The Secret to a Toned Body: What Personal Trainers Aren’t Telling You
The truth about toning and having a toned body is a well-kept secret among many personal trainers and fitness instructors. Luckily, trainers from West Virginia University’s Wellness Center and Student Recreation Center have revealed the mystery—there is no such thing as a "toned" body.
But don’t worry. All of that time spent in the gym pumping iron and doing countless crunches will still pay off.
According to this informative fitness and health blog, Answer Fitness, the term 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 regular strength training will give you that toned body look.
In fact, when most women hear the phrase "bulking up," they generally picture body-builders with huge, over-sized muscles. This isn’t the case. Bulking up is only caused by male hormone testosterone. Women, on the other hand, only have approximately 10 to 30 percent of these hormones.
Women actually build lean muscle, which, in turn, burns fat. Strength training, then, helps women lose weight, prevent osteoporosis, and lowers high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Sounds much better than bulking up, right?
Before getting too excited, 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 a day), and less carbs, sugar, salt, and red meat should get you off to a good start. Again, diets are personalized, the amount of veggies and fruits a person should eat a day depends on his or her age, weight, and daily caloric intake. Here is a handy calculator to get you started.
The second part of the definition is building more muscle mass. Those little phrases that we dread, such as "pumping iron" and "bulking up," are exactly what we need to do at the gym to get that so-called toned look. This means hitting the gym at least three times a week for 45 to 60 minute strength-training sessions.
Once you get going, it’s important to remember you have to add more weight to your routines, not 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 ol’ hard work will help you achieve you dream body. And just in time to slip into that swimsuit sitting in your closet!
Visit Answer Fitness to learn more about the myth behind toning.