We often hear saying that they want to “tone”. However every time resistance training is suggested the answer often is “I don’t want to get bulky”. First thing first, for a guy to get “bulky” they would have to train 5 days a week, with great intensity lifting heavy weights every week for a good few years to achieve a “bulky” physique (unless taking performance enhancing substances). To gain a large amount of muscle is a difficult thing to achieve. It’s even harder for women to achieve due to the fact that testosterone levels in women are so low. For guys it would be a dream to start packing on large amounts of muscle by lifting moderate weights twice – three times a week.
So how do we “tone”? We “tone” by reducing fat and increasing muscle size (yes we have to increase muscle size!). As previously stated increasing muscle size is hard. Resistance training has to become a vital part of your training program if you want to achieve a “toned” physique. The treadmill, cross trainer, bike, rower etc will help you lose fat. However they will have a negative effect when it comes to building muscle. To increase muscle size and “tone” you will have to perform resistance exercises a minimum 2-3 times a week. When we say resistance exercise we mean that the weight has to be heavy (however not too heavy). It has to be difficult and out of your comfort zone, otherwise results will be minimal. Resistance training will also help you reduce fat as it can increase your metabolism and you are burning calories whilst exercising. A mixture of both resistance training and cardio is best.
However to achieve a “toned” physique you also will need a good nutritional plan, one that is tailored towards your goal. If your goal is to increase muscle mass then this will hard to achieve in a calorie deficit. Also for fat loss this will impossible to achieve in a calorie surplus. If you are looking to achieve fat loss and muscle gain you will have to train in separate phases. A phase dedicated to fat loss (e.g. 6-12 weeks) and a phase dedicated to muscle gain (e.g. 6-12 weeks).
For more information on any of the topics you can speak to one of our personal trainers for free and they can set you off in the correct direction.
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