The Muscle Toning Myth

If I had a solitary cent for every time I heard ‘I don’t want to have big muscles, I just want to be toned’ I’d be a millionaire. (Well, very wealthy at the very least.)

The thing is, I know what these people mean, but the way they seem to think it all works is completely misguided, and as a result, they are never going to get to where they want to be. How could they?

What bugs me is, when people see a person with what they define as a toned physique, what they are seeing generally tends to be nothing more than a person with extremely low body fat – and sometimes, a reasonable amount of muscle mass to ‘stand out’.

People have the misconception that to achieve a ‘toned’ physique, they need to turn fat into muscle, and they are actually doing something special to the muscle to make it ‘toned’.

Really, there is no such thing as toning. You either gain muscle or you lose muscle. You either gain fat or you lose fat. Achieving the toned look always requires very low body fat, and usually requires some additional muscle mass to add shape.

And that is all there is to ‘toning’. Nothing else goes on but this – no matter what half assed women’s or dubious men’s publications say otherwise.

Stereotypical ‘toning exercises’ are nothing more than half-assed cardio and half-assed weight training which get you half-assed results. The reality of toning is far less simple. You need to eat sufficiently low calories to maintain low body fat, but maintain muscle mass, you need to train hard and intensely in proper weight training conditions – none of this half-assed ‘toning’ stuff. And then you’ll get the results. Anything else is wishful thinking.

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