The first rule of exercising is realizing that not all exercise is created equal. Don’t get me wrong, any type of exercise is better for you than no exercise at all, but if you’re looking to get a particular body shape, you need to pay attention to how you’re exercising or risk being disappointed. The first step in getting the body you want is:
Identify your body type
It’s important to identity your body type, which is directly correlated to what type of exercise you should do to achieve the body you want. Working out a muscular physique and a fattier physique are not the same things, and will not yield the same results when doing the same exercises. Do you build muscle easily, perhaps just in your lower half? Do you have a little bit of fat spread throughout your body, or is it concentrated in particular areas? Knowing and owning up to what type of body you have is crucial if you’re planning on successfully altering how it looks.
Create a workout plan to match the results you want
Many people who want to slim down think they can exercise like crazy and it’ll happen. Many people also think that if they want to bulk up and build muscle they can exercise like crazy and it’ll happen. Do you see the problem with that logic?
Different types of exercises yield different results, and if you’re serious about getting the results you want, you need to think about a workout plan that will get you there. The most common mistake people make is not understanding the different between how to get a toned look and how to get a muscular, bulky look. Let me help:
The most common type of body women want is a slimmed, toned look, and the key to accomplishing that is to participate in endurance training. Think about, there’s a reason short-distance sprinters have huge muscular thighs, and long-distance runners have thin, toned legs. If you’re not particularly muscular, don’t have a lot of excess fat on your legs to lose, but want thinner legs, it’ll be hard, but endurance training is the way to go. If you have fattier legs and you want them to be thinner, cardio and strength training is your best bet. If you think your legs are too thin, try some strength training to add some mass.
If you have a lot of excess weight to lose, and aren’t particularly worried about gaining/toning muscle, the above isn’t as applicable to you as mostly any type of exercise will help you burn calories and lose weight. With that in mind, when you’re trying to get the body you want, it’s important to know…
What do particular exercises actually do
Cardio: cardio is great for building strength, endurance, and reducing your overall percentage of body fat. This should be your go-to if you have a lot of excess weight to lose, or if you’re trying to lose weight that’s spread throughout your body.
Toning: toning targets specific areas, but usually needs to be done in conjunction with cardio in order to be effective. If you have some extra weight on your stomach, you’ll need to do cardio first to remove some fat before you can start doing crunches for definition.
Strength training: the primary purpose of strength training is to build muscle mass, which strength training is very good at. However, some light strength training is also recommended for people trying to lose weight because muscle burns calories throughout the day, whereas fat…doesn’t. A little bit of strength training also makes you stronger, which will help you work out for longer!
And the most important way to change your body type…
Eat right. Seriously, unless you’re 18 years old, working out like crazy while having a horrible diet won’t help you lose weight or keep the body you want. Seriously, I’m 23 and I tried exercising like every day for four months while maintaining a mediocre diet and nothing happened. I finally swapped out the rice and pasta for fruits and vegetables and after only a month, I can see results. There’s no point in exercising if your diet sucks. Seriously, I can’t hammer this point home enough. I’m not talking about dieting, or denying yourself your favorites foods or desserts, but you need to be mindful of what you eat if you actually want your body to change. It’s sad, but true.