Usually, it seems like the most difficult muscle to tone is the one you happen to be targeting. Sometimes it seems like you’re hitting the gym regularly, but your muscle just refuses to show some definition. You can add a few extra miles to your walking/running routine and immediately your calves slim up – but you can do 100 squats every day for weeks and your thighs simply refuse to get into shape.

This is perfectly normal, because your entire body isn’t designed to react in consistent ways to the same work-out techniques. Muscle groups that are difficult to train differ for everyone. Your build, lifestyle, family history and general anatomical makeup can affect how your body reacts to exercise. A few of the most common areas of the body that are hard to work out are the buttocks, the backs of your arms and the lower belly. Although working hard without results can be frustrating, it’s never a sign that you should give up!

Let your Greenville trainer know which areas you’d like to get into shape. Tell him or her what you’ve done in the past to try and tone up – and what difficulties you’re having when you attempt to successfully build these muscles. The team at your local Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym knows some tips and tricks to help you get past the first hurdles of breaking down muscle to build yourself up and condition your body to respond best to your exercise routine.

Based on your experience, what do you think is the toughest muscle to tone?

While you certainly don’t want to fill up right before a big workout, getting certain power foods in your system before starting out can give you that extra boost of energy and focus that can help you make the most of your gym routine. You’ll want to eat a small, light meal that your body can quickly process and burn off without slowing you down.

Although something sugary may seem appealing for the initial rush it can give you, when you work the sugar out of your system you could find yourself suddenly more worn out than before. Similarly, caffeine can not only make you crash but also puts you at risk for dehydration. A lot of salt can also make you excessively thirsty and dehydrated, which may make you dizzy and can also make your joints sore or your muscles cramp.

You do want to aim for protein-rich foods that are low in fat (which is hard for your body to burn off immediately); these can be paired with light carbs. The combination of both is ideal for the best kind of energy boost and will sustain you better than one or the other alone. The correct kind of carbohydrate that you might want to munch on before hitting the gym is going to be low in sugar. This includes whole grain or wheat breads, oats or some low-fiber, non-white rice or pasta; for example, a multigrain couscous or quinoa.

Some pre-workout snack suggestions:

  • Trail mix, especially unsalted and with nuts
  • Dense, non-watery fruits
  • A few cheese cubes, a few wheat crackers
  • A fruit and soy protein smoothie

You want to be sure to take a break for 30 minutes to an hour to be sure your snack has properly processed before you begin working out. This will not only help you avoid stomachaches, but also gives your body ample time to turn your food into fuel. Water before and during your workout will help the food break down and keep you invigorated. For any further questions about what to eat before your workout visit our nutritional specialist at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville Gym.