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Build muscle to look lean and toned

In a previous post I debunked the myth that weight training will lead women to look big, bulky and masculine. Ladies, if you want to lose weight and look lean, toned and sexy then you need to build muscle.

Build muscle without fear

The first important thing you need to do is let go of the ill-conceived idea that you will end up looking bulked up. This is not true. Many women are driven by this fear, which leads them to training incorrectly and ineffectively. As a woman you simply don’t have the testosterone levels required to build large muscle mass. I can’t say it enough: you will not bulk up.

Build muscle correctly

An effective training program is based on a solid foundation of proven strategies and techniques. Of course, it goes without saying that the best way to get a program that is tailored to your body and your needs is to enlist the help of a qualified personal trainer. This way, you’ll be expertly guided through a custom program that takes the following four factors into account in order to help you build muscle.

  1. An overloading stimulus is essential.

This means that you need to lift heavy weights on order to challenge your muscles. If you want your body to look toned, shapely and well-defined then those 2kg dumbbells are simply not going to cut it. Your muscles need to be pushed beyond what they have previously experienced. That is the only way you will start to see results.

2. Rest between workouts.

Too many women fall into the trap of doing a lot of intensive cardio between their weight training sessions. Doing more that a few cardio sessions a week will inhibit your ability to develop lean muscle. One day a week should be a rest day with no training whatsoever.

3. Follow a balanced nutritious diet.

There is no place for starvation. If you want to build muscle then you need to eat sufficient calories on a daily basis. Otherwise, you won’t be providing your body with sufficient fuel. You need a balanced diet of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats in order to give your body the nutrients it needs.

4. Aim to build muscle that is leaner and longer. 

Aim for approximately 8 to 12 reps per set. Give yourself short breaks between reps and exercises. This is a good general guideline to follow to build muscle that is lean and long.

It’s time to step off that treadmill and start lifting!

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