Building Endurance & Toning Up


So after browsing through this forum, I am pretty impressed with the improvements and gains women have accomplished. So felt obligated to ask for some much needed help.

             I used to run high school track, bike, workout, and skateboard from time to time. Since then I have lost focus on staying healthy and maintaining the body I always desired, unfortunately. I know for sure that I have a mesomorphic body type, because I am not much of a noob, yet I need help getting back on my feet and this is where you guys come in. 

             I've tried and tried routines from magazines and followed diet advice, but it all seems to falter. This time I want, need, and very much require advice from women who KNOW what they are talking about! 

             I'm 5'8 and about 180 pounds. I have pretty muscular legs, but they need a tone up. My tummy area, back, and arms are also in dire need of help. I tend to gain weight in those areas. Though I may not look heavy, I definitely have unneeded and unhealthy weight weighing down my body. My goals are to build endurance and tone up, so what exactly shall I do to accomplish them? Specifically, how should I structure my routine to balance both cardio and weightlifting and what lifts would you recommend?

Thank You!


About toning, it’s basically an umbrella term for losing fat and gaining muscle, so I’ll talk about that.

Losing fat is 90% kitchen work, so you’ll have to work with your macros (fat, carbs, protein) a bit to see where your personal sweet spot is and eat at or below maintenance calories each day. Most people, including myself, tend to do well with higher protein (30-50% calories) consumption though, but people can work with either low fat or low carb diet.

Coconut oil I find does help with fat burning, but only if you control your overall calorie consumption as well. Also, stimulants help too, which is why they’re usually included in fat burners. I personally get my stimulants from coffee and green tea, both of which pack antioxidants as a package deal and are cheap to boot.

Now, as for gaining muscle, I’ll just talk about the places where you need help. Heavy rows and pullups/pulldowns, with a pause at contraction and at stretch, works wonders for the entire back when both are done. If your traps or rear delts are on the smaller side too, face pulls are awesome to include with your other pulling movements. I personally find 6-12 rep range to be the best for back work.

For arm work, I find focusing on triceps to be best for tightening up arms, when coupled with a good diet. Benching, overhead pressing, and dipping are the basics for tricep size, although you can add tricep extensions and close-grip benching if you want to really focus on tris. Biceps need work too of course, and heavy curls are great for that. For curls, swinging a wee bit is okay (but no power clean curls!) if you lower the weight slowly (~2 seconds). If you wanna throw in some forearm work too, I like farmer’s walks and reverse and/or hammer curls.

No spot reducing, as they often say, but for ab strength, I like weighed planks and weighed crunches and leg lifts, but there’s like a whole wide world of ab work out there and different strokes work for different people, so find what you personally like the most is your best bet, in my opinion.

Hope at least some of what I said ends up being helpful.

Good day!

Hello there!

Thank you for the reply! It was very insightful. :slight_smile: