Get Lean | Eat Clean | Stay Keen

Written by Jamie Bantleman

How To Get Lean Legs

For those aiming for leaner legs there is more than just which exercises to choose from to ensure you reach your goal. The most important thing to focus on when looking to reduce body fat is your nutritional protocols.

When body fat is stored in the lower body it is usually down to an increased level in oestrogen, and when we have poor nutritional and lifestyle choices we store fat in the legs by the process called Estradiol.

leg workout

Tip 1:

Remove processed foods from the diet and reduce sugar intake. Although all carbohydrates are broken down into sugar, some have better health benefits than others. Carbs such as pasta. chips, bread and pastries are all going to be detrimental to your goal and should be avoided at all times, however using carbs such as quinoa and sweet potato are all good post workout nutrients. Eating around 1.2g Protein per lb of body weight us a great amount of protein to maintain a healthy diet, foods such as organic grass-fed red meat, chicken, turkey, eggs and fish are all key for maintaining a high level of quality protein. While carbohydrate intake is only used post workout, fats should be reasonably high. Healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, oils and fish are great sources. Finally, all meals should include vegetables, mainly green fibrous vegetables are the best things to eat for reducing the levels of oestrogen.

Tip 2:

Look at toxicity. The environment is key and decides whether or not we live in a healthy area. Xenoestrogens is a type of oestrogen that are found in some pesticides, fuels, drugs and plastics. These are things in which can create a hugely negative environment and increase oestrogen in the body. While we cannot always steer away from things such as fuels, pesticides and plastics, you should try to reduce the exposure to such things where possible and avoid things like drugs and alcohol completely.

Tip 3:

Train with weights, lift heavy and with intent. Often, I see gym go-ers spend hours on eliptical equipment, bikes and treadmills to ‘burn calories and lose some weight’. However a major factor in losing body fat around your lower body is to perform exercises such as Squats, Deadlifts, Olympic lifts, Leg Press and Leg Curls/Extensions.


Tip 4:

Ensure methylation pathways are in good shape, and the body’s immune system is able to work fully. Methylation regulates hormones, in particular, Oestrogen and Testosterone. Poor methylation can increase oestrogen. To avoid health risks of increased levels of oestrogen  you need to improve your methylation pathway by avoiding chemical exposure and heavy metals where possible. You can also aid the improvement in methylation by supplementing with zinc, b vitamins and magnesium.

Tip 5:

Improve gut health, good bacteria is vital, alongside plenty of healthy digestive enzymes. This allows you to process your healthy nutritional foods much better. Doing this will then allow your body to absorb the minerals and vitamins in which you give it.

how to get lean

Tip 6:

Increase sleep time, reducing your cortisol is key to help battle oestrogen at the same time. Sleeping well will do this as well as allow for your growth hormone to be better optimised and help the body repair and recover.

Tip 7:

Increase water intake, the minerals that the body takes through water allows the body to reduce toxicity in the liver along with the rest of the body. Water plays a huge part in allowing the detoxification process to work in a much more effective way.

how to get lean

An example of a training plan for Lower Body Day:

Order Exercise Sets Reps Tempo Rest
A1 Wide Stance Barbell Squat 5 40s 3110 10s
A2 Sumo Squat with weight belt and dumbbell attached 5 40s 3110 60s
B1 DB RDL 5 40s 3110 10s
B2 DB Long Range Lunge 5 40s 2110 60s
C1 High Step Up 5 20s each leg 2010 10s
C2 Banded High and Wide Leg Press with 10s isometric hold at bottom of movement 5 10 reps 3-10-0-1 60s

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye has a MSc in Sport Physiology and Nutrition, and puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. She enjoys a pun, and in her spare time loves dog walking and eating out.

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