We've heard it countless times, "I just want to tone up," but what does that actually mean? Unfortunately, nothing... as "toning" doesn't really exist. Muscles can get bigger and they can get smaller but they will not just stay the same size and "tone up."
Most people who want to "tone" when pressed for actual goals would like to "look like they work out" and have "harder" muscles. The answer to this is typically gain some muscle mass and lose excess body fat. This doesn't mean we need to have huge muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the day but they do need to grow.
Many have heard that you should "lift light weights for lots of reps" in order to "tone," but this isn't the whole truth. Muscles will grow and change in response to many types of exercise but we have to make sure we're doing the right things to see the results we want. Is lifting light weight for lots of reps going to change your muscles? Sure, but lower reps at higher weights will stimulate much more growth. If you want to "tone" you'll need larger muscles and to do so you'll need to lift some heavier weights. A balanced program like CrossFit, which includes light, moderate and heavier weights, will help you see your goals become a reality.
The other big part is losing that excess body fat in order to see the definition in your muscles. The people you see that are "ripped" have a low body fat percentage. They may have big muscles like Arnold or be a lot smaller but if you can see serious definition their body fat is low. How can we accomplish this? Eat real, high quality food as often as possible to start. From there, identify how much food you should be eating and start to measure your meals using an easy system like The Zone Diet.
The toughest part about getting to your "toned" goals is that it requires real, hard work. Commit to a program and good things will happen. Don't know what program to do? Try CrossFit, aka, lift some weight (light, moderate and heavy), do some conditioning and care about what goes into your body.
Want to chat about your goals? Contact us below and we'll point you in the right direction.
We all know how fun summer parties can be but we also know how they can quickly derail some of the progress we've made lately in and out of the gym.
So what do we do? Stay home???
Here are a few things you can do to enjoy yourself but not completely change all your healthy habits.
Hopefully these tips will help make your summer BBQs more enjoyable and a little healthier. Any questions just ask.
Are you selecting the right weights for your workouts? Do some workouts take you a lot longer than other people? Do you fee like halfway through you can barely lift the weight? Even earlier?
This is not uncommon and can usually be fixed by asking yourself a few simple questions before your training session.
When we program workouts the weights are typically chosen to challenge the experienced athletes of the group. For everyone else, we must scale in order to complete the workout safely and still get the same training stimulus. Those RX weights gives some people something to strive for but not everyone will get there and that's OK. If you were to just use the prescribed weights no matter what and a workout that should take 6 minutes takes you 20 minutes, you are not getting the desired response we are looking for and will have a hard time increasing your power input.
What is power?
POWER = FORCE x VELOCITY
In simple terms, that means more work completed in less time. This is a BIG part of the CrossFit program. Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, calls power "the undisputed king of performance" and that is "linked to nearly every positive aspect of fitness."
How do we find that perfect scale for you if you're not able to use the prescribed weights in the prescribed time? Science!
Many articles have covered the writings of Vladimir Zatsiorsky, exercise scientist and author, showing that "maximal power output occurs at approximately 30% of maximal velocity and 50% of maximal load." If we're not able to keep that speed up, 50% may still be too heavy but it's a starting point to work from.
So if we're trying to increase your power output we may need to scale your workouts. The RX weight for the classic CrossFit workout, "Fran" is 95 lbs. for men. If you're 1RM thruster is less than 190 lbs we definitely shouldn't be doing "Fran" as prescribed. If you're 1RM thruster is 130, let's try doing "Fran" with 65 lbs. first. That still may be too heavy if we are not able to move that weight consistently for the 45 reps.
Can we still work on our strength even though we're scaling the workouts? Of course! Doing our strength program every time you're in the gym will get those 1 rep maxes heavier which will in turn allow you move heavier weights during workouts and increase your power output.
Still not sure where to start with scaling CrossFit workouts? Ask any of our coaches or send us a message. We are here to help.