The world of exercise can get really confusing sometimes. I get asked a lot of common workout questions so thought I would put them all into one blog post for you! Here are my top 8 answers to your top 8 questions.
1. I’ve been eating well and exercising really hard and I have noticed results, but my legs seem to be bulking up rather than slimming down. What can I do to slim them down?
This is a question I get a lot, and is something I notice happening to my own body as well. Reducing muscle is hard and will take a long time, so keep this in mind. To reduce the size of your legs, focus more on power walking and steady state running on flat surfaces (no incline on treadmill).
It is still important to do some form of resistance training so I would focus on HIIT exercises using only your body weight such as burpees, jump lunges, etc. And make sure you are still doing other resistance exercises for your upper body and core too.
If you’re interested in an 8 week program to help slim down your legs, check out my ebooks here. I have specifically designed the program to help you get lean and toned legs without adding bulk.
2. Do I need to have a rest day?
It depends on your type of training. If you train really hard with weights and HIIT, then yes you should have a rest day. If your training is lighter, then it may not be necessary for you to have a rest day. Personally, I listen to my body. I try to have an active recovery day and go for a power walk. But if my body is really sore, I’ll just rest and do nothing.
3. What are some good inner thigh workouts?
By targeting your inner thighs specifically you will build muscle here, but you won’t spot reduce the fat from here. This means they may end up looking bigger. If you want to get rid of inner thigh fat then you need to do cardio (power walking and longer distance running is best – read more about it on my blog post here). Other exercises such as lunges, squats etc are great to help you tone up.
4. How often do you recommend doing cardio? How often do you do it?
Personally I do cardio around 3 times per week and my cardio consists of running and cycling. I also do power walking as much as I can. I would recommend doing cardio 3 times per week also.
5. If I need to lose weight, should I try to slim down first before doing weights to tone up?
No. Weights and cardio work really well together when trying to slim down. Weights will also help you slim down quicker believe it or not. So if trying to lose weight, I would combine both cardio and weights, starting with body weight exercises and HIIT.
6. What is the best type of strength training to get lean and toned, but without bulking up?
Stick to lighter weights / body weight and keep your reps high (within the 15-20 rep range). HIIT training is also great.
7. Does it matter what time you workout in the day?
You will get results from working out, regardless of what time of the day it is. The benefits of doing cardio first thing in the morning is that you will burn more fat. Read more about it here.
8. How do you get that line down your stomach, and your obliques to show?
First of all, your abs won’t show if your stomach has too much body fat. So you need to reduce your body fat, which will be mostly due to your diet (read more about how to drop fat here). Then focus on core exercises that target your rectus abdominis (exercises here) and your obliques (exercises here). Other compound exercises such as squats and push ups will also use your core and can help you get a defined stomach.
Hi!! If the weather isn’t ideal and you can’t go for a power walk – is there another good alternative that will help mesomorph body types slim legs? Spin bike with zero resistance?? Jogging in place?? Or something else? Thanks!!
If you are in a quarantine or the weather has been terrible the entire day and you can’t get out, you can temporarily substitute it for these two in-door cardio videos:
FREE AT-HOME CARDIO VIDEO
FREE AT-HOME CARDIO VIDEO (BOXING)
Again, keep in mind that it’s not as effective as walking is but it will be way better to practice these than skip your daily cardio routine. <3
If you have more concerns, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
My treadmill has a slight incline would this be a Problem trying to slim my legs ?
thanks for reaching! <3
Walking on a treadmill with an incline can cause bulkiness. Rachael recommends using the treadmill with a zero incline, this way we can ensure that you won't get bulky :)
I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any questions! xx
I’m taking your advice and doing power walking as much as I can and I find at the moment it’s enough will my daily schedule. I eat as clean as I can. I use my fitness pal but sometimes don’t quite eat enough. But I’m feeling stronger .. so I think power walking is doing it’s job. I’m relatively new to this only 3rd session and I can do 10k on the treadmill in one go
It is great that you are doing so well so far! :)
I would like to remind you that you make sure that the incline on the treadmill is 0% and to eat regularly so your body can perform as best as possible.
1200 calories is a bare minimum for ladies, so I suggest that you calculate your recommended daily calorie intake by following this link to Rachael’s detailed blog post on it. :)
Enjoy your fitness journey! :)
Hey so my calories are 1500 a day.. is that the type of deficit that will see results? I’m really into walking the 10k a week at the gym it’s all I have been doing. I feel good energetic and determined
Feel free to eat that much! :)
I am glad that you are enjoying your fitness journey so far. Just make sure that the treadmill incline is 0%. :)
Hey so I power walk 4/5times a week on the treadmill at the gym note I have just started doing this.. I eat mostly fruit and vege and whole foods. I’m a mesomorph body type. So how long before I see results doing this? Also I still have some cheat things like bread or a occasional biscuit here and there I want balance in my life
Thanks for reaching out!
