Ex ballet dancer reveals exactly how she flattened her stomach and tightened her core in EIGHT weeks using one tactic – and there is no dancing involved
- Tash, from Tanzania, followed Aussie Rachael Attard’s workout program
- It involves figuring out your body type and introducing low impact exercises
- She has managed to chisel her waistline considerably in just eight weeks
A young woman has shared incredible photos of her physique after undergoing a simple – but effective – workout program that revolves around walking and interpreting your body type.
Tash, who lives in Tanzania, followed Gold Coast-based personal trainer Rachael Attard’s training method – the Lean Legs Program – to sculpt her mid-section in just eight weeks.
Growing up with ballet helped Tash keep fit as a child but she stopped exercising abruptly when she was accepted into university, before turning back to it with the help of the Lean Legs Program at the end of 2020.
‘I started with 15 minutes a day, but over time I’ve been able to add a little bit more and now it’s part of my lifestyle,’ she said.
Tash, who lives in Tanzania, followed Gold Coast-based personal trainer Rachael Attard’s (pictured) training method – the Lean Legs Program – to sculpt her mid-section in just eight weeks
Growing up with ballet helped Tash keep fit as a child but she stopped exercising abruptly when she was accepted into university, before turning back to it with the help of the Lean Legs Program at the end of 2020
The workouts are low impact and rely mostly on the participants body weight to build strength, alongside weekly bursts of cardio to keep your heart healthy.
Rachael’s program breaks down the female body into three separate categories and subscribes a diet and exercise routine depending on which type you are: Ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph.
‘I started seeing exercise as something not like a punishment but something as a treat. I’m doing this for me now, something I’m doing to improve myself,’ she said.
‘And I always keep in mind two aspects, physical and mental health as well as how it’s preventative against aging and stress.’
WHAT ARE THE THREE BODY TYPES?
Rachael Attard, from Sydney, said while many personal trainers will recommend that their clients follow the same exercise routine and diet approach, this will do nothing for your body – unless it’s right for your physique.
‘There are three female body types: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph, and finding out what your body type is and by adjusting your workout and diet to it, you will be training smarter and you will achieve better and faster results,’ Rachael told FEMAIL.
ECTOMORPH BODY TYPE
Major characteristics: Tall and slim
Celebrity example: Kendall Jenner
The first body type is ectomorph – and such women are usually characterised by being tall and slim.
‘Ectomorphs generally find it quite difficult to gain weight or muscle but are naturally low in body fat,’ Rachael explained.
Because of this, they need to adapt their diet and workouts accordingly.
What is the ideal workout?
Ectomorphs should up their resistance training to ideally three times per week, as this will help them to put on muscle.
‘Since ectomorphs find it quite hard to gain muscle and they lose weight easily, they should focus on heavy lifting, high-intensity interval training and resistance training,’ Rachael said.
This body type can also limit their cardio, as it’s not strictly necessary for slimming success.
‘Ectomorphs should also aim for one rest day per week or an active recovery day that includes some light walking or stretching,’ Rachael said.
‘Your body will gain muscle and strength very slowly so don’t be disheartened if you are not noticing any improvements straight away.’
What are the best diet tips to follow?
When it comes to what you should eat, Rachael said ectomorphs need to eat lots of carbs, as this is the only body type that won’t gain weight by eating them.
‘An ideal macronutrient ratio is 40-50 pr cent carbohydrates, 30-35 per cent protein and 20-25 per cent fat,’ Rachael said.
However, this doesn’t mean you can eat whatever carbs you like.
The PT recommends you focus on the healthy, slow-release ones like wholegrain bread, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, quinoa and vegetables.
‘Your body also needs protein and fat to function efficiently,’ Rachael said.
‘For your ectomorph body type, add in healthy fats and protein with every meal. This will also help you to recover from your workouts faster.’
MESOMORPH BODY TYPE
Major characteristics: Naturally muscular with a medium-sized bone structure
Celebrity example: Gigi Hadid
The second body type is the mesomorph.
