Tuesday, March 15, 2011

10 Tone-Up Tweaks to Get a Better Burn

Supercharge your gym routine by ditching the moves that have stopped delivering results and replacing them with ones that will challenge and build more muscle. Start with these total-body toning tips from some of our favorite trainers.

Arms: Change the Weight

Dumbbell curls are great for your arms, but unless you're changing up the sets and reps, your biceps will get accustomed to the level of stress you're placing on them, meaning you'll stop seeing the sculpting results. "Few people use the proper weight and even fewer graduate the amount of weight being used during arm exercises," says Richard Miller, owner and CEO of GymSource in New York City.

When you curl the same weight for a long period of time, your body send nutrients to the muscle you're working to help recover. If you pick up an 8-pound dumbbell every time, your muscles aren't experiencing varied stress and won't add new nutrient masses to that area, making your arms fall flat. Use this cheat sheet to know when it's time to step it up a notch:

You should feel fatigue at 15 reps or fewer. If you don't, add more weight.
Aim to increase weight by less than 10 percent. If you normally lift 8-pound weights, up it to 10 pounds and so on.

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