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How big are 28 inch quads? (see how your thighs compare)

Learn why people have 28 inch quads with and without weight lifting.
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 30th January 2022
A bodybuilder flexing his 28 inch quads

28 inch quads are well above the average quad size—even for bodybuilders.

28 inch thighs are so big, in fact, that you'll likely struggle to find clothes that fit if you have 28 inch legs.

Besides a ridiculous amount of weight lifting, what actually causes a man or woman to have 28″ thighs?

Some people just have genetically muscular legs for one.

But having genetically muscular legs alone is unlikely to take your thighs to the 28-inch mark unless you also store a lot of body on your legs. So, unless you're a serious weight lifter, the combination of muscle and fat is likely the reason for your 28 in thighs.

Are 28 inch quads big for men who lift weights?

A bodybuilder flexing his 28 inch thighs

It doesn't matter whether you squat 3 plates or 4 plates; 28 inch quads are massive for any kind of weight lifter (except perhaps IFBB pro bodybuilders).

Now, the shorter you are, the bigger your 28 inch legs will look.

Conversely, the taller you are, the smaller your 28 inch quads will look.

This is simply because when you have shorter femurs (thigh bones), an equivalent amount of muscle mass is spread over a much smaller area. As such, your legs will look bulkier, and you'll have a more prominent quad sweep if you're on the short side.

This is not to say, of course, that 28″ quads won't look big and impressive on a guy who's taller than 6 feet because they most certainly will. It's just that they'll look bigger and more impressive on the short lifter for the reasons mentioned above, that's all.

How big are 28 inch thighs for a woman?

Close up of a woman's 28 inch thigh circumference

It's no secret that many women are concerned with the size of their thighs. But is having big thighs such a bad thing after all?

According to a 7-year study that examined 19,885 US adults, smaller thighs actually led to an increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. [1]

Other research shows that small thighs could lead to insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes. [2]

So unless your thighs are a sign of other health problems, such as being obese, then it seems unlikely that having 28 inch legs is a problem.

This is especially true if your waist is relatively slim and you just so happen to store a lot of your body fat on your legs.

Who has 28 inch quads?

While there are many professional bodybuilders who have 28 inch quads due to a lot more than just their diet and training, there's also an example of a German cyclist who built his genetically-gifted quads with diet and training alone.

Robert Förstemann, who squats more than 600 lbs, has colossal 28 inch quads.

To put this into perspective, you'd never be able to buy off-the-peg jeans and pants if your quads were 28 inches.

Some people speculate that Förstemann has myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy. [3] It's unclear if this is the case because he notes in an interview that big legs run in his family. [4]

How can you build 28 inch legs?

A bodybuilder training his 28 inch thighs

Most people simply don't have the genetics to build lean 28 inch legs.

Of course, if you're willing to bulk up to a higher body fat level, then natural 28 inch thighs may be within your reach.

After all, a combination of thigh fat tissue and quadriceps muscle mass is the most common reason for men and women having 28 inch legs.

Throw some heavy squats into the mix, exercise your patience, eat your protein, and you probably have a decent chance of building your thighs significantly.

How can you reduce your 28 inch thighs?

A female stretching her 28 inch legs

Slimming your thighs comes down to lowering your body mass and ensuring that you don't train your legs too hard.

Weight loss only occurs when you're in an energy deficit.

To get yourself into an energy deficit, you need to eat fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight.

If you intend to exercise a lot in order to slim your 28 inch thighs, however, then you may be able to maintain your food intake and trigger an energy deficit by simply increasing your activity level.

Just make sure that you eat enough protein so that you can preserve your lean muscle mass while shedding fat. [5]

In terms of exercise, it's best to lay off the heavy weight lifting if you want to make your legs smaller.

Stick to bodyweight squats and cardiovascular exercise, such as running, walking, and hiking, until your thighs are at a size that you're satisfied with.

The verdict: Is it bad to have a 28 inch thigh circumference?

A woman with 28 inch thighs working out

Many weight lifters would love to have 28 inch quads because quads are basically the new abs at this point.

Squatting heavy on a consistent basis—with quad-focused technique—is your best bet for sculpting attention-demanding 28 inch legs.

Most lifters, however, simply don't have the genetic potential to build 28 inch thighs without bulking up to a considerable body fat level—one that could significantly obscure your muscle definition.

There are also some women who have 28 inch thighs which, as mentioned, is often because females tend to store more fat on their legs than males. Add in genetically muscular legs and resistance training, and you can see how some ladies have 28″ thighs.

References

  1. Chen, C. L., Liu, L., Huang, J. Y., Yu, Y. L., Shen, G., Lo, K., Huang, Y. Q., & Feng, Y. Q. (2020b). Thigh Circumference and Risk of All-Cause, Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Mortality: A Cohort Study. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, Volume 13, 1977–1987. https://doi.org/10.2147/rmhp.s264435
  2. Olsen, D. B., Sacchetti, M., Dela, F., Ploug, T., & Saltin, B. (2005). Glucose clearance is higher in arm than leg muscle in type 2 diabetes. The Journal of Physiology, 565(2), 555–562. https://doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2004.081356
  3. Myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy: MedlinePlus Genetics. (2022). MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/myostatin-related-muscle-hypertrophy/
  4. RIDE Media. (2012, August 1). Robert Forstemann Interview. https://www.ridemedia.com.au/past-issue/robert-forstemann-interview/
  5. Stiegler, P., & Cunliffe, A. (2006). The Role of Diet and Exercise for the Maintenance of Fat-Free Mass and Resting Metabolic Rate During Weight Loss. Sports Medicine, 36(3), 239–262. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200636030-00005
James Jackson
James Jackson is a personal trainer who uses his expertise in strength and conditioning to create helpful workout tutorials that show fitness enthusiasts how to build muscle while staying safe in the gym. He draws on the latest sports science data as well as tried and tested training techniques to get the best results for his clients without them having to live in the gym.
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