Do you want to be toned ladies?
When most females talk about getting “toned” they mean they want visible muscle definition with little fat covering up…resulting in sculpted arms, legs, abs, back etc. Well…what does it mean to want to get “toned?” Simply put…you need to develop the size of muscle cells to provide shape and reduce any excess body fat that is covering up the muscle.
Unfortunately, females often get sidetracked from these goals due to the bullshit misconceptions that women will automatically get bulky if they lift weight.
Females of Fighting Fit, here we will give you a few friendly reminders on why we program the way we do to help you get that lean & toned body you want.
The reason we encourage you to weight train, yes it will give you lovely sculpted muscle, but what you might not know is that it’s also highly effective at reducing body fat. Not only does muscle increase metabolic rate, but it increases how much fat your body burns by up to 93 percent. It also increases insulin sensitivity so that your body is better able to handle carbs, which is a major bonus for long-term weight management. Something we spoke about in a recent post.
We always add compound lifts as some of your best results will come from lifts that use the largest muscles in your body. This is why we include exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, floor press, military press and pull-ups etc. Alternate between upper and lower body or agonist/antagonist exercises (Squats followed by Prowler Push) in order to reduce rest periods and get the most out of your training time.
Don’t be afraid of lifting heavy ladies! By “heavy” we mean weights that are between 65 and 70% of the maximal amount you can lift. This correlates to reps ranging from 8 to 15 per set. For example, if you can squat 50kg one time, then you need to use a weight that is at least 33-35kg for your workout. This is why we safely plan your training in 4 to 6 week phases. Once you’ve put in some time and learned proper lifting technique…it’s only then when we will encourage you to go heavy. Girls, when you overload your body by lifting heavy weights you’re not accustomed to, it causes changes that safeguard your body from injury, fat gain, and muscle loss. The catch is that you only get these adaptations in the muscle fibers that get trained by being consistent and the only way to hit the highest threshold, “strongest” fibers…is to lift weights that are near the maximal amount you can lift.
Our interval workouts after our big lifts then work wonders on your body composition by stimulating muscle and reducing excess body fat because they will raise your 24-hour metabolic rate due to the “afterburn.” They also increase hormones and enzymes involved in fat burning.
Everyone knows that in order to lose fat, you have to create an energy deficit. However, the body responds quickly and unforgivingly when you slash calories below your resting metabolic rate, conserving calories by slowing metabolic in an effort to preserve fat stores. By starving yourself, the opposite occurs when your calories are scarce. Your body goes into survival mode and will store as much as possible. Get an estimate of your resting metabolic rate (RMR), and then bump that number up to cover energy burned in spontaneous physical activity and possibly energy burned during workouts. For example, a 5’2”, normal weight woman’s RMR will be in the range of 1300-1400 a day. We would never encourage you to go below this and believe it or not but you may need significantly more, depending on the level of physical activity and training you do. Don’t starve yourself!!
A lot of mainstream nutritionists focus on carbs for fueling exercise, but protein and good fats are actually more important when your goal is to lean up and increase muscle. First, it blunts hunger and helps you manage your appetite, while also reducing insulin so that it’s easier to create an energy deficit and burn body fat. Second, protein consumption stimulates the body to repair tissue and increases muscle cell size.
When women avoid dietary fat, they often experience hormone imbalances because the body uses the cholesterol provided in fat to manufacture hormones. Adequate androgen hormones (like testosterone and estrogen) are necessary for muscle recovery and they also play a role in metabolic rate and fat burning. Meanwhile, balanced cortisol (another hormone made from cholesterol) is key for stress management and fat reduction around the waistline.
We also know it’s important to stay away from refined carbs (bread, cereal, low-fat packaged shit) from our diets in favor of healthy carbs (vegetables, fruit, whole grains) but it’s also smart to eat your carbs at the most opportune times. For example, having carbs post-workout rather than at breakfast means they are more likely to be stored as fuel in muscle tissue (called glycogen) than as body fat. Dinner is another key time for healthy carbs because they will increase the release of calming, satisfying neurotransmitters like serotonin so you can unwind and get restful sleep.
We say this again and again cope with stress and get your ZZZ’s. Otherwise expect an increase of cortisol, which leads to fat storage, muscle breakdown, and increased hunger cues to the brain. You’ve got to find a way to get 7-8 restful hours of sleep a night. Managing your stress will pay off by improving sleep so you’re fully recovered each day and by making your daily reality a more productive and pleasurable experience.
After our Front Squat Phase for 3 max reps try this…
5 x Deadball Complex (Deadlift TO Clean TO Squat TO Drop)
10 x Burpee to Box Jumps
15 x Squat Jumps (bum must touch a wall ball)
AND just to finish off:
A few family prowler pushes and a dart up table top!