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I want skinny legs
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By Orphaned
Apr 29, 2012
This thread is going to get hilarious with the bullshit answers given but I bet a little good advice will come up. Most of you are probably going to think I've got a problem, I do, it's just not this one.

I'm skinny already but I don't have the upper/lower body proportion of hard climbers my weight. I have leftover legs from my triathlon, or cycling, or even pedicabbing days. Fact is, I don't need them. Bird legs would get the job done and I'd be lighter.

I don't have giant muscular legs and they certainly have shrunk since I quit racing several years ago. What's a good strategy to cut weight on the legs? It's got to be muscle, I'm well under 10% body fat, I don't have the good fortune to drop fat.

I can be as light as 137 and as heavy as 145. I average 140. So how then do I drop 5 off the legs?

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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Apr 29, 2012
Shave your legs. Eliminate excess hair weight!

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 29, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
You're just going for this look, aren't you?


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By Buff Johnson
Apr 29, 2012
smiley face
My pocket knife; I'm pretty quick. I watched man vs wild and everything

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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From Vegas
Apr 29, 2012
Growing a winter coat in Red Rock Canyon- December...
Go swimming in shark infested waters.





No BS, I'm dead serious.

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By 1Eric Rhicard
Apr 30, 2012
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo
Break both of your legs or use a wheel chair for the next six months.

The "I have huge legs" excuse for not climbing harder is lame. Every excuse I ever used I have proven to be BS between my ears. I did this by getting on things and sending the day after I used any of a number of excuses including the huge legs excuse.

Might be a few folks on here that would help break those legs for you. Ha ha.

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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Apr 30, 2012
Stabby
A tactic I remember from the old days is to acquire a few groupies to haul your gear for you while you take an hour on a 15 minute approach

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By Elena Sera Jose
From colorado
Apr 30, 2012
bacon
If I had skinny legs my HUGE upper body would look out if proportion .....so...nah

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By Elena Sera Jose
From colorado
Apr 30, 2012
bacon
Delta Bravo wrote:
A tactic I remember from the old days is to acquire a few groupies to haul your gear for you while you take an hour on a 15 minute approach

+1

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By steitz
From midcoast, maine
Apr 30, 2012
running is your best bet.

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Apr 30, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
John,
PM sent.

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By Dobson
From Butte, MT
Apr 30, 2012
Knee surgery made my brother's leg freakishly skinny. You could try tearing your acl, or even just immobilizing your legs for a month or so. It's amazing how much muscle mass you can lose that way.

I'm not exactly sure why one would trade the ability to get to the climb for a letter grade of sport-climbing improvement, but I'm sure you'll be able to find something that works.

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By Neal Gerber
Apr 30, 2012
I too have thick legs and am curious as to what Mono has to say.

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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Apr 30, 2012
Monomaniac wrote:
John, PM sent.

Can you share with the class?


spandex of the desert
spandex of the desert

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By sanz
From Raleigh, NC
Apr 30, 2012
One of my first trad leads, on Ooga Chocka at Crow...
Eat a significant amount less than usual and do low-impact cardio to go into caloric deficit - this will make you lose weight.

The trick is to keep from losing climbing muscles. Continue to work those out hard and use your legs as little as possible, and your body will consume the unused muscles first.

The intervals idea sounds bad to me - your burning leg muscles will have to use calories to recover. I usually hate on elliptical machines because they confer none of the strength benefits of running or cycling - but in your case that might just do the trick. Rowing would be good too, since it uses upper body.

Basically, force your body to consume itself and don't use the muscles you want consumed. Sounds like fun!

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By Nate Reno
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Apr 30, 2012
Ellingwood Point Summit, Little Bear in the backgr...
I too am interested in what the maniac has to say.
Seems he was even more of a big-leg ratio kind of guy back in the day

compared to now


And those aren't what I'de consider teenage-skinny-jeans legs going up that .14

I'm w/ JohnL - I don't think he's saying heavy legs are an excuse for not climbing x grade, I don't use mine as an excuse. I think overall weight does make a difference, and removing it from somewhere that isn't providing any benefit is the logical choice. I'm not quite down to the body fat % to where I'de be shedding muscle to drop lbs, but not too far off either. Interested in other people's experiences w/ this.

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By Cory
From Boise, ID
Apr 30, 2012
Relaxing in the Tuttle Creek Campground after a fu...
I lost a ton of muscle in my legs due to atrophy in a matter of weeks when I broke my leg. Perhaps you could immobilize your legs and get around on a wheelchair or crutches for a week or two?

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Apr 30, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
Nate Reno wrote:
I too am interested in what the maniac has to say. Seems he was even more of a big-leg ratio kind of guy back in the day


That's nothing, look at this:

Thunder Thighs!!!
Thunder Thighs!!!

