The Toning Myth

Written by Mark Coles - Follow on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter

How many times have you asked a personal trainer for the best exercises to "get toned" or "tone up" your body?

“I want to tone my stomach” and “I want to tone my arms” are common statements we hear from clients who come in to M10 for a personal training consultation.

How many people do you know who spend hours each week doing 100’s of crunches every morning in an attempt to get a six pack? When you say the word “tone”, what you should be saying is that you would like to have less body fat, so that you can see the shape of the muscle underneath.

If you want to have a better body shape, the definition will come from being lean enough, and the shape will come from building more muscle mass over time. Have you ever found yourself losing lots of weight, yet you still don’t have a “toned” shape? Well, that’s because you’ve more than likely burned off a good amount of muscle (remember it’s muscle that will give you your shape).

Be warned, crash weight loss diets are the quickest way to lose your shape. For those of you who think changing your rep range to higher reps (15-20) will help with the tone. I’m sorry, think again.


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Whilst taking shorter rest periods can help without output (energy expenditure), you should really be focusing on your diet, and some level of supplementary cardio to address body fat levels.

So, ditch the “toning” myth. Keep focusing on getting stronger in the gym, building muscle, being smart with your nutrition, and focus on reducing body fat levels if you want to see more of your shape.

Would you like to know how we help our clients at M10 achieve results and change their body shape?  Pick up a copy of our popular M10 Blueprint e-book by clicking the button below.

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