I am not entirely sure when the word “toned” was introduced to health and fitness marketing, but Lord knows bullshit companies have been profiting off of this word for decades. Specifically targeting female clientele.
Before we begin, I want make very CLEAR that having the desire to look “toned” is not bad! Not at all! This really just means you want muscle! And that, my friend, is fantastic. It’s the HOW that seems to be the issue of misunderstanding.
There is this idea of long, lean, muscle – when a woman poses for a photo, puts her hand on her waist and there is this beautiful separation between her deltoid, and tricep. Today’s post is all about HOW WE MAKE THAT HAPPEN. Because this scenario is the pinnacle of being “toned.”
Swipe for some snarky knowledge (oh, have a laugh). Keep reading for the much, much needed nuance.
You will likely see coaches debunk “toning” for the rest of your days. Because we can count on mainstream media selling you “tone up” marketing through becoming smaller, eating less, and lifting less, and doing cardio for days.
But the hard truth remains – There is no such thing as toning muscles.
We have HYPERTROPHY (muscle building tissue) and ATROPHY (breaking down of muscle tissue). No “toning.”
You might want the appearance of muscle while at rest. This is what I believe most people think of as “toned.” And as I said, that’s a 100% okay desire! In fact I love that more women are open to holding more muscle mass on their bodies.
But know that step one is BUILDING MUSCLE. And that step one is harder, and takes longer than most people likely have in mind.
Then, yes – you may need to lose some body fat in order to have more of your muscle show through. If having muscle tone is the goal, weights is *more often than not* superior to cardio. Here’s to your gains.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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