Over the past few months I have come into contact with some personal trainers (mostly through where I work or the Student Rec Center) who have all told me the same thing about “toning.” There is no such thing. Yep, that’s right, there is no such thing as a “toned body” contrary to what you have read in fitness magazines or have been told in the gyms.
According to this great new health blog I found, Answerfitness, the word toning probably just originated because a lot of people (mainly women) fear the phrases “muscle building,” or “bulking up.”
The true definition of having a “toned” body is to have low body fat and more muscle mass. This means that a proper and nutritious diet along with strength training will give you that “toned” body you’ve been looking for.
Let’s start with the nutritious part of the definition. Dieting is crucial to achieving any fitness goals. All diets can and should be personalized. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables a day (at least 5 servings), and less carbs, sugar, salt, and red meat should get you off to a good start. Again, diets are personalized. You have to find the right one for you based on your goals.
The second part is more muscle mass. Yes, this does mean pumping iron. You have to build the muscle to get that so-called “toned” look. This means hitting the gym at least three times a week for about 45-60 minute strength-training sessions. Remember, you have to add more and more weight to your routines, not more and more reps. If you only continually add reps, you are only increasing your muscle endurance, not the actual size of your muscle. If you’re going to spend all the time at the gym, you want to see it right?!
Lastly, don’t forget about your cardio! Remember the first part of that definition…to get a “toned” body you have to have low body fat. Cardio is probably the quickest way to burn fat calories and help you lose weight, along with a proper diet of course.
With that said, enough time and good ole’ hard work will help you achieve you dream body….just in time for summer!