Personal trainer and nutritionist Peter O'Halloran's toning advice for Waterford Live readers
"I want to lose fat and get toned"
I get this nearly on a daily basis.
What is it when people talk about toning or what they think muscle tone is? Usually when I ask the person what tone means, they actually don’t know and some have their own view or belief of what muscle tone is.
When many people talk about being "toned", what they are referring to is a firm body with muscular definition and shape. This is generally a fitness goal that many women (and also men) have, with the majority of their emphasis usually on their arms or stomach.
Myth of toning
Let’s clear up now once and for all what "toning’’ is. Firming-up or toning is due to an increase in muscle tissue as well as a low enough body fat percentage to see the definition and shape of the muscles and get rid of the "jiggle".
Muscles do not go from soft to hard or hard to soft - they either shrink or grow in size. Muscles themselves do not "firm-up" or "tone".
So you want to look toned. What does that involve?
Number one and most importantly is a good diet. This is to cut the fat to show what’s underneath.
Number two involves doing resistance (weight) training to build muscle fibres. This, in turn, will give shape to the muscle and gives you that shaped, toned look.
People have this belief that if they do weights they will be massive or bulky looking. I don’t know where this thought process came from as for men it can take years and years of training to build a massive physique and that’s with the male hormone testosterone on their side, which makes it easier than women to build muscle.
Women have very little testosterone, so becoming massive or bulky is just not going to happen unless you are training specifically for that over a very long long period of time.
So if you want to become toned but you are only dieting, I’m afraid it won’t happen. If you are only training and have too much fat, it also won’t happen. You must put the two factors into play to develop the look.
Want to learn more about toning?