Toning up truths. What toning up really means and how to get toned.
‘I just want to tone up’
‘I want to lose weight, then tone up’
‘I want my arms to be more toned’
I’m sure you have said this at some point, well who hasn’t right?
As trainers we hear this everyday, I’d say the majority of our members will say this is one of their most important goals and quite possibly you feel the same too.
But what do you actually mean by this, ‘tone up’
Read on if you want us to:
• explain what ‘toning up’ actually means.
• Debunk any myths with ‘toning’
• Give you useful information on how to get ‘toned’
In a nutshell when someone’s goal is to ‘tone up’ what they are saying is they want to build muscle and lose body fat. Now that may sound pretty scary to you, especially if you are a woman, even more so the ‘build muscle’ part.
Think of when you have seen someone with a nice toned body, you are admiring their shape. It’s muscle that gives the shape, with less body fat making the shape more visible, or defined.
Things you have heard that are false:
• You can tone a muscle.
• Lifting weights will make you ‘bulky’.
• Higher reps will help tone a muscle.
• You can make a soft muscle turn hard.
• Targeting a specific body part will help tone that area. I.e sit ups will tone your stomach.
The ‘tone’ truths
• A muscle can’t go from soft to hard, it grows or shrinks.
• Definition will come from lower body fat levels.
• Improved shape will come from having more lean muscle.
• Focus on your diet to lose body fat.
• Focus on weight training to build muscle.
Now we have cleared up the toning myths, we are going to give you the best approach to your exercise to help get ‘toned’.
You now know weight training is one of the key factors to changing your body shape. So done are the days of hours of cardio every workout (it’s pretty boring anyway). Have you ever looked at a long distance runner and thought that’s how you want to look? Probably not, so why train like one.
Prioritising weight training is the way to go, whether you train 2 times a week or 5, the focus should be on weight training and improving your strength, cardio can supplement your weight training.
Train all of your body. For example if you want a flatter stomach then spending lots of your valuable exercise time performing endless crunches then you are not being very productive with your time. You want to focus on getting as much bang for your buck when exercising. Split your workouts so you have 2/3 of your workout weight training both lower and upper body, then the final third can be split between core exercises and cardio.
Hopefully the above has helped quash the myths you may of had around ‘toning’. If you are wanting to improve your body shape and lose weight then some key things you can focus on now can be:
• Learn to incorporate weight training into your exercise routine.
• Focus on your diet to lose body fat and fuel your workouts.
• Train your whole body rather than worrying about one particular area of your body that you want to improve.
• You don’t have to go to a gym to lift weights and have a good workout. (we have you covered 😉)
Mike and Carly
PS if you are a busy person that needs help on improving your body shape, nutrition and lifestyle then click here to find out how we can help you today.