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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I put on muscle easily. I like to do weights in addition to cardio, but I always end up bulking up. I do 2 or 3 sets of 15-25 reps with the lowest weight that provides a reasonable challenge--anything lower and I wouldn't even feel a thing. I thought less resistance, more reps was the formula for toning, is this incorrect? I'm training for a half, so I only have about 30 minutes a day to devote to non-cardio.
 

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Lots of women would love to have your problem, AFAIK you're doing the right thing, with one exception. I'd guess the only real solution to your problem is to run a slight calorie deficit. If anything, a few less sessions of the weights and more deficit will probably get you where you want.
 

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Maybe a couple of things.<br><br>
Try to limit how much protein you eat.<br><br>
I assume you're looking to build strength more than muscle bulk, so avoid doing any sorts of sets to fatigue. The less you break and tear apart muscle fibers, the less your body will want to rebuild itself. That doesn't mean you still can't gain in strength -- another part of strength is how well the nervous system recruits the available muscle fiber.<br><br>
I think that could help you avoid bulking up, but I can't be entirely sure, I'm one of those sorts who finds it incredibly difficult to put on weight. But I've been able to gain a lot of functional strength over the past 2 months by using a method sometimes called grease the groove, which involves doing reps about as often as I can possibly squeeze in during a day, and never to fatigue.<br><br>
I've done a lot of pull ups and I'm getting very close to being able to perform my first one armed chin up. I've gained some more muscle but not all that much, greasing the groove has probably helped to make what's available much more efficient.
 

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One word: pilates!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So if I down the weights to a level I don't feel, will I still wind up toned?<br><br>
I'm irritated having to choose between Grandma arms and GI Joe.<br><br>
How could I start a pilates program without a video?
 

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I'm not sure what to tell you about the amount you lift. *Generally* lifting a weight that feels challenging but allows you to keep good form during sets of 12-20 reps will increase endurance but not size, but it sounds like you're an easy gainer so that might not apply.<br><br>
Can you get a pilates video or two? They are usually 30-45 min. long and convenient -- you can do them at home. If you're interested, I can recommend some titles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sure, hit me with titles <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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I wasn't clear earlier. I'm guessing that almost any weight and any number of reps will get you a little bit of muscle tonus. But you don't want to gain any muscle at all, right? So to truly gain visible tone and not get bigger you need to lose a little subQ fat. What you've got will be more visible.<br><br>
The only way to get there is a calorie deficit. -- Sucks.
 

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Jamers04, sorry for the slow reply. Here are some titles I like. All are available on Amazon.com.<br><br><b>Pilates - Intermediate Mat Workout</b> with Ana Caban by Gaiam (you can also find at Target/Barnes & Noble). This does the whole Intermediate mat series in the order Joseph Pilates designed it. It's a good introduction and the instructor has a very nice style.<br><br><b>Crunch Pick Your Spot Pilates</b> with Ellen Barrett (different workouts target abs, thighs, glutes)<br><br>
The <b>Winsor Pilates</b> series (you see infomercials for them) aren't bad at all. They have different tapes for arms, lower body, abs, etc.<br><br>
The <b>MTV Pilates Mix</b> with Kristin McGee is a lot of fun and faster-paced/challenging. I wouldn't recommend it as a first DVD, but later on it is a good total body workout. Lots of upper body!<br><br>
If there are any classes at your school's wellness center or a gym you belong to, that would be great, too. Nothing like working with a teacher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They have yoga at school, but not pilates. Which is weird because the yoga teacher's first passion is pilates. I've never understood it.
 

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If it's a stronger style of yoga (like flow, power, or Ashtanga), you could likely get some similar benefits and results as you would from the pilates. Especially if the instructor has a pilates background.
 

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Hippo is exactly on target. The hard truth of the matter is that in order to gain true muscle there must be a calorie surplus. The good news is that your workouts are allowing the surplus to show itself as muscle rather than fat. In order to get your desired effect you will have to cut calories---i would guess about 200-300 a day. The horrible, crappy fact of the matter is that very few people burn as many calories as they think and the machines at the gym grossly overestimate calorie burn. Good luck!
 
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