Leg frustration

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 10, 2011 1:14 AM GMT
    About 3 years ago, I tried desperately to gain weight. I religiously ate 6 to 7 meals per day, coming out to around 3,500 to 4,000 calories per day. I was seeing very little weight gain, but was definitely seeing progress, mostly with high weight, low rep workouts. After about a year, I had gained around 10 lbs. I looked and felt better. After that point though, I just wasn't gaining any more weight. I went to the doc to make sure everything was fine, and was told I was very healthy. I was also walking several miles per day (I like to walk / bike vs drive), and already have a fast metabolism.

    So the next year, being as eating so much was very costly, I gave up hopes of gaining weight until my metabolism slowed down. I haven't eaten like that in about 2 years, and have now moved to an area where I cannot afford to go to the local gym. At $70 / month for a small "workout studio," it's just not feasible. I've looked around, and the local 'gym' is the only game in town. I live in a resort town, so that type of thing is to be expected. However, I live out in the mountains, where I've got ample opportunity to exercise outside, which I take advantage of daily.

    I snowboard, skateboard, mountain bike, go trail running, hiking, etc. This is fine and great if I'm looking for cardio, but I'm needing something with intensity. To be honest, lifting weights repetitiously bores the living dog shit out of me. I used to try and psych myself into liking it, but I never really have. However, I saw footage of my legs the other day on someone's GoPro camcorder, and I wondered just how I was able to walk. Saying they're pencil-thin would be a compliment to how scrawny they are. The snow season just ended, and after snowboarding 3 - 5 times per week, they're still toothpicks.

    There are a few obstacles that I am trying to overcome. All of the sports that I enjoy require cardio. Tons of it. I understand that this will be a problem when it comes to trying to gain weight, but it's something I'm not willing to sacrifice. My budget is pretty low, so food sources have to be cheap (potatoes, chicken, frozen veggies, noodles, etc). With no access to a gym, I realize this may hold me back a little, but hell, I live in the mountains, so there has to be SOMETHING I can do to work my legs. There are plenty of opportunities to walk / run / bike uphill.

    What type of leg exercises would you be doing if you were in my position? For now, I'm trying to work my budget to where I can afford to eat more, but it seems like biking is the only sport that I can do to really try and pack on muscle for my legs. I don't rock climb much anymore, so I can afford to gain a little more weight, but experience has shown that I'm not working my legs well enough, and the weight goes toward my upper body and mid-section while leaving my legs feeble and frail. Suggestions are more than welcome!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 10, 2011 5:21 AM GMT
    "I snowboard, skateboard, mountain bike, go trail running, hiking, etc."

    That's how I built up my legs. Maybe it's different for different people, but for me, high repetition and high fatigue exercises really made my legs grow. Maybe try adding a little more intensity to your trail running? Pick up the pace. Or whenever you hit a hill or an incline, haul ass to the top. Also, re-fuel your body right after and get those carbs/nutrients back into your leg muscles.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 10, 2011 5:52 AM GMT
    You're 6'1". What's your inseam? I have rather long legs and it's hard for me to put mass on them. My calves especially are oddly long. It's just how it goes for longer muscles.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 10, 2011 5:55 AM GMT
    Have you considered a tire sled? Pretty cheap and easy to make (seemingly) but could be a great leg workout.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 10, 2011 1:32 PM GMT
    My inseam is 30". My legs are pretty long, and my calves seem really high up on the lower half of my legs. I'll try picking up the pace more when I'm trail running. Biking season is just getting started, so that intensity will build up over the next few weeks when the trails dry, but I haven't tried dragging a tire or sled. It might also make sense to start adding more weight to a backpack when I'm out hiking and trail running... Haven't tried running with a bag on, but when I go on backpacking trips, my legs feel slightly sore when I've got the tent, pot/pan, avy gear, etc.
    I'm sure the top priority is eating more, and what I eat. I don't have a strict diet that I follow, but I'd say it's somewhere around 20 - 30% protein, 60 - 70% carbs, and 10% fats.