Mesomorphs are typically characterised by being naturally muscular with a medium-sized bone structure, broad shoulders, a narrow waist and ability to gain and lose weight quickly.
‘Mesomorphs do gain and lose weight, but they also see results from exercise quickly,’ Rachael said.
What is the ideal workout?
Rachael said mesomorphs should choose their weights according to their desired fitness results, so if they are trying to lose weight, they need to stick to body weight or lighter weight, higher rep workouts.
‘HIIT or high intensity interval training also works brilliantly for mesomorphs,’ she said.
‘Try to do HIIT at least one or two times a week, and incorporate three dedicated cardio-focused days.’
You should also definitely be focusing on upping your cardio if you’re curvy, muscly and have a tendency to lose or gain weight:
‘High intensity cardio, such as running on a flat surface and at a stead pace, works best for fat loss,’ Rachael added.
What are the best diet tips to follow?
From a diet perspective, mesomorphs look their best when they eat balanced macros – filled with a 30-35 per cent carbs, 35-40 per cent protein and 30 per cent fat.
‘Try to have all of the macronutrients in both your meals and your snacks,’ Rachael said.
Mesomorphs should also keep an eye on their calorie intake, as they can easily gain weight if they eat too much sugar.
‘The 80/20 approach is a good approach for mesomorphs,’ Rachael added.
This means you eat healthily 80 per cent of the time, and what you want 20 per cent of the time.
‘If you really want to speed up stubborn fat loss and give your body a kickstart, you could try and low carb and high protein diet for four weeks,’ Rachael said.
Following this, you should switch back to eating balanced macros.
ENDOMORPH BODY TYPE
Major characteristics: Shorter and curvier
Celebrity example: Scarlett Johansson
The final body type is the endomorph, and such women are characterised by being shorter and curvier.
‘Endomorphs can gain muscle very quickly, they have great strength and endurance, but may find weight loss a little more challenging and have a higher level of body fat,’ Rachael said.
Thus, they need to work out and diet accordingly.
What is the ideal workout?
The ideal workout for endomorphs is more reps with lower weights.
‘Since endomorphs tend to be bottom-heavy, I recommend you focus on lighter weight resistance training (high reps, low weights) and avoid heavy weights,’ Rachael said.
The trainer also said you could incorporate power walks into your routine, as power walks help to reduce fat on your legs while burning plenty of calories.
‘Try and do as much walking as you can; at least five times per week for 45 minutes at a time,’ Rachael said.
‘You could also incorporate low intensity training like walking with two or three days of moderate high-intensity cardio like running.’
She added that running at a steady pace on a flat surface works best for this body type.
What are the best diet tips to follow?
Endomorphs should follow a low-carb diet, as their bodies are not very good at processing carbohydrates.
‘Make sure most of your carbs are coming from fruit and veggies, and skip the starches such as pasta, bread and rice,’ Rachael said.
You also need to keep your fat and protein intake high. Think lean meats, oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocado.
‘While you can have treats, it’s a good idea to try and make them healthier, like chocolate avocado mousse or homemade protein balls,’ Rachael said.
If you must eat chocolate or lollies, eat it in moderation.
Tash walked 6km every morning on a treadmill and ran three times a week alongside doing her five-times-a-week workouts from the program.
Rachael prides herself in helping clients lose extra body fat and weight in the most efficient way; to do this she teaches them the ‘fat burning zone’.
‘When you work out, most people think that you need to give the workout all the energy you have and to work out as hard as you can,’ Rachael, a sports nutritionist, said.
‘However, the fat burning zone theory says that you shouldn’t push your body all the way to 100. Instead, you’ll burn the most fat when you working at 60 to 70 per cent of your maximum heart rate.’
Doing high intensity cardio at 100 per cent of your heart rate is not the secret to effective fat burning, one of Australia’s top personal trainers has claimed
Rachael Attard, the Gold Coast-based founder of the Lean Legs Program, prides herself in helping clients lose extra body fat and weight in the most efficient way; to do this she teaches them the ‘fat burning zone’
What are the fat burning zones?
