Strength Training/Toning without bulking
Thanks for your thoughts. I have recently started exercising at a gym. I need to lose about 10 pounds of flab and tuck everything in, but that's really ALL I want to do. I don't want to see any muscles visibly springing up. Unfortunately, I already see quite a bit of bulk in my arms and shoulders. I'm enjoying the new-found strength, but I don't find the appearance of muscles attractive. I had really wanted to slim down, not become a hulk.
I'm currently doing the Cybex circuit followed by 45 minutes on the treadmill 4 times a week. It has been three weeks. I'm only using 25 lbs to do arms curls, but I wonder if this is still enough to cause bulkiness. I also don't see any flab disappearing yet. What are the best types of exercises to slim down without gaining such harshly defined muscle? There are group classes I could go to as well (Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, Ballet-based, Tabata). I feel like the people at the gym are really not understanding that I don't WANT to see muscles, as they encourage me to increase my weights as soon as I feel capable. I'm already doing 2 sets of 12 reps of my full body weight on quads and back.
Hi Jenn, You will always add some muscle with strength training and a lot depends on genetics. Some people just naturally gain more muscle mass than others. As far as your fat loss, this depends almost entirely on maintaining a calorie deficit. So watch your food intake closely. What I use with my clients who want to lose weight and not gain too much mass is an old technique called German Volume Training. Take 5 or 6 upper body exercises (seated bench press, seated row, seated push downs, lat pulls, curls, etc.) and do each exercise consecutively for 10 reps with a weight that you can do 20 times normally. So do all 5 exercises with no rest and then rest 90 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Then pick 5 or 6 lower body exercises and do the same thing. At the end cool down with some core exercises like planks and then some stretching. We do this 3-4 days a week and some type aerobic training 3-4 days a week. Remember this is what I use and you will get a different opinion with every trainer you talk to. This is very strenuous but you utilize a lot of calories and continue to burn more after the workout. Make sure you your are clear with your physician before taking on any tough workout and always have a trainer make sure you are doing exercises correctly. good luck