When talking to women, I often ask them what their fitness goals are. The majority of responses revolve around two answers:
Losing a little weight and body fat
Gaining a little muscle tone
Many women think these are two different goals, but that’s not always the case. In actuality, they are more alike than you may realize.
TWO MISSIONS, SAME RESULT
Ironically, by attempting to improve your body in one way, you could automatically help it in the other:
Gaining lean muscle mass boosts your metabolic rate, which helps in reducing body fat
Losing fat by training helps to build lean muscle and make muscles more defined
By understanding how certain exercises can yield the results you desire, you can reach your fitness goals that much quicker and not fear different training styles.
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
Unfortunately, not everyone knows this important bit of information, and it can be costly. By shying away from exercises, you believe aren’t beneficial or won’t help you achieve the results you desire, your results could suffer. This causes a large percentage of people to become frustrated and want to give up.
It’s easy to assume you’re not working hard enough, but that may not be the case: It’s not a lack of effort that’s holding you back, it’s not doing the right exercises. Did you know there are many exercises that can you do to lose body fat and gain muscle at the same time?
While eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water are keys to eliminating excess fat, exercise plays an important part as well. Here are the top exercises that burn fat and build lean, shapely muscles simultaneously:
Yoga can be effective for both weight loss and building muscle. Faster sequences can raise the heart rate, providing a brisk cardiovascular workout. Many of the poses (such as the Downward Dog) require you to hold up your body weight, helping to increase strength. Yoga can also stimulate lean muscle growth.
We all know cycling is an excellent aerobic exercise, but it is also a great way to strengthen and tone the calves, thighs, hamstrings, and glutes.
WEIGHT TRAINING/CIRCUIT TRAINING
Many women shy away from weights, but it is one of the best ways to lose fat as well as strengthen and tone the entire body. This is where circuit training comes into play: Perform each exercise with heavy weights and don’t rest until you have completed one loop of the circuit. By not resting between sets, you increase your heart rate as you would with cardio, and stimulate lean muscle growth simultaneously. The key here is NOT to use light dumbbells as they won’t give you the results you’re after!
Rowing is a low impact, high-intensity exercise that not only burns calories, but it is also an excellent full-body workout. If you row for 30 minutes, you can burn up to 300 calories.
HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING
HIIT exercises consist of short periods of intense anaerobic exercise, followed up with lower intensity recovery periods. The average HIIT sessions last less than 30 minutes and target many muscles in the body. It is estimated that you can burn 250 calories in just 15 minutes, with more calories being burned for up to 24 hours or more after the workout.
POPULAR HIIT WORKOUTS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
Fat loss and muscle gain go hand in hand. By opting for exercises that maximize the benefits of both, you’ll be one step closer to reaching your fitness goals.