It’s great that you started power walking 4/5 times a week. Make sure that you’re walking on a flat surface and aiming for at least 10,000 steps per walk :) For mesomorphs Rachael also recommends resistance training 3 times a week. Here is a guideline that Rachael wrote for mesomorphs that I think you’ll find super helpful <3 As for when you will see results, it's hard to tell since everyone sees results at a different rate. As long as you are persistent and eating a healthy diet on a slight calorie deficit (200-300 calories), you will see results :)
I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any questions! xx
I have always been muscular. I am now almost 70 yr. old and would it be to late for me to trim the muscle. I know the skin does not go back to original, but I am still strong and wanting to look nice in dresses, etc. I am a young 70 year old. Please let me know if this will work for me. Thank you. my email is email@example.com
That’s so amazing to hear! If you feel strong and flexible enough by all means go for it. It’s never too late to see great results :) xx
Hi Rachel, greetings from India. I have just started very brisk walking 10mins per km and I have been doing 5km every morning with some sprints on an empty stomach for an hour. Then in the evening also I workout preferably weights and some boxing. But the problem is I no longer have energy for my evening workout after I have started brisk walking in the morning. What am I doing wrong here? Please help, thank you.
Rachael would love to help you as much as she can :) that’s why she has created her Lean Legs program and Lean Legs Training Club.
The program in the eBook is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking. It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos. The meal plan should help you with your daily calorie and macros intake so you can feel much more energized throughout the day.
You can check out the Lean Legs program here
If you need any extra support, please join our Lean Legs Training Club where you can ask Rachael any questions you want and get a more personalized fitness and nutrition advice for the best results :)
Here’s the link to the Club
For more helpful tips, please have a read of these posts:
Love, Lean Legs Club support
I really want to obtain that look in the final picture ( in white bikini or bra and underwear set ). I’ve always wanted my stomach to look exactly like that. Any workout suggestions? I’m about 5’7 and weigh 140.
Hi Chrissy, a combination of cardio (both low and high intensity) and resistance training will give you this look! xx
Would power walking for 10km for 6 times a week slim down my muscular calves? I sometimes feel it sore, but does that mean it is a sign that it is getting bulkier? I am 5’2″, 16 years old, I am 128 pounds, and I don’t know what body type I am but I think I am a mesomorph/endomorph. I know I need to lose my entire weight because my BMI is in the higher end of the healthy range. You motivate me so much honestly. Like I comment a lot on your blogs, and I feel like you are so informative. Because whenever I see your blogs, I see a woman that also went through these daunting experiences that we are going through right now, but you persevered and made through it! Feel free to advise me any other methods to slim muscular calves, and thank you so much! :)
I’ve been really focusing on my body and my health and achieving physical weight/strength goals in a healthy way (as i’ve had trouble with the ‘healthy’ part in the past). These FAQs were extremely helpful and a great read. Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome hun! Good for you on focusing on doing things the healthy way. I wish you all the best! xx
I have that line down I want down my stomach, but I somehow cannot get the sides of my stomach.. Is this a diet issue or am I not doing the correct exercises? Thanks.
Hi Emily, if you do have a line down your stomach then you probably have a low body fat percentage, so you’ve got the hard part downpat! I would say you might need to focus more on oblique exercises – here is a blog post with some of my favourite oblique exercises xx
Thank you for this post! I have been looking for some clear cut answers to this type of question and I feel like the individual posts of this series gave me the answers I have been looking for. My goal is to start running a 5K every month, and after reading your blog, I feel confident that that goal is obtainable, but also will reap the benefits that I’m looking for.
Hi Kelly, you’re welcome! Good luck with your goals :) xx
Hey Rachel! :)
I go through a lot of phases where I struggle to get motivated to go to the gym or do any type of exercise.
I am currently busy with rehab for my knees and therefor O don’t have a gym buddy. Also in general if I do find someone to work out with it only lasts about two weeks max before they start making excuses for not being able to train (we are studenrs and our calendars differ a lot).
Therefore I am seeking an answer as to how to get myself to exercise without a partner when I am someone who needs exactly that to be motivated?
Hope you can help me. I am looking forward to your response! :)
Kind regards xx
Hi Monique, if you really want to make a change, the motivation needs to come from YOU! Don’t rely on other people – you don’t need a gym buddy to stay motivated, but it can help. Read my blog posts here and here for some extra tips. Good luck! xx
Hey Rachel, brilliant blog, I’ve found more information tailored to my exact fitness goals on here than anywhere else, which is amazing! I’m a mesomorph, tall, and tend to have good muscle definition, but the one place I’ve never been able to lose weight on is my calves. My thighs are surprisingly thin, but my calves have fat that almost never budges. AND muscle. Because of this I’m scared to do literally any weight lifting, lunges, squats, although I really want to tone my butt. Specifically for calves, should I stay away from exercises that build my hamstrings? And what’s the least amount of weights/HIIT I can do to create definition while still staying slim? My main goal is to have thin thighs and thinner calves, and a very toned butt. would your ebook for mesomorphs help with this? Thanks xx
Hi Mari, thank you! :) I’m glad you like my blog. I would avoid traditional exercises such as lunges and squats. Although they do wonders for your butt, you will build muscle in your thighs and calves. There are lots of other exercises you can do to tone your butt (read my blog posts here for ideas). I definitely think my eBook would help because it focuses on toning up your butt, rather than building too much muscle in your legs, and doesn’t focus on traditional exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, burpees, etc xx
I’ve been struggling for years to reduce the fat on the side of my thighs. I do cardio, do some weight training for legs, some HIIT, but I feel as if I’m missing something. What do you recommend best to reduce the fat on the side of the thighs and under the butt on the thighs?
Hi Sue, everyone stores fat differently and this is obviously your area. The only way to reduce this really is through overall weight loss, and lots of power walking! Good luck xx