How to get toned:

Going to your weight lifting class every day and still not seeing results for all of that effort?   Well, its most likely your class that’s holding you back.

I know many people who go to the gym and spend an hour in weight class.  Most of them, if not all of them don’t tend to change much.  Why is this??  Well, first off, there is no reason to be lifting weights for an hour!  Your body only benefits from around 30 to 40 ish minutes of exercise.  After that, its just on cruise control.  You’ve at that point burned all you can burn of your muscles  and they need a break.  Then there is the fact that you are doing the SAME thing every single day.  You will never see a change in your body this way.  There is such a thing as muscle memory and when you do repetitive movements, those tricky little buggers are so accustomed to those moves that they stop working as hard.  They say “oh, I know this move. we do this one every day.  its no big deal”.  Then there is the fact that a majority of the class is focused on muscle isolation.  In my opinion muscle isolation doesn’t tone you, it bulks you up, and that isn’t what we want.  Have you ever seen a guy with a huge chest and arms only to notice that he has toothpicks for legs??  Muscle isolation.  He spends his majority of his gym time doing bicep curls and bench presses.  We want balance, we want lean definition so we need muscle confusion.

Muscle confusion is just as it says…confusing your muscles.  Opposite of weight lifting class.   Some days you do heavy weights at low reps, some days you do lighter weights and higher reps.  Some days you don’t lift any weights at all and work on intervals on the tread mill.  BUT I think the most important part of getting toned is gymnastics.  Not doing flips and vaults.   Body weight movements.  Squats, lunges, push ups, pull ups, planks, hand stands, ring dips, up downs, mountain climbers, sit ups, box jumps.  All of these are core stabilizer exercises.   So, here is what a typical week should look like

Monday- combining weight lifting and cardio…example:  4 rounds of 15  (heavy-ish) back squats and 1/4 mile run ( for squats start with a 45lb barbell, add weight if you’re comfortable doing so. for the run, map it out in your neighborhood, or hop on the tread mill)

Tuesday- combining gymnastics and weightlifting….example: 3 rounds of 25 push ups, 25 weighted walking lunges and 25 sit ups.  (for lunges try to use 15lb weights in each hand and go up in weight if possible)

Wednesday- just cardio…example: head to the track and do 8 200meter sprints with a 1 minute rest in between.  And sprint means running hard!

Thursday-  Take a break!  Do some yoga or some slow cardio

Friday- gymnastics- 5 rounds of 10 up downs or burpees, 15 pull ups, 20 air squats

Saturday- cardio, weights and gymnastics-  example: 2 rounds of 800M run, 25 shoulder press (heavier weight) and 60 second hand stand hold (against a wall)

Sunday- Take a break!  Yoga or slow cardio

So you see, you can mix and match these all the time to be different every week.  Make a list of cardio options (biking, swimming, running, rowing, jump roping) Make a list of gymnastics and make a list of weight training movements.  (back squat, front squat, cleans, deadlifts, over head presses etc.)  Mix and match these movements up through out the week, from heavy weight to light weight, from high reps to low reps.  It will take some trial and error and STUDY as you try to get it down (unfortunately I don’t have the time right now to go through all of these movements and explain how to do them.  I plan on throwing some tutorials in in the future, but if you want to get started now, I suggest that you go to youtube and find tutorial videos on how to do these movements correctly.  They can be very dangerous if done wrong, so make sure that you start light and practice form until you up your weight.  example search on youtube would be “crossfit deadlift tutorial” etc.)  And one more important point.  None of these exercises should be done on a machine!  Doing weighted squats is NOT the same thing as doing a leg press on a machine.  The whole purpose of using free weights is to stabilize yourself and get a full body workout!  Machines just isolate and that is not what we want!

There you have it!!  Now go get in shape people!!


6 thoughts on “How to get toned:

  1. I like the workout and the idea of muscle
    Confusion. I workout everyday at the gym and
    Don’t see any changes in anything. I’ll try that! Any way I can get more info?

    • Thank you! up downs are also called burpees. Its basically going from a squat to kicking your legs out to a push up and then back up again. you can look it up on youtube if you need a visual.

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