You *should* began strength training to maintain lean muscle when you begin losing weight. Otherwise 25% of you weight loss can come from lean muscle/tissue. Strength training helps combat this lean muscle loss so that the vast majority of your weight loss is concentrated where it needs to be, fat loss. You don't want to lose much lean muscle or you risk having a high body fat percentage at a low weight.
"Toning" is a very deceiving word. It implies that if you lift heavy, you will bulk up. I assure you that as a woman, you will not. We simply lack the testosterone and type of muscles required to get bulky. Fat is bulky, muscle is not. The more muscle you have vs. fat the smaller you will be (lean). When you do see women who are bulky it's usually not achieved through natural bodybuilding (unless they have abnormally high levels of testosterone); enhancement drugs, hormone injections, supplements, hours of hard labour in the gym, etc. It is something you will never have to worry about.
When you lift light weights, high reps... it is essentially cardio and will do very little to maintain, let alone build muscle.
You may be lucky enough to build lean muscle while on a calorie deficit and not just maintain especially as a beginner but your goal should be maintaining the muscle you do have.
There really is no such thing as "toning" you either;
a) Maintain lean muscle on a calorie deficit
b) Build muscle, burn fat in recomp. (eating at maintenance) and it can be achieved by beginners to strength training, particularly those who are not already lean on a calorie deficit.
c) Build muscle (mass gains) at a calorie surplus
The type of training you do remains the same. Challenging weights/resistance (where you reach muscle fatigue in 6-10 reps before increasing weight/resistance).
For a beginner your best bet is compound exercises that work multiple muscles at the same time. Do not worry about isolation moves they are a waste of time. Compound exercises include; squats, lunges, pull ups, push ups, dead lifts, overhead press, bench press, rows, planks, etc.
You can start with bodyweight exercises (which you probably already have some experience with in yoga) and resistance bands if you plan on working out at home. Resistance bands are very versatile and affordable. A great start for a beginner.
Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/8/2013 (11:57)
Take your focus off the Marshmallow. www.leangains.com/2010/01/marshmallo
"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. It doesn't happen, what does happen is you get results. Lifting Barbie weights does nothing but waste time.
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