To be blunt, muscle is muscle. Many people refer to these as two different types of muscle, as if you can build one or the other, but this is simply not true. The difference is all about body fat levels, and how much of the muscle you can SEE. “Lean muscle” is just muscle with less fat around it.
Also, for all of the women who are scared that lifting weights will make you bulky instead of slender, this simply is not true. We have all seen the women around the gym who could put male football players to shame with their muscles, but I will put your mind at ease by letting you know that for them to accomplish this they had to inject a little “help”. Women do not naturally have the testosterone levels to build nearly as much muscle as men, so you are not going to accidentally get buff. You can look around anywhere and see men who are trying to get buff and still can’t- so if they can’t do it on purpose, I assure you that you will not do it on accident! Just doing cardio will not get you the toned look that you desire, because you can’t have MUSCLE tone without MUSCLE! Not to mention, muscle is the most important component of metabolism! Every pound of muscle burns about 50 calories per day, so adding just 5lbs of muscle will add 250 calories to your daily expenditure! One last point I want to make on this is in regard to a topic that all personal trainers get asked about all the time- bodyweight exercise. Many people will say that they only do bodyweight exercise because they don’t want to lift weights and get bulky. There is absolutely nothing wrong with bodyweight exercise (in fact, I utilize bodyweight more than anything else), but bodyWEIGHT is still a WEIGHT! So you’re not going to get any more bulky by lifting a piece of iron than you will get from lifting a piece of flesh and bones!