Toning or becoming toned is a popular phrase in the fitness world that comes with a certain meaning. When you hear the word “tone,” what immediately pops into your head? Defined muscles? Cut abs? Getting rid of jiggly skin? This is a goal set by a majority of people, but most aren’t clear on exactly what “tone” is. The myth of Toning is that all one needs to do is high repetitions of each exercise to achieve this goal. The truth is that muscles do not firm or loosen up. Becoming “toned” is a result of an increase in muscle size and a decrease in body fat percentage. So let’s take a look at how to become “Toned.”
Strength training is an important aspect of achieving the goal of Tone. When you strength train properly, your muscles will grow bigger and bigger. When you are strength training and performing 12-15 repetitions per set with little fatigue, you aren’t achieving much muscle building. Instead, focus on strength training in the range of 8-10 repetitions for multiple sets at a weight that challenges you. Building your muscle size will also help decrease your body fat percentage to become toned.
Cardio training may not be your favorite thing in the world, but it is necessary for becoming toned. Without cardio, achieving this goal will be a difficult task. Performing a true cardio workout, whether it is on a treadmill, bike, spin class, or what works best for you, will get your heart rate up and decrease fat mass at a greater rate. So get a cardio workout in, and break a sweat 2-3 times a week. Remember, don’t skip your strength training though.
This may be the most important aspect of becoming “Toned.” Just like the phrase, “six pack abs begin in the kitchen,” the same is true for becoming Tone. Without a proper diet, the goal of becoming toned can become impossible to achieve. Feed your body the fuel it needs to build muscle and decrease fat mass. Also, let’s be real. Dessert every once in a while isn’t going to kill your goals. If you’re feeling something sweet, go ahead and have some chocolate. Just remember, everything in moderation.
Written by GUADS staff member Patrick with contributions from www.bodybuilding.com