Firming the rear


I'm frustrated and need advice. After 15 years of running, cycling, and light weight training I haven't changed my rear at all. I am 5'3" and weigh 122 and have for all these years, my body is pear shaped, small upper, flat stomach, full thighs and butt. I run marathons, do triathlons, eat well and am very active. At 42 I am not willing to give up on my life long pursuit of a firm rear. My new thought is to cut down on a day of cardio each week and make sure instead that I get in 2 weight training days. Which exercises should I concentrate on for maximum results and to get rid of the jiggle??
Mars, who are you, and how did you get my body? I have all your exact measurements and proportions, and work out like you do, minus the marathons.

I did pure strength all fall and saw good changes in my rear, then took it to the next level at new years with slow and heavy.

SLOW AND HEAVY just once a week for 6 weeks has narrowed in my hips, raised my booty and made it hard. I look so cute. I look like I could run up the side of a building with these glutes, or break a board with my butt. ;)

It doesn't even have any floor work. It's those slow, heavy squats that do it.

I'm still a pear, and still size 4-6, but that one workout has made me more narrow, my rear sticks out more and is higher, but in a really cute way. I highly recommend this workout. I'm thinking about adding in an endurance strength workout once a week too and see where that takes me, but overall I don't think hippy girls bodies will respond to anything less than slow and heavy or something like it. I hope you try it.
[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Feb-12-02 AT 04:11PM (Est)[/font][p]You are too funny Kath. I forgot one most important measurement, my thighs are 21" around and don't fit in most jeans, due to my much smaller waist. I'm a freak. My body fat is around 20-22%. So the answer may lie in upping the weight? Many times I shy away from this because it makes me sore for running the next day, I won't be such a wimp anymore.

Today I do one legged squats, plie squats with 18#, and lunges with 18#. Pretty light right? Usually 1 or 2 sets of 15 reps.
[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Feb-12-02 AT 06:33PM (Est)[/font][p]Hi mars

I just have to tell you this. My nickname is Mars!!! Is yours a nickname too? It's from my initials: M.A.R. and years ago my husband added the "S" to makes mars. Everyone who knows me calls me mars :)

Also, you & I are built similarly, and I run 5x/week. I have a very small waist but larger thighs & round butt. I hate wearing jeans because of this, they never fit right. So I don't wear 'em! I always thought I had muscular thighs because I run and lift heavy weights. I'd like to be leaner, but I'm also aware of genetics. I'm very strong & healthy and I run races several times a year, so I'm not complaining. But I know what you mean. Just want to be a bit more proportionate I guess. So I've added CTX Leaner Legs to my current rotation because it's a tough endurance workout, slightly lighter weight at much faster reps. I'm hoping a change from my regular heavy workouts will result in some leaner glutes

Anyway... just a though from one mars to another!

Yes, Mars is a nickname from my first name (Marcia) and my interest in science fiction I guess. I will wait to hear how you do on Leaner Legs. The size of my butt and thighs don't bother me as much as the flab. I am still convinced that someone like Cathe who is knowledgeable about women and weight training can get me on the right track. The added strength would help my running and cycling too.

Like you said, I don't have much to complain about, feel great and strong, just as long as I don't look in the rear view mirror.
How heavy is your barbell for them squats? I know we should just work with our own level but just want to know what I should be working towards. I'm getting good results from that leg workout too!
Hi Kath,
Did you do SH legs only once a week to get the results you speak of.
I have the same body type and have been doing the Lower Body
Solution rotation but it is getting to be a little much working your legs 5-6 times per week. I have seen results with it but would like to try something different.
Thanks, Deb
First time on this site, and so far have learned that I am not the only one out there built like this!!!! I also have been working out 7-8 years, and have not been able to get the results I want either re: the rearend. I also do cardio 5 days per week, running, biking, aerobics and step tapes. I have tried working out my legs once a week and then twice a week; still confused as to how much to do?!? I also have difficulty buying pants due to the tinier upper body and especially the waist; I think I could fit someone else in the waistline with me, and then I can hardly fit my bottom/hips into the rest of the jeans. Where do you find pants that fir proportionately? I am 5feet 2inches tall and weigh about 125 pounds; am trying to lose weight as well. If anyone would like to share any info, would be greatly appreciated!!!! Glad to know that other women have the same difficulties to overcome!!!!
One thing I know about is shopping for pants, it's my obsession. Just got a pair of Banana Republic corduroy jeans in petites that fit really well. Calvin Klein jeans seem to be a good fit too.

After 15 years of being an extremely active and fit woman, I'm starting to think about completely overhauling my exercise life. Cut down on long runs and spend the time on lower body weights. Won't hurt to try it. If anyone would like to comment on my proposed new schedule please do, and thanks for all of the advice.

