The "Toning Myth"


As a gym owner one of the most frequent goals I hear from people is that they "want to get more toned".

That's fantastic to hear. After all, that's what we do! Help people get "toned".

The thing is - toned doesn't actually mean what you think it means. And what you actually want when you say you "wanna get toned"  can sometimes turn you away from initiating the process of achieving your goals.

So What Does It Mean When People Say They Want To Get Toned?

When people tell us they want to get toned they say how they:
- Want to lose weight
- Want to lose the flab under their arms
- Want to add some shape to their legs and glutes
- Want to get rid of their gut
- They want those lines down the side of their obliques
- They want to have rounded shoulder caps that pop out

Those are all great! . The problem is that there's no such thing as "getting muscles toned". Muscle tone is actually a term in the physiotherapy world. It is used to see how hard a muscle is contracting and trust me, the fit people you see aren't walking around flexing 24/7. "Muscle Tone" shouldn't be a descriptive term for body composition.

The muscle tone you talk about is actually requires two separate biological phenomenons in the human body

1. Fat Loss
2. Muscle Building

1. Fat Loss

In order to see your muscles better you've got to lose fat. Simple as that. How do you lose fat?

You simply need to burn more energy (calories) than you take in through eating.

Exercise can have a massive impact on helping you lose fat because exercise itself burns calories. Exercise also increases your metabolic rate for roughly 24-48 hours post workout meaning your body is using energy to repair those tissues that were damaged during the workout.

2. Muscle Building

In order to get that "Toned Look" you're after, you actually need to build some muscle.

And this is what starts to scare some people away from reaching their fitness goals (especially some women). You hear the term muscle building and immediately run in the opposite direction and get stuck in pilates, yoga and juice cleanse diet purgatory. You do a few months of one class, see no results so you move onto the next one. Same with diet, jumping from keto to vegan to intermittent fasting.

This is THE BIGGEST MISTAKE you can make!

You must embrace the fact that getting "toned" comes with some muscle growth but you have to be realistic.. ***

By hitting the weights you're not going to "bulk up". If it was that easy every high school and college kid would be jacked. You see you can't just look at weights and bulk up. In order to build muscle you've got to eat like a madman. Legit. You have to be stuffing your face all day. Sometimes doubling the calories. Building LOTS of muscle isn't easy. But building baseline muscle (just enough to see the "tone") can be easy.

If you're a beginner you can ACTUALLY build small amounts of muscle while losing fat. This is achieved by lifting weights a few times a week, stimulating some small muscle growth.

If you're intermediate to advanced - lifting weights in a caloric deficit will not allow your body to build muscle BUT it'll 100% preserve the muscle that you have while losing fat. This is a great bonus because the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism revs and the quicker you'll lose fat!

When most of our clients lose the weight they want, they feel amazing and have a new sense of confidence and satisfaction. The funny thing is - they quickly come up with a new goal.. they want their muscles to pop juuuust a bit more. They want their booty more shaped and a bit bigger. They want to see the line down their arms differentiation their triceps and biceps. They want to improve their posture (which can happen from building postural muscles).

Guess what you're into now? That's right - lifting weights. We can't say it much more Clear Cut than that.

If you want REAL results , optimal training methods and an encouraging training environment that'll keep you accountable, come check us out at 731 Pape Ave!

Follow us on Instagram @clearcutfitness to see what we're all about!