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Muscle Gain & Toning

Leah's journey from overweight, to getting toned and strong! This week we talked weight loss and improving muscle strength & mass with the always inspiring, Leah Partridge.

Leah has competed in bodybuilding shows and works as a L3 Personal Trainer and sports massage therapist. If you are looking for some motivation building more toned legs and upper body shape, Leah's top tips will certainly help you out!

Leg Toning

Muscle Gain & Weight Loss With Leah

"I got into health and fitness about 6+ years ago. I used to be an overweight child in school and had my fair share of bullying and name calling.

To start my journey, all l did was; I started to watch what foods I ate, cut down on the extra food I was eating and performed short runs.

In the end I had managed to drop 3 stone, but I became obsessed with what I ate, some days trying to see how long I could go without eating anything, wanting to see my ribs more, trying to get my weight lower than 8 stone 10lbs. This was not healthy and years on I found a medium point...

I finally found the courage to start in a gym, I’ve always been a very self conscious person when it comes to the way I look and how I perceive myself. I had no idea what I was doing in the gym so I invested in a personal trainer for 3 years.

I stopped enjoying my job and eventually I took the leap and decided to study to become a personal trainer myself. Lifting weights gave me my sense of achievement, something that I know I’m good at and should be proud of!

With this job role, I wanted to be that person that helps someone achieve their goals, to make them feel the best they’ve ever felt, to give them a sense of achievement but most importantly to get women comfortable with lifting weights and getting into the free weights area where it’s typically a male dominated zone.

I’ve now been a personal trainer for 3 and a half years and it’s such an amazing feeling to help others and help push them in ways they never thought they could. 

Believe in yourself and you WILL do it!"

Q&A with Leah

  • How has resistance training helped you with your lifestyle, fitness goals and physique?

Resistance training has shown me what I’m capable of. It gives me a sense of achievement that I can lift what I can, that all this hard work is from what I have pushed myself to do. It’s changed my physique dramatically. I started seeing the changes and I became obsessed with the gym ever since. 

  • What are the biggest mistakes you see women doing in terms of training?

I see a lot of women slave away on cardio, not enough resistance training if any, not pushing themselves as hard as they could, or not lifting heavy enough because society has given the sense that lifting will make you look 'manly', which is not true.

  • Which is your favourite legs exercise and why?
  1. Hip thrusts - my absolute go to for glute growth! I get the best connection with my glutes on hip thrusts and it gets them fired up like crazy 
  2. Stiff leg dead lifts - great for core strength and the posterior chain (back, hamstrings and glutes)
  3. Walking lunges - these are a love hate relationship but so versatile as well when it comes to positioning and stride, but a great way to get all the leg muscles working
  4. Leg press - again versatile in terms of foot positioning to hit different areas/muscles in the legs and a lot less stress/load on the back compared to squats. I find you can get a better connection and load onto the legs via a leg press
  5. Seated hip abductions - great for hitting outer thighs/glutes. These can be performed with a glute band also.
  • What is your current 'go-to' glutes session at the moment and why? 

I don’t have a set glute workout per se, I usually have a leg split of quads once a week and hamstrings 1-2 times a week, I would usually involve glutes more with my hamstring workouts. 

So my main movements for glutes at the moment are:

Hip thrusts, walking lunges, single leg hip thrusts superset with kettlebell swings, stiff leg deadlifts, good mornings and seated hip abductions 

  • What is your biggest diet tip which you use, for adding fullness or size?

If you’re wanting to add size then ideally you need to be in a calorie surplus (eating more than you burn off) by doing so you have more energy to be able to lift heavier, therefore being able to build and gain more muscle mass.

Also don’t be afraid to eat carbs, carbs are your friend! Carbs won’t make you fat, carbs will again give you your energy for your workouts, and are also great for recovery post workout by restoring lost glycogen levels during working out, along with containing a good amount of protein. But one size doesn’t fit all, make sure you’re on a nutrition plan that is suitable for you and your needs, it make work for someone else but not for you. 

For specific calorie recommendations, sign up to our Booty Builder 101 Training Guide, for step-by-step instructions.

Leah

Final word from Leah:

Push yourself in your workouts! When aiming for hypertrophy/ strength training, this should be in the low to medium rep range for your sets (6-12).

Progressive overload is also key to building muscle, don’t be afraid to go heavier with your weight, you want to be pushing yourself to the point of failure where either your form is no longer good or you physically can’t perform one more rep on that weight. These will both stimulate more muscle growth.

A big thank you to Leah for the insight into her lifestyle, training and journey through fitness, she can be found on Instagram @Leaah1706

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