Getting “Toned Up”

If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “I just want to tone up”, I’d be posting this from my yacht!

Everyone seems to want to “tone up.”

To be fair, I use this term sometimes in my writing because I know what women mean when they say it, but the route to get “toned up” is much different that most women think.

Most women think doing copious amounts of cardio and some light arm exercises will do the trick.

The truth about getting toned involves two major things:
1. Strength training
2. Losing body fat
Might cardio play a small role in #2?
Sure! But cardio is absolutely the side dish.
The main dish to achieve a ‘toned’ physique is strength training.

Why strength training for a toned look?
1. Strength training itself burns calories (as does cardio). In order to burn fat, you must be in a caloric deficit. Burning calories through strength training clearly increases the calories out side of the equation.
2. Strength training can possibly help you build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest (not to mention that once you build muscle, more energy – calories burned – is used to move it around when you do another training session)       Does cardio do that? Nope!

Strength train 2-4 times per week using compound movements (squat, hinge, press, pull, lunge, etc…) loaded enough to make them challenging but not so much that your reps get sloppy.
By the way, I train a good number of women who do most of these movements with just their body weight.
You don’t HAVE to load them up to get stronger. Also, it doesn’t have to be high reps!

I could go on and on about all of the benefits of strength training that are unrelated to a toned look but that’s a lengthy email by itself.

The second part of the ‘toned’ equation is fat loss.
MANY different dietary approaches can result in fat loss, but any of them that actually work, create a slight caloric deficit.
Regardless of which dietary strategy you choose, it has to fit the following criteria:

1. It has to get you closer to your goal(s). Genius…I know.
2. It has to be sustainable long term. If not, you’ll yo-yo diet until you find something that is.
3. It has to improve your overall health. Believe it or not, some dietary strategies are NOT good for your health. Super low calorie diets, diets that require fat burners, etc…

That’s it…lift weights and eat like an adult.

It’s not always easy, but it is simple!