I do weights for my upper body and lower body...My arms are getting really defined whereas my legs are seeing a little improvement....I was watching our local news and they had a trainer on that said weights are not good for someone who is pear shaped (as i am) and that we should focus more on carido for that....should i do this?! He also said to stay away from squats and step aerobics as it can make us larger down there....any suggestions?! Should i just stick to the treadmill and my taebo for my lower body? Thanks!
Absolutely not! While the cardio (especially sprints and running inclines) will help, you should still train your lower body with weights. Try a lower weight with higher reps or use your own bodyweight. Walking lunges are wonderful and I really like lying hamstring dumbbell curls on an inclined bench. Instead of typical squats try plie squats (like a ballerina) while holding a 10lb + weight with both hands in the middle of your body. (not sure how to explain that)
You could also do sissy squats by placing a big stablity ball b/w your back and a wall and then you put more emphasis on your glutes instead of your quads and hip flexors.
I am pear-shaped and my upper body definately gets more ripped than my lower body, but I want my lower body to be symmetrical and strong. Cardio will not give you the same strength and toning benefits unless you are really working it! Intervals of walking and sprints really help my legs lean out. (walk 1 min at 4.3, jog 1min at 6.0, walk 1min, jog/run at 6.5...continue up the scale until you can't sprint any faster and then work your way back down to 6.
I heartly disagree with that trainer saying "cardio" is best for the "pear". In Spring 2003, I was told by an orthopedic doc that cardio was best to lose weight by at my age (50 at the time). Until I told him I had lost 44lbs from lifting weights only after starting a college Women's strenght class six months prior to the visit. He backpedalled after that. I was there for an after MRI checkup on my left rotator cuff...had overtrained during the second semester and an old rotator cuff injury (not from lifting) was acting up.
But getting back to that trainer. There have been articles about weightlifting routines for bodytypes. At lot of this stems from a study done by a psychologist, Dr. William Sheldon, who instituted the theory of "Somatypes" and their particular personality types back in the 1940s. This concept people being one of three bodytypes..... "Mesomorph' (athletic), Ectomorph(Thin) and Endomorph (pear).....became part of the bodybuilding and diet culture years later. It is agreed now, we all do not quite fit in just those three catagories but have characteristics of each with one predominating usually.
So, the "pear" can gain muscle rather easily and generally has a wide/strong frame as a foundation to work from. However, we do tend to have trouble losing the bodyfat. But to do that, we have to eat to speed up the metabolism and keep it up through a proper diet and eating 5-6 small meals a day.
Training with weights is suggested as the best course for the "pear". To concentrate on building muscle through that alone rather than a bunch of cardio. This will build up those legs if you do low reps and heavy weights.
I disagree with that trainer about squats as well. As a woman, I am not "hippy" nor big thighed. My legs are slender/muscular and tends toward carrying my fat in my stomach/shoulders and back. I build muscle rather easily in my upper body. In the class, we had access to leg press machines but I found using the Olympic style bar w/plates in the power rack gave me better results overall in the leg area.
The squats is the "Queen" of the compound "Core" muscle builder as it hit so much of the body systematically. It is a great leg/hamstring and glute builder as well has hit the back, abs and shoulders. I do parallel squats rather than the deep one. Just do not have quite the flexibility to get that low. So in class, I was able to use the leg press as an isolation...but at home now, it is just the squats itself and have a leg extension/curl attachment on my Olympic style bench. This way I can build the leg strength, definition and muscle. Right now, I warmup with 135lbs for 20 reps and then 250 for 3 sets of 15 right now. I have to get some more plates to go any heavier. So the reps will do for now.
If all you have is a standard bar and plates, still do squats.
I do not use cardio as I found lifting to satisfy my personal goals of maintaining my weight and keeping my strength.
After reading numerous diet and wellbeing books to find out what was going on with my body (e.g. why fat would shift from some parts but not others, even when I put weight on my bum it would not go back on my breasts after losing it to breast feeding, while other women seem to never put weight on their legs and thighs and have an ample breasts but find it hard to keep their tummy in) I came across a book called ĎApples & Pearsí. This book answered all my questions and more. What a great book. Donít waste your time with fad diet books which can be unpractical and assume that one size fits all. This book provides practical lifestyle advice and helps you understand your body and to love it.
You know, I read about that somewhere that "step aerobics" is not recommended for "pear" shapes, however I find that hard to believe. I've been doing step aerobics for a few years now and as a result, I have more slendered hips and a nice muscle tone to my legs. I just don't see how that's possible, although I read that somewhere, and by the way, I'm also a pear shape. So, it's a matter of trial and error I guess and step aerobics and strength training works fine for me. But NO CARDIO for pear shapes? That confuses me. Naxis what do you think?