There is only one way to get a toned and lean body – lower your body fat percentage and build muscle.
In order for your muscle to show, you need to lessen the layer of fat sitting over top of the muscle. And you need to build the muscle definition and size with weight training.
But wait! “I don’t want to build muscle and look masculine,” you say; “I want to look toned and feminine!”
Myth: If I work out I, my muscles will get huge and manly
Myth Buster: Building Muscle is a Good Thing & Won’t Make you Big and Manly
Sorry to burst your bubble but is it nearly impossible for a woman to “bulk up” or build big “hulking” muscles like a man. It is simply science.
But what about the women you see on social media with these masculine, bulky muscles?
Chances are they are professional bodybuilders or fitness athletes using anabolic androgenic steroids, testosterone, and other ergogenic aids to achieve such a look. And they train and eat in extreme ways for years to achieve this look.
So, don’t worry. You won’t look manly and bulky unless you “really” want to.
Well then, how do I get lean and toned?!?
STEP 1 - Resistance Training
Resistance Training (n.) – “any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass and/or endurance” (eMedicineHealth.com).
Think of resistance training as anything that is strength training – weights, resistance bands, kettlebells, TRX bands, body weight exercises, etc…
And the ideal rep range is 6-12 reps - so use a load heavy enough so you are working hard within this rep range.
Benefits of Resistance Training
Burns more calories than cardio
- Studies show that resistance training burns around 100 extra calories over a 24-hour period than cardio training. This is because testosterone is temporarily increased as a response to resistance training, which increases your resting metabolism (but don’t worry ladies – not too much testosterone to make you look manly).
Builds feminine curves
- You want a tight, perky butt? Do deadlifts, glute bridges, and squats!
- You want toned shoulders and a strong back? Do shoulder presses, pull ups, and shoulder flies!
- Lowering your fat percentage and building up your muscles will get you a lean, firm, and tight athletic body that turns heads 😉
Strengthens Bones & Prevents Bone Loss
- One of the most important reasons for resistance training is keeping your body healthy. Studies show that women who lift heavy weights or do resistance training consistently for more than a year build strong bones and prevent bone loss as they age. So, don’t let osteoporosis become an issue and start training!
- The more lean mass (muscle, connective tissue and bones) you have, the faster your metabolism is. This means you can burn fat faster when you want to, and you can eat more when you are maintaining your weight. Both are great things!
STEP 2 – Lose Fat
To show off your strong, toned muscles you will need to lower your body fat percentage.
Ever heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen?” Resistance training will help with burning fat, but it won’t happen all by itself.
You will need to compliment your training sessions with proper diet, supplements, and recovery.
You can work out every day of your life, but if you are following your workouts with binge eating sessions of donuts, pizza and milkshakes, you won’t see the results you are looking for.
- Eating a clean, whole food diet is key. Not sure what that means, then check out these other articles we wrote to learn more:
- Basically, fill half your plate with veggies, a quarter of your plate with lean protein, and a quarter of your plate with complex carbs (and add a small amount of healthy fat somewhere). Eat every few hours, and eat until you are about 80% full. And don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking enough water!
- Today’s food is less nutrient-dense then it was just a few generations ago. This, combined with various dietary restrictions and lifestyle choices, makes it so that our bodies don’t always get all of the macro & micro nutrients it needs to run optimally from food alone. You may need to supplement your diet with various vitamins and minerals for optimum performance.
- Check out our blog: 5 Common Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies in Athletes & Fit Adults
- Supplements are substances used to “supplement” a diet. This could mean vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and more, and they can be very useful in ensuring you have the proper nutrition. However, not all supplements are created equal. Actually, the supplement industry is loosely regulated…so you need to be very careful what brands you trust. Quality is key!
- To learn more about our products, check them out at propellolife.com. We have information on our company, our products, and our passion to help you find your “healthy.”
- Also check out this article: Beginner’s Guide to Natural Active Nutrition Products
- Training stimulates your body to want to change (lose fat and build muscle). The food you eat provides the building blocks to make this change. And recovery is when it happens. It is important to remember to take time to recover so your body has a chance to make the magic happen!
- To learn more about how to optimize your recovery, check out our article: What is Recovery & Why is it Important?
Now is a great time to start!
Make a meal plan for the next couple days or week and plan out your workouts. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so take that first step and head towards the lean, toned body you’ve always wanted!
Don’t forget to take a “before” picture. The changes can happen so gradually that you won’t notice until one day you look back at that before picture and see a huge difference.
Get started now!