This is a common phrase in the fitness world and is usually heard from females but with the Justin Beiber era upon us it’s definitely not only from the ladies these days. So what does it mean?
Toning up is quite misunderstood. You will quite often hear it as “turning fat into muscle”. Now this would be great if it happened like that but unfortunately it is not the case. In the case of a skinny/fat person (in healthy BMI range but relatively high BF%), what is typically required is maintenance of muscle mass while decreasing body fat. As can be read about in safe and effective rates of fat loss maintenance of muscle mass requires progressive tension overload ie. more weight or more reps as a goal for resistance training. (reps can be increased up to muscular endurance range but after this there will be little stimulus on the muscle for LBM retention purposes)
Decreasing BF% requires:
progressive overload resistance training
And the most important aspect of “toning” is patience and having faith in the plan. Body recomposition can take longer than going on a drastic weight loss plan but the affects are much more likely to last as it’s quite common to see a lot of weight rebound after crash dieting. This is a marathon not a sprint and it’ s where the “it’s a lifestyle” slogan comes from for CD Nutrition & Fitness. We look at health and fitness as life long endeavours. Patience + persistence = progress. And just to reiterate, females with 6 packs and guys with huge muscular physiques do not happen overnight so if this is not your goal that is fine, it simply means that you dial back your training when you are happy with your physique.
“Quote from Nick Wright of Nick Wright Bodybuilding, a top level natural bodybuilder”
Beginners: “I don’t want to get big and bulky like you, I just want to be toned”….
What we hear: “I don’t want to trip, fall and accidentally gain the size you’ve worked 5+ years day in and day out to achieve… because that may happen, today.”
Weight Lifting won’t get you “big and bulky” that’s how you eat, people. EVERYONE should hit the weights! (When I say weights, this can be any sort of resistance be it iron, body weight etc. Progressive overload principles still apply)