Mon - yoga or pilates (currently I'm taking ice skating lessons)
Tue - MIS tape
Wed - lower body floorwork, 45 min run
Thur - lower body weights, spin class
Fri - upper body weight, lower body floorwork
Sat - lower body weights, 30 min run
Sun - lower body floorwork, 60 min run or 2 hr ride
I was thinking about changing my exercise routine around as well. One question I often am confused about is lower body workouts. If you work them every day, how are they going to "rest and rebuild"? What tapes do you recommend to get; I am new to the site, and have not bought any tapes yet? Looking to shed some weight, and tone/shape my body, especially legs, butt- my problem area. Thanks for the info on the pants! Keep me posted!
Mars, I think that I would ease up on all the lower body work. From my experience, I have made more significant gains by allowing my muscles more rest. With running, spinning, skating, and LOTS of strength work, you're short changing your leg muscles of much deserved and much needed rest. Train hard on one day, then allow recovery the following day. JMHO.

I don't know the answer to getting your thighs smaller, but I can tell you that it sounds like you are already in very good shape. It seems like you exercise a lot and are very strong.

I have a similar body type to you but my upper body is not tiny, I still weight 123 am 5'2 and have 21 inch thighs though. I can tell you one thing the more squats etc I do my legs tend to bulk up a little. But of course the running does help with that. But if I worked my legs as much as you're proposing I would be a little concerned about bulking up. Even if you have a little bit of jiggle on the back of your legs you might just have A LOT of muscle underneath it. Maybe adding muscle to that isin't the answer. But then again, I don't know what the answer is either!!

It does sound like your body wants to hold on to a little bit of fat (doesn't everyone's it seems) and your butt/thighs is where it likes to store it. So, maybe the answer to getting rid of that little bit of excess that you have (and I do emphasize little bit because you are in great shape already) might require some kind of change in your diet.

I don't know, it just seems like working your legs (weights or floor) two or three times a week in addition to your cardio should be enough for the average person.

Good luck and let us know what happens,
Kristie Schultz
Hi Pamelas7, I have the same build as you (same height and weight). I have also been working out cocnsistently for the past 3 years, but I have recently gotten quite serious about it. Right before Christmas, I found this website and I also found some great Cathe buys on ebay to add to my collection. I also learned about "rotations". Right after New Years, I started a 3 week rotation with S&H and mixed in some cardio (Circuit Max, Cardio Kicks, some cardio at the gym) and 1 day of beg. yoga class. I had 1 rest day, but counted the yoga day as sort of a rest day. I saw quick results in my upper body, and some in my lower body. Then, I recently started another rotation with the Xpress series (I got this from ebay at a great price-there is another on there if you don't have it and want to check it out):)

Anyway, I have more definition in my legs and butt, and my husband commented that my butt is getting "more athletic" looking :7 Now, I don't know about that, but I'll take the compliment.

It is hard to find the time to workout, but since I saw little changes, I will not give up. Cathe is awesome, and you will see results from using her workouts. I hope this helped a little :)

p.s. As for the pants question, I have a hard time finding pants that fit :(, but I have had luck at the following:

Express (great for short length pants-don't try on the jeans, they don't fit "us" right:-mad
American Eagle (great for bootcut short-lenght jeans). Recently, they changed the cut of them ,and they are more slender :(
Eddie Bauer and JCrew catalogs (more expensive, but have a lot in petite)
Chadwicks catalog (many business, work clothes in petite-great prices)
Limited (are getting a lot of pants in different lengths at their stores-some fit great. Try the "boyfriend pants". I don't know why they're called this, but they fit very nice.
Where do you have luck :-hmmm
These are very good thoughts. I have been following a thread on the open forum about using heavy weights for lower body (see lower body solutions)and almost everyone says that they did not bulk up, in fact it was the only thing that got them to loose the inches. Like you say, it works differently for everyone, depending on your genes. Even when I was training for a marathon and running mega miles I still didn't get rid of the fat in these areas.

It is hard to balance weight lifting with other activities. I will begin training for a triathlon on May 1st so I will definately cut back a little on weights. I might see how it goes from now until then. Yesterday I did the MIS tape for the first time and it was very good and made me realize that I hadn't been working hard enough on my own at home with weights. Now I'm motivated.

