5 TIPS for LEAN LEGS
"Dear Pauline Nordin & Fighter Diet! My legs are very strong but they have no definition. I want lean legs, sculpted lean legs. What am I doing wrong?"
Something all women want more than lean abs, boobs and firm arms! LEAN LEGS!
Maybe lean legs are so attractive because we dress them up with stilettos and nothing beats lean legs in stilettos! Sculpted quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves are status symbols. They don't walk by unnoticed, literally speaking.
Here are 5 tips for lean legs:
1. Build those muscles with weight training.
It's the most efficient approach to get results. If you want to see slow progress, if any progress at all, do light weight and high reps for toning. For lean legs, sculpted lean legs, you need to push your limit! Make it heavy and challenging.
If you don't know what 'heavy' means since what's heavy to you is light to someone else, remember this: if you're not a bit worried you'll lose focus and fall or trip or slip, it's not heavy enough. If you can let your mind drift away while you squat, lunge or deadlift, it's way too light.
2. Track what you do with a workout journal.
How many sets? How many reps with a certain weight? Add comments on how heavy it was to you and your goals for next week. Keep in mind that the more advanced you become the more you'll push for 1 rep more, 1 pound more on the barbell.
Remember: Only beginners see huge strength increases every week! Don't get discouraged when these powerful increases in strength and stamina cease over time. It's a sign your body is getting used to your training and you need to keep on challenging it to deliver more!
3. You don't need to lift your personal max or do single rep sets, but they do make the muscle building sets feel lighter.
Add a few 1-3 rep sets before your muscle volume building sets with more reps with a lot heavier weight, then go back to your "work weight" for 6-12 reps which stimulates muscles to grow more than single rep sets. You'll be surprised how light the weight will feel when you strip off the weight.
4. Strong LEAN LEGS! need food and calories to grow. You won't be able to train heavy on a crash diet.
However, eating for strength has a potential side effect: you gain body fat or don't lose the body fat you want to eliminate! This is a the typical catch 22 by the way: eat to fuel your workouts, but don't fuel them to the extent of adding to your body fat. I created a diet plan for this in mind, FDX2!
It's not for hard gainers, it's for us who build better than we burn fat!
5. Cardio is seldom needed for men to get ripped, but for most women it's a MUST.
The best effect on your metabolism and your body composition comes from cardio training done in a similar way as weight training: short bursts of intense effort followed by rest aka intervals. Can you do intervals daily plus build lean legs? Well, that might not be the best option unless you recover very fast, don't feel it's hurting your progress, or your intervals are not done at maximum effort.
You might do intervals with a lower highest intensity level followed by recovery interval. (I'm a fan of these btw). A big warning sign you're overdoing cardio: you're tired for your lean leg workouts! Oh oh! Time to reduce!