The Best Workout Routine For Women & Men Should Start With Getting Lean and Toned
There are many workout routines out there that promise you six pack abs, huge arms (if your a dude) or a slim & curvy body (if you’re a dude-ess). But unless you’re into spending literally hours at the gym almost everyday, you aren’t really going to see the results you’re hoping for unless you find a routine that puts all of the necessary factors into place.
As you may have already guessed, diet is going to play a vital role in your success – a topic for later.
You do not need to be a huge Mr. Buff to look good – in fact, the lean and toned “beach bum” body is not only more attractive, it’s more practical, more functional and women prefer it.
Why the focus on getting lean and toned instead of immediately building muscle? In general, most of us have a few pounds of fat to shed. By focusing on shedding the fat and toning your muscles first, you will see the most dramatic results in the shortest time. By losing your excess fat, your muscles will actually look bigger and better because you will be able to see more of them.
The Best Workout Routine For Women & For Men – Are They Completely Different?
Because women and men have different goals in mind when they hit the gym, does that mean they should have a completely different approach to working out?
Many times women fear lifting weights because they don’t want to get big and bulky. The truth is though, that you will not bulk up from lifting weights – at least not lifting weights alone and in the right way.
In order to pack on the pounds and really build muscle, you have to take in enough calories – more than you burn, to say the least – and lift in a way that fatigues and really breaks down the muscle.
The Best Workout Routines To Get Lean and Toned
Whether male or female, the best workout routine will include multiple full-body, engaging compound lifts – especially if you are focusing on the complete package: a lean, toned and muscular physique.
Body Weight Workout Routines
To look like an athlete you must train like an athlete – sounds simple enough, right? A great place to start is with body weight routines. Here are a few exercise to incorporate into your workout routine:
- Free squats
- Pulls-ups & Chin-ups (starting out assisted is fine)
These are some very basic yet fundamental exercises to master.
Focus On Gaining Strength, Not Size
Your overall goal should be to gain strength. Remember, you are not going to get big or bulky just because you are getting stronger. In fact, gaining strength and not size is one of the primary ways of looking good. When your muscles are strong, they are condensed and solid. The stronger you are, the more defined and toned your muscles will look. This sounds like a no-brainer, but really, most people don’t train for strength.
Strength training does not include the traditional 3 sets of 10 reps, all being preformed to failure. When you train for strength you focus on contracting the muscle and really concentrating on the “squeeze” and form.
While you’re in the gym and working out doing 3 sets of 10 reps, you will definitely look good while you’re at the gym but just wait until the next day or even a few hours later. Your awesome “pump” is gone and your muscle are certainly not toned. A toned and defined muscle is one that is slightly contracted all the time. Training for the pump, does not accomplish this – this method is what gives you the round and soft look like many bodybuilders have.
A workout routine that focuses on training for strength is much different than one that is focused on building mass amounts of muscle.
Here is a good model to follow for a strength-focused workout routine:
2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on
Sets & reps should range from 3-5 sets at 3-5 reps
- Day 1 – Chest & Back & Abs
- Day 2 – Shoulders & Arms & Abs
- Day 3 – Rest / light-medium cardio
- Day 4 – Chest & Back & Abs
- Day 5 – Shoulders & Arms & Abs
Remember, we aren’t trying to gain mass so the sets and reps need to be kept to a fairly low amount. Really focus on form and contracting the muscle. If you are sore the next day, you should back off a little next time. Also, since we aren’t going for mass, I do some form of cardio, usually HIIT followed by steady state cardio after three, sometimes all four of the workouts.
What you do from there depends on your goals. I really like to include some fun outdoor activities or some form of light cardio on at least two of my three days off.
Reasons For Not Doing Leg Exercises
For me, I don’t do many leg exercises for a two main reasons
- I’ve got a bum knee and working it out anymore than my cardio already does is just plain counter-productive.
- I incorporate HIIT (high intensity interval training) with my resistance training as I find this to be the icing on the cake. This really gives your legs a workout and is amazing for fat loss! I will write an entire article focusing just on HIIT shortly.
The Best Workout Routines Include a Combo of HIIT & Cardio
In my opinion, the best workout routine just isn’t the best unless it includes some cardio. I like to preform HIIT directly after my workout because I am all warmed up and my body is primed for burning fat. Depending on how much fat I need to lose at the time, I may even include some traditional steady state cardio directly after that – this can really melt the fat away!
If you aren’t focusing on fat loss as much, then I would suggest doing your cardio on your off days. Still, I think HIIT has many more advantages over steady state cardio.
The Best Workout Routine for Women
In this post I merely scraped the barrel on what a workout routine for a woman should look like. Here is a complete workout strategy for women who want to get the slim, sexy, fit & feminine look: Visual Impact for Women. This workout routine is put together by Rusty Moore, who I feel is one of the industry’s leaders in teaching the “Hollywood Look.” No, I haven’t actually done this workout (I am not a chick), but I do have it and it is very, very well put together.
The Best Workout Routine for Men
Here is Rusty’s workout routine for men. Again, this one is awesome and is the basis for my workout routines Visual Impact for Men.