Have you or someone you know ever been asked,what you want from your gym experience and the reply was “I just want to tone up,”?
We’ve all been there. We’ve all said it, we’ve all heard it. And some of still believe it, but if I were to put the question to you now, “what is toning?” most people couldn’t answer that and that is not but because toning isn’t a real thing. You can be TONED as the result of the gym, but you can’t TONE as a verb.
But then how can you get TONED without toning? Well, you can only do one or both of two things at the Gym: you can lose weight, or you can build muscle.
Losing weight, by definition of the phrase, is to lose body mass, be it fat or muscle – to shed the pounds so that when you stand on the scale you are lighter than you were previously.
Gaining muscle is to work your body hard enough so that the natural muscle become stronger and more defined.
When people say they want to tone what they usually mean is that they want their body to generally be in good shape – no excess swinging fat, nothing falling out where it shouldn’t. Aiming for this overall balanced shape body, usually, means that you’re not looking to be too overly muscular or over thin – so just right.
But what most people – women in particular – focus on is machines like the treadmill, the bikes, maybe a bit of the arm press. This type of cardio intense workout will only accelerate weight loss. To be ‘toned’ you need to lose weight, gain muscle, or both. There no such thing as just being able to squash your body into shape by just moving about or keeping at the same exercise constantly.
Focusing too much on cardio will build strength and speed, but it will also make you lose weight quicker and, in doing so, you will lose body mass. So for those of you who really like parts of your body, say your thigh or breasts, cardio will only bring those down– that’s not toning.
So you need to do weights – ignore all of the well-built men that go straight for the weights section as they walk in. They aren’t checking for you, so you don’t need to be checking for them. Mind your own workout and focus on the results you want, not the results they have- and work out hard.
BUT – excessive weight training alone, won’t give you that image of a toned body which you have in your head. – you’ll be bulkier – heavier.
The trick is a balance. Do hardcore all over cardio once/ twice a week and work on building your body on weight days. That’s ALL of your body, arms and legs. And building muscle doesn’t always mean that you’re going to end up looking like popeye on spinach.
Muscle eats away at fat, so if you want to look ‘TONED’ don’t shy away from weights, if you build your muscles whilst also doing cardio, your body will shed the weights and the muscle will grow strong enough to replace the mass you’ve lost and you’ll have that balance, fat free, in shape body.
And the good thing about weights is, unlike cardio, you can spot work out – so if you want bigger arms without affecting your legs you can make that happen.
Just remember: know what you want from your body. If you want to look balanced – which is essentially what most people think toning is –you need to be unafraid to really go in and work hard on your body- be everything in equal measure. Do both, weights and cardio. You can either lose weight, build muscle or both. But ‘TONING’ isn’t an option for looking ‘TONED’.