If you’re starting to feel a bit flabby and you want to do something about it, you need to build muscle. You see, toning up just means creating new muscle to take the place of fat and give you a slimmer, flatter appearance.
In order to turn fat into muscle – the kind of muscle that will result in your looking lean, toned and sexier than ever – you, therefore, need to start weight training. Weight training is the simplest way to turn fat into muscle and create a honed, toned body that the girls in the gym who only ever do cardio will be envious of.
Here are some tips that will help you get toned by using weights, in less time than you would imagine possible:
Repeat After Me
Everybody’s body is different, so it is hard to say how many reps any one woman should do to optimize their workout, but in general, doing 1-5 reps of strength exercises, 6-12 reps of hypertrophy exercises and over 12 reps of endurance exercises will help you to gain muscle more quickly.
Go Heavy or Go Home
Weight training can only help to tone you up if you are lifting a heavy enough number. What this number might be varies, but you should look to choose a weight which you can lift with the proper form for your lowest rep range and for no more than your highest rep range (12ish). You also need to increase the amount of weight you are lifting as you get more experience and build more muscle, or you will not continue to reap the same benefits.
Work Your Whole Body
If you want to get toned in record time, you need to make every movement count. You can do this by using ‘compound moves’ These are moves that use the whole body to get your fitter faster. These kind of moves will also ensure that muscle tone is evenly distributed across the body. Using free weights instead of machines will make the effects of compound moves even more impressive!
Join a Gym
If you are new to weight training, you might want to consider signing up for a Club Fitness Gym membership. Being in a place with other people who have more experience in doing the same thing you’re doing has many benefits. You can use the equipment you need without spending a fortune creating a home gym, you can ask for help with perfecting your form, and there will always be people around to assist you should you get into difficulty. Contrary to popular belief, most of the people who lift weights at the gym are a friendly bunch who are always happy to help newbies succeed in the activity they love so much.
Protein in the Morning
A lot of women tend to eat lightly in the morning, choosing fruit, oats, and yogurt for breakfast, but if you want to build muscle and tone up, this simply isn’t good enough. You see, your body can’t build muscle if you are in a calorie deficit and if you don’t eat a substantial breakfast in the morning, you will be in the minus calorie-wise pretty quickly. Instead, try to eat a protein-heavy healthy breakfast that enables you to pack in plenty of calories. Eggs, lean meats and tofu combined with a few healthy carbs, such as wholegrain oats and a bit of fat will set you right up for the day.
Twelve Week Check Point
As I mentioned earlier, you simply can’t continue to build muscle and tone up in the long term if you do not increase the intensity of the exercise you do, but neither should you try to up the intensity of your workouts too soon.
In most cases, reviewing your progress and adding weight or reps every 12 weeks will be sufficient enough to ensure you make good progress without stalling or injuring yourself by trying to do too much too soon. You should only ever do as much as you are comfortable with and perhaps ask someone more experienced to help you if you aren’t sure how best to progress.
Switch Out Your Carbs
One mistake many women make when they’re trying to tone up is to cut a whole food group out of their diet, and that food group is usually carbohydrates. But, the thing is, carbohydrates are great for fuelling their body, and when you’re doing a lot of exercise, your body needs plenty of regular food. So, instead of getting rid of carbs from your diet completely, simply switch them with healthier versions, such as sweet potato, nuts, and brown rice.
Did you know that your muscles are made up of between 70 and 80 percent water? When you are dehydrated, your muscles start to breakdown, and this can lead to you looking more flabby than fit. So, if you want to ensure that your hard work at the gym counts for something, you’ll need to drink plenty of water and supplement with electrolytes, as and when necessary.
Try Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings are one of the best exercises in the world, especially for those of you who want to tone up and lose weight. You see, when you swing a heavy kettlebell, you have to use your whole body. You will build muscle and burn fat, because Kettlebell swings are an anaerobic activity, and you only have to swing a bell for 5-10 minutes to burn 100 calories, which means you could burn around 1000 calories in an hour! It doesn’t get much better than that.
After a hard day at work followed by an intense workout at the gym, you deserve some me time, and you know what? It might just help you get even more toned. You see, when you are stressed out, the amount of cortisol in your body increases and since cortisol is responsible for storing fat in the body, despite your best efforts, you could end up looking less than lean as a result. So, take the time to chill out, watch a good film, relaxing a hot bath and get plenty of sleep – your body will thank you for it.