I received a question about toning muscle the other day.
The question I received:
“What are the best weight lifting exercises to tone the thighs, butt, and abdominals?”
I cannot stand to see weightlifting information or commercials on TV telling people the best exercises to tone their abs, legs, etc. I absolutely hate to hear the word tone or toning. Can't stand it…
But I have to use the word to reach people because that's what people are looking to do.
I've seen too much of this: A woman is using a 5 pound dumbbell and the trainer needs to help. That trainer is taking some money and smiling the whole way to the bank. In other words, many personal trainers are totally worthless.
I've seen exercise videos, infomercials, etc that make women think using a 2 pound weight is going to make them look better. That's doing absolutely nothing. Might as well be sitting on the couch eating potato chips. You burn about the same amount of calories lifting a potato chip as you do a little pink dumbbell.
If you're using little pink dumbbells or purple dumbbells because you think they are helping you “tone” muscle, you need to seriously get up and take those little dumbbells to the trash.
Throw them in the trash, come back here to Weight Lifting Complete, start getting really strong, and then you'll see your body REALLY change. And it will change fast.
I will be truthful with you. Little weights aren't going to do ANYTHING to change your body. Nothing.
What Does Toning Muscle REALLY Mean?
My experience tells me that when someone tells me they want to tone an area they mean that they want to lose fat in that area.
Most people will be happy with the amount of muscle they currently have, especially those people that use the word tone, so losing fat in an area is what the majority of people mean when they use that phrase “toning muscle.”
Losing fat gives people the appearance that they are toning the muscle mass in a specific area.
That appearance is amplified when a beginner starts lifting weights to lose fat due to beginner muscle gains.
Muscle gained and fat loss gives that toning appearance to a person.
What's The Best Way To Tone Muscle?
Before we go any further, can I ask for a favor? Can we not use the word tone any more after this weight lifting article?
I would really appreciate that. If you can't that's fine, but I just can't stand to type that word again.
Just kidding… well, not really. Let's move on =)
What you need to do for toning muscle is start a complete weight lifting program consisting of weight lifting, diet, and cardio.
The combination of those three will help you to build muscle and lose fat.
If you're trying to lose fat, then you need to focus on losing 1 to 2 pounds per week. If you're trying to build muscle, focus on gaining 1 to 2 pounds per week.
“Why Do I Need To Lift Weights?”
Lifting weights will help you to hold onto the muscle you currently have or build new muscle while you're trying to lose fat.
To lose fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit which means you will lose weight.
Without weight lifting, you would lose much more muscle when losing weight. You do not want to lose precious muscle.
Muscle burns calories. The more muscle you lose the harder you make it on yourself to lose more weight in the future. You'll have to eat less just to lose more weight. The muscle that was burning those extra calories is gone. That's a very bad thing.
Losing muscle is THE LAST thing you want to do.
Lifting weights will not make you look bulky like so many people believe.
It takes very hard work, lots and lots of food, and years and years of work just to get that bulky look that many bodybuilders and powerlifters have.
So, don't worry about getting bulky. You have nothing to worry about. Trust me.
You Can't Spot Reduce…
If you are one of those people that believe abdominal crunches will melt the fat right off your tummy area, you need to start reading everything on this website.
You cannot reduce fat in any area of your body by doing a special exercise.
Fat is lost when your body decides to burn it, and your body decides where it's going to burn it!!! You lose fat by eating fewer calories than your body is burning and by performing cardiovascular exercise.
Your body will burn fat in the area that it chooses. And you can't persuade it one way or the other.
You can perform special exercises to build muscle in specific areas. You can do squats to build your thighs and butt, stiff legged deadlifts to build your hamstrings, bench press for your chest, pull ups for your back, and so on.
Weight training exercises are for building muscle in your body.
Just remember that you can't burn fat in an area of your body that you choose. No exercise on earth will do that for you.
You can get the body you want very quickly by using the WLC System.