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.