Over the years many women have asked me about getting into shape and when I suggest Weight Workouts most say they are afraid of getting BIG! I've explained over and over that this is not going to happen unless they lift extremely heavy and increase calories greatly. Weight resistance is the best way to tone the body. Muscle is what gives your body shape in men and women. It doesn't have to be huge, just toned.
Lean muscle burns more fat in the body and the higher rep, lighter workouts will help this. Many women don't know where to start and I can lay out this routine for you but I also want to suggest that if you are in a relationship it's great to train with your partner. It gives you incentive and can also enhance your relationship. I have no problem training with a woman and in fact I find it invigorating.
Sharing knowledge of how this works is also very beneficial to helping through the workouts.
The best way to approach these workouts is keep in mind that you have several body parts to separate and work. For example I would pick 2 to 3 exercises for each body part and do 3 sets of around 12 reps. Chest and Back work well together.
Shoulders and Arms work well together as well.
You can do the entire body in one workout depending on how many sets you do. If it becomes a struggle then separate it into days such as, Chest and Back day one, Shoulders and Arms, day two and Legs day three. At that point you can start over after a day off. You can be the judge of what your body can handle but keep in mind that rest is also very important. You need your sleep.
Work your abs every day 100 reps of Jack Knife leg raises or just plain leg raises. I don't like sit ups as I feel they do nothing other than strain your back. Abs are a muscle like every muscle in the body, they too can develop and get large if you work them too much. This is not the answer to getting a six pack. That will come from dropping carbs and watching your diet.
Legs are the foundation of the body and supports everything so do not neglect them. I like leg extensions, leg curls for the hamstrings, leg press for strength and the shape the calves with calf raises.
Cardio is important but don't let it consume your workout. You really need only 20 minutes three times a week. Any more than that you will start burning muscle and defeat your goal. Inna does 1/2 Marathons once a month and this adds to her cardio work.
All these exercises will be demonstrated in the video at the end of this article.
When it comes to eating this will be the key for reducing body fat and leaning out the muscle. Remember we're going after the lean muscular look not the bulky bodybuilder look. So limit your meals to good protein, chicken, fish, lean meat, eggs and some veggies. I also like cottage cheese for a good protein source. Asparagus is great for losing water weight. Pick your meals one at a time and enjoy them.
Even when you dine out, you will learn there are many ways to order right from the menu. Today there are many options and menus are more fitness friendly.
Everyone wants a cheat day and that's okay as long as you limit it to one day a week. When I was competing in Bodybuilding, Sunday was everyone's cheat day and many would binge on eating pizza, ice cream, pasta and on and on. As you get older it seems to me that the desire to binge diminishes and it's only a matter of eating something for the moment then back on to the diet.
Ice Cream does it for us.
Here's wishing you much success in your goal and journey to a fit body. Be sure to watch the video below.
Ric & Inna
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