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Topic: The hardest part to lose

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Subject: The hardest part to lose
Date Posted: 6/14/2010 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2009
Posts: 88
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Hello,

everyone in my family seem to have naturally large calves, which for men might be great but as a woman, its not great at all. I play tennis, ride horses and bike, so even though I still have some extra pounds on me, my legs are very muscular. Does anyone know a good way to make my calves any smaller??? I'm nervous that trying to work them out at the gym will have the opposite effect.



Last Edited on: 6/14/10 10:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/16/2010 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 590
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Are your calves big because you have a lot of muscle or a lot of fat? What is your body fat percentage?



Last Edited on: 6/16/10 5:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/16/2010 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2009
Posts: 88
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My calves are big because it runs in my family. I don't know my BMI, I am 5'2, and 135, but I have a lot of muscle in my arms and legs from riding and training the horses.

Date Posted: 6/21/2010 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2008
Posts: 497
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As far as I know, the only way to make them smaller, other than to stop exercising -- then you'll lose muscle mass -- is to lose weight.

Sorry!

Date Posted: 6/21/2010 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 590
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BMIs aren't worth much at all. They're very inaccurate for athletes. Do you do any type of cardio vascular exercise?



Last Edited on: 6/21/10 10:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/22/2010 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2009
Posts: 88
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Yea, I'll pm you

Date Posted: 7/7/2010 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/2/2009
Posts: 20
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Scott, the standard formula for deducting BMI is incredibly inaccurate as you say.  However, there are machines which measure BMI via an electric current (?) which scans the body.  These machines are very expensive.  They are pretty accurate. 

Cassandra, I understand your concern about calf muscles.  From what I understand about physiology is that testosterone is what bulks muscles.  This is why most women do NOT bulk up easily when they exercise the way men do.  Take a look at Madonna - she is VERY muscular but also VERY thin.  If a man exercised as much as she did he'd be very bulked up.

Of course, some of us just do have thicker calves than other people.  I have thick calves and very think ankles and small feet - so that makes them look even larger.

I agree with Ann that they only way you will be able to reduce them is to lose weight.  Unfortunately, you cannot decide WHERE to lose the weight!

I wear flat shoes, which makes my calves look larger.  Women who wear high heels make their legs look thinner in three ways:  1.  The shape of the calf is altered to make it look less bulky  2.  Looking taller gives the illusion of thinness - a woman  who is 5'11" and is a size 12 will look thin and a woman who is 4'9" will look huge in a size 12.  3.  Tongue-less shoes which expose the top of the foot extend the line of the leg and make it look longer.  Usually if you are wearing flats, the line of the leg ends at the ankle.  But if you re-arrange the foot so that the top of the foot extends visually from the ankle a few inches it makes the leg look longer and therefore thinner.

Date Posted: 7/7/2010 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2009
Posts: 88
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Thank you I'm only 5'2, so I apreciate any adivce that makes me look thinner haha. ;) I am still losing weight, but most of it seems to come off in the mid section, which confuses me because my favorite exercise is running... Not sure if tha hurts or helps my calves. I'm going to joina gym here at home (at college, we go for free) so I can try interval training, since there are no flat roads around here, a treadmill might help.

Thank you again for the advice!

Date Posted: 7/8/2010 7:10 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 590
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Leah, what you're referring to is not a BMI calculator. It is a body fat percentage calculator. There is a huge difference. The way BMI works is it gives you a number based on your height and weight. For instance, someone of a height of 6 foot who weighs 200 pounds would have a BMI of 27, which is considered obese. However, if this person weighs 200 pounds because they have a low body fat percentage but a high amount of lean muscle mass (muscle weighs more than fat) then the BMI is inaccurate is it not? At 200 pounds of lean muscle, with a low body fat percentage, they are considered obese, but this is not true, is it?

Date Posted: 7/12/2010 2:09 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,567
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My daughters are all dancers so they have larger calves than they'd like to.   But I say they are sculpted, not fat, so don't worry. Thighs are another issue though!

Date Posted: 7/12/2010 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2009
Posts: 88
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I like my thighs, my muscles are pretty defined, but I'm glad its muscle and not fat ;)

Date Posted: 7/12/2010 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2009
Posts: 88
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I like my thighs, my muscles are pretty defined, but I'm glad its muscle and not fat ;)