How to Tone Your Body

This is a question that many women would like to know the answer to. Some guys also say that they want to tone their muscles, but the vast majority of the time it’s women who want to “get toned”.

Can you “get toned”, though?

Well, that depends on what you think toning actually means.  If you think that toning refers to changing the shape of or elongating your muscles, then no, you cannont get toned. Our muscles are the shapes that they are because we were born that way, and there is nothing you can do about it.  You can increase the size of them, but there is no other way to change how they look.

If you think that toning refers to just looking more fit, then I can accept that.  When you talk to most people about what toning means, they’ll stumble through some vauge definition before finally landing on one of the two above, so we will stick with those.

How can you “look more fit” though?

Here’s the secret:

The only two options that you have available to change your appearance is decreasing the amount of fat you have and increasing the amount of muscle you have.

That’s it!

Think about it.  How else would you “tone”?  People who get toned from doing some system like Insanity or P90X just decrease their body-fat and add a tiny bit of muscle in the process. Anyone who has ever gotten “toned” just lost a lot of fat, and gained a little bit of muscle.

So now that we have gotten what tonning really refers to out of the way…

What’s wrong with doing a system like Insanity or P90X?

Well, nothing really.  But there are faster ways!  Much faster ways.

Women are always so scared of becomming “big, bulky, and man-like”.  Many think that if they use a weight that gives even more than minor resistence, they will suddenly panic because they don’t want to get too much muscle. The ironic thing is that many guys try to get big muscles all their life and are never able to do it.  However, women, who have just a fraction of the testosterone that men have, are deathly afraid that they will get huge.

Girls, you won’t get big… even if you lift heavy things.

All the girl bodybuilders who look huge are on steroids, giving them more testosterone that a teenage boy has!  If you’re not on the juice, then you won’t get big, girls.

What’s the fastest way to lose a lot of fat and gain some muscle to look “toned”?

Simple: Diet, Lifting, and some Cardio.

Doesn’t that look surprisingly similar to what a guy has to do to lose fat? Yes, yes it does.

It doesn’t matter too much which type of diet you choose to do.  The main part of any diet is that you are getting a lot of protein (about 1g/lbs of body weight) and that the total calories are under your mantainence level at the end of the day.  I will have articles addressing specific diets on this blog from time to time, so if you want more information about diets, search the site.

You need to lift when you diet. You need to lift when you diet. You need to lift when you diet. Stuck in your head yet?Way to many women (and many men, too) do not lift weights when trying to lose fat. That’s one of the worst things that you can do! First of all, unless you have never lifted before, you are not going to build much muscle (probably none at all) if you eat under maintainence level (read: diet). Your body just isn’t going to take calories that it doesn’t have and try to perform such an energy intensive process like building muscle.  However, when you lift heavy weights while dieting, it tells your body to keep the muscle that it does have and not eat it up for energy. If you don’t life when you diet, then your body will gladly use your muscle for it’s energy needs instead of your fat!  That means that you end up keeping more fat but have less muscle, the opposite definition of toning!  So girls, lift heavy weights when you diet. Weights that make you fail between 5-10 reps.

Cardio can also be useful while dieting, but it is overemphasized most of the time.  For more information on that, read Is Cardio Effective for Fat Loss?

So now that you know all that, go out and get toned!

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments!