A Cambridge personal training post by Callie Durbrow
Everyone wants more muscle tone right? Not in the weird body-building kinda way, but in a nice, lean athletic kinda way….
Not only does muscle tone look REALLY good, but it’s also super helpful when it comes to losing fat. You see, muscle is a very active tissue and burns calories really fast. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be (which means you’ll burn calories while you’re just going about your day). Burning calories while you sleep 🙂
So without further adiu, here’s the top 10 best ways to get more muscle tone….
1. Set a goal for your training- so many people just go through the motions but you’ve got to have a goal. Think of a GPS, if you don’t have a starting and ending point you have no way to really get where you’re going. Same with training, don’t just walk into the gym and do whatever. The best way is to get involved in a focused Cambridge personal training program. Start today, not next week, not next year….it only gets harder….
2. Have patience- creating a healthy and effective training program requires patience. The right program will never be a quick fix. Sure, you can see good results quickly, but it takes a consistent effort of strength, conditioning and intervals and nutrition in order to reset your metabolism and get your burning calories in a rapid way.
3. Sleep at least 8 hours each night- So many people miss the boat on this simple fix. When you get enough sleep it helps to lower the cortisol levels in your body (the evil stress hormone that can lead to excess belly fat). This also helps you maintain energy for better workouts (this leads to better results!) and you’ll just feel better
4. Drink LOTS of water- Drink 1/2 of your body weight (in pounds) in ounces each day. For example if you weigh 140 pounds you should drink 70 ounces. This helps reduce bloating, keeps your muscles flushed and primed for training and helps you avoid overeating
5. Consume a post-workout drink- Keep your calorie burn going with a post-workout drink. 8 to 10 ounces of low fat chocolate milk after your training and workout sessions. This helps keep your metabolism running at warp speed (studies show that an intense metabolic workout like we do at Durbrow Performance Training will keep your calories burn at that high level for up to 36 hours post workout). The chocolate milk gives you the perfect amount of carbohydrates and protein. The liquid digests quickly and gives you a great nutrient pump to the muscles.
6. Don’t Overtrain- more is not always better. Give your body 1-2 days of recovery each week to recharge the muscles and nervous system. Your muscles get stronger and rebuild when you rest, not when you work out (this is the breakdown phase)
7. Change Up Your Training Plan- Switch up your workouts every 2-3 weeks to avoid hitting plateaus and getting bored. This also gives you the best benefit physically as your body responds quickly to certain stimuli. Switching up the routine will help you get faster results.
8. Add some heavy weights to your training- Don’t get stuck in the “light weight, high reps” path. Lifting heavy weights with perfect form helps to burn more calories, develop more lean muscle and challenge several muscle groups at once.
9. Eat breakfast- start off your day with a good protein and carbohydrate mix to fuel your body for training and daily tasks. Skipping breakfast can actually lead to fat gain an overeating
10. Avoid steady state cardio- cardio training will not change your body composition. You may lose weight but you won’t necessarily lose fat and gain lean muscle like we want to. Instead add some sprint intervals, jump rope, kettlebell complexes and hill sprints into your training plan. These workouts take less time, burn more calories and boost your metabolism to burn fat while at rest.
Don’t fall into the trap of lifting light weights, doing boring steady cardio and eating only diet foods. Fuel your body with nutritious foods, lift heavy weights and sprint!