Weight Training for Definition
There are many different ways that a woman can go about choosing a weight training program and get different results based on the program they choose. For example, there are full body routines, split muscle routines, upper body and lower body routines, etc. A woman could choose to do many sets with high repetitions and low weights or a few sets with low repetitions and high weights. There is also the choice between allowing for long rest periods in between sets or allowing for shorter rest periods. There are numerous different routes to choose from when it comes to picking a weight training program, but what is the best way to train for muscular definition if that is your goal?
First off, what is muscle definition? Normally, when people refer to muscle definition they are referring to a more pronounced or “ripped” look to the muscles. The degree of definition can vary from the veins popping out with clear striations on every individual muscle as in the case of a bodybuilder or just a general separation distinguishing the muscles as in the case of the separation of the shoulder and the triceps. It can also refer to the visibility of the abdominals. For the purpose of this article, and in preference of what most women are looking for, the focus will be on general muscle definition rather than the “bodybuilding” look.
So how does one go about attaining said definition? It is generally accepted that a program that focuses on high repetitions, low weights, and multiple sets is the best way to train for muscular endurance and definition. The sets can range anywhere from 3 to 6 per exercise and repetitions typically fall into the 15 to 25 range. The rest periods between sets tend to be short with about 30 seconds being the longest break between exercises. Sometimes, there won’t be any rest as a person may choose to go from an upper body exercise to a lower body exercise in what is called a super set. This is to keep the intensity high in order to fatigue the muscles and to maximize calorie burn. The main thing to keep in mind is to keep the intensity high and work the muscles to fatigue. By the last few sets, you shouldn’t be able to finish all of the repetitions that you set out to do. You may even enlist a partner to help you push through a final few reps for the extra burn.
Cardio Training for Definition
In order to get t
he muscle definition level that you are looking for, body fat levels must be dropped below 10 percent for visible definition. One of the best ways to achieve this is through a vigorous cardiovascular program that burns many calories and helps to shed away pounds of fat. Most experts agree that an interval training program is the best way to challenge your body and burn fat in the process. Studies have shown that interval training can be up to eight times more effective than regular cardio in terms of burning fat and building definition.
How does one go about doing an interval training program? Basically, interval training refers to cycling periods of high intensity exercise with periods of low intensity exercise. For example, on a treadmill you might start out walking at 3.5 mph for 2 – 3 minutes, then switch up to jogging at 5.5 mph for 1 minute and then repeat the cycle for 30 minutes. This challenges the body because it has to switch up the energy systems it uses during the routine as you shift back and forth between intensity levels. The high intensity also burns more calories and gets the heart rate going. There are many cardiovascular related benefits to doing an interval training program in relation to its fat burning and muscle defining potential.
Nutrition for Definition
Probably the most important and most overlooked aspect towards gaining muscular definition is a person’s nutrition. Most experts agree that muscular definition starts in the kitchen and they couldn’t be more right. What you eat is just as important towards attaining your fitness goals as what you do in the gym. There are 168 hours in a week. If you spend an hour a day at the gym five days a week, that still leaves 163 hours where your nutrition can screw everything up for you. Remember, the key to muscle definition is cutting out body fat and being smart in the kitchen is the best way to do that.
How does one go about losing a pound of fat? First thing you’d want to do is find out what foods you are eating and how many calories you consume a day. Write it down in a journal for a few weeks and be as honest as possible. If you are not sure of the calorie totals, go to [CalorieKing.com](/tools/CalorieKing.com (2011, February 18). Food Search. Retrieved from http:/www.calorieking.com/foods/) and try to figure out the closest estimate possible. This is a great way to visualize what exactly you are putting into your body. The totals may surprise you.
The second thing to take into account is that in order to lose one pound of fat a week, you need to put your body in a 500 calorie deficit each day. Why is that? Well, one pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories. If you can maintain a 500 calorie deficit over the course of seven days, you will burn 3500 calories, or one pound of fat. The best way to do this is to figure out how many calories you consume on average each week and cut it by 500. If you consume 2000 calories a day, then you should start limiting yourself to 1500 calories a day. Try to make sure that you stay in a healthy ratio of carbohydrates – proteins – and fats, which for most people is 60/20/20. This means 60 percent of your calories come from carbohydrates, 20 percent come from protein, and the other 20 comes from fat. Remember, “you can’t out-condition the dinner table.”
CalorieKing.com (2011, February 18). Food Search. Retrieved from https://www.calorieking.com/foods/
DoubleYourGains.com (2011, February 18). Build Muscle Definition With These Three Rules. Retrieved from https://doubleyourgains.com/build-muscle-definition-with-these-three-rules
LiveStrong.com (2011, February 18). Interval Training Using Weights and Cardio Workout. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/348642-interval-training-using-weights-cardio-workout/