I do a lot of high intensity interval training with a client 3 days per week. Mostly multi-joint combo moves, but there is a lot of lunging, squating, and tabatas, TRX and spin. Her legs are actually bigger after a month by an inch. Can you suggest another way to get the cardio in besides elipticals, crosstrainers, spin. I have been doing all of this.
Your question is kind of tricky to respond to.
Of the many things one has to consider when responding to your query, this is what came to my mind:
1. Are your circumference measurements accurate? Did you take the measurements at the same time of day? Did you use the same anatomical landmarks? Did you take the measurements pre or post workout? Did you use the same tape measure? Did you take it at the same time of the month? This is pivotal especially if she is a client who still ovulates.
2. Is your client new to exercise or is she a person who is experienced? If she is experienced and became inactive, let’s say for a few months, can hypertrophy be as a consequence of muscle memory?
3. What was her body fat percentage? If one is going to measure increases in lean muscle tissue, one should also measure decreases in adipose tissue.
4. Remember you get what you train for. SAID principle. What are your client’s goals? If you want a body that looks like you train for cardiorespiratory endurance then your workouts must be specific to cardirespiratory endurance. If you want a body that looks like you train for power as in short distances, sprints, etc. then you train in that manner. Please look at the thighs of individuals who run for distance and the thighs of individuals who run for speed.
5. Not to be forgotten is the genetic component.
6. You mention that you do a lot of “lunging, squatting and tabatas” and use ellipticals, cross trainers and spin for cardio. My question to you is how much time are you spending doing cardio as opposed to the resistance training. Also training volume must be taken into consideration. What does your client do after she leaves you? Does she enjoy exercising independently? What is her occupation?
Lisa, I personally think you only need to apply the science of training for muscular endurance if you want to avoid hypertrophy.
I do hope this helpful to you and I wish you the best.
I realize this question was asked quite a while ago, but I feel like answering anyway! 🙂 I personally have this issue with my quads….when I do the type of training you are referring to, they get bigger as well and it’s very frustrating. It’s completely genetic. The simple solution, and what works for me: avoid weight use on legs completely and use only body weight for legs (or light ankle weights for floor work). Do lots of repetitions instead. If doing the bike or ellyptical for cardio, aim for speed and use low resistance. Do martial arts type workouts as well.
Circuit training and running should do the trick. Genetics play key role here and it seems that your client’s quads respond ‘very well’ to resistance training. Maybe you could incorporate some sprints as well. Another way to get the cardio in and avoid any serious impact on the quads is to do some swimming.