When starting on a fitness journey, the most common question asked is, “How long will it take before I see results?” The answer to that question largely depends on your starting point and desired outcome. However, if you’re looking to tone up and have a more defined physique, doing a 4-week body transformation plan is a great way to start seeing results quickly.
Can you truly see results from working out in 4 weeks? Certainly. A consistent workout and diet plan will help you tone up and shed fat, revealing a more defined physique. Although you may not yet achieve your ideal body in 4 weeks, you can certainly make significant progress towards your goals.
Here’s everything you need to know to do a 4-week body transformation.
What Is A Body Transformation?
A body transformation is when you change your body composition, meaning the ratio of fat to muscle mass, through diet and exercise. When most people think of “transforming their body,” they generally want to lose fat and/or build muscle. However, you can also transform your body by gaining muscle mass while simultaneously losing fat.
A common mistake many women who aim to transform their body in four weeks make is obsess over the scale. I mean, if you’re shedding pounds, the numbers on the scale should be moving downward, right? Not necessarily.
The reason the scale isn’t always the best measure of success is that as you lose fat and build muscle, your weight may stay relatively the same – or even increase. This is because muscle is more dense than fat, so it weighs more (6).
So, how do you know if you’re making progress if the scale doesn’t show it? There are a few other measures you can take, including:
- Body Measurements: Take measurements of your chest, waist, hips, and thighs. Then, once a week, re-measure to see if any of these numbers have changed.
- Progress Pictures: Take pictures of yourself at the beginning of your transformation, and then take one picture each week. Doing this will help you see changes in your physique that the scale may not reflect.
- Fit Into Smaller Clothes: If your clothes are fitting looser, that’s a good sign that you’re losing fat and toning up.
Read More: Sprint Workouts To Blast Fat, Fire Your Muscles, And Build Muscle And Power
How Can A Woman Get Ripped In 4 Weeks?
Here, we use the term “get ripped” rather loosely—we’re not talking about getting shredded like a bodybuilder or fitness model. We’re simply referring to losing enough fat so you can see some muscle definition.
The best way to get ripped in 4 weeks is to follow a consistent workout and diet plan. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, there are certain principles that will help you succeed.
Workout 3 To 5 Times A Week
If you want to see results quickly, you need to be consistent with your workouts. This means working out at least 3 to 5 times per week. While you don’t have to do intense workouts every single day, it is important to push yourself when you do work out.
Your workouts don’t have to be long either. In fact, research shows that shorter, more intense workouts are more effective for fat loss than longer, moderate-intensity workouts (2).
So, what’s the best way to structure your workouts? A combination of cardio and strength training is always a good place to start. If you’re short on time, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts are an excellent way to get in a quick, effective workout.
As for how to split up your cardio and strength training, that will depend on your goals. If you’re looking to lose fat, doing more cardio is generally the way to go. However, if you’re trying to tone up and build muscle, then you’ll want to focus more on strength training.
Whatever approach you take, just make sure you’re consistent with your workouts and challenging yourself each time you workout.
Strength Train Strategically
There’s a method to strength training that will help you maximize your results. First, focus on compound exercises, which are exercises that work on multiple muscle groups at once (4).
Some of the best compound exercises for women include:
- Bench press
In addition to compound exercises, you’ll also want to include some isolation exercises in your workouts. These are exercises that target a single muscle group.
Some of the best isolation exercises for women include:
- Bicep curls
- Tricep extensions
- Shoulder presses
- Leg raises
When strength training, it’s also important to focus on progressive overload. This is if you want to continually challenge your muscles by increasing the weight, reps, or sets you’re doing.
This will ensure that your muscles are consistently getting stronger and that you’re seeing results.
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Focus On Quality, Not Quantity
When it comes to cardio, it’s not about how long you work out, but rather the quality of your workout. So, rather than spending hours on the elliptical or treadmill, do HIIT workouts or sprints.
HIIT workouts are a great way to get in a quick, effective cardio workout. Sprints, on the other hand, are an excellent way to burn fat and build muscle (2).
In addition to HIIT and sprints, you can also do other forms of cardio like swimming, biking, or rowing. The important thing is to find an activity that you enjoy and that you can do consistently.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Working out is only half the battle. If you want to see results, you need to eat a healthy diet as well.
There are a lot of different approaches to eating healthy, but one of the simplest is to focus on whole, unprocessed foods. These are the foods that are closest to their natural state and that have the fewest ingredients (1).
Some examples of those whole and unprocessed foods include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Lean protein
- Whole grains
When it comes to losing fat, one of the most important things you can do is to create a calorie deficit. That is, you need to eat fewer calories than your body needs (3).
There are a few different ways to create a calorie deficit. You could always count calories and measure everything to a T, but most beginners find that overwhelming and time-consuming. One sure thing about weight loss is that the more complex you make it, the more likely you are to give up.
A more straightforward approach is to focus on eating healthy, whole foods and reducing your portion sizes. This will help you naturally eat fewer calories and create a calorie deficit.
