The Common Workout Myth That Could Be Stopping You From Toning Up

Thursday, 20 June 2019

With regards to body goals and appearance, a common desire for many women is to look toned. 

My friends and I have often discussed our aspirations for a toned stomach and to generally tone up, but what does this really mean and how can it be achieved? The first thing to note is that you can’t technically tone a muscle, but you can grow it.

Every human body has muscles (around 650 in fact) and therefore we all have muscle tone that can be worked on to become bigger and more prominent. So looking toned is essentially having visible muscle definition, which is achieved through a combination of regular exercise and maintaining a lean level of body fat (safely) through nutrition.  

This sounds simple enough, however your desired results are unlikely to come from the odd cardio session or standard gym class. An element of intensity to your workouts is also necessary for burning fat and growing muscle. This brings me to another point my friends and I would emphasise when describing our ideal body type, which is that we wanted to be in shape but not look overly muscular and bulky. With this in mind, I never used to incorporate weights into my exercise regime, in fact I avoided them like the plague. Believing that weight training should be shunned (like I did) when hoping to achieve an ultra fit yet still feminine aesthetic is a common misconception because it is in fact an important factor in muscle growth and therefore visible results. 

Other benefits of weight training include increasing stamina, improving flexibility and becoming physically stronger. Personally I have noticed all of these improvements in my few months of using weights and while seeing muscle definition slowly reveal itself across my body is hugely satisfying, noticing my body gain strength, be able to endure more and become more flexible is honestly even more rewarding.

You are highly unlikely to turn into a body builder after using weights a few times, so don’t be afraid to pick up that bar bell next time you do squats. And remember, toned bodies weren’t created overnight. The sculpted physiques you see on Instagram have taken a lot of time, discipline and effort to develop so stay focused on your end goal and be patient.

By Emma Warner 

I’m Emma, a Brit with a love of travel and doing things that are good for the mind, body and soul. I have lived in four different countries (and counting) and can’t stay still for long as I believe there is too much beauty to be discovered in this world of ours. Wellness and self-care are very important to me and I’m a person of inquisitive nature, striving to be forever learning and exploring.

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