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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I make my leg muscles bigger?

    I have always been a very tall and lanky male (24 years old) and would like to start off by increasing the muscle mass on my legs as they look like chicken legs. How do I do this? I already eat a lot
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  • Brad McGregor

    Exercise Physiologist

    Brad is an exercise physiologist specialising in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Clients include Workcover Qld, Commonwealth Rehabilitation Services and other private insurers. He has worked with athletes … View Profile

    I think the first thing to appreciate is the face that we are all born with a certain somatotype (body shape) & regardless of training, we only have a certain range within we can manipulate our form depending on our somatotype. That is, a very stocky, muscular individual will certainly be able to decrease fat mass through proper training & nutrition, but they will never look like an African marathon runner.

    However, the ability to manipulate form within the limitations of your natural somatotype depends on how you plan & implement a well thought our regimen of resistance training & nutrition. In term sof the lalter, don't just focus on the total caloric intake. Also consider the type of calories & the timing of their ingestion. Some recent work in this area has suggested that as long as the nutrition around training is optimal, you can be in caloric deficit & still increase lean muscle mass. This has to do with the stimulation fo the MTOR pathway that leads to protein symthesis after a weight training session.

    When putting together your training program consider the training variables of exercise type, exercise order, tempo (speed of movement), volume (sets & reps), recovery (between sets & exercises) & the big one…intensity. Hypertrophy is best achieved between 65-85% of 1 rep max. Remember growth hormone is up-regulated when lactate levels are high so the recovery between sets needs to be minimal.

    The American College of Sports Medicine release position stands & the one on resistance training guidelines for healthy young adults might be worth a look.

    Good luck,

    Brad

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