In addition to eating fewer calories, you’ll also want to make sure you’re eating the right types of calories. This is if you want to focus on eating more protein and fewer carbs.
Protein is the most filling macronutrient and it helps you build muscle. Carbs, on the other hand, are more likely to be stored as fat.
So, if you want to lose fat and tone up, focus on eating more protein and fewer carbs (3).
Consider How Hormones Impact Body Transformation For Women
One commonly overlooked factor in body transformation is hormones. Hormones play a big role in how your body looks and feels, and they can have a major impact on weight loss and muscle gain (5).
For example, women have higher levels of estrogen, which can cause them to hold onto more fat. Women also have less testosterone than men, which can make it harder to build muscle.
Some hormonal conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can also make it harder to lose weight. If you think hormones may be impacting your body transformation, talk to your doctor.
Aside from medical conditions, there are also certain life stages that can impact hormones. For example, during menopause, estrogen levels drop, which can cause weight gain.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding can also impact hormones and cause weight gain. So, if you’re going through any of these life stages, it’s important to be aware of how they may impact your body transformation.
Lifestyle choices may impact different hormones in your body. For example, stress can affect the hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain. Cortisol is notorious for causing “stress belly,” which is the accumulation of fat around your midsection.
So, if you want to lose fat and tone up, it’s important to manage stress levels. This can be done through relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation.
Sleep is another important factor in hormone regulation. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can impact hormones like leptin and ghrelin, which can lead to weight gain.
So, if you want to lose fat and tone up, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours per night.
Read More: Clean Bulking Meal Plan For Building Lean Muscle
Workout Plan For Women To Transform Their Bodies In 4 Weeks
Below is a workout routine that will help any woman achieve a complete body transformation in just 4 weeks. Although it may seem like a lot, trust me, it is possible!
Warm Up Options
Before starting any workout, it is always important to warm up your muscles first. This will help prevent injuries and make the workouts more effective.
Here are a couple of options for warming up:
- Option 1: Jog in place for 2 to 3 minutes
- Option 2: Jumping jacks for 2 to 3 minutes
- Option 3: Bodyweight squats for 2 to 3 minutes
- Option 4: High knees for 2 to 3 minutes
After warming up, it is also beneficial to do some dynamic stretches. These are stretches that involve movement and help further increase blood flow to the muscles.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Option 1: Leg swings – swing each leg forward and back 10 to 15 times
- Option 2: Arm circles – rotate your arms in small circles forward and backward 10 to 15 times
- Option 3: Torso twists – twist your torso side to side 10 to 15 times
- Option 4: Bodyweight squats with a reach – as you squat down, reach your arms out in front of you 10 to 15 times.
Below are four different workouts that should be done 2 to 3 times per week. The workouts can be done on consecutive days or with a day of rest in between.
Workout 1: Full Body Strength Training
This workout should focus on compound exercises that work on multiple muscle groups at the same time. It is important to select a weight that allows you to complete the desired number of repetitions without sacrificing form. Perform at least three sets and 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise.
- Chest Press
- Triceps Extension
- Lat Pulldown
- Shoulder Press
- Biceps Curl
- Leg Press
- Calf Raise
Workout 2: Upper Body Workout
The upper body workout has a combination of compound and isolation exercises targeting the muscles of the chest, shoulders, back, and arms. Perform at least three sets and 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise.
Just like the total body workout, be sure to select a weight that allows you to complete the desired number of repetitions without sacrificing form.
- Barbell Bench Press
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
- Dumbbell Flys
- Bent-Over Row
- Seated Cable Row
- Shoulder Press
- Lateral Raise
- Biceps Curl
- Triceps Pushdown
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Workout 3: Lower Body Workout
This workout focuses on the muscles of the lower body including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Just like the other workouts, be sure to select a weight that allows you to complete the desired number of repetitions without sacrificing form. Perform at least three sets and 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise.
- Barbell Squat
- Leg Press
- Walking Lunge
- Romanian Deadlift
- Hip Thrust
- Glute Bridge
- Calf Raise
Workout 4: HIIT Cardio Workout
This is a high-intensity interval training workout that should be done 2 to 3 times per week. HIIT workouts are a great way to burn fat and improve cardiovascular endurance (2). The workout below is just an example, so feel free to make changes as needed.
- Warm-up for 5 minutes
- Sprint for 30 seconds
- Rest for 1 minute
- Repeat 8 to 10 times
- Cool down for 5 minutes
Body transformation is different for everyone as there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. However, there are some general tips that can help most people lose fat and tone up. Simply increasing calorie burn through exercise and making healthy food choices can help most people see results.
Additionally, focusing on specific macronutrients like protein and managing stress levels can also be helpful. Finally, be sure to get enough sleep to support hormone regulation.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 8 tips for healthy eating (2022, nhs.uk)
- High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss (2011, nih.gov)
- Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance (2021, nih.gov)
- Single vs. Multi-Joint Resistance Exercises: Effects on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy (2015, nih.gov)
- The role of hormones in muscle hypertrophy (2017, nih.gov)
- Weight and muscle gain (2015, betterhealth.vic.gov.au)