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By chuck claude
From Flagstaff, Az
Apr 30, 2012
First climb after knee surgery
1) Break your legs. I lost 3cm from my right calf while it was in a cast for 10wks. Just break both at the same time otherwise it just looks freakish.

2) pull the Hugh Herr trick, and then you'd have interchangable legs at that. Although people will then discredit your ascents saying that you really aid climbed it, since you can interchange your feet to fit the crack (see HH's ascent of City Park at Leavenworth)

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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Apr 30, 2012
sanctioning

pokey 50
pokey 50

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By Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Apr 30, 2012
RUN IN THE SAME PAIR OF TENNIS SHOES FOR ABOUT 6 MONTHS......THIS WILL DO THE TRICK, AND WEAR ENOUGH OF THE TREAD OFF SO THAT YOU WON'T HAVE TO MAKE CARDBOARD SHOES.

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By Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 30, 2012
The West Desert...it's not just for climbing, suck...
johnL wrote:
Hopefully Aerelli chimes in on that. It seems step 4 would be the ideal scenario for muscle hypertrophy. If it's effective it seems pretty simple and painless.


Well, interval training that taxes whole body systems probably isn't the perfect recipe for shrinking muscle mass, although it is probably more effective than traditional resistance training (even high rep r.t.). Also, I think HIIT is more likely to reduce leg mass in terms of dropping body fat (although you certainly cannot target any specific area of your body to do so).

Although I totally understand what you're saying with regard to dropping more weight, I'm not sure I completely buy into the idea that dropping 5 lbs of non-inert mass in your legs is going to boost you that much. I'm not saying it's not possible but I don't know. You may be near the point of diminishing returns.

All bodies build mass differently. Some people build mass even from endurance training. Some people can lift like mofos and have a hard time putting it on. In general, though, endurance training builds smaller fibers (as you mentioned).

I think the suggestions of total immobilization, shark attacks, or bone-and-muscle-eating cancer in the legs are about as good as it gets. ;-) I definitely dropped mass in my legs in the past when I was so busy and stressed (and broke) I barely ate and had little time to really work out much. For me personally, though, this wasn't a long term strategy to climbing better.

Your best bet is to be hungry more often and stop doing big approaches (especially those involving uphill and downhill slogs and boulder hopping) with any kind of heavy pack...or try Delta Bravo's suggestion. 15 minute approaches to climbs requiring only micro gear (while your buddy carries the rope) will be ideal. :-)




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By Nate Reno
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Apr 30, 2012
Ellingwood Point Summit, Little Bear in the backgr...
Most every article on the interwebs I've read, tends to suggest that HIIT type workouts are best for preserving muscle mass while reducing fat, where doing steady state longer distance cardio, you're more prone to losing muscle mass along with fat loss. I don't know which would be better for the purposes of this conversation, or if what bf% you're currently at would be a determining factor in which to choose.
This is all assuming that you don't want to go the route of breaking your legs and rollin' around in a wheelchair for months - the consensus most effective method.

It appears as though mono is running, possibly uphill in his photo. Looks like that's the thing NOT to do unless you want some thick treetrunk legs like those =)

Hey Tim, when do you want to go climb? no homo! And none of that RRCoS slab stuff - too footwork-intensive, I don't want my legs getting too big!

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Apr 30, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
My two cents on the subject can be found here.

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By Nate Reno
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Apr 30, 2012
Ellingwood Point Summit, Little Bear in the backgr...
Monomaniac wrote:
My two cents on the subject can be found [here].

Next closest thing to doing absolutely nothing (wheelchair), is doing - nothing.

Didn't know you had a blog, that's going to kill at least 1/2 an hour at work tomorrow, score!

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By MorganH
Apr 30, 2012
johnL wrote:
This thread is going to get hilarious with the bullshit answers given but I bet a little good advice will come up. Most of you are probably going to think I've got a problem, I do, it's just not this one. I'm skinny already but I don't have the upper/lower body proportion of hard climbers my weight. I have leftover legs from my triathlon, or cycling, or even pedicabbing days. Fact is, I don't need them. Bird legs would get the job done and I'd be lighter. I don't have giant muscular legs and they certainly have shrunk since I quit racing several years ago. What's a good strategy to cut weight on the legs? It's got to be muscle, I'm well under 10% body fat, I don't have the good fortune to drop fat. I can be as light as 137 and as heavy as 145. I average 140. So how then do I drop 5 off the legs?


Isn't there some apocryphal story about Tony Yaniro rolling around in a wheel chair for six months so that he could send Grand Illusion?

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