Posted by: Jacky | 2009/09/11


I am not sure what I am doing wrong. I am a 36 year old woman, 1.7m tall and I weigh 63kgs. All I am trying to do is get fit and tone my body and so I train at the gym 5 days a week. I have been doing a mix of cardio and weight training but instead of toning, I am starting to bulk up. I am quite strong and find that I am doing leg presses of 80kgs, about 3 sets of 25 reps without a problem. I used to be a swimmer and my upper body is particularly capable of lifting and pressing very heavy weights. Anything less feels like a waste of time. Should I be doing something different?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Jacky

Possibly reduce the size of the weights you're using. If you're bulking up, it's because the weight is a little on the high side, and you may need to lower them. I realise that in your case, it means you'll be feeling like you're barely lifting, but this is usually the solution. So it will feel like a waste of time.

The other option is to do very high intensity cardio, like cycling or spinning, that also uses the leg muscles, and in particular the quads. This can cause the toned appearance as well, and might be a little more challenging than knocking the weight down on those leg presses, for example. Regardless, the problem is that you may just be someone who has a propensity to put on muscle mass very easily, and so you will feel frustrated by the training you're doing.

Good luck

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