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Lean & Toned

The way to get a leaner physique that is more defined (lean & toned) is simpler than people are let to believe. Below we will be discussing ways that will not only allow you to get lean & toned but do so without having to go through any starvation diet models that are being preached by others for monetary gains.

Understanding What Lean & Toned Means And How it Works

The first step to being able to get lean & toned is to understand what it means. Being lean means to have low body-fat levels, while being toned means to have muscles on you that are not covered by fat, hence giving you a sleek and slim appearance. The way this works is simple. You cannot have toned muscles if there is fat above them. Nor can you be lean if your body fat levels are high. It’s necessary to address both these issues to be able to achieve both goals together.

The Importance of Resistance Training  for Toned Muscles.

Regardless of gender, the approach remains the same. Women typically don’t have the tendency to build more muscle mass as compared to men. Hence, it is easier to get toned without having to worry about putting on too much muscle. However, men have no easy time putting on muscle muscles, just as much despite their capability to do so as it requires years and years of training for them to do so as well. Hence, the goal to be lean & toned is achievable for both.

Now with that out of the way, how can resistance training help you build the body that you want? Its quite simpler than you are led to believe. Start weight training aka resistance training. You do not need to hit the gym or get some fancy machines for that as well. You can do that both at the gym or at the comfort of your home with just a pair of dumbbells. For more information on the benefits of having muscle. (what are the benefits of building muscle?)

 What weights should you be using?

 When you compare it to a monthly gym subscription to getting a pair of dumbbells. It’s an inexpensive and one-time investment. Get a pair of dumbbells and that’s all you really need. The weights you get matter and you gender does matter in this regard. If you’re a female, you will have to get weights that are heavier for you but not too heavy. An example would be to try the dumbbells in each hand before you purchase them. If you can easily do 8 bicep curls with the weights you are testing, get a heavier one. You should be able to do max 8-10 reps, not a single more or less with the weights you get as a beginner.

The reason for that is, to build muscles, you need progressive overload. If you get ones that are easier and lighter, you wont build any muscle. However, do not get dumbbells that are too heavy as well, because that can lead to improper form. Not only that, but you wont be able to properly train then as well. Thankfully, a pair of dumbbells is available at a variety of weights, so you can easily choose between what suits your strength and goals. For the current one. A moderately heavy weight would be excellent.

Exercises for more muscle definition

The exercises you do matter when it comes to building lean tissue and getting more defined muscles. The muscle groups that you should be focusing on as a woman should be legs (mainly glutes & thighs), Biceps & triceps (for toned arms), back (for a leaner waist) and shoulders (for proper posture and collar bones). As a man, you have to train your back, legs, chest, shoulders, triceps and biceps as well.  A list of exercises based on what you choose to train is available here with at-home alternatives which require just a pair of dumbbells. Overall (Exercises). Shoulders (Exercises) Biceps (Exercises) & Triceps (Exercises).

The diet

The diet is the most important part if your goal is to lean down, as the lower your body fat levels are, the more slim your body looks and more toned your muscles get. The main reason that muscles can look bulky is having fat on them. As your muscles are underneath the layer of fat that is on your body and depending on how fat you are, this can make you think that the muscles are the culprit when it is the fat over it that needs to be addressed. That is why a caloric deficit is important.

how much  caloric deficit do you need?

Depending on what your current body fat levels are, you can get in a deficit of 100-500 calories per day. The more the deficit, the more fat you will lose. However, be aware do not cross the 500 calorie range unless you are absolutely sure that your workout performance is at 100% and you do not feel like binging. If any of them both seem to be happening, then reduce the deficit. These are signs that you are fighting your body and that can lead to a binge eating disorder down the line if you are not careful.

Below is an  exact list of foods that you can add to your diet in terms of building both lean muscle and losing fat as well.

Top 10 Foods for Building Muscles

Top 10 Foods for Losing weight

Now the diet approach you can take is to do either 3-4  meals a day or you can choose to do intermittent fasting and get the same results as well by saving calories during the day and having bigger meals during the feeding window.  Click the link on How to Lose weight with Intermittent Fasting.

Intermittent fasting is an approach that can allow people who eat more at night to lose fat easier while if you can spread out your meals throughout the day from breakfast to dinner without having the urge to eat after dinner, then by all means do so. If your someone who is prone to binge eating or ends up doing that.  Here is the solution to how you can  Prevent Binge Eating  from happening as well as to know what causes it in the first place.

Cardio (optional)

You might have heard cardio is what tones the body. While the reality is, Cardio has nothing to do with the toning of your body, as your muscles are not trained by cardio. Cardio, however, can aid you in losing weight provided you take a reasonable approach and do cardio after your weight training or at a separate time or better yet on a separate day when you are not weight training.

The kind of cardio you do matters as well. You can easily push your body too hard doing HIIT cardio and can end up sacrificing both your performance during your workouts as well as not recover from both your HIIT cardio and lifting weights at the same time. That’s why I would recommend to do LISS cardio such as biking, hiking, walking up/down the stairs, jogging etc. All the activities that you can do for longer without putting too much stress on your body and joints can be extremely helpful in allowing you to lose weight other than a caloric deficit. what-kind-of-cardio-is-better-for-weight-loss/


  • Understanding and knowing what the term Lean & Toned means is important to be able to actually do it.
  • The primary and the most effective way to get Lean & Toned is to train your muscles with resistance.
  • The weights that you should use need to be moderately heavy, not easy or impossible to lift.
  • Training specific muscle groups is crucial when it comes to building muscles faster.
  • The diet is the most important part of getting lean.
  • While cardio is optional, it can still be an effective weight loss tool if you want to lose weight faster. However, Cardio is transactional. The benefits stop the moment you stop doing it.
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