So, you’ve got goals to tone up and tighten your body in all the right places?
I get it.
But where do you start?
Personally, I know that after scrolling through Facebook for just a few minutes, I get absolutely bombarded with all sorts messages and opinions urging me to ‘try this diet’, ‘do this class’, or my personal favourite “DON’T EAT THESE 5 FOODS…”
All that good stuff, right?
But what if you could cut through all the garbage information out there to be left with what actually changes and tones your body?
Wouldn’t it be great to just click your fingers, like these headlines promise, and instantly have a jaw-dropping figure?
That’s why I cut the b****it and created The 7 Tenants of Toning Up, where each tenant is a proven element to changing your body.
No fluff. Just straight out action steps.
However, don’t try to implement them all at once if you aren’t doing all of them currently. Take this one at a time, and be successful along the way. Each step you take is one step closer to building that toned body. Once you build each tenant into your lifestyle, you are bulletproof.
Without further adieu, here are the tenants:
Category 1 — Training
Use Proper Resistance Training
Weight training does a woman’s body a world of good. You can’t achieve a lean, toned muscle look without actually using them. I say ‘proper’ resistance training because a lot of women slug it out at the gym with light weights and pump classes but look the same month after month.
You need to lift more challenging weights if you want your lean muscles to build anyway.
WARNING: Adding weights to your routine like you are in a pump class is a no-go
As an industry professional, the form of movement in classes like this at globo facilities calling out for an injury to happen and is flat-out cringe-worthy.
Learning the right technique and body movement is crucial to getting results.
If you are new to this, a smaller more closely guided environment is probably necessary.
So, how do I get started?
Step 1: Take another look at your training days.
Assign 2-3 of your sessions per week dedicated to proper full-body resistance training where you are pushing yourself each session with CHALLENGING weights and CORRECT technique.
Step 2: Utilize a progressive-overload with resistance training.
Proper resistance training, as mentioned in step one, needs to include the important principle of progressive overload.
What is progressive overload? Basically, it’s a fancy phrase meaning: do more over time.
If you start off by squatting a 5kg weight, aim to be on 10kg in a fortnight. Then move to 20kg in another fortnight. Or, if you can only do 8 reps, try get to 12 with the same weight next time you do it.There are endless ways to progress, but if you are doing the same things week in and week out, your body will plateau in progress and changes to your body will be close to minimal.
Step 3: Keep track of your progress.
Keep a journal of your workouts and ensure every 1-3 sessions you are increasing your weight or reps of an exercise. Not only will it keep you accountable, but it will be a reminder to see how far you’ve come.
Step 4: Do high-intensity cardio work.
The weights/resistance training build that lean looking muscle tone, but it’s pretty hard to do that effectively when you get puffed out after 5 reps! This is where some cardio or conditioning work plays its role.
Longer, steady-state cardio work can certainly do the job, but I personally prefer a more efficient approach.Try higher intensity sessions but for shorter periods of time.
Our small group sessions hold this focus and go no more than 45 minutes, complete with a warm up and stretching. This can be bodyweight exercises, interval work on machines, run/walk intervals you name it.
Step 4: Put some HIIT into your workouts
Aim to smash out 1-3 Higher intensity sessions a week that last 25-45 minutes, which means HARD bursts of work combined with rest.
Category 2 — Nutrition
Increase your protein intake
Protein keeps you both full and is the key building block for your making muscles! Protein helps you recover from workouts so you can come back stronger. It really doesn’t need much more hype or proof — put more protein into your diet!
What are the steps?
Step 1: 2 is better than 1
At every major meal, try to have 2 palms worth of a protein source. Don’t forget high protein snacks like whey protein shakes, cottage cheese and tuna.
Step 2: Eat your vegetables
Mum was right, you need to eat your veggies. Aim for 5 serves, around the size of two fists of colourful veg in 2-3 of your daily meals is easily the most underrated habit for changing your body. You’ll naturally eat fewer calories and have more energy. Once again, the benefits outweigh the hype — just get it done.
Category 2 — Lifestyle
Catch those zzz’s
40% of adults don’t reach the sleep recommendations amounts that many experts lay out.
When you fall short of this, your energy plummets, cravings increase and you overall as a person will be less motivated.
People eat 20% more calories without even realising it after a few nights of lackluster sleep.
Sure, certain periods of life can force a little sleep deprivation, but stay proactive to get rest no matter what. Look for little ways to improve what you are doing, it will add up and make melting that fat 10x easier in the long run
De-stress every day
Stress is a wild card when it comes to losing fat and toning up. I’ve worked with clients that are seemingly doing everything right, but chronic stress gets in the way. Too much of the hormone cortisol tells your body to hold onto whatever fat it has and get rid of muscle.
A big no-no if you ask me.
How to be at chronic stress is well outside the scope of this blog, but maybe take a step back to at least get some awareness of your overall lifestyle.Then start with a small step in the right direction.
Step 1: Lucky 7
Aim for 7 hours of sleep a night, doing your best to make it uninterrupted and deep sleep.
Step 2: More YOU time
Make YOU time throughout each day for de-stressing. Perhaps a 20-minute walk, taking it slow and use this time to de-stress, all while burning some extra calories.
There it is, the blueprint to building a toned body laid out before you with action steps ready to go.
So, take action on these steps and by the time summer rolls around, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how those summer outfits fit.
Committed to your long-term fitness success,
The Body Shapers