Sculpt Your Ultimate Body for 2018
What is “the perfect body”? For a lot of women, it means they want to lose fat and tone muscle without losing their femininity. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to exercise for women - too many think that eating as little as possible and spending an hour a day on the treadmill is the answer.
Fortunately, body sculpting for women is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the fitness conversation.
We want to break some of the myths and misconceptions you may have in your mind about getting fit. And, we’ll tell you a secret: You have to eat enough and you have to build muscle.
What Is Healthy Weight Loss?
Each year, more than half than half the women in Britain attempt to lose some weight. And only 5% of women claim to never think about their weight at all. That means 95% of women were concerned about the weight they were at.
Of those women who tried to lose weight, the majority chose to use exercise as a way to manage their weight rather than diet. And of those who chose to alter what they eat, almost half said they were cutting out dessert as their weight loss method.
Healthy weight loss isn’t a number on the scale. It’s about losing fat percentages and maintaining healthy lean muscle over the entire body.
But as women exercise more and cut down on sugary snacks, they end up losing more than just fat. They burn off muscle tone and water weight, which will slow your metabolism, making it extremely difficult to keep the weight off long-term.
Healthy weight loss is about targeting your body’s engine to burn stored fat, and build lean muscle at the same time. As you build muscle tone, you’re improving your metabolism to burn more fat. You’re telling your body to stay away from muscle and water weight and just lose at that fat.
What Does Cardio Do?
Cardio, which is just a much easier than saying cardiovascular exercise, is often used as a weight loss tool, when it’s really meant to improve your heart and lung capacity - so that when you train, your body can push more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles.
Yes, you will burn calories when you run, and yes you will see weight drop off if you’re burning more calories than you are taking in. But that’s not the entire picture.
That weight comes from everywhere.
Your muscles catabolise, meaning that your body breaks them down to access the stored energy inside. You lose water weight, which looks good on a scale but isn’t long-lasting at all. You also do burn fat, but not at the rate you would expect to lose it.
Cardio is a vital part of your workout, but we want you to think More Than Cardio. Because there are so many more effective ways to burn fat and get the body shape you want.
They say you lose fat in the kitchen and get fit in the gym. But what does that mean?
Body weight is, as the term suggests, your entire weight (Muscles, Bone, Organs, Fat). If you’re serious about losing weight, you need to think about losing fat.
Losing fat comes from two areas: Eating a balanced diet, and creating a healthy calorie deficiency. Those two have to happen together to see the maximum results.
A healthy diet comes from the right balance of all your macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats.
Your body needs protein to build muscles, carbohydrates to create quick energy, and fats to store vitamins and energy reserves.
To lose fat, you should first work out your Basal Metabolic Rate to determine how many calories your body needs right now to stay in homeostasis, or in balance. Then you can create a deficiency of 15-25%, focusing on reduced carbohydrates, but still eating a balanced amount to fuel your workouts.
Your diet should flex with you, so when you start training you should eat carbs to fuel that workout. You want to provide your body with fuel it needs without exceeding your BMR or that fuel would be stored as fat.
One of the biggest concerns we hear when women talk about strength training is that it will bulk them up.
Next time you’re at the gym, take a look around at all those guys who desperately want to get huge and can’t. And those female bodybuilders you’ve seen have spent years building that body, for that specific purpose, with an incredibly strict and intense workout and nutrition regimen.
You will be strength training to get leaner, not bulkier. And that comes from training smarter.
For one, you want to start strength training because your body needs an increased metabolism to burn fat more effectively.
1 kg of muscle will burn almost 15 calories an hour. So if you build an extra 5kg of muscle, you will burn through an extra 1800 calories each day.
The more muscle mass you have, the faster your fat loss will be.
If you are building muscle and still doing cardio, you will limit energy burned from muscle and focus it more directly on stored fat.
How Do I Strength Train?
Lift heavy things.
This is the most effective way to boost your metabolism and increase lean muscle mass. If you do big exercises like squats, deadlifts, and presses, you’ll activate myofibril hypertrophy.
Meaning that you’ll develop lean, dense, powerful muscles without building up bulk. The key is to do heavy weights with very low reps. Do 1 set of 5 reps at 85-90% of your max weight, and your body’s engine will crank up the heat on your metabolism.
- Overhead Presses
- Barbell Lunges
- Romanian Deadlifts
- Barbell Rows
Many trainers in women’s gyms offer advice to lift light weights for tons of reps. That activates sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. This is the bulking up of your muscles, looking bigger and fuller. If your goal is to look leaner, you should avoid this type of training. It doesn’t add as much strength won’t produce the fat loss results you’re looking for.
We advise that, regardless of which program you choose, that you start with heavy barbell, move to dumbbells, and then on to bodyweight and cardio exercise. Cardio is an essential part of any routine, but it can’t be the main focus, or you’ll end up doing more harm than good.
Tip: An added benefit of doing your Cardio at the end is that you’ve used up your energy stores lifting all those weights, now - with a low resistance, long duration run - your body will have to turn to your stored fat for energy.
Supplements For Fat Loss
Supplements are designed to aid you in giving your body the proper nutrition it needs - and shouldn’t take the place of a complete, balanced diet. But, when you workout you use a lot of energy and your body’s demands increase.
Glutamine: An energy source that also trims down excess body fat while preventing muscle catabolism.
Whey protein: Fast acting protein, best taken first thing in the morning and after a workout. Promotes protein synthesis to repair and build muscle, preventing catabolism.
Caffeine: A great metabolism booster. Taken 30 minutes before your workout will give you an added energy boost to help push harder.
Thinking More Than Cardio – Sculpt the Body You Want
If you’re finding that curvy, womanly body that you know you can have, we’re behind you 100% of the way. Education, persistence, determination and a bit of fun are your best tools in this journey.
Stay consistent, stay true to your goals, and you will see the results you expect.