I have been trainin with women who is pear shaped. Her trouble area and most unconditioned part of her body is legs & thighs. Our workouts are focused on leg/butt. We do alot of cicuits w stregthening, cardio & now plymetrics for her lower body. I train her at her home 2x a week. She lost 5 lbs (goal is 10)and lots of inches everywhere except for thighs (only 1 inch). Its been 3 months.
it is tempting to work ‘problem areas’ particularly hard in the belief that the fat can be bullied away. As you have already noticed, this is not the case, nor is a likely to. The body stores fat where it wants to, and it will withdraw from fat stores in the same fashion. While it is possible to spot-build, it is not possible to spot-reduce.
One thing I want to mention. You add in your comment to your question that your client suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and hypothyroidism. I am quite familiar with those and realize that rheumatoid arthritis can manifest differently in people. But as it is an auto-immune disease that attacks its own joints, I am usually very conservative in my training approach. Evidently, though, your client seems to tolerate the high-intensity training.