When women say they “Just want to tone”

August 21st, 2017 by

No automatic alt text available.

We often hear from potential and new female clients that they want to “tone.” I am not one of those coaches who will say “OMG, I hate the word ‘toned’!” To me, these people are describing an image in their head of a woman who is relatively lean with muscle definition who doesn’t look like a professional bodybuilder. I get it. I acknowledge it and I won’t belittle you for how you describe the look you’re wanting to achieve.

That being said, the LOOK you’re going for cannot be achieved on your CURRENT body unless you have a good, solid, underlying base of muscle. Before you say you want to look “toned” you need to ask yourself how long you’ve been weight training and how long you’ve been weight training with HEAVY weights. If the answer is never or not long or generally anything less than 3-5 years, here’s what’s going to happen if you lose weight: you will end up looking like a smaller version of your current self. So look in the mirror. Do you see any definition? Do you have shoulder caps? Is your butt sitting where you want it? If you answer no to those questions, then no amount of fat loss is going to make you looked “toned.” Why? Because you do not have enough muscle mass.

MOST women will need to do 1 of 2 things:

1) If you’re currently overweight, you’ll need to trim off some fat first and then plan to go through a building phase where you will, yes, intentionally need gain weight.

2) If you are not currently overweight, you will need to begin a build and plan to build for quite some time. You may also need to go through 2+ building and cutting cycles before you see the physique you’re wanting to achieve.

In order to physically change the appearance of your body, you have to add muscle. And to add muscle you have to eat in a calorie surplus and lift heavy. Yoga, Pilates, pink weights, and light resistance bands are *not* going to give you the body you have pictured in your mind. This is the truth that no one wants to hear. Ladies, you will not turn into mass monsters. It is so incredibly difficult for us to build muscle naturally. Additionally, it will likely take you *years* to achieve your dream physique.

Moral of the story: I understand the look you’re after when you say “toned.” The disconnect is with you not understanding what it takes to get there.