"Toned" is the ultimate goal of most women.
They want to be toned, have nice arms, firm butt, legs and a flat tummy.
Well, first of all, let's learn something about the word toned. Toned is simply the appearance of muscles under your skin. The appearance comes from a lower body fat percentage. Not the widely spread thought of "The only way you can look like that is if you do a hundreds of sit ups, squats, donkey kick backs, flutter legs and bicep curls right?"
To lower body fat and increase lean muscle, you must look at your diet and what you are doing in the gym. The appearance of being toned is that of having less body fat. Going to the gym equates to about 4% of your day. Its what we do with the other 92% in our day that'll assist with your success in becoming toned.
To assist with developing your muscle and lowering your body fat you may like to look into weight training. Building lean muscle assists with our fat burning ability. When you have more muscle in your body, your metabolism is sped up as it works hard to repair and rebuild your muscle fibres that you broke down in that 4% of the day - burning calories as it does so.
So where do you start?
You don't know what to do in the weights room? Here are some tips to get you started.
Pick a program:
Reps in the 1-5 range is primarily used for strength training and will assist with dense muscle.
Reps in the 6-12 range build a somewhat equal amounts of muscular strength and muscular endurance.
Reps in the 12+ range build muscular endurance and size
Focus on your main muscle groups first.
Squat - dumbbells for beginners, back squat with a barbell once you have your form correct. Kettle bells are also great - try sumo squat and front squat.
Dead lifts - dumbbells again are great for anyone, barbells with heavier weight once you are able.
Lunges - dumbbell in each hand, variations include overhead with a plate (working on your core and stabilising muscles), holding a bar in front rack position, or bar overhead position, walking or static.
Bench press with dumbbells until you are used to the movement and build up some strength. Comfortable here? Move onto a barbell.
Incline press with dumbbells.
Push Ups - Great body weight accessory exercise for your chest day.
Shoulder press - dumbbells seated, standing or barbell standing for advanced.
Lateral Raise - dumbbells raising laterally to your body, can be standing or seated.
There are many many many more ways to train shoulders, but these are good for beginners.
Pull ups - assisted for beginners, working up to strict for advanced.
Lat Pull Downs - Using the machine, great strength work to develop ability to do pull ups.
Seated Cable Row - Keeping a firm upright back with chest out, squeeze your back each repetition.
Chin ups - assisted for beginners, working up to strict for advanced.