Are you a cardio bunny?
Do you head straight for the cardio machines at the gym, giving the weight room a wide berth?
If you do, you might struggle to get your dream body.
I do know how you feel.
I was always a bit scared that hitting the weights would develop my love of standing in front of a mirror a little too much. That it was reserved for muscle heads only.
So I stuck to the cardio machines with a bit of token weight training thrown in afterwards.
You know the token, a round of the weight machines. Pretty light weights, about 20 reps per machine.
But the thing was, despite exercising regularly and eating healthily, my body wasn't changing. In size or appearance.
So what was I doing wrong?
Well believe it or not, staying away from the weight room was the problem.
I wasn't building the muscle I needed to get the physique I dreamed of.
When you say you want to look toned, you know you're really talking about muscle right?
Muscle is firm and shapely. Fat is soft, wobbly and full of dimples.
So the toned look you want is really muscle. By building muscle and burning off the fat that covers your muscle you will get the look you desire.
Building muscle means training with weights. Weight training for fat loss is vital.
Barbells, dumbells, kettlebells, weight machines, even body weight, whatever you fancy. Just make sure you get resistance training into your plan.
It does have to be a serious weight training session though. Not the token gesture that I used to do.
Make sure the weight is heavy enough so that 12 reps are tough. You should be getting between 8-12 reps and if you get more, crank the weight up a touch.
So can body weight really be enough?
Any body weight exercise can be made tougher if you find 12 reps too easy. Slowing down the reps, single limbed versions, squats or push ups, raising your feet. All ways to make those 12 reps really sting.
I know you don't want to look like a man. You want to retain your feminine curves.
And I promise you will.
Women don't have enough testosterone to build muscle like men do. Actually we have about 20 times less testosterone than men. Which means we're not physically able to build muscle like men.
If you are getting bigger, it's more likely to be your diet than the type of exercise you're doing.
If you're eating too much, you'll get bigger. But that will happen no matter what exercise you're doing.
My first piece of advice would be to get some help.
If you're new to weight training, get someone to show you proper technique. I would always advise you go to a professional rather than some guy at the gym who might be happy to help.
I'm not saying they won't know their stuff, but if they do have any bad habits you'll likely pick them up.
Just like getting your dad to teach you to drive when you're 17. Yes, it's cheaper, and yes it's more convenient. But will you get the best tuition and pass your test the first time? It's unlikely.
Despite best intentions bad habits do start to creep in. So it's a good idea to start off with good form.
Secondly, stick to exercises that are going to the most effective.
They are exercises that use the most muscle groups. Also known as compound exercises.
Squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press. They all use big muscle groups. That means they use more calories and as a result, burn more fat.
Bicep curls pretty much only use your biceps. Not so many calories burned there.
So don't be afraid of the weight room.
And if you want to pose in front of the mirror more, go ahead.
If you want help putting together a plan, or want some advice on technique, contact me.
© e-Slimmer 2021
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