I know that sounds like the most obvious thing in the world, but I’ve met so many women who still don’t get it.
Most women tell me they want to be lean, they want muscle tone, they want abs, nice shoulders, etc. I am going to tell you right now exactly how to get the figure you want.
First of all, we all have muscles. Some folks have bigger muscles than others just by their genetic make up. Some have worked hard to develop some muscles more than others. If your goal is to have lean muscle tone, then you desire the appearance of muscle with little body fat. If this is what you want, you must develop your muscles.
If you have a low body fat with underdeveloped muscle tissue, you are not going to see muscle tone or definition. Think, skinny arms, flat stomach, skinny legs, little butt, etc. If you have low body fat with developed muscles you will see a nice round booty, a side sweep of the quad, shoulder caps, abs, etc. But you have to develop that muscle!
This means if you just do cardio, cardio, cardio then you are not going to develop any muscle. Sure, you may lose fat, but you are most likely going to burn off muscle along with it. This is not going to help your case at all. If you do not work to develop muscle, and you do lose fat, then skinny will be your destination.
To develop muscle you must strength train. Of course body weight exercises will help greatly, but the problem is that your body will begin to understand what you are doing and it will stop reacting. You need weights to push your body, and you need to continue to increase the weight you use to challenge your body as well. This will help you develop muscle so that you can visually see it and you will appear toned!
This is just as important to people who are on a major fat loss journey too! Let’s say you have 40 pounds of fat to lose. If you start to eat right (you get your BMR, you are eating clean, etc) and you are doing 45 minutes of cardio 6 days a week you will shrink for sure. You will definitely lose fat. Without any strength training you will also probably lose some muscle too but either way, you will shrink. The only thing is that you will just become a skinny version of your former self, a body without muscle mass. This is a fear I have for many people who begin a major weight loss journey (think 60 pound + weight loss) because they risk having a greater amount of loose skin unless they increase their muscle mass.
Not to mention, the more muscle you have on your body, the higher your metabolism will be, thus you will burn more calories naturally each day than someone with less muscle mass.
So if you want to be lean and have muscle tone you have to eat right (according to your BMR, clean, non-processed foods, maintaining your blood sugar levels,) do the right kind of cardio (a variation of some steady state cardio and HIIT,) and strength train. You have to build muscle to see muscle.
If you need help figuring out a good routine I am here to help!
I will work with you one on one to get a routine down that will help YOU.
The Get in Shape Girl