One of the most common statements I hear is, “I just want to get toned for….”. In the fitness world, “toning up” has a lot of misconceptions. “Toning up” is actually not possible in the way you may think. Toning has nothing to do with making your muscles more firm or less “jiggly or wobbly.” It is impossible for muscles to get softer or more firm–they only grow or shrink.
So what causes that “toned” look? I hate to break it to you, but it is not hours of cardio, lifting light weight and high reps, or doing 100 crunches a day. The “toned” look is actually caused by low enough body fat that you can see your muscles. So to “get toned,” you need to lose fat and gain muscle. To do this, you need to resistance train.
We burn calories through energy expenditure. This means our body requires and uses energy throughout the day resulting in burning calories. You don’t just burn calories while working out. You actually burn most of your calories throughout the day doing everyday activities. Lean muscle requires more energy throughout the day, so it increases your caloric burn. As a result, building muscle will help you burn more calories, even at rest.
There is a lot of complex science behind building muscle, so let me break it down for you. When we lift weights, we put stress on our muscles. As a result, our muscle fibers are broken down which results in microtears. I know this sounds scary, but it is actually good. These microtears trigger a response from your body to reshape the “damaged” muscle. Over the 72 hours following a workout, our muscles rebuild, resulting in stronger muscles.
I know you are probably worried about getting bulky with resistance training, but I can almost guarantee you that will not happen. The majority of women genetically cannot get that bulky look with supplements and a nutrition program designed specifically for that bulky look. So put that worry out of your mind.
Now that we have the science behind us, I can walk you through how to get that toned look.
A resistance training program should be designed specifically for your goals and should be designed by a professional. Everyone’s body and history is different,and there is so much behind effective resistance training programs. Just doing workouts you find on Pinterest or on social media could actually do more harm than good. So be picky on the workouts you try, and be sure they are designed by someone with appropriate certification. Also be sure you are following some sort of progressive overload. Without overloading your muscles, you will not see any improvement.
A nutrition plan should also be tailored specifically for you. Eating too little or too much will also hinder your progress. Again, be sure to get your advice from someone qualified to help you.
If you are ready to get started, follow me on Instagram for workouts and tips, or dm me for a program specifically for you!
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I help women with chronic illness incorporate mindful movement and adopt new habits that work with their diagnosis and avoid new flares.