Want to look like the models in the fitness magazines? Guess what? You can. Read this piece to learn how to achieve the insane muscle tone. You’ll be glad you did.
It’s refreshing to open the pages of an Athleta or Reebok catalog and see real fitness models. Lean, toned, muscular, yet feminine bodies fill the pages.
No more stick figures in tights representing the athletic females of the world.
Have you ever dreamed of achieving such a superb, muscular physique?
If so, we have some good news. What’s that?
You can have the muscle tone of a fitness model if you have the willpower and drive.
Here’s The Starting Point For Muscle Tone
The amount of time you will need to see a full transformation is really dependent on your starting point. On average, most women need 12 to 16 weeks for a full transformation.
The guidelines presented to you in this piece will be based on a 12 to 16-week transformation. If you need more time, that’s fine. Anyone who truly wants the muscle tone of a fitness model can achieve it, even if that means a longer pathway to get there. If you need less time, lucky you!
You’ll Need To Be A Cardio God And A Barbell Boss
Most women swing one way or the other, they either love lifting or they love cardio. It’s rare that you’ll find one who loves both. Well, put your big girl panties on because you are going to have to love both on your quest to becoming a fitness model.
Muscles don’t just fall from the sky. You have to earn them in iron paradise. Your daily gym routine will consist of five or six days per week pumping iron. Cardio is a necessary evil to burn fat from the deepest parts of your muscles. (You can tell what part of getting ripped I hate). You will also perform cardio after lifting every day, 30 to 45 minutes, five or six days per week.
You Need Physical And Mental Discipline
The Physical Discipline – You may love the gym and working out, but if you’ve never trained while on a very calculated diet, you’re going to find it very challenging. There will be days when you feel exhausted and may have to literally have a conversation with yourself (just not out loud) about walking into the gym.
The Mental Discipline – Your strongest game may need to be your mental game. You must learn to remain positive. You must think about your long-term goal. Choosing to attain the muscle tone of a fitness model is no easy task. Maybe 2% of the population, or less, will ever set out to attain this goal and actually achieve it. So when you do reach your goal, you will know you have done something phenomenal.
Muscle Tone Training Regimen
Your goal is to take on the appearance of a well-balanced X. Your shoulders are at the top of the X. The middle is your small waistline. Your legs are at the bottom of the X. By understanding which part of your X is out of balance, you will know what body parts you need more focus on in the gym. However, you should work all body parts each week to ensure overall growth and proper symmetry.
Chest – Yes, even women should partake in national chest day (which is every Monday). It will give you a sexy décolletage.
Back – Believe it or not, you do want a wide back. It provides the optical illusion of a smaller waistline. Think of the X shape.
Legs (Quads and Hamstrings) – Strong, sexy legs! Everyone wants a pair. Lifting heavy will get you there. Ladies, you can’t be afraid of the iron. Get strong, rack heavy on legs day. Your quads will take on a new, round, beautiful shape. The same goes for your hamstrings. They should look like a half-moon on the back of your leg. Don’t neglect them or you lose balance.
Glutes – Glutes is getting its own category because you must build a butt. Not one fitness model has a small derriere. It needs to be round and big in the words of Sir Mix-a-Lot. Therefore, at least one of your legs days should focus on developing those glutes.
Shoulders –You need to develop your shoulders. They are part of the X along with your upper back. You want rounded, strong shoulder caps and a little striation looks nice.
Biceps/Triceps – Suns out guns out. Everyone notices a well-developed set of biceps and triceps. Maybe that’s because they are exposed the most. Either way, they add to the overall look of your fit body.
Do women judge a man’s fitness on his bulging biceps?
It goes the same for us!
Cardio – Cardio is one area that you need to keep mixed. You might do steady state for four days of your training and two days of higher intensity training. For example, you may row, use the elliptical, swim, run bleachers, bodyweight circuits, jog, walk on an incline or choose an array of other cardiovascular activities.
Set Up Your Weekly Schedule
If you are not familiar with any of the following exercises, a quick YouTube search will show you how to perform the moves properly. Here is one suggested weekly plan.
Monday – Chest/back/abs/30 minutes of cardio
3 sets, 10 to 12 reps
Traditional Bench Press
Incline Dumbbell Chest Press
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
Flat Dumbbell Flye
Wide Stance Push-Up
Abs: 2 sets each – 20 per set (no rest between sets)
Cardio – Try low-intensity exercise for 10 minutes and high intensity for 20 minutes.
Tuesday – Leg day/ Quad focus/30 minutes of cardio
3 sets, 12 to 15 reps
Jumping Lunge (not weighted)
Leg Adduction and Abduction Machine
Cardio – Try this: For part of your cardio, complete active recovery in between sets for one minute (choose only one exercise between your sets):
Running in place
High knees (30 seconds)
Get creative. Do low-intensity cardio for the remainder of your cardio time.
