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20120306105750-female_fitness

Guide posted by Coachgold Adrian K in Gyming tribe – Women only!

The "Toning" fallacy - and how to look good

This was my answer to a question about toning, that I have decided to turn into a guide. This post will address a very overused, and misunderstood concept in the fitness world, yep it's time to bury "toning" in a shallow ditch somewhere, and learn how to actually look good.

The first point to be made aware of is that there is no such thing as "toning" or "firming" the body or individual body parts through specific exercises. Toning is a concept/phrase that was created by the fitness industry to try to alleviate womens irrational fear that they will look like Ronnie Coleman if they exert even the smallest amount of effort under a barbell or set of dumbells. 

Let me make it clear, you will not inflate into a bodybuilder if you weight train, that takes years of highly specific training, nutrition and testosterone.

What people usually call a "toned" appearance, such as in the attached image, is achieved by lowering body fat % to a reasonable level through diet and exercise, and very importantly, weight training to build shapely muscles underneath. 

Don't be scared of weight training exercises such as a front or back squats, shoulder press, bench press and deadlifts. But you should stick to these compound movements (those that work loads of muscles at the same time and make you work hard) and avoid bodybuilding style isolation moves (those that isolate and target individual muscles to exhaustion), such as the leg extension/curl, bicep curls, tricep extensions.

I really hope the women of Tribesports find this helpful, and have now seen the light and will not avoid weight training like the plague. Good luck!

20120306105750-female_fitness

Responses (9)

Thank you for the helpful information. It is good to know which exercises to not work so heavily with to avoid that bulkyness.

Becky M responded Comment

20131126112258-adrian

Its fine to lift heavy, in fact many of the female fitness models will do so. Lifting heavy won't make you bulky if you limit the volume (basically stick to lower reps with heavy weight, and only for 3/4 sets max) Getting big doesnt happen overnight and takes years of specific training. So if there comes a point where you decide you are happy with your size, you can stop increasing the weights, and work with maintenance weight. Weight lifting whilst cutting calories below maintenance levels is a great way to get in good shape and cut bodyfat. Just make sure the training is heavy enough for you in order for it to be productive.

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very well put, excellent read!!!

Catherine G responded Comment

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Very helpful, thank you

Alicia G responded Comment

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Will toning exercies help me lose weight from my stomach also?...

Kylie L responded Comment

20131126112258-adrian

One of the things that I address in the guide above is that there is no such thing as a "toning" exercises. You can't tone - Build muscle, lose fat and you will look good (or toned as people like to call it). Check the post for advice.

K W encouraged this.

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so true, i find interval training the most effective, incorperating weight training with intense cardio intervals =)

Naomi J responded Comment

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Great guide, thanks for sharing. Too many ladies are scared of looking like hulk if they so much as look at a dumbbell and it's justnot true! I've been lifting for 3 months now and it's done nothing but good for my fitness and fat levels.

Jenny W responded Comment

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Think this is rhe way forward for me. Might need to get some weights

Susan L responded Comment

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Hear, hear!

K W responded Comment

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