Create Your Best Body Through Strength Training
I used to be a cardio junkie, and I wondered why I couldn’t get that leaned out look. I was torching calories every day and rotating between dance classes, running, and cycling, but everything still jiggled. Then, I started researching strength training. I cannot believe the changes I saw in my body within the first month of adding strength training workouts 3x a week. Since starting strength training 4 years ago, I have also become a Beachbody coach. I’ve personally tried the workouts I mention below. If you decide one of the workouts I mention is right for you and you order through this website I will get credit for that order.
I worried about bulking up, but as women, it’s really hard to gain heavy amounts of mass to our muscles like guys can. Why? We don’t have that much testosterone which is responsible for some muscle gains. You can actually lose weight and inches while toning up your whole body through strength training. There are a few different ways to incorporate resistance training into your workout schedule though depending on your goals.
Strength Training Basics
- Your diet is 80% of your results! Make sure to figure out how many calories you are burning, how many calories you need to reach your goal weight/maintain, and follow a healthy meal plan.
- It’s more than vanity— As we age, your body starts losing muscle! Women over 30 need to be getting in 2-3 days of strength training to protect their muscles and body.
- Muscle helps you burn fat!! Just 1 pound of muscle burns an extra 250 calories a day! That’s the equivalent of being able to drop a pound of fat in a week! Chalene Johnson even uses the phrase for her entire ChaLEAN Extreme workout series…because it’s the truth!
- Short Workouts aren’t a joke — You can exhaust a muscle in a just a few minutes. Think about push-ups, you can do a set in about 5 minutes and feel the burn for days! If you have less than an hour to get a full body workout, check out ChaLEAN Extreme, the 21 Day Fix, or P90X3.
- Give Yourself Time to Rest — You want to give your body a day off each week from a working out. Also, with strength training you want to give your muscles a day to rest. The reason is when you train your muscles, you essentially are tearing little tissues in them. The day of rest allows your body to repair the muscle; that is what gives you the sexy shape you want in every muscle of your body! Work hard and reap the benefits during your rest days!
Choosing Your Strength Training Workout
First, you need to decide what your goal is.
To help you get an idea of what each type of strength training workout will do to your muscles, I’ve broken it down by celebrities. Remember that celebrities are just that though — celebrities. They are paid millions to look a certain way; I don’t suggest holding yourself to those standards by any means. The only reason celebrities are mentioned in this post is to give you an idea of what each workout can do.
Lean like Sofia Vergara
She has said she loves dancing and incorporating her strength training into her cardio workouts. She also does core work through pilates. Her cardio workouts help to get off any fat she has on top of her muscles and is essential to getting her body.
Your Ideal Workout At Home: 3-5 days of a dance or kickboxing class like, TurboFire, that gets your heart rate up while also using your shoulders, core, and legs all at once. The TurboFire schedule that incorporates strength training using multiple muscles at once with bands that will also help create those lean muscles you’ve been eyeing for so long!
Your Ideal Workout in the Gym: Zumba class is a great choice 3-5 times a week. Then, 2 times a week add in a strength training workout. To get lean muscles like hers, you will want to do more reps with less weight and work multiple body parts at once. Two examples would be doing a squat with an overhead press or a step-up and lifting your arms straight up 15-18 reps with a 3-8lb weight.
Get Toned Like Jennifer Aniston
Jen has worked with a Hollywood’s best yoga trainers and dietitians. She also has to keep her cardio schedule tight in order to keep her body in top form.
Your Ideal Workout At Home: 2-3 days of Yoga with 2-3 days of cardio workouts. I have tried a bunch of Yoga DVDs in the past, and I like Yoga Booty Ballet (STUPID name, but good workout!) I recommend Yoga Booty Ballet’s Master Series (which you can see if you hit “Shop” & then “Program”) because it hits your abs & glutes. With your cardio, it is best to get in some kind of sculpting as well such as running or an cardio program like TurboFire that incorporates toning moves for the abs, arms, and glutes.
*Hate Yoga even after trying it at least 4 weeks? Try out the Les Mills BodyPump DVDs! The strength training workouts use little resistance with multiple reps to shape every muscle to the max! It’s definitely the next step if you start this and decide to advance as well.
Your Ideal Workout in the Gym: 1-2 Yoga classes mixed with 1-2 Pilates classes for your sculpting. For your cardio, try a class or machine that incorporates resistance like a spin class or the stair master.
Get Sculpted like Cameron Diaz
Cameron is a super active girl that loves the outdoors and lifting weights to make her body strong. It is possible to get her body…and I feel like it’s worth repeating, you won’t bulk up! Women get leaner, tighter, and smaller with strength training!
Your Ideal Workout At Home: There are a ton of great strength programs out right now. Cameron & Sheryl Crow have both said in interviews they rely on P90X. The workouts are so effective because they use muscle confusion. This means as soon as the exercise becomes easier, the trainer creates a new workout to challenge you again in a new way. The program’s schedule is awesome because you don’t have to think about if your body needs strength training, cardio, yoga, or anaerobics (the level of cardio where you are huffing and puffing).
I also REALLY like ChaLEAN Extreme. It is also a 90 day program using the same concept of muscle confusion as P90X. I believe both are equally effective, but ChaLEAN offers shorter workouts (45 minutes usually) and a female trainer. Not sure which one is right for you? Here’s a post on how to decide between ChaLEAN Extreme & P90x or check out P90X3. P90X3 offers the same concepts in P90X with the same great results in only 30 minutes!
Your Ideal Workout in the Gym: Strength training workouts are vital! Choose 3 days to be your strength training days, and choose what body part you will work each day (i.e, Monday: Chest & Back, Wednesday: Shoulders, Biceps, & Triceps, Friday: Legs). You want to choose weights that are heavy and only allow you to do up to 12 reps. Two days a week get in your choice of cardio program. Your strength training workouts may be up to an hour long, but your cardio can be shorter (20-30 minutes).
Any strength training you do will help lean out your muscles, lower your body fat, and help you lose not only weight but inches.
Which type of strength training is your favorite?
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