How Weight Training at Tone It Up Makes You Stronger, Leaner, and Happier

By Katrina Scott on

Some of the biggest questions we've been seeing lately are about weight training — How much should I weight train? How heavy should I lift? Will weight training make me bulky? We actually saw this question just yesterday in our Instagram live chat, so we wanted to talk about it and give you allll the details!

The most important thing to know: With Tone It Up, getting stronger will make you leaner! It will also tone your gorgeous muscles, reduce stress, boost your heart health, and help you get a better night's sleep. Worried about getting bulky? Weight training is actually one of THE best ways to tone up and lean out (more on that later!). In fact, it’s one of my favorite ways to get photo shoot-ready!

For all of these reasons, Karena and I love adding weights to intensify our workouts and get amazing results. And it’s why we regularly incorporate weight training into your Studio Tone It Up classes AND your Daily Moves! You'll notice a big focus on strength training in your Summer Tone Up challenge! We want you to get the most efficient workout and feel so empowered doing it. So grab that kettlebell and dumbbells and don’t be afraid to go heavy girl!

Here are just a few of the amazing benefits of weight training, tips to get the most out of your workout, and some of our fave routines. Remember STRONG IS SEXY and you're a total badass 💪

Boost Your Metabolism

Weight training increases lean muscle mass. And the more lean muscle you have, the more energy-burning potential you’ll have too! Plus, when you incorporate HIIT workouts into your routine — check out all my faves in your Studio Tone It Up app! — you’ll benefit from something called the afterburn effect. That’s when you continue to burn calories even after you’ve finished your workout!

Tone Up

You may have heard that muscle takes up less space than fat...and it’s true! Your beautiful muscles will continue to get tighter, denser, and more compact!   

Rest Easy

According to research, strength training helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly throughout the night. And of course, the more well-rested you are, the more ready you’ll be to crush your next workout! 1

Get Balanced

Ever notice that your right side is stronger than your left, or that your upper body isn’t quite as strong as your legs? Strength workouts will help address muscle imbalances, so you can be the best, strongest, and most capable version of YOU. This will help you run faster, lift heavier, and avoid injuries. 

Stand Taller

Stand proud and confident babe! In addition to addressing muscle imbalances, weight training will help you target your postural muscles. For instance, a weak core can cause you to slump forward and weak lats can lead your shoulders to roll forward. Planks, rows, and deadlifts will strengthen these areas and give you gorgeous posture!

Bust Stress

Resistance training has been shown to reduce anxiety, boost brain power, and improve your mood. Hello endorphins! Even better: Girls who commit to strength training report feeling stronger, which has been linked to improved confidence and self-esteem.  

Strengthen Your Bones

The absolute best way to improve bone health: Lift heavy! Weight-bearing exercises have been shown to increase bone density and slow age-related bone loss.  

Protect Your Heart

Besides reducing body fat, which is a big risk factor for heart disease, strength training has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol when combined with cardio. We designed the ideal mix of weight training and cardio for you in your Weekly Schedule!

Will Lifting Weights Make Me Bulky?

We hear this question a lot. Lifting weights WON’T make you bulk up. Weight training will actually make you leaner, more toned, and enhance your beautiful curves! Why? Resistance training increases your lean body mass, which boosts your metabolism so you'll feel light and lean. 

So what about those bodybuilders you see at the gym? Bodybuilders go through very specific training lifting massively heavy weights. Also, keep in mind that women produce wayyy less testosterone than men (we’re talkin’ 5-10% the amount that men do). That means we won’t put on muscle as quickly. And even then, to add major bulk, you’d have to majorly bulk up your meals too. (Stick with the Bikini Meal Plan ~ we got you girl!)

The beauty of your Studio Tone It Up workouts is that they’re designed for women’s bodies to keep you lean and toned. We typically opt for high reps, too, which lengthens and tones your muscles rather than putting on size. If you ARE looking to build a certain area, then you can up your weight and complete a drop set to build and tone at the same time (more on drop sets below!). 

Get ready to feel strong, sexy, and like the best version of YOU!

Tips To Get Started

Choose the right weights

If you’re brand new to weight training, start light and work your way up. 3-5 lb dumbbells are a great place to start. We also love doing drop sets. That’s when you start a bit heavier but drop down to lighter weights in order to complete your reps. Challenging your body is a good thing! You can find more about choosing your weights in this post HERE.

Remember form is key

When in doubt, check yourself out! Take a look in the mirror to make sure your form is on point. (Check out our form tips for the basic squat HERE!) If your technique is suffering, drop down in weight or lose the weights altogether. Your bodyweight can always provide plenty of resistance too!

Love this pic by our girl @gratefullyhelena!

Refuel with protein

Refuel with protein within 30 minutes of your workout to help you form beautiful, lean muscle. We recommend having .55 – .73g of protein multiplied by your weight in pounds per day in order to form lean muscles. You'll notice we provided a range in that equation and you can use any number within that range to calculate your individual needs! For example, a 130-pound woman would have between 71 and 95 grams of protein per day. If you're working out more or training for a race, you may want to up your protein intake. Aim to have protein in at least 3 meals a day. Tone It Up Protein smoothie, anyone?

Take time for recovery

When you’re workin’ hard, rest and recovery are a must! Pencil in time for stretching, foam rolling, and yoga. (Check the ‘Yoga + Stretch” On Demand section of your app for amazing recovery routines available anytime!) Aim for 15 minutes post-strength workout to show your body the love it deserves. And be sure to get a good night’s rest — that’s when your body repairs itself and gets stronger to keep workin’ so hard for you.  

Tone It Up Bikini Series Prep Home Gym Tips

Build your perfect home gym

Really want to stay committed to your weight training routine? Dedicate some space at home to getting STRONG! Find a few of our fave home gym tips HERE.

Try These Weight Training Workouts!

Bikini Arm Tone

Work your strong upper bod HERE!

Sculpt in 7

Sculpt your total body in just 7 moves HERE!

Kettle Fire

Tone from head to toe and boost your metabolism HERE!

Kettlebell Booty

Tone your beautiful booty HERE!

Flex Friday

Flex and strengthen your gorgeous arms HERE!

You'll find SO many amazing weight training workouts in your Studio Tone It Up app. Join us today to feel strong, lean, and like the badass babe you are 💪

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