Kristie - have you ever had smaller thighs? I need to cut down on sugar in my diet but other than that I'm a very good eater. Maybe I will eventually have to be satisfied that my 21" thighs are what I'm stuck with, but NOT YET! Thanks again for the post.
HI jaypea! Thanks for the great info. Sounds like we have alot in common. I just purchased some tapes from the site, S&H, cardiocicks, MICardio, MIStrength, and a few other step/aerobic tapes. I make time to workout everday as well: sounds as if we have the same routine as well. I try to do cardio 5 days/week, strength train upper body 3 days/week, strength train lower body 2 days/week and yoga tape 1 day/week; I also consider the yoga day a day "off". Can't wait to get the tapes and start to do them! Glad I found this site; offers a lot of helpful info.

As for the pants, I haven't really been able to find ones I really feel comfortable wearing. I do have a pair of low-riders, boot cut from the GAP, but the waist is too big. Otherwise the fit in the hips/butt is great and the length is perfect. I have a couple pair pants from ANN TAYLOR LOFT petites that fit great in the hip/butt/length. They zip on the sides, so the room in the waist isn't too bad. I have also found TALBOT'S petites to be OK, too, but expensive. Wish I could find jeans, and will try the places you recommended. Thanks for the info!

I am determined to look great by bathing suit season! My husband offers me words of encouragement, too, but sometimes I think even though I may not agree with him, it does make me feel better and keeps me going.

Well, thanks again, and sorry I kept this so long! Keep me posted!

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Feb-18-02 AT 11:46AM (Est)[/font][p]Mars,

Yes my legs get a little bit smaller when my weight goes down. Maybe 1/2 inch or so, but not much. I'm just a few pounds heavier than usual right now because I am breatfeeding. My body kind of reminds me of Cathe's but of course not in as good of shape. I am proportioned well. My thighs don't look small but neither do my arms etc. I just got a pair of the new straight leg gap jeans in size 6(they are baggy - usually wear 4's but these were a little tight). They look great on the butt. They are short length.

I read that thread about working your legs more and I think it sounds great and that you should go for it. Maybe it'll work for you. But I guess that I just don't like the idea of having to work the legs that much to get them firm. How often have you been working your legs? This is just an idea, but maybe if you've only been working them weight/floor twice a week or so maybe you should just try 3 or 4 times a week instead of 6 and see if that works.

I would love to hear what Cathe would have to say about this.

I was interested by the response that someone else gave here about slow and heavy. I think that this is also an option that you should at some point explore. It seems to have worked for her.

Another thing that I was thinking about was in addition to firming your rear, maybe you should also consider building up your upper body a little so you feel like you look more proportioned. Just an idea.

Hey I have a question. What are some good leg floor work tapes? I would like to get some and don't know of many.

Good luck Mars,
Kristie Schultz
[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Feb-21-02 AT 09:56AM (Est)[/font][p]I tried working my legs and rear with the Lower Body Solution, and ended up overtraining (6 days a week). I think a smarter way to train is to train your lower half two days per week and incorporate "isotension." It's described in this website:

You can do stuff throughout the day like wall sits in the bathroom, plie squats on your toes, etc. I used this method when I was very young (13) and developed some great muscle tone in my legs. Was I ahead of my time and didn't know it?!
After reading everyone's comments, I have modified my 2 month butt experiment. My current schedule, which I am really liking, is this:

Monday - MIS tape
Tuesday - 45 min run
Wednesday - MIS tape, lower body only
Thursday - Spin
Friday - MIS tape
Saturday - 30 min run, yoga/pilates
Sunday - 60 min run or bike

This gives me 3 leg workouts and 4 cardio days. Any comments?
My life goal is to stay below 20% body fat. I think that is the key to seeing the flab on the butt and thighs go away.
Hi Mars,

I think that your workout sounds good. Working your legs three times a week seems effective, practical and safe. But don't you feel like you want to take a day off in there somewhere. I know that you love working out, but I hope that you give yourself a day off occasionally!

Another thing you might want to consider is adding in an interval workout once a week. When I first added interval max into my rotations I lost a couple of pounds.

I think that you are definitely right about less body fat equals less flab on the legs! At 123-124 pounds, I have a little bit of cellulite on the back on my thighs, but when I go down to my normal(pre-breastfeeding) weight of say 118-120, you can barely see it at all.

Good luck to you,
Let us know what happens with your new workout!

Kristie S
Okay, now I am really depressed :( ! I am reading your posts and you all are complaining about 21" thighs being too big?! My thighs are 20 3/4" (almost at 21"!) and I never really considered them big. Mind you, they could use some firming up--I have this little patch of cellulite right where by butt meets my hammies that just does not want to go away! I just started working really hard on clean eating and I just got the Pure Strength Legs and Abs video. I did it on Monday and I am still hurting today let me tell ya!! Could somebody out there with lean legs/butt tell what their thigh measurements are so I can get an idea of just what a lean leg measures?

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