Cardio is shorthand for cardiorespiratory exercise which identifies what it works on and improves. To gain and shape your muscularity you need to do strength training which is designed to work on that part of your physiology. Cardio is the least important component of a fat loss programme, the components in ranked order from most to least important are nutrition(diet), strength training and then cardio.
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Our bodies are cruel, but unfortunately they give us no say in where or how they will respond to the exercise we complete; your genetic makeup will determine which areas of the body will lose fat first, second, or last with no consultations from you. The input you can give is strength training to shape the muscles underneath fat, so as the fat disappears through food intake control, it will reveal shapelier, more toned, leaner muscle or reduce the profile because muscle is much more lean. A pound of muscle will be much smaller and more toned-looking than a pound of fat in the same area.
The other bonus to strength training and building up muscles beneath fat is that muscle burns fat even while at rest. Even while sitting, sleeping, and so on, you will burn more calories. When running a caloric deficit, you strength train to avoid losing too much muscle so you continue to get this benefit; as M@L described, your body naturally wants to burn muscle first, so you rebuild as your body burns it.
If your concern is getting a body-builder muscle volume, that is unlikely for women. Again, genetic makeup determines how bulky your muscles will be on their own accord, but most women that have the bulky-muscled look must work for hours at strength training every day, eating a specific mix of high protein to accomplish that look they want. The rest of us, as a rule and without putting in the hours and specific high-protein diet, will have leaner, more subtle muscle tone because our hormonal makeup is prone to that more naturally. If you want to go the extra mile to avoid bulkier muscles, add plenty of stretching and lean toning exercise types like yoga.
Answer: None. Cardio (stairmaster included) simply does not challenge your muscles enough to gain muscle. You will NOT gain muscle by doing the stairmaster.
And even strength training is not going to give you thick legs. It is very difficult to gain muscle while running a calorie deficit to lose weight, as the body tends to burn protein for energy rather than creating new muscle tissue. And without strength training, up to 25% of your weight loss can come from lost muscle, rather than fat. Given fat is considerably bulkier than muscle, (check www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=quiz_how_ much_do_you_really_know_about_fat for a great photo of this), this will actually result in fewer lost inches than if you included strength training in your program.
Weight loss is an all-body process, and cardio (of any kind) will not reshape your body. But if you want a smaller and leaner body, you should include BOTH strength training and cardio in your overall program.
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Cardio doesn't really do anything for spot reduction. However, strength training can give you a more desirable shape as you lose weight. There are many exercises to train the glutes. If you're looking for a shapelier butt, also known as "dat azz" (technical term), check out squats, lunges, deadlifts, glute/ham raises, bridges. Best one in my experience is barbell squats. Your mileage may vary.
So in a nutshell, cardio to get rid of fat from everywhere (your body decides where from), strength training to build and maintain muscle to achieve a desirable shape. You decide where and what you want to work (I recommend full body).
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Your muscles will grow in size if you strength train and eat at a calorie surplus but you will gain weight all over and some fat along with muscle.
If you're on a calorie deficit, you will be hard-pressed to see any muscle gain and are more likely to just maintain your lean muscle.
So basically, eating more will give you a bigger butt. Eating less will give you a smaller butt but it will also make you bigger or smaller everywhere else.
Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 6/15/2013 (08:25)
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Yes I said that...
I was asking if there was one cardio that was more likely to cause larger or smaller buttocks.
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12 6/15/13 7:27 A
I've been searching around and all I find is conflicting information on the internet. I KNOW that cardio will not target one area (and that's fine) but which type of cardio tends to make the buttocks area smaller & flatter, and which one makes you have a fuller butt/thicker thighs?
Example: The stairmaster really seems to make me sore the next day but I stay off of it a lot because I'm afraid I'll end up which thicker legs.
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