For those gymgoers who never skip leg day, a strong and muscular pair of quads and hamstrings is usually one the top goals of any fitness list. But unless you’re one of the few who are competing on the bodybuilding stage, there can be such a thing as legs too large, especially if buying pants off the rack is no longer an option.
So, then, is there such a thing reducing the size of your legs? And if so, how is the best approach—cardio or diet?
That was the main question DM’d to M&F social media director Frank Sepe asked fitness and wellness expert Maria Moda.in a recent DM M&F on YouTube. Sepe, the well-known competitor, model, athlete, and author, along with Moda, the creator of ModaFit is renowned for her knowledge in training, nutrition, detoxing, and wellness coaching.
The pair teamed up at the East Coast Mecca, Bev’s Powerhouse Gym and a few post-workout Muscle & Fitness DM’s that allowed them to tap into her training and nutrition expertise and answer some of the most popular questions we get in our inbox.
How can you reduce the size of your legs, is it through a diet or through a routine?
“So, for me, my personal experience and also with working with a lot of women, it’s a combination of both. For me, I like to cut my calories a little bit, especially on the days I’m training legs. I also incorporate a little cardio after my leg training. I kind of go up on the reps a little bit and reduce the weight a little bit. I feel like when I train heavier with lower reps, it tends to get my legs a little bulkier. Doing the opposite with dieting and cardio tends to shrink them down a little bit.”
A lot of people won’t squat heavy. They will go 30 to 50 reps. Do you still squat, and will you go higher reps?
“I love doing squats in the beginning. I’ll warm up with just the bar and then gradually add weight, but I’ll focus more on my depth and form than going heavier. I’ll go up to 20 reps, but I won’t go higher than that, really.”
What kind of cardio do you recommend?
“I would say even just walking on the treadmill, like a brisk walk. You just have to get your heart rate up, but doing it after leg training is what I feel works. It’s worked for me.”
I love doing squats in the beginning because I like warming up with just the bar and then and I focus more on my form rather than going heavier. But although up to 20 reps I usually don’t go any bit any further than that really.
Diet is really important to losing or gaining size, and we know that you can’t spot reduce. What kind of calorie deficit do you recommend for someone looking to lose size?
“For me, cutting carbs equates to losing mass. It’s just the way my body works. So, that’s what I’ve been doing, and I just utilize my carb sources before and after training. The rest of the day, I’m running on fats. It’s going to be a combination of all those things, no matter what your goals are. It’s just refining it, basically.”