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Can Too Many Squats Make a Woman's Thighs Too Big?

author image David Arroyo
David Arroyo is a 20th level nerd with specialty classes in fitness and arts. After getting his Master of Arts in English from Florida State University. He became an A.C.E.certified trainer and health coach. In addition, he completed the Crossfit Kettlebell certification. When not consumed with writing, he's pursuing his purple belt in BJJ.
Can Too Many Squats Make a Woman's Thighs Too Big?
A woman doing a squat at a gym. Photo Credit: dolgachov/iStock/Getty Images

There are lies, and then there are zombie lies. These are myths that will not die, no matter how many times you shoot them in the head. No one knows why they exist, but when it comes to fitness, they're lurking behind every squat rack. One of the biggest zombie lies is that too many squats will make a woman's thighs too big. Let's talk about why that's just flat out wrong.

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Squat Facts

You could do a million squats and still not have huge thighs.
You could do a million squats and still not have huge thighs. Photo Credit: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Squats, weighted or otherwise, will boost muscle strength. Part of this boost comes from an increase in muscle size. It is also true that weight training will stimulate increased levels of growth hormone and testosterone. However, the American Council on Exercise states that the vast majority of women, possessing lower levels of testosterone than men, simply don't have the capacity to walk around with massive, bulky legs. It's not about the squats or any exercise in particular. It's about the hormones.

The Actual Effect of Too Many Squats

Don't fear strenuous lifting.
Don't fear strenuous lifting. Photo Credit: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

While squats may make you sore and maybe even cranky, too many squats are far more likely to lead to a breakdown in muscle tissue than anything else. Over-training will spike your cortisol levels; elevated amounts brought about by reckless training will eat away at muscle tissue. What qualifies as too many squats depends on your fitness goals. If you just want to work on getting strong keep the reps low and the intensity high. Sets of three to five repetitions for three to six sets will work wonders. High repetition routines are useful for building muscular endurance, just don't do them every day.

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