • Here's a picture of my back. Ignore the tattoo and notice the following:

    1. Latissimus dorsi below the bird's tail (never had that before)
    2. Trapezius rising toward my neck (never had that before)
    3. Deep crevice where my spine is (never had such a deep one before)
    4. General visibility of muscular stuff under there, it shows even more when I move

    Yes, I'm still soft and feminine. Yes, I am not bulging and bulky or manly. Yes, it is not impressive. But that is hypertrophy. It is enough to be noticeable to my boyfriend who actually used words like "Holy shit!". It's enough that my shirts are tight around my shoulders. It's enough that I noticed it with huge surprise when I took this picture. That's the kind of hypertrophy I get from weight lifting. I would even be happy with more. I have no fear of becoming bulky or manly, but you can't lie to me and say a) it's impossible for women to gain muscle, b) that it's in my head and it's all fat and c) lifting weights will make me look like Joy Victoria (or perfectly shaped female who lifts weights du jour.)
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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    • Hi Purple579. I'm a trainer just to the north of you. Can you give me the break down of your program that you do for your legs? I think I can help. Warm up, how many times a week, reps, sets, exercises. As much info as you can possibly share would be great. I assume you're using a squat rack vs. a smith machine because you mention a bar plus plates but that's really all I can tell from your posts.

      On a side note, sbhikes, nice job!

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      • Yeah, sure! I'll give you the details of a session I did a couple weeks ago...obviously I've stopped doing heavy barbell squats for the time being.
        I did legs once a week and started with squats.
        2x8xbar(45lbs) (warmup)
        2x6x95
        2x5x105
        2x4x115
        2x4x125
        2x3x135
        2x3x145
        Box squats: 3x8x115
        Bulgarian split squats: 3x8x75
        Plie squats: 3x10x25 lb dumbbell
        Leg curl 3x10x40
        Plie jump squat 3x12
        Barbell step ups 2x10x30 1x10x40
        Lying leg curl 3x10x40
        Calf press 3x12x60
        I'd always do squats and box squats but I'd change up the accessory work...glute kickbacks, hamstring ball curls, leg press, etc.
        Hopefully that gives you enough info.

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        • It's about getting used to feel hungry and miserable as a lifestyle...
          Man, I tried that shit for years and lost like the same 10 lbs over and over again...

          Dang SB, nice back!

          http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
          Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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          • Originally posted by whitewolf View Post
            same here about willpower. All used up ten years ago eating cabbage soup and drinking cc light for two weeks straight. Did worked on weight loss though, but brain damage was invertible (not like the weight loss).

            btw, had a really down moment today at the gym. Saw a girl (about tall as myself) with visible toned muscles, but she lifted weights about 3x lighter than mine. Did not put much effort in it either. And looked like that. And that is where my path has taken me - I am strong, but it is a secret because it does not show. If I could lose 3-4kg (7lbs) would I look like I actually do work out? I actually have muscles I know I did not have 2 years ago but they are kind of hidden under soft fatty layer :P

            This was completely off topic I think. My thighs are a bit firmer from squatting but not much bigger, which is at least is a good thing
            Yes. Toning = fat loss. The easiest way to "look toned and jacked" is to lose fat. That's what "toned" is. Low fat

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            • The thread has come so far from the original post that this is probably now an off-topic reply, but I just wanted to pipe up and say that in my experience, some parts of the body are more prone to hypertrophy than others, and it will differ from person to person. For example, my shoulders, back, and butt are all big muscle-gainers and have gained several inches since I started lifting, but I cannot for the life of me make my skinny little thighs any bigger. They're certainly more toned since starting heavy lifting (I lost fat all over), and they're certainly a LOT stronger (I started out squatting 85 and now I squat 170) but I would give my left arm for that nice big curve other girls get on the backs of their thighs when their hamstrings develop. My thighs look the same size as when I wasn't lifting at all. Sigh.

              My thigh muscles just don't want to get bigger, even though they have no problem getting stronger. Anyone know why? Genetics? On a related note, anyone want to front me the cash for hamstring implants? Vanity, vanity.

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              • Yeah, there is a train of thought that says how muscle lays down is not even the slightest bit related to activity. Hypertrophy and bigger muscles on you is just what its gonna be no matter how you got your body to grow it.

                For instance people who think yoga gives long lean muscles may find that in actuality its people with these sorts of bodies that tend to excel at yoga and so you just get the impression that yoga built that. Same goes for swimming and such. Its the genetic predisposition for the type of muscle your able to build. Some have proportionately more fast twitch fibers than others. We all have variances in attachment points of muscle that change fulcrums and give a different look to muscle size or bulk. You just work with what you got.

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                • OP, you can squat 170?!? Jealous!!

                  I'm sure everyone here wants to BE healthy and fit, but it's interesting how differently the desire to LOOK healthy and fit can manifest itself. For instance, this hamstring curve thing is not a big deal to me (I'm not even 100% sure I know what you mean), but I would LOVE discernible biceps and triceps. My arms feel strong, and they ARE strong by the average woman's standard, but they don't yet look strong.

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                  • Not everything that seem to be hypertrophy is real myofibrillar hypertrophy though! When doing strenght training the muscle fascia will get shorter and make the middle of the muscle appear more bulky and bigger. Stretching and yoga will avoid this to happen to a certain extent, so the long lean muscle of the yoga practioners is not without any foundation whatsoever, because they stretch back the muscle fascia and avoid the apparence of the extra "false" hypertrophy. Another thing is sarcoplasmic hypertrophy that also make the muscle seem bigger due to improved water and glycogen storage. The best way to see whether there really happened a real myofibrillar hypertrophy is by biopsy, taking samples before and after from the muscle fibres...
                    "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                    - Schopenhauer

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                    • How often do you have muscle fiber biopsies, Gorbag?

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                      • Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                        How often do you have muscle fiber biopsies, Gorbag?
                        Never! My point is only that not everything that appears like a bigger muscle is always the "real thing" i.e. that the actual muscle fibers have become larger...
                        "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                        - Schopenhauer

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                        • Neckhammer, that explanation makes sense. So I will never have nice juicy Beyonce thighs. Sigh. I will have to just comfort myself with the parts of me that do satisfy my vanity.

                          Other ladies in my lifting class squat PRs of 200-230. I'm actually behind on squatting ability, at 170. Squat is just not my best lift. I make super slow progress and often don't PR when we test. Deadlift and olys are where I excel.

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                          • Originally posted by heatseeker View Post
                            Neckhammer, that explanation makes sense. So I will never have nice juicy Beyonce thighs. Sigh. I will have to just comfort myself with the parts of me that do satisfy my vanity.

                            Other ladies in my lifting class squat PRs of 200-230. I'm actually behind on squatting ability, at 170. Squat is just not my best lift. I make super slow progress and often don't PR when we test. Deadlift and olys are where I excel.
                            If you train for vanity, then you much do more of so called "beach-training" and make sure to get lots of carbs to fill up your muscle with water and glycogen to give you a round and full look. The effect comes relative easy compared to real strength gains, and disappear easy as well, but if the cosmetic is the goal then this is the way to go...
                            "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                            - Schopenhauer

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                              Hypertrophy and bigger muscles on you is just what its gonna be no matter how you got your body to grow it.
                              1 person on this site gets it.

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                              • Originally posted by Kingofturtles View Post
                                Yes. Toning = fat loss. The easiest way to "look toned and jacked" is to lose fat. That's what "toned" is. Low fat
                                Not so fast - a lean person that build muscle and also gain some more fat may appear more "toned" so you are basically wrong!
                                "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                                - Schopenhauer

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