Not making any progress in the gym or on the weighing scale? Here’s your cheat sheet to tone up your body fast, without any pills, steroids or dubious diets. Here’s a fresh look at how you can wake your body up to increased muscle tone. And with the summer beating down our backs, what better time to kick-start a fresh body sculpting routine, than now?
Go slow with the weights. When your instructor tells you to complete two sets of a weight training exercise, without telling you what tempo to follow – he hasn’t done his job well. Most people lift weights quickly and if they aren’t lifting weights that challenge them, they just end up breezing through workouts without feeling any effects on the muscles or overall energy spent. Go slow while lifting. This usually means 2 counts while raising, and 4 counts while dropping. This will engage your muscle or muscle group’s entire Range of Motion (ROM) and enable you to strengthen it through maximum contraction.
Switch to a new daily diet that’s more about ‘including’ than ‘starving’. Starving is the main reason behind failed body toning results. Why? Because toning involves muscles working, and a reduced diet doesn’t enable them the way a healthy and good diet does. Include a vegetable in your breakfast, along with some eggs and one whole grain toast with a little fat (butter?) and you’ll see an instant change over just 2-3 days. Stop eating junk, replace the greasy Chinese food lunches with wholesome grains, lentils, vegetables, protein, and you’ll see more change. Cut out the evening creamy coffee, replace it with a yogurt smoothie or a whole fruit, and you’ll dazzle yourself. Follow all this for one week and you’ll look and feel better, while giving your body a better shot at toning up.
Don’t jog, sprint! Low tempo cardio like effortless walking won’t do much for your overall fitness. Cardiovascular health essentially denotes the capacity of the heart, blood vessels and lungs to supply oxygen and essential nutrients to the muscles engaged in the activity for optimal energy outputs. By running, instead of walking, you’re increasing your cardiovascular capacity manifold and building endurance.
Believe in the power of the supersets. Tired of lifting weights, then staring at the wall, then lifting more, while thinking of how scant your progress has been? Switch to supersets. Supersets are sets of two or three exercises that focus on opposing muscle groups. For ex: Chest and back, triceps and bicep, hamstrings and quads. You can’t take any breaks in-between supersets. Before you start thinking of whether you’ll bulk up – seriously, you won’t. Supersets encourage muscle growth and toning. While women won’t bulk up with supersets unless they’re partaking in nefarious substances, men will only bulk up if they either lift very heavy and very long or up protein intake to unnatural levels. So it’s safe to say that us average Joes won’t look like the Hulk anytime soon.