So a few nights ago, I was doing some reading about weight-lifting and toning and building muscle.... and I began to get a little confused
I'm at a point now where I am really just trying to fine-tune my body. I'm starting to develop some definition in my arms and my abs, but I am still pretty squishy in my butt and thighs (pear shaped). I also have that infamous "pouch" sitting on my lower abdomen. I never thought my "ideal body" would be in reach... but I can see it on the horizon, and I know that 6-8 months of really hard work could have me fit and somewhat bikini-ready for next summer.
But I am confused about building muscle. Right now, I am still trying to lower my body fat % considerably. I can feel quite a bit of muscle under my now-thinner layer of fat, and I want to reveal that muscle by removing said layer of fat. But, I also want to build more muscle. Everywhere that I was reading kept telling me that to build muscle, I need to be eating AT LEAST maintenance calories, if not an excess. Mind you, I was reading body-builder-type sites, and maybe that's more for guys who want to bulk up. But, I still have fat to lose, and I am currently eating 1400-1600 calories a day, which puts me at a 500-ish calorie deficit. I work out 60 minutes a day on average, five days a week- 30 minutes doing HIIT and steady state cardio (about 15 minutes each) and another 30 minutes doing resistance training. I've also been trying to incorporate protein into every meal, and lower my overall carb intake.
I guess my question is, what should I be doing different? Should I stick with my calorie deficit, wait until I have achieved a nice, low body fat %, and then worry about building muscle when I start eating at maintenance? Should I increase my calories to create LESS of a deficit? Or, should I switch to maintenance calories now, and worry about just building muscle?
I love the look of this girl:
She is nothing but muscle, and oh-so-toned. I found that picture months ago on a body-building forum, and I was like "THAT, is what *I* want to look like". I showed her to my husband, and his reaction was like "uh, yeah... she is REALLY hot"
So, I think she's a good model for me to try to emulate.
It's a long ways away... but I know I have the tools and support to achieve it, thanks to you all!