Every summer as Personal Trainers we hear the same phrase over and over again - "I just want to look, slim, trim and above all - toned."
Yet most women make three fundamental mistakes when trying to achieve that toned summer look.
They lift very light weights for a high number of repetitions and fail to progress them over time.
They eat hardly any calories practically starving themselves.
They perform loads of cardio, burning off the little muscle mass they have left.
In the video below I demonstrate the first fundamental mistake that women make - light weights for high reps and how to fix it.
1. Light weights for high reps - what you should do?
Start increasing the weight!
Make sure your programme includes sets and reps in the 8-12 rep range and try to increase the resistance over time (this is known as progressive overload).
This will help to change your body composition as you will start to build muscle mass and thats what that toned look is all about - having some muscle mass!
SO, what is progressive overload anyway?
The principle of progressive overload dictates that in order to keep pace with adaptations that happen from prior workouts, we need to increase the difficulty of the training stress. To simplify progressive overload is - “doing more over time”.
The simplest way to think about it is:
S - Stimulus
- Exposure to a stimulus (the workout).
- Your body needs to recover before it can adapt. Your eating and sleeping habits and further training sessions will have a big impact on how long it takes to recover.
- In order to achieve the same stress as before the magnitude of the stimulus must be increased. In other words - it has to get harder!
This is known as the SRA CURVE.
So how do you increase the stimulus?
It's NOT just about the weights getting heavier... In fact there are 7 ways to increase the stimulus, heavier weights is just one of them!