Posted 22 November 2011 by Laura Jeanne

Get A Toned Firm Physique:

Tips By Laura Jeanne

Don’t be afraid to lift heavy

I don’t know how many times you have to see it before you believe it, but here it is ladies – you aren’t going to bulk up and become a she-hulk overnight if you start incorporating heavier weight training into your workouts. Sorry, but it just won’t happen. Push yourself in the gym, train hard and don’t be afraid to build some muscle. You’ll look and feel better, not to mention one of the nice benefits of having more muscle is that you’ll burn more calories throughout the day. So put down those silly 5 lb weights and do some serious work!

Switch up your workouts

Good muscle building workouts incorporate a variety of exercises, muscle groups and set variations. We’re only human, and tend to fall into a pattern and stick with what we like/are comfortable doing, but a stagnant workout is not beneficial to anyone. When you reach the point where you’re just going through the motions and not pushing yourself, it’s time to switch things up and try something new to stimulate muscle growth.

Supersets & dropsets are your friends

Along the lines of switching things up – this girl loves her supersets and dropsets! ☺ try adding some to your workout today. They really get your muscles pumping and you’ll feel the burn in ways you never thought possible…and love every second of it!

Cardio intervals

News flash, people: when it comes to cardio, walking on the treadmill for an hour is not only extremely boring, but also terribly inefficient. You won’t see any results from doing that day after day, especially if your goal is to lose weight and lean out. Step your game up and start doing high intensity cardio – sprints, plyometrics, etc. Any form of high intensity interval training will push you harder, burn more calories and complete your workout quicker.

Always maintain proper form

Nothing irks me more than when i see men and women lifting improperly. It doesn’t matter how much weight you can throw around; if you’re not using proper form you’re just asking for an injury. Not to mention you look like an idiot. Too many people have no idea what they’re doing yet don’t bother to ensure they’re lifting correctly, then complain when they aren’t reaching their goals or seeing results. Proper form is very important when hitting the weights, or any exercise for that matter.

Ask for help

Stop guessing if what you’re doing is right – ask someone who knows. If you see someone doing an exercise you’d like to try or aren’t sure you’re doing something correctly, ask about it. Approach them when they’re in between sets or exercises and ask what they’re doing or if they can show you how to do it. Chances are they’ll be more than likely to help; just because gym rats look like big, bad meatheads, doesn’t mean we’re scary! ☺

Make sure to eat

When creating a trim and toned physique your diet is just as important, if not more so, than the physical work you put in at the gym. Don’t forget to eat! Many people believe the common misconception that if they skip a meal or two, it will help them lose weight and get skinnier faster. Wrong! Think of it this way: if you have a shiny new 2012 shelby mustang, are you going to fuel it with regular gas? I don’t think so. So if you’re doing intense workouts, why would you fuel your body with only half the amount it needs to get the job done? Don’t skimp on eating, and make sure you’re consuming the right amount of healthy meals every day. Also, remember to stay hydrated.

It’s okay to cheat

You can’t maintain a super strict diet 24/7; your body will eventually adjust to what you’re eating and the results you’re seeing will slow. If you have cravings (and who doesn’t?) Once in awhile it’s okay to give in and enjoy a cheat meal. Trust me, it won’t hurt you. And it’s a great treat.

Get motivated for the right reason

I’m all for cutting out magazine articles, pictures of your fitness idols, whatever you see that inspires you to work out. However, it’s important to be motivated for the right reasons – because you want to better yourself, not become someone else. I found this quote the other day that I love: today, I compare myself to one other person: me yesterday. Don’t look at images of fitness professionals and become depressed and distraught your body doesn’t look the way theirs do, even if you’ve been training for a long time. Weight training is a marathon, not a sprint. And everyone is built differently. Certain physiques are more easily attainable for some people, while others will never achieve those same results. So don’t freak out if you bust your butt, eat right and still don’t have the same rock hard abs as your favorite fitness model. Focus on your body. The changes you are making, the improvements in your physique. Set smaller goals that are obtainable to keep your motivation level high, and make it happen!

Enjoy it!

In the end, it comes down to simple common sense - if you aren’t doing something you genuinely enjoy, you most likely won’t stick with it. If you want to get fit but being in the gym every day is not for you, find something that is. Whether it’s kayaking, jogging, hiking, weight training, boxing, swimming or something else, find an activity that you truly enjoy. And have fun with it! Chances are you will do it for longer and be happy to do whatever it is that’s keeping you in shape.

Written By Laura Jeanne

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