Having friends to keep you accountable can really help your progress.
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Toning your bum, thighs, stomach and arms is a big goal and is going to take time. It's not just a question of doing a lot of exercise either. It takes a combination of regular training, sensible diet and plenty of sleep. Keep in mind that while this is a totally achievable goal, fat loss happens at around 1 to 2 pounds per week and seeing the results you want can take months or even longer.1.
Focus on your diet. Creating a toned look is often dependent on reducing your total amount of body fat, and the best way to do that is to watch what you eat. Focus on eating protein at every meal -- lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs or protein powder -- as well as healthy fats, plenty of fibrous vegetables and small amounts of whole grain and dairy. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed, and avoid snacking. Drink plenty of water and make sure you are getting around eight hours of sleep a night to make sure you have plenty of energy.2.
Train your butt and legs together twice a week. Focus on your lower body to target and tone your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and adductors. The best exercises for this include squats, lunges, deadlifts, single-leg squats, hip thrusters, leg presses and leg extensions. Split these exercises over the two workouts, aiming to do three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise. To begin with, you can just work with your body weight, but as you progress, adding weights to each exercise will significantly increase the efficacy of your workouts.3.
Train your stomach and arms together twice a week. Focus on your upper body to tone your biceps, triceps, deltoids, rectus abdominus and obliques. The best exercises to work with include bench presses, bent-over rows, dumbbell flyes, biceps curls, triceps extensions, pushups, hyperextensions, crunches, side crunches and planks. Split these exercises over your two workouts, aiming to do three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of the weighted exercises and three to five sets of 20 of the bodyweight exercises.4.
Add some cardio. Cardio is a key aspect of reducing body fat -- thanks to the high amount of calories a cardio workout typically burns -- and should not be overlooked in favor of the tone-boosting strength training. Interval training is particularly effective when you are aiming to burn calories in order to lose body fat and increase tone. In fact, the "International Journal of Obesity" found interval training to be significantly more effective than moderate, steady-state cardio, like running or swimming. To do interval training, you work very hard for a short period of time and then take a quick rest. For example, the Tabata sprint is a popular form of interval training where you sprint for 20 seconds, walk for 10 seconds and repeat this eight times.5.
Plan your workouts ahead of time so you are less inclined to skip them. Also, prep your meals ahead of time so making healthy food choices is easy and automatic.
- Workout clothing
- Get a trainer to show you around the gym and introduce you to the exercises if you are not familiar with them.
- Ease into training if you have been sedentary for a long period of time -- sudden intense training can cause injury and illness.
- If you experience pain, stop what you are doing and, depending on the severity, consult a trainer or doctor.