I get asked a lot similar questions, so over the next month both on my Instagram (@fitchicnic) and on here, I’ll be going through the alphabet talking about some of the most common health and fitness related questions and topics.
T is for Toning
I’ve been waiting for this one! Toning is probably the most overused word in mainstream gyms. But toning isn’t actually a thing.
Usually by being “toned,” people mean having slight muscular definition and shape, while having nothing “jiggling.” But muscles don’t get harder or softer, they either grow or shrink in size, & you also need low enough body fat to be able to see the definition of the muscles.
Therefore to get “toned” you need to do the following:
1. Do resistance training to increase your muscle tissue. The weights you use need to be heavy enough to put stress on the muscles, so that when you do a set between 8-15 repetitions, you can’t easily do many more than that. Every exercise is different and uses different muscles, so you may be “only” using 2kg for one, but 8kg for another, for example. It’ll take time to work it out.
2. Eat in a calorie deficit to reduce body fat, so you can see the muscles. This depends on the person, & without counting calories/macros there’s no way to really know exactly where you’re at (but that’s not really very fun.) Aim for a balanced diet of proteins, fat & carbs, & avoid processed food high in extra calories. You have to eat enough to fuel everything your body does everyday.
Starting to lift weights won’t suddenly make you massive – it takes a long time and a lot of effort (for women in particular) to grow muscle.
Think of it logically. If you start lifting weights, but continue to eat a lot of rubbish (maybe even increase your calories because you’re starting to get hungrier from the workouts) then you’re likely to gain body fat and not get the desired look.
Also, largely decreasing your calorie intake (not eating) in an attempt to lose body fat will just make you ill, malnourished, your muscles will be actually decrease in size/look depleted because they’re not being fuelled.
Strength training also increases your BMR (daily metabolism at rest) so you’ll be burning more fat everyday – more of a long term solution.
Get a healthy balance of eating 80% wholesome, healthy food, & lifting weights that challenge you, & you’ll soon notice the difference!
Photography by Adonis Vision Photography