Tips for Building Lean and Toned Muscle

Everyone wants to look good. Toned muscles will not only give you an aesthetically lean and fit look, but make you feel healthier. A toned body helps improve balance, posture, strength and flexibility. Toning is all about developing strong, lean muscle tissue while shedding unwanted body fat. Building and maintaining toned muscles involves eating the right foods, in conjunction with strength training and fat-burning cardio exercise.


Protein Provides Power

Your body needs the right diet to create toned muscles, and that is where a nutritional strategy centered around protein comes into play. Protein is a key nutrient that helps maintain strong muscle and reduce calorie intake. Strength and cardio training create tiny tears in the muscle fibers. A diet rich in protein helps repair damaged muscles and contribute to their growth. An important part of toning is simply reducing the fat that surrounds muscle, which ultimately means ingesting fewer calories than you burn during the day. A protein-rich diet boosts metabolism, reduces appetite, and creates a feeling of fullness for longer periods of time. Each of these benefits contributes to fat burning and calorie reduction to help build and maintain lean, well-toned muscles. There's plenty of options like Power Life who can provide awesome protein powders, to ensure your best performance. 


Protein can be beneficial taken before or after a workout. Consumed before exercise, protein helps prevent the muscle breakdown which contributes to soreness and may inhibit your toning exercise regimen the next day. Your body is more efficient at converting higher protein foods to energy compared to other foods high in fats and sugars, so pre-activity intake may help power a more invigorated toning workout. Protein consumed after exercise helps muscles to heal.


There are many sources of protein, but a heavy meal right before or immediately after a big workout is probably not desirable. Protein powders are a great asset in meeting dietary goals of a body toning program. They are a fast, easy and efficient source of complete protein. In fact, some concentrated sources, such as high impact whey protein, not only support the effort of developing toned muscle, but can provide added nutrients and vitamins that nourish the body and support complete fitness. Protein powder can be simply mixed with water, milk or blended into a smoothie.


In addition to concentrating on protein consumption, a diet which emphasizes healthy fruits and vegetables, whole grains and good fats while minimizing junk food will aid in the process of burning more calories and reducing fat.


Weight Training Builds Lean Muscles

Building muscle comes from lifting weights, but many people erroneously think that this will lead to bulking up. Weight training is a necessary part of toning. The goal of toning is to tighten the muscles and reduce the appearance of body fat, while the goal of bulking up is to increase mass and make the muscles bigger. The dissimilar outcomes require different strength training methods. Toning is normally achieved by a weight lifting program that involves frequent repetitions using light to medium weights, in contrast with bulk training that is accomplished with fewer reps using increasingly heavier weights. Strength training to tone muscles should be done no more than twice per week.


High Intensity Cardio Burns Fat

Building muscles does not do much good if they are covered by fat layers. That is why doing cardio exercise to burn fat should also be part of a muscle toning program. Cardiovascular exercises include running, bicycling, dancing, tennis or any moderate to vigorous activity that increases the heart rate and respiration, while working large muscle groups of the body over a sustained period. Performing 20-minute sessions of cardio exercise at least three times a week will help burn more calories, reducing fat and thus expose the toned muscles.


Do Not Overlook Recovery 

Many people over train when their goal is to tone muscle. Be sure to build in recovery time. Exercise is important for toning muscle, but too much can be damaging. Get a proper amount of sleep to help fight workout fatigue and prepare your body for maximum benefits from toning sessions. Include at least 2 days of rest per week in your toning workout schedule.