Updated: Jun 3, 2019
I think almost every woman I talk to will at some point say "I want to tone up".
But what does this actually means, and what do you have to do to get 'toned'.
Firstly I feel that 'tone up' is a phrase that doesn't hold much meaning, its a bit like diet. It sends out the wrong message.
I think that when most women say "tone up" they actually mean that they want to create a firmer, more shapely body and ultimately look and feel better about themselves. A simple explanation of this is to increase our muscle mass and decrease your body fat to give you some great definition - right?
My experience is that most people will go about this the wrong way and probably set unrealistic expectations of themselves - I know I did! The media is hugely to blame for this by advertising all the quick fixes out there, sadly quick fixes will not get you the results you want.
If you are in good shape already it may only take a few weeks of proper weight training and good nutrition to achieve your goals, but for most people who want to tone up it will take several months of dedicated work with a proper program either in the gym or with home workouts(my preference) and great nutrition.
Looking toned requires you to reduce body fat to a point where the muscles are visible. I am not talking about when in the gym, after a workout and your muscles are popping. I'm talking about having definition when you are wearing your normal day to day clothes. Reducing your body fat in this way comes down to your nutrition, and the scales don't always tell the whole story.
When training to gain lean muscle mass and reduce body fat the scales will sometimes hardly change, due to muscle being denser than fat, but the results can be phenomenal. I strongly advice taking progress photos and not relying on the scales for your results!
Getting your body into great shape is not about getting skinny, its about training properly and eating well to get that overall 'fit look', but most importantly feeling great within yourself and being strong and healthy.
Lots of women fear lifting weights and building muscle as they will look manly but the reality is women do not produce enough testosterone for this to occur and you will notice that incredible things start to happen to your body as you build muscle. I see so many women overdo the cardio( I used to be one of them) aspect of their training, but spending hours on the treadmill whilst it does burn calories and body fat it will not get you the shape you want. What you actually need to do is incorporate weight training and start lifting heavy regularly.
What you eat and drink is very important. This will have the biggest impact on your body shape. What your putting in your mouth each day can either enhance or destroy your progress. The problem is there is so much conflicting information out there about food and nutrition. I like to keep things really simple and suggest you start by eating portion controlled meals regularly throughout the day and focus on whole natural foods which actually offer nutritional value rather than processed foods in a packet. Restricting your food intake will only impair your progress, muscles need fuel to grow and repair.
So "getting toned" is about achieving the body shape you want through exercise and healthy eating. Focus on fuelling your body with the right foods which will make you feel great, and reduce body fat. Them make sure you are weight training regularly each week. It normally just takes 3 weeks to start seeing results, and once you see them that is motivation to keep going and embrace these new healthy habits for life!
If you need some structure and guidance join my program I'd be delighted to help you on your journey to a fitter healthier you!