Why There is No Such Thing as ‘Toning’

For years and years and years people have used the word ‘toning’. People talk about how much they want to get ‘toned’ or ‘tone up’. People sell their exercise plans talking about how it’ll help others to tone. Tone this tone that! The word toning is one of my pet hates. You’re probably thinking a) what the hell is she talking about, and b) who is she to say toning doesn’t exist? Well, I’ve done lots of research, and from what I understand, it really isn’t a ‘thing’.

What is ‘Toning’ REALLY?

So, when somebody appears more ‘toned’, what’s happened? They’ve either lost fat, built muscle, or done both simultaneously (which is difficult). Some people think that to ‘tone’, they need to use light weights with loads of reps, but this is a massive waste of time. To get a leaner look, you can either work to burn fat or work to build muscle. You can try to do both if you’re brave enough. This means making sure both your exercise routine and diet are spot on. Some people try detox weight loss diets to help them ‘tone’. In reality, nothing will help you to ‘tone’ other than hard work!

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picture from flickr

You will never get a flat stomach from crunches, sit ups, or anything of the like without sorting your diet out first. You’ll never get slim arms from trillions of tricep dips if you continue to eat rubbish. People think that they can do a few bodyweight exercises and they’ll instantly ‘tone up’. If your diet isn’t on point, nothing much will happen at all! Plus, once those exercises start to get easier, you need to make them harder to continue to challenge your body. If you don’t, you’ll hit a plateau. This is when weights and resistance bands should come in.

Toning is literally shedding fat and building muscle. You can’t ‘tone’ your fat either, like so many people seem to believe. I read an advert for body wraps the other day, where it falsely claimed to ‘tone the fat’. This is not scientifically possible! The only thing those wraps can do is give you a quick, temporary fix by getting rid of your water weight. Do you think that a body wrap can help you shed fat (that probably took you ages to put on) and help you to build muscle in 30-60 minutes? Or in any time frame at all? No? Then it’s not going to tone you at all, is it?! Let’s be brutally honest here.

People do have different body types. Some people look slim and ‘toned’ because they have a very low body fat, and do a lot of bodyweight/plyometric exercises. Some people look fit and defined but curvy, usually because they lift weights to build certain muscles. People who focus only on cardio will have a low body fat, but they won’t have much muscle mass either; this gives a skinny look with little definition.

The way the body shapes up is actually quite simple to understand. The more muscle we have paired with a low body fat, the fitter and more defined we look. The less muscle we have, the more out of shape/skinny we can look.

I hope I made this clear and didn’t ramble too much. Leave your thoughts below!

Amie Scott