Want to lose weight and tone muscles without bulking up? It is important to keep in mind that light weight training combined with cardiovascular exercises is the key to speeding up fat loss. Muscle is what helps you burn more calories.
There are different levels of fitness from strength endurance to hypertrophy, or muscle gain. To achieve lean, tone muscles, endurance training is the way to go. This type of exercise doesn’t only decrease fat, it also defines muscles without bulking them.
So now the question is, what does strength endurance training consist of? When you are doing leg workouts stick to a weight that is about 35-45% of your one maximum rep.
A one max. rep is the maximum amount of weight to which you can successfully complete one repetition.
Perform 2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions for each exercise. When weightlifting, you are less likely to bulk if you are doing 10-12 reps with a weight that becomes challenging to you in the last couple reps.
I recommend taking only 30 second breaks between each set for ultimate results. The longer you keep your heart rate up the more calories you will be burning during the workout.
I just began working with a trainer and asked her to focus on exercises with me that wouldn’t cause my muscles to bulk. Her effective form of endurance training consists of 3 exercises (lower body, abs, upper body) to each set. For example, I will do 20 squats with light weight, then 12 push ups, and 30-40 abs. There is no rest between each exercise and you repeat the cycle 3 times before moving to another set of 3 exercises. This type of training keeps your heart rate up and ultimately you burn more fat and calories. I have seen quick results and my muscles are lean and tone.
Cardiovascular exercise is a great way to achieve lean muscle mass as well and really helps burn calories. However, it is important to keep cardio to 20-30 minutes because after that you risk loosing muscle to keep yourself energized.