Wednesday – Shoulders/core/abs/30 minutes of cardio
3 sets, 15 to 20 reps. Superset the following exercises:
Shoulder Press (seated)
Upright Row (can use dumbbells or bar)
Seated Rear Delt Raise (dumbbells)
Front Plate Raise
Abs: 3 sets each – 30 seconds to 1 minute each
Side Plank Hold
Cardio – low-intensity exercise
Thursday – Biceps/triceps/abs/30 minutes of cardio
3 sets, 15 to 20 reps Superset the following exercises:
Triceps Pushdown (using cable machine)
Preacher Curl (dumbbells)
Dumbbell Triceps Kickback
Dumbbell Hammer Curl
Lying Triceps Extension (using EZ bar)
Triceps Dip (weighted if you can)
Cardio – Try low-intensity exercise for 10 minutes and high intensity for 20 minutes.
Friday – Leg day glutes/hamstring focus/30 minutes of cardio
3 sets, 10 to 12 reps Superset the following exercises:
Glutes Bridge (weighted)
Dumbbell Step-Up (onto a flat workout bench)
Step-Up Glutes Kickback
Straight Bar Lunge
Reverse Straight Bar Lunge
Cardio – Do low-intensity exercise for 30 minutes.
Saturday – High cardio day – 45 minutes
Choose a cardio that you enjoy or split it up between different types. Keep it fresh so you don’t burn out due to boredom. Choose low impact cardio.
Sunday – Rest Day
Don’t Cheat Your Diet
You must stick to your diet; it is non-negotiable. Don’t cheat on your diet or you’ll kill all the progress you make in the gym.
Jess Steitler (2016), NASM certified personal trainer, says, “Fueling your body is crucial. If you don’t fuel your body properly, you’re running on fumes.” She should know. She is a gym owner, owner of a meal preparation company and she has coached numerous females for bodybuilding.
Aspiring fitness models must stick to a rigid diet plan every day that ensures proper nutrition for a rigorous training schedule. If you are uncertain about setting up a meal plan, look for a bodybuilding coach in your city. They understand what a nutrition plan for a fitness model looks like. They can also help you adjust your diet as needed.
Here Are Some Diet Starters
No sugar, no fruit and no dairy. No healthy snack bars of any type.
You’re returning to the basics.
The majority of your protein sources should be lean white meats – white fish, turkey, and chicken breast. For a red meat, which is recommended once or twice per week for iron, choose bison.
Load your plate with veggies except the starchy ones. Stick with greens. Your carbs should be complex like sweet potatoes, carrots or brown rice.
Occasionally there might be a cheat meal. Sometimes that does more harm than good if willpower isn’t your strong point.
What follows are some guidelines to help you measure your meal portions:
Eat five or six small meals per day, about every three hours.
Protein: 1 to 1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight each day.
Carbs: 2 to 3g of carbs per pound of bodyweight each day. Carbs may have to be adjusted down if you’re not seeing the desired results.
Fats: It should make up about 25% of your diet. Natural fats are your friends.
Supplement Recommendations For Getting Lean
On top of diet, you may want to add a few supplements to your daily regimen and supplements to get lean. You won’t need anything fancy or any of the gimmicks or fads that you might see gaining popularity on social media. I promise the fitness models representing the program didn’t get their killer bods just by using one particular product. They may not use the product at all.
However, there are some products that do work and live up to their promises. Take a quality daily multivitamin. A fat burner in the morning and the afternoon is okay, but sticking to your diet should take care of your fat incineration. The fat burner may help with energy levels, though.
Protein is important. BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis. You should consider taking them right before and right after exercise. Supplement with a lean and low carb whey protein after your workout. Make sure to include that shake as part of your daily food intake, not in addition to it.
You Must Hydrate. That Means Water!
You’ll be sweating a lot. You will also be replenishing a lot. A gallon per day is usually protocol. Water has many functions for your preparation. UW Health (2015) states, “Drinking an adequate amount of water daily is important for overall good health because water aids in digestion, circulation, absorption, and even excretion.”
Not to mention, your skin will look fantastic. The internal hydration gives your skin a youthful appearance. You may not need makeup for your photo shoot.
Get Your Sleep
Sleep is essential for muscle growth and repair. You need to get between seven and nine hours per night.
Falling asleep will not be a problem because, at the end of the day, you’ll likely be exhausted until you adjust to the training and diet. Not getting enough sleep will impact your results negatively.
No Social Life (Except At Your Local Gym)
You will have to give 100% of yourself to this goal. That means no alcohol and:
- 100% in the gym.
- 100% to your diet.
- 100% to weekly preparation.
Your friends who like hanging with you at the midnight hour might not like your newfound goal. You’ll be too tired to hit the club and you will not get to drink during your preparation.
There are a number of reasons why alcohol is awful for your body. For starters, you pour in empty calories. It slows your metabolism. Alcohol blocks absorption of key nutrients. It dehydrates your muscles, thus slowing protein synthesis. If all of this isn’t bad enough, it can kill your gym motivation. The bottom line is no drinking!
The road ahead of you requires sacrifice and hard work, but having the physique of a fitness model is something to be respected. It takes 24/7 dedication to attain the look, and 24/7 dedication to maintain the look. Once you have the muscle tone of a fitness model, you’ll be extremely proud of yourself and find it one of your most challenging, yet fulfilling tasks in life.
By Sarah Chadwell