When most women talk about getting ‘toned’ they mean they want visible muscle definition, with little fat covering it up. This requires a 2 step process.
Step 1: You need to develop the size of the muscle cells to provide shape
Step 2: You need to reduce any excess body fat that is covering up the muscles
Here how you do it!…….
1) TRAIN WITH WEIGHTS
Muscle increases the metabolic rate and also reduces body fat. It increases how much fat you burn by up to 93%. It also increases insulin sensitivity so your body is better able to handle carbs, which is very important for long term weight management.
2) DO COMPOUND LIFTS
Multi-joint compound lifts that use the largest muscles in the body will gain the best results. These include squats, lunges, deadlifts, stepups, presses (bench & overhead) rows, and pulldowns or chin-ups. Alternate between upper and lower body or agonist/antagonist exercises (bench followed by rows) to reduce rest and get the most out of your training time.
3) DO HEAVY LIFTS
Heavy means 60-80% of the maximal amount you can lift. This = reps ranging from 8-15 per set.
4) PLAN YOUR TRAINING INTO 4-6 WEEK PHASES
When you overload your body by lifting heavy weights you’re not accustomed to, it causes changes that safeguard your body from injury, fat gain and muscle loss.
Every 4-6 weeks you should include an ‘intensification’ phase in your training where you lift weights above 80%. You should use weights that you can only do for approx. 3 reps before failure.
5. TRAIN INTERVALS
Sprint intervals work wonders on body composition by stimulating muscle and reducing excess body fat because they raise your 24-hr metabolic rate due to ‘afterburn’ effect. They also increase hormones and enzymes involved in fat burning.
6. AVOID SEVERE CALORIE RESTRICTION
The body responds quickly and unforgiving when you slash calories below your resting metabolic rate, slowing metabolic rate, conserving calories by slowing metabolic rate in order to preserve fat stores.
This means you want to get an estimate of your resting metabolic rate and then bump that number up to cover energy burned in incidental activity and during workouts.
7) GO HIGH PROTEIN
Protein is more important when your goal is leaning up and increasing muscle. It blunts hunger, manages appetite and reduces insulin, making it easier to create an energy deficit and burn body fat.
It also stimulates the body to repair tissue and increases muscle cell size. By giving the body the protein and calories it needs to recover from hard training, you can maximize the ‘toning’ process for the greatest body composition gains.
If you’re not seeing changes in your body composition and are following the RDI, it might be time to gradually and progressive increase protein intake.
8) TIME YOUR CARBS
It smart to eat your carbs at opportune times. Eg. Have carbs post-workout rather than at breakfast. This increases the likelihood of carbs being stores as fuel in muscle tissue (glycogen) than as body fat.
Dinner is key time for healthy, non refined carbs. Eating at this time will increase sensitivity of neurotransmitter to release feelings of calm, serotonin and help you unwind to have more restful sleep.
For women cycling carbohydrate intake is also beneficial. Having a higher intake on training days and eating fewer on off or low volume days can see great effects.
9) EAT HEALTHY FAT
When women avoid dietary fat, they often experience hormone imbalances because the body uses the cholesterol provided in fat to manufacture hormones. Adequate androgen hormones (testosterone, estrogen) are crucial for muscle recovery and also affect metabolic rate.
Balancing cortisiol levels is keep for stress management and reduction of fat around the waistline.
10) COPE BETTER WITH STRESS – GET ENOUGH SLEEP!
Lack of sleep and stress increase cortisol levels in the blood. This leads to fat storage, muscle breakdown and increased hunger cues to the brain. Coping with stress will pay off by improving sleep so you are fully recovered each day and by making your daily reality a more productive, pleasurable experience.
Best Part? This is exactly what we can help you with here at KMJ. Give us a buzz on 0432840518 to find out how.