To build muscle, you have to lift a weight or use resistance that is *challenging* where you reach muscle fatigue (you cannot possibly perform another rep in good form) in 8-12 reps for 2-3 sets per exercise. You must allow each major muscle group a 48 hour rest period between working them in order for muscle to repair and grow.
You will have to eat enough calories to allow muscle growth. Typically, people require a calorie surplus but as a beginner you'll probably experience gains just eating at TDEE (maintenance).
Get adequate protein, .5-.8g per pound of bodyweight.
Do compound exercises for a short and effective routine; deadlifts, squats, lunges, pull ups, rows, bench press (if you have access), overhead press, planks etc.
Resistance bands and a pull up bar are very affordable. They are probably the easiest equipment for a beginner to start with that won't break the bank or take up too much space.
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. If you don't want to get bulky, lift heavy!
I can bench Nicole Richie, eat more than she does in a day before noon, I have a good 20 lbs on her but could still wear her pants.
All that matters is that you be the healthiest you, you ca
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