How do I get toned?
First of all, let’s get this silly “toned” word out of the way. For some people “toned” means slim and not-jiggly, but not too muscle-y either. For other people “toned” means a generally nice, fit-looking bod. For yet others, “toned” means sculpted like a Greek god. The word “toned” is used frequently as a fitness goal, but has no set definition as to what it exactly means. That’s why toned is not a great way to describe your fitness goal. For now, let’s assume that toned means a generally nice, fit-lookin’ bod.
Now let’s break it down: How do you get a nice, fit body? There are two main components, and four different actions that needs to happen.
The two main components of what toned looks like:
- Low levels of body fat
- Lean muscle mass
Toned is simply a combination of losing extra body fat (the jiggle) and replacing it with lean muscle mass. SO. To get toned you must build muscle. Yes, even if you are a girl. Muscle is not big and scary and bulky, it is firm and shapely. Understand that building muscle is a good thing. Ok, let’s move on.
The four different actions of how to get toned:
- Get your diet in check. This is priority number one, because a good diet will have much more of an effect on your body than hours of exercise. People with good diets who work out 3 times a week will see better results than people with bad diets who work out 7 days a week.
- Do cardio to lower your body fat levels. But wait! There’s more. Some types of cardio are more effective than others at lowering body fat. Contrary to popular belief, long sessions of steady state cardio are not so great for reducing fat. Make high intensity interval training your new best friend. This means short sessions of sprint intervals, running hills, jump rope, box jumps, and more. Basically, when you do your cardio, do short bursts of maximum effort cardio cut with small rests in-between each burst.
- Build lean muscle mass. If you do nothing but cardio, you will end up looking kind of skeletal (sorry). That’s because shapely arms, butts, abs, thighs, and chests are made out of muscle! Muscle is what gives people a nice, healthy, “got some meat on dem bones” look. There are many different options for building lean muscle mass, but a few include: Lifting weights, practicing bodyweight movements (ex: push ups), yoga, bootcamp, or any other activity you enjoy that challenges your muscles and makes you stronger.
- Stay consistent. It will take many months for results to show. The human body is an amazing machine, and with hard work & dedication, it is possible to mold it the way you want. But you must stay consistent for these results to happen. Be patient and don’t give up.