Weight Loss VS Muscle Toning

Having a nice lean and sculptured body is the goal or in many cases the dream of many individuals. We often hear people talking about "toning up", but what does that really mean. If you begin to notice that you have extra "flab" hanging from the back of your arms does this means you need to get to a gym and start working your arms? Most would say yes, but actually the answer is no, although working out and lifting some weights is never a bad idea.

Whether it is the back of your arms or the most popular the abs, working out any particular muscle does not mean you will be able to see that muscle any better at least not until you get rid of the layer of fat that is hiding it. So what does this mean? You can do a hundred sit-ups a day but until you lose weight you will not be able to see your six pack. When you are say working out your abs you are indeed burning calories however they could be coming from the fat around your ankles, you do not get to choose.

So if working out your muscles does not necessarily mean that it is going to stand out and be visible then why weight train? The simple fact is muscle burns more calories than the fat covering those muscles. Therefore if you want to have the overall appearance of being sculptured then you need to get your body burning the calories and the easiest way to get this done is to regularly work your muscles; all your muscles, eat properly, and add in some cardio.

A well rounded workout that includes weight training, will turn your body into a calorie burning machine, strengthen your muscle and preserve the muscle you have which becomes increasing more important as you age. You will have better balance, flexibility,  and stronger, healthier bones; again important especially as you age. You can not choose the area of your body that you want to lose weight from and do specific exercises to make it happen, therefore instead of wanting to lose the belly fat choose to work towards an overall leaner, stronger and healthier body.

If your goal is to strengthen your over all body and to lose your excess body fat then you should be doing weight training at least four times a week. This will enable you to work out each muscle group twice a week and still allow your muscles time to rest (two days is best). Remember it is not the working out of the muscle that causes it to strengthen but instead the recovery and rebuilding after the fact. A weight training plan may look like this:

Day 1: Chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, upper abs, obliques
Day 2: Back, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower abs
Day 3: No weight training
Day 4: Chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, upper abs, obliques
Day 5: Back, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower abs
Day 6: No weight training
Day 7: No weight training

The days you choose and the order in which you do the activities is entirely up to you, however it is recommended that you group upper body together for one workout and then lower body for another workout.