Want to build some muscle and create a lean and toned physique? If you do, then you’re going to have to ditch the daily cardio routine and pick up some weights for strength training. For any physical changes to occur and increase muscle size, you will need to focus on high levels of volume with short rest periods. Increasing the intensity of your training as you progress will be fundamental to seeing results. I speak to lots of women that are afraid to lift weights as they don’t want to get ‘bulky’ – they just want to be toned. The ‘toned’ look that you see, admire and want IS muscle. So to see it you need to build it. The reality is that you can’t and wont build muscle doing cardio. You also need to eat a substantial amount of the right foods to ‘bulk’ up. So if you’re going to pick up some weight, KB/dumbbells/barbell, select exercises that target multiple body parts – multi-joint exercises. i.e. man makers, renegade rows, squat to press. You want to hit your shoulders, arms, chest, back, legs and core. The more muscles you use, the more calories you will burn. The amount of time you have to train will dictate the number of exercises you can get through. I would suggest spending UP TO 45mins per session on your weight training, plus 15 mins for a good warm-up and cool-down.There’s no need to spend any longer. Any longer and you’re risking overtraining. Plan your workout and keep your session intentional. Hit the following variables –
6-20 reps (big variable, dependent on the weight selected) Super heavy = less reps.
3-5 Sets / Rounds
75%-85% max effort weight – so quite heavy and uncomfortable! You’re last 3 reps should be a real struggle. If you are doing a high number of reps, the load will need to be lighter.
Perform your chosen exercises in a circuit fashion – performing 1 set of an exercise and then moving onto the next with as little rest time as possible between i.e. 12 reps squat to press > 12 reps renegade rows
Allow 1-2 minutes rest between circuits
Do circuit training every other day
These circuits will be intense and will build strength as well as improve your cardiovascular health. I like short and intense circuits that hit my entire body. IF IT DOESN’T CHALLENGE YOU, IT WON’T CHANGE YOU!!!
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Try this simple circuit out –
5 Sets / Rounds:
12 Dumbell squat, to press
12 Renegade Rows
20 Full KB Swings