How to get muscle definition

Body related backlashes can be easily avoided with a well-structured, consistent plan along with patience and resilience on your part. Strategizing your fitness plan with the right balance of weight training and cardio is key to getting muscle definition and toning up your body.

What do toning and gaining muscle definition mean?

How to boost muscle definitionToning and muscle definition are practically the same thing which mean that you have a low fat percentage and high muscle mass. Toning, however, does not mean skinny or a low weight. Since you’re increasing your muscle mass, you should expect your weight to fluctuate upwards sometimes as muscle is denser than fat. Your ultimate goal to great health should be to reduce fat and gain more muscle.

The less muscle you have over your muscles, the more defined you will look. More fat gives a softer, pudgier look.

Busting some myths over how to get muscle definition

Most people who start a new fitness plan have “getting toned” as one of their main goals. However, despite having this intention, it’s easy to get lured into the whole “I don’t want to get bulky” bandwagon. People are constantly working out in ways that don’t even involve developing muscle and strength.

One major myth revolving around strength training is lifting light weights a billion times to get toned. This, unfortunately, is one of the most highly inefficient methods of becoming toned. In contrast, lifting heavy weights making you bulky is also a big fat lie. The level of bulkiness you achieve is mostly dependent on your diet. You have to consume thousands of calories to remotely be classified in the “bulky” group. Lifting heavier weights, however, is just a shortcut to getting leaner, and we all know how much you love shortcuts.

Another myth is that you can spot reduce. Working out certain parts of your body will enhance their muscle definition but not fat levels [1]. You lose fat (by burning calories) all over when you work out, whether it’s an arm exercise or leg. Fat loss can also be achieved by a caloric deficit in your diet.

Training for muscle definition: Recruiting fast twitch muscle fibers

How to boost muscle definitionYou have two different types of skeletal muscle [2]:

Slow twitch muscle fibers (type I) that support high endurance training, such as long distance running. They are first to contract during cardiovascular workouts like running and swimming.
Fast twitch muscle fibers (type II) that employ movements in powerful bursts, such as sprinting. They take over once your slow twitch fibers run out and your body approaches fatigue.

Fast twitch muscles include moderate fast twitch and fast twitch fibers. Moderate fast twitch fibers contract faster and reach fatigue sooner than slow-twitch ones. Fast twitch muscles have the lowest endurance and are the most powerful. They are activated during a workout when your body comes closer to its training limit.

Workout till you reach temporary fatigue and utilizing your fast twitch muscle fibers is the only way you can boost muscle mass and strength and therefore, increase muscle definition [3]. Aerobic exercises, on the other hand, primarily employ slow twitch fibers and are responsible for enhancing your stamina and VO2 max so that your body continues to burn calories for prolonged periods.

Louise and Richard Thomas  founders of Fresh Start

Louise and Richard Thomas founders of Fresh Start

At Thailand Fitness Bootcamp, we can’t get enough of the happy hormones from all the running, hiking, indoor cardio and other forms of heart-healthy exercises! We also advocate strength training to maximize your body’s physical and mental potential and boost your overall health and wellbeing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

1. The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Sep;25(9):2559-64. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181fb4a46.
2. Muscle fiber types. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1982 May;63(5):227-30.
3. The effects of endurance, strength, and power training on muscle fiber type shifting. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Jun;26(6):1724-9. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318234eb6f.

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