1. Very light (50-60%) Exercise: Walking slowly, moving around the house
2. Light (60-70%) Exercise: Power walking
3. Moderate (70-80%) Exercise: Jogging, cycling, swimming
4. Intense (80-90%) Exercise: HIIT
5. Very Intense (90-100%) Exercise: Sprinting
Source: Rachael Attard
Rachael explains that fat burning takes place when carbs and fat are turned into energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
The body needs oxygen to convert fat into ATP and when you’re doing low to moderate-intensity exercise, you’re able to breathe easier so your body gets more oxygen than when you’re doing high intensity training.
‘The most efficient thing your body can do during lower and moderate forms of exercise is to turn to your stored fat into energy,’ she said.
‘The most efficient thing your body can do during lower and moderate forms of exercise is to turn to your stored fat into energy,’ she said
‘So according to the fat burning theory, you should do long low-intensity exercises in order to use up fat storage and to burn enough calories in order to see weight loss.’
Rachael added that during high intensity training the body is more likely to burn carbs (glycogen) rather than fat as it doesn’t have enough energy to burn fat.
‘When you do a high-intensity workout, your body burns through your glycogen stores and may eventually turn back to fat burning depending on the length of the workout, and your body’s amount of stored carbs,’ she added.
‘But if you eat before doing a high-intensity workout (and especially if your diet is high in carbs), your body will most probably burn way more carbs than fat.’
‘So according to the fat burning theory, you should do long low-intensity exercises in order to use up fat storage and to burn enough calories in order to see weight loss,’ she said
This explains why walking is Rachael’s top exercise recommendation – and the one she says is the key to lean, toned legs.
‘Walking is the best type of exercise for lean legs. It will help get rid of excess fat on your legs and lean them out,’ she said previously.
‘The longer you exercise, the more fat your body will burn. So, by doing longer power walks, your body will burn more fat and it will help you get lean legs,’ she said.
Rachael said she tried ‘every single workout under the sun’ but found ‘nothing is as effective in getting thinner thighs and legs overall as walking’.
What does your body type say about how you should train?
Ectomorphs are usually naturally slim (like Victoria’s Secret models) and they find it difficult to build muscle.
If you are an ectomorph body type, you probably already have naturally thinner legs. So, your goal here is to maintain (or perhaps lose a bit of stubborn lower body fat) while building lean muscle.
This way your legs will get tone and definition and you’ll avoid the skinny fat look.
Mesomorphs can be quite athletic and respond quickly to exercise, which means they build muscle easily.
They can lose weight very fast, but can also gain weight quickly too. Usually, they are of average size.
If you are a mesomorph, overdoing workouts like squats and lunges can easily result in bulky legs. So, your goal here is to reduce body fat percentage and avoid exercises that will bulk up your legs in the process.
Endomorphs naturally have a strong build and larger frame. They can build muscle very quickly and it’s slightly harder for them to lose weight. But, it’s not impossible!
If you are an endomorph body type, your goal is to really focus on reducing overall body fat and to completely avoid any workouts that may cause you to bulk up.
Rachael’s workouts have help thousands of women sculpt their dream bodies fast
‘Through my years of working as a PT with girls that had the same goal (specifically to get skinny legs), this has always been the best method,’ she added.
Rachael added that a walk first thing in the morning will lead to better results.
‘If you do cardio before you eat in the morning you will have less stored glycogen, and your body will, therefore, burn more fat and muscle,’ Rachael said.
‘Less fat and less muscle size equals slimmer legs but for this to work, you need to eat low carb (try not to eat carbs for dinner the night before so your glycogen levels are already low) and you need to do cardio for a fairly long period of time (over 60-90 minutes).’
Bottom line is there are three main steps to reducing muscle size and sculpting slim, toned legs: learning your body type, doing the right type of cardio (walking) and eating at a slight calorie deficit with low carbs.
To learn more about the fat burning zone, click here.