How To Tone Up - Female Edition
4 Tips for Building a Toned Female Form
How To Tone Up: Is there a secret your favourite toned female isn’t telling you?
A lot of personal trainers and coaches would say NO. That there is no secret. A lot of personal trainers will also tell you that women are just mini men and should train exactly the same. They will tell you that the only difference is hormones - however, I’m not like most trainers, so you can take a breath of fresh air and relax into your chair as you take this all in.
In fact, I disagree (the science also disagrees), and I believe that in a few specific ways, men and women need to train differently.
Firstly, whilst I agree that the principles of training are identical for both males and females - such as: ensuring you are progressing and improving. There are also a variety of factors that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to progressing.
Secondly, I never ever design training programs and nutrition programs based on some random idea of what you might be able to achieve. Rather, I build training programs around your lyfe and your goals.
If your goal is - How To Tone Up - I will make damn sure that your training gets you those results.
I may be completely wrong but men and women also have very different goals.
Females say - “How To Tone Up” “How To Lose Weight”
Males say - “I want bigger arms”
Having over 7 years of coaching experience and over 300 females helped, I’ve come up with the following list of tips & tricks to answer the question on every female's lips…
How To Tone Up
1. DON’T BE AFRAID TO LIFT HEAVY
Although I told you that men and women should train differently… there still remains certain aspects that stay the same. One goal that many females have is - “I want to be firm, toned, sexy & feel confident”. Look… the only way to achieve a look like that is to build some muscle and lift some decent weight.
How heavy and how often will depend entirely on your own goal - I have a lot of women I work with who’s sole focus is get stronger (INDEPENDENT LADIES YOOO). Some ladies just want to tone up.
For my clients who are looking to just tone up, neither lifting crazy amounts of weights or doing it every single day, just simply isn’t necessary. However… I do ask my ladies to commit to at least 3 days a week of lifting some strong ass weights, why? Because, once you’ve dropped the body fat, lifting weights will help you look sexy afterwards. Plus, a host of other health benefits.
I am hoping that all of you reading this is beyond the whole “I don’t want to get bulky - won’t lifting weights make me bulky?” And, it pains me to have to bring it up. But, chances are some of you are still asking that question in your head right now. So, I’ll lay it all out on the table right now for you.
Gaining muscle is a result of a few factors: training methods, dietary considerations, and - as alluded to above - individual hormones.
In terms of diet, it is exceedingly difficult - not to mention highly unlikely - to gain significant muscle mass without purposefully eating a caloric excess. This is why athletes and bodybuilders eat more than their daily energy needs: so that the excess will be used for the building of lean body mass.
Regarding hormones, women will always have a harder time putting on mass than men because of certain sex hormones; mainly testosterone. As a women, your testosterone levels are generally too low to make getting “too big” a concern in a short period of time.
So, if you do notice yourself putting on more muscle than you’d like, just lower your caloric intake, and tone down the amount of training a bit.
Speaking of training, that brings us back to my main point. Lifting adequate amounts of weight requires a structure training program.
Doing weird donkey kick-backs and waving your leg in the air like you just don’t care… isn’t going to help much with that toned body.
Would you laugh at a man doing a bicep curl with no weight in an attempt to grow his arms? YES! You are doing exactly the same thing for your bum!
To determine the correct weight you should be doing for an exercise, just pick a weight and see if you can lift it for anywhere between 8-12 reps. If you can do 3 sets of 12 reps with a weight, it is time to increase the reps. If you can’t achieve 8 reps… it’s too heavy.
So… don’t be afraid to lift weights!
2. You Need To Eat More Protein
Protein will not make you bulky.
If you want to maintain muscle mass (what gives you that toned look) whilst losing body fat, you are going to need to be consuming protein.
Along with weight training, protein is your best insurance policy against losing muscle.
Protein has a plethora of advantages that you will literally never have thought of:
Satiety - Protein helps you feel fuller for longer. If you feel fuller for longer, chances are you are going to eat less overall calories throughout the day.
Aids Recovery - Many of you females like to train regularly… you love a routine and you hate taking time away to rest. Protein will aid your recovery far more than anything else. Allowing you to get back to the gym and make even more progress.
Building Blocks For Muscles - There is no need to smash out the biology textbook right now… however, protein is the building blocks for muscle growth. Muscle growth = toned body. DO NOT PANIC… YOU WON’T GET BULKY!
A good minimum goal for daily protein consumption is 1g per pound of bodyweight. Some world class protein sources are:
Chicken, eggs, lean beef mince, lean turkey mince, cottage cheese, Greek Yogurt, whey protein, beef steaks, etc.
If you want some high-protein recipes CLICK HERE I am not a chef!
3. Sweat & Soreness Doesn't Mean Anything
If breaking a sweat got you toned, I’d be the first one jogging on the spot in a sauna, wrapped from head to toe in clingfilm.
Sweat is a “cooling mechanism” for your body, and nothing more.
No… it is not fat crying.
I’m not saying avoid breaking into a sweat but, doing a workout to purely sweat MORE doesn’t mean you had a better workout.
Being sore also is a terrible indicator of how good a session was. If you’re sore, it’s because your muscles are adapting to whatever you just put them through.
Yes… it is nice to feel sore from time to time. A sense of achievement, but, there is a whole world of health and fitness that you aren’t even considering right now and sometimes… being sore shouldn’t be the goal.
If you want to get sweaty and sore… go and do 1000 Bodyweight squats as fast as possible then jump straight into 1000 walking lunges. You’ll be sweaty and sore.
It doesn’t take much skill or thought to achieve that.
Getting toned does!
4. Group Exercise Classes Are Doing Nothing For You
Yoga… doesn’t sculpt your muscles. It’s great for relaxing, flexibility and mobility.
Spin… doesn’t define your legs. But, it’s great for heart health and muscular endurance.
Zumba… doesn’t melt body fat. But, it’s great for general fitness and fun.
Body Pump… doesn’t tone up. The weights are light and you just prance around. But, it’s great for getting people moving to begin with.
EMS Classes… don’t tone you up faster than weight training. They are a gimmick and one you shouldn’t waste your money on.
HIIT Classes… are never actually HIIT, they are more just interval sessions. But, great to burn some extra calories.
When I say these classes are a bit “eh”, I don’t mean as a whole. They are enjoyable, challenging and provide fun for people who aren’t ready to step foot in a gym yet.
I specifically mean “eh” for getting toned.
The class’ marketing may tell you otherwise, and the instructor may look great…
But, most group exercise classes are good for improving cardio, conditioning, and muscular endurance. Which can be mildly helpful for toning up, but, it’s certainly not the most efficient way.
Obviously, there are a handful of exceptions. But those are rare and all involve proper weight training.
To create a toned and defined look like J-Lo… it is going to require consistent training for long periods of time.
You can’t just go from busy mum, eating garbage and doing the odd Body Pump class to J-Lo in 12 weeks.
That simply doesn’t happen!
That being said… you can make massive amounts of progress. Following the 4 points above will answer the question of:
How To Tone Up
If you can follow the 4 points above consistently for long periods of time… let’s start with 12 weeks. You’ll start to see amazing progress.
Because… I now this is a difficult situation to comprehend, I am going to do something very stupid…
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