So you want to look lean, slender, and fit.... BUT you just want to "tone" up and not "bulk" up. Does this even exist?? What is the difference really or is there one ? So many women use the word "tone" as if it's a different than lifting weights. The myth states that lifting light weights for high repetitions will "tone" the muscles, whereas lifting heavy weights for lower reps will "bulk" the muscles.
The message being portrayed is that any man or woman interested in
looking like a fitness model on a magazine cover should stick to light
weights, because heavy weights should be used for those who wish to
look like bodybuilders. WRONG !!!
To change the muscle you
need to CHALLENGE the muscles. There is no such thing as spot reduction
of a certain area just like you need to lift heavy enough to create
changes or they just won't happen!
Muscles appear defined when
there is little excess body fat surrounding them and they are regularly
exercised. Resistance training is one exercise method that can increase
their size and tone. Resistance training should be designed to increase
your current strength by thoroughly working your muscles by lifting and
creating an external force on your muscles!
When you think of
muscle bulking, you might think of huge bodybuilders lifting heavy
weights in a gym downing protein shakes.But in order to increase the
size of your muscles you don't have to move into the gym and drink
protein shakes all day. Like toning, muscle bulking requires strength
gains, but from newly grown muscle fibers. Every time you lift you are
creating tiny tears in your muscles. This causes inflammation and then
muscle repair increase muscle size.
You have to stimulate your
muscles to grow by adding weight training to increase additional
fibers. In order to increase muscle growing a few factors need to be in
place. A proper diet full of fresh foods and lean proteins, six to eight
hours of sleep every night and a resistance training routine that
targets the specific muscles and overall fat loss will ensure your body
to tighten and create nice shapely muscles.
You may be hesitant
to begin resistance training for fear of developing large muscles. The
male sex hormone, testosterone, is vital when bulking up. Women
naturally have very low levels of this powerful hormone compared to men.
Lifting weights, even if they are HEAVY, will not make you look like a
If you are a woman and building muscle is your
goal, increase your daily calorie consumption by 350 calories of clean
foods and focus on strength training. IF gains in muscle size is your
goal, keep cardio limited because your body needs excess calories to
grow more muscle.
If you want to build a lean muscle, make sure
to include regular cardio exercise along with strength training to
challenge those muscles. The less fat your body stores the "leaner" your
Do NOT fear the weights!!! Challenge your body
every time your in the gym and change things up!! Try using higher rep
ranges at a moderately heavy weight and other times push yourself at a
heavy weight !!! Always check your form and be careful when lifting
heavy weights alone. The best advice for beginners is to use machines to
start before using dumbbells !!!