There have been many workout routines shared by professional trainers and fitness enthusiasts on how to tone up your body, but do you really need to know all of those? Today you’ll discover just three simple steps on how to tone up your body.
What Does It Mean to be “Skinny Fat”?
You will be shocked to learn that there is a medical term for “skinny fat” – Metabolically Obese Normal Weight (MONW). The simplest explanation for this is that you have a person who appears normal and does have normal weight. However, most of this weight is fat and very little lean muscle.
If you think this is not so bad, guess again. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, one in four skinny people are metabolically obese and are pre-diabetic. In addition, skinny fat people diagnosed with diabetes have double the risk of death compared to overweight diabetics.
In another study on skinny fat teenagers, thirty-seven percent of these kids showed one or more signs of being pre-diabetic, including hypertension, high cholesterol, and/or high blood sugar.
Just how would you know if you are skinny fat? You can start by looking at yourself in a full-length mirror. Check out if you have pot bellies and love handles. Other parts of the body where you can collect fat include your face, calves, and ankles. If you’re not sure that you are skinny fat, schedule an appointment with your doctor and get blood tests for fasting blood sugar, triglycerides, HDL, and blood pressure.
If it is proven that you are skinny fat, what you should do is to burn off the fat and start building lean muscle.
Now, this may be of some concern to women. There is NO TRUTH to what some fitness blogs and magazines say that weightlifting can make women bulky. It is also NOT TRUE that lots of cardio need to be done to lose and maintain weight.
Women become bulky if they lift weights AND maintain a high body fat percentage at the same time. Why does this happen? While you are building up a lot of muscle, the fat on top of it is also pushed outward, so that you look fatter. On the other hand, cardio should not be done regularly if your goal is body composition optimization.
How to tone up your body? The three simple steps I have outlined below are what you need to do to no longer be skinny fat…
1) Heavy compound weightlifting is the key training regimen for skinny fat people.
Heavy compound weightlifting is the best type of resistance training for gaining muscle and overall body strength. It is also the best exercise for challenging and developing muscles compared to bodyweight exercises, workout machine exercises, Pilates, Yoga, etc.
But what does heavy compound weightlifting do for you? The “compound” part means that you train more than one of the major muscle groups of the body. “Heavy” means that you lift weights that are 75 percent or more of your one-rep max. Good examples of these compound exercises are squats, deadlifts, bench and military presses.
The trick behind the effectiveness of heavy compound weightlifting is progressive overload. As you increase tension in your muscles over time, you build bigger and stronger muscles, thus increasing your overall body strength.
2) Eating those calories and macros right.
The problem with skinny fat people is that they are not really sure that they are burning off fat because their weight is still normal. Some may be “eating clean” for months with no visible effects.
You see, when it comes to body composition, it’s how much you eat that matters more than what you eat.
There are two common mistakes that skinny fat people make that affect their energy balance and macronutrient composition…
Eating too little OR too many calories
When you eat too little calories, you eventually stop losing weight. In addition, you cannot eat more without gaining weight. There’s also that other side effect wherein your body starts burning muscle for the energy it needs, so that you lose lean muscle instead of gaining it.
It is obvious that you if you eat too many calories, you gain fat, PERIOD. No matter how long or how fast it takes.
Eating very little protein
As we have mentioned above, if you are on calorie restriction, you speed up muscle loss if you eat very little protein. On the other hand, if you eat too little protein and you load yourself on too many calories, you inhibit muscle gain.
What you need to do is get your protein and macros intake right so that you are able to lose fat fast without losing muscle, and gain muscle without putting on more body fat.
Just follow these three simple rules…
If you want to lose fat, you should eat 75 to 80 percent of your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
If you want to gain muscle, you should eat 110 to 115 percent of your TDEE.
Always eat around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily.
With these basic rules, you’re well on your way to becoming a lean, mean muscle machine.
3) Go easy on the cardio.
Despite years of studies disproving this notion, people still believe that they need to do lots of cardio in order to lose weight.
The TRUTH, however, is that cardio isn’t really that good for weight loss.
Contrary to popular belief, cardio doesn’t burn that much fat and energy. Worse, if you do too much cardio, you inhibit your body’s natural ability to grow, build, and maintain muscle.
There are other drawbacks to cardio…
It can slow down your present momentum and progression in the weightlifting workouts that you are doing.
There is an increased risk of injuries resulting from overuse and overtraining.
It takes too much time to do, time which is better used on heavy compound weightlifting and other high-intensity exercises both inside and outside the gym.
If you want to make cardio work for you, you should only perform cardio exercises that are sufficient for you to reach your fitness goals. No more, no less.
The BEST type of cardio for skinny fat people is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). With this form of cardio, you do bursts of short sprints at maximum effort. Unlike walking and jogging (which are slow and steady cardio), HIIT promotes greater and faster fat loss while retaining muscle.
Now that you know how to tone up your body, you will see yourself losing that skinny fat figure and replacing it with a lean, sexy physique.