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These are actual, real-life emails that I received all this week from Tone and Tighten readers! If you’ve followed this site for any length of time you know that I love to do a lot of workouts that require some sort of resistance – be it from bodyweight or using actual resistance. Strength training is a GREAT way to sculpt lean muscle, increase metabolism, and take your results to a whole new level. Today I wanted to answer these emails and explain to you how to get big and bulky and why Tone and Tighten workouts are exactly what you need to … well … tone and tighten!
The short and easy answer to the question is “it depends”. The results that you are going to see aren’t dependent on whether or not you’re lifting weights; rather how you approach weight training. The majority of the workouts that I have posted on Tone and Tighten are designed specifically to sculpt lean muscle, shred fat, and boost metabolism (however – I may be on to something; a sister blog called “Big and Bulky”. I am going to look into that…). In regards to hitting the weights, there are primarily two different lifting styles that exist:
Get big, get bulky. I think the common misconception with the “big and bulky” idea is that it will happen immediately. “As soon as I start lifting with weights I am going to get huge.” If, by some miracle, this happens to you – immediately contact your local health department or nearest professional sports team. You’re going to be worth millions. The truth is that putting on pounds of muscle takes work… a lot of work. The prevailing principle in increasing muscle mass is low reps, high sets. Aggressive muscle gain entails 5+ sets of each exercise including reps of 10, 8, 6, 5, 3, 3 with increasing weight each time up to 90% of your one rep max (max weight you can lift once during and activity). In addition, packing on pounds of muscle is really dependent on your eating as well. During peak bulking sessions it’s not uncommon for weightlifters to eat their bodyweight in grams of protein in addition to a 4,000+ calorie diet. Most people simply don’t workout this way. They take more of the following approach…
Tone and Tighten – A strong muscle is a tight muscle, while a weak muscle leans a little more to the flabby side. The majority of exercises that I recommended in my physical therapy clinic, as well as pretty much all the workouts that I design and post here on Tone and Tighten, are designed to increase muscle strength without necessarily increasing mass. The key difference is the recommended number of sets and reps. Muscle tone is increased by performing high repetitions of an exercise and low sets. We’re not doing sets of 10, 8, 6, 5, 3, 3 with increasingly heavier loads of resistance; rather we’re doing three sets of 10–20 (even upwards of multiple minutes) of primarily bodyweight and lower resistance exercises. This type of exercise is an amazing way to increase muscle tone, muscle strength, metabolism, and burn fat. When your body is in shape and your muscles are strong; your metabolism is increased – therefore you burn more calories even at rest. The “flab” and “jiggle” starts to look and feel “firm” and “strong”. As you workout more with resistance your body burns the fat that are hiding your muscles – you will start to notice more tone and definition but not bulk. All of a sudden you start to become the whole reason why you started following this site … toned and tightened. 🙂
So try it out! Lifting weights / performing bodyweight exercises are the best way to increase strength and muscle definition and take your results to the next level!
Need some workout ideas? I’ve got you covered! Click the following links to be taken to workouts of your choice:
Looking for some great workouts AND help with healthy eating? Tone and Tighten’s 8-week workout plans are just what you need! I have two available: the Beginner Workout and Advanced Workout programs! These ebooks contain over 50 workouts each, delicious healthy recipes, and everything you need to Tone and Tighten! (Click the pics below to be taken to more info about the books)
Make it happen,
By Jared Beckstrand