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As summer is arriving, does anyone have any suggestions for a gym routine for a female? My gym has most equipment. I want to tone up and have a leaner figure. Any exercise suggestions (cardio, strength) or timetables would be greatly appreciated!

Also, how many times a week is it best to train to see results?

  • possible duplicate of How can I get more "toned"? – Eric Jun 12 '15 at 6:14
  • @EricKaufman I'm about 1% away from marking it as a duplicate...except I think my answer (for example) to the other question is a bit male-centric. An answer oriented towards a female hormone profile could be quite useful here. – Dave Liepmann Jun 12 '15 at 6:32
  • What does "toned" mean to you? Where are you now (height, weight, bf%) and where do you want to be? How much time do you have? This question is highly individual and we don't know if you have to gain/lose weight fast/slowly, if you don't tell us some things about you first. – user8119 Jun 12 '15 at 7:25
  • 170cm 60kg. Toned basically means lean, to have a little bit of muscle showing. – Lschk Jun 12 '15 at 8:25
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It's important that you understand what a "toned" body is physiologically, it's easy to get a lot of bad/fuzzy/cute ideas, like that high number of reps -> toned, few heavy reps -> bulky, forget all of that, it's bullshit. It's all about the amount of fat and the amount of muscle tissue.

The first layer of the body to consider is your musculature, your muscles can get thicker or thinner, meaning stronger or weaker, you can't really affect the length of the muscles, that's determined genetically. Muscles can not be/look toned.

On top of the musculature is your fat layer, without this you would basically look like a redder version of the most extreme body builders, i.e. lots of veins and the muscle fibers being visible. The more fat you add, the smoother you look, first the veins and fibers disappear, then the separation between muscles disappear, so you can no longer see for example your bicep bulge. If you add even more fat you'll start to look like a molten cake, fat hanging on top of other fat and so on.

What do we need to achieve the toned look? You will need some muscle mass for the musculature to be visible at all, most females have too little muscle mass to achieve the toned look. The best way to increase this is the workout basically like a male body builder, it doesn't matter that your goals are different, your direction is the same but the distance is different so to speak :) Stop when you have enough muscles, this will take year(s).

Second, you need to adapt your fat amount, you need a moderately low amount of fat to achieve the toned look, not body builder low, but certainly lower than the average person. Your fat amount is determined by your diet and lifestyle, consumer fewer calories than you use and you'll lower the amount of fat.

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Does anyone have any suggestions for a gym routine for a female?

Yes, doing a SL 5x5, SS, PPL, ICF 5x5 or if you don't like any of these, you could make your own split.

Any exercise suggestions (cardio, strength) or timetables?

Include any type of cardio you like, such as swimming, running, jogging, cycling and so on. The bolded suggestions above are strength routines which has a timetable (probably 3 times per week).

How many times a week is it best to train to see results?

3 times per week or if you choose to do PPL (Push/Pull/Legs) or your own split, then you can opt to train for 5 ~ 6 times per week. With that said, you do not need to train exactly 3, 5 ,6 times per week as you need to consider how fast can your body can recover.

Additionally, make sure your diet is in check (caloric deficit to lose those fats aka just eat less). Anyways, don't expect a huge change over a short span of time.

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