ATTN Ladies: Are you being scammed at the gym?

As an Atlanta personal trainer, I work with a variety of clients, primarily female, that vary in age, size and shape. Despite the variety of clientele, many of my personal training clients upon beginning training have one common area they would like to focus on, legs. More specifically, generally women want to focus on those tough to tone inner and outer thighs (saddle bags) to create long, lean appearance to their legs adding length and height to their physique. Acquiring the thighs of your dreams is achievable. It does take a combination of weight training, sound nutrition and cardiovascular training. The underlying scam falls into the category of toning through weight training.

Myth busted…use the abductor and adductor machine to help tone the inner and outer thighs.

It is a HUGH misconception that swarms the fitness community that you can spot tone fat away. When we hear personal training clients say, “I wan to tone these areas”. Ideally they mean remove fat and reveal the lean muscle. Though you can focus on an area of muscular growth, you can not spot remove fat and create lean toned muscles by performing strength exercises alone. That is one reason I strongly discourage the use of the hip adductor and abductor machines in a leaning a toning strength routine. These machine DO aid in helping to building and strengthening muscles in these areas; however if you are not simultaneously following a strict nutrition plan and intense cardiovascular routine you run the risk in building muscle under the already stubborn fat and in return having larger thighs than you began with. So, STAY AWAY from the weighted machines that focus on these areas of your legs and pick up the intensity through a dumbbell focused routine and by adding segments of high intensity cardio burst between leg exercises.

Try this plyometric (quick and powerful exercises) lower body routine for developing longer leaner legs:

Exercise                              Circuit 1     Circuit 2     Circuit 3     Circuit 4

Box Jump                                20               20               15              15
Bench Step-Up                       20                20               15              15
One-leg Bench Squat             20               20                15              15
Exercise Ball Hip Lift               20               20                15              15
Calf Jumps                              30               30                25              25

*between each circuit, complete 5 minutes on treadmill, step mill, or elliptical at 70-75% of your maximum heart rate.
**adapted from