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View Full Version : What's all the deal about "toning?"



M Calavera
09-30-2004, 03:46 PM
Why are some people in this forum against the word "toning?" Being a complete newbie, I was just wondering....

Does it not actually exist, or are the elite bodybuilders pooh-poohing the efforts of the ones starting out in a friendly way? I don't get it...

*is confused*

pocke_change
09-30-2004, 03:50 PM
i'd be curious too..... trying to keep in mind that we all (no matter how svelte and cut you are) started somewhere.....

thanks

imperfectly_lou
09-30-2004, 04:29 PM
The word "toning" drives us all mad because it simply does not exist!

If you were to read up on exercise physiology, a muscle is "toned" when it is contracted e.g. flexed

But women seem to think there is this difference between gaining muscle and "getting toned" i.e. if I say I am wanting to gain muscle, i will turn into Arnie!

You either gain muscle or you don't, simple as that! Woman do not have the hormonal capacity to get huge without the use of anabolic steroids and other illegal supplements. A nicely "toned" woman is simply someone who has worked her ass off to gain muscle, and has then worked on losing the layer of fat covering it so as to reduce her BF%.

M Calavera
10-01-2004, 02:35 AM
I get it now...

So basically, if you want muscle definition, you just gotta get rid of most of the body fat covering it in order to be able to see it, right?

imperfectly_lou
10-01-2004, 03:02 AM
Yep! And you have to build up the muscle underneath the fat so it is actually worth looking at first! ;)

pocke_change
10-01-2004, 04:43 AM
that makes the finest sense.... thanks for explaining

M Calavera
10-01-2004, 05:20 AM
:) So, it <b>is</b> worth doing weights even though I've got a LOT of body fat to get rid of first, right? I should continue with weights despite the body fat needing to be lost then.

See, so many people have told me there's no point in even thinking of doing weights until you lose lots and lots of body fat.... but I think I'll take your guy's advice and just continue with weights and then do some HIIT.

Thank you very much imperfectly_lou

mjt12
10-01-2004, 07:04 AM
I couldnt agree with lou more. And as far as holding off on weights until you lose the fat.....DONT DO THAT!! Muscles are what keeps your metabolism in high gear. You must lift weights to gain muscle. Keep lifting and you will be surprised at how much faster you will lose the weight. Just be consistent and dont give up. It takes time to gain it and it takes time to lose it!! Good luck to you and keep us posted on your progress.

moody_weasel
10-01-2004, 12:32 PM
:) So, it <b>is</b> worth doing weights even though I've got a LOT of body fat to get rid of first, right? I should continue with weights despite the body fat needing to be lost then.


Weights are the way to go. Cardio is just an accessoire.
Lifting will help you lose weight simply because of the calories you burn while doing it.
At the same time you will build muscle as well which also burn more calories than the excess fat you're carrying now.

When you've got a good foundation it's then time to start some serious bulking.
I would not try to bulk while your bodyfat % is still relatively high.

Hibiscus09
10-01-2004, 03:26 PM
The word toning doesn't bother me any. I understand what people are saying, when they say they want to look more toned. I also know they need to lift weights to get the appearance they're desiring, and yes, some women mistakenly think lifting will make them overly muscular. LOL A lot of us wish we could get that muscle so easily, but que sara sara.

In any event, if someone wants to use the word toning or toned, I take no offense to it. In actuality, looking at what Lou posted, "If you were to read up on exercise physiology, a muscle is "toned" when it is contracted e.g. flexed", I suppose seeking to achieve the look of a flexed muscle when not flexing is a goal I wouldn't mind achieving. I've noticed lately my quads are looking sleeker and more muscular -- much like a look I could have only achieved at one time by really flexing the muscle -- so I think they look more toned. :D

I think a balanced program includes healthy nutrition, lifting weights, cardiovascular exercise and a healthy state of mind. Try to include all of these in your program and definitely do not wait to start lifting. The more muscle you have, the more fat your body burns.

Thunder_Bunny
10-03-2004, 08:15 AM
The word toning doesn't bother me any. I understand what people are saying, when they say they want to look more toned. I also know they need to lift weights to get the appearance they're desiring, and yes, some women mistakenly think lifting will make them overly muscular. LOL A lot of us wish we could get that muscle so easily, but que sara sara.

In any event, if someone wants to use the word toning or toned, I take no offense to it. In actuality, looking at what Lou posted, "If you were to read up on exercise physiology, a muscle is "toned" when it is contracted e.g. flexed", I suppose seeking to achieve the look of a flexed muscle when not flexing is a goal I wouldn't mind achieving. I've noticed lately my quads are looking sleeker and more muscular -- much like a look I could have only achieved at one time by really flexing the muscle -- so I think they look more toned. :D

I think a balanced program includes healthy nutrition, lifting weights, cardiovascular exercise and a healthy state of mind. Try to include all of these in your program and definitely do not wait to start lifting. The more muscle you have, the more fat your body burns.


Aside from the fact that the word is made up, I believe people find it annoying because it's used to sell women crappy diet/training products. I imagine a lot of the women here have heard someone complain "I don't wanna get bulky, I only want to tone." It's frustrating because so many women still think gaining muscle will make them look like a man or that they will pack on a ton of muscle if they lift one lil' dumbbell.

Hibiscus09
10-03-2004, 09:55 AM
I don't particularly want to be bulky either. I also think if some other woman does -- then I have no opinion about it other than great -- it's their body. I do have an opinion if it involves steroids -- but they can always not care what I think. :)

I try to explain to as many women as I can that I've lifted heavier without getting overly bulky, but at the same time, after lifting legs pretty heavy for years, I did put on more mass than I wanted to see on my legs, so I backed off. That's a matter of personal preference.

In any event, I don't think the word "toning" is as powerful a word as the reaction it seems to elicit from some. As I said, I know what someone means when they use the word, and I see no need to give them a hard time for wanting to use that word.

moody_weasel
10-03-2004, 10:08 AM
Aside from the fact that the word is made up, I believe people find it annoying because it's used to sell women crappy diet/training products. I imagine a lot of the women here have heard someone complain "I don't wanna get bulky, I only want to tone."

Absolutely. However, most don't seem to realize that what they have to actually gain muscle (and lose fat) to get the look they want.

To me the forbidden word is the epitomy of all the misinformation - especially the one geared toward women - in the fitness world.

Happiness01
10-03-2004, 10:42 AM
I just used the word "toning" in the title of my post - "Need help with a successful toning plan." I probably should have put the word toning in quotes because I know it doesn't exist so I can see why people get so aggrevated seeing it so much. I think a lot of people use it because thats the way they want to look cut/muscle definition/low bf ...at least thats what I'm trying to get at when I use the word.

Emma-Leigh
10-03-2004, 01:40 PM
To quote Moody: "To me the forbidden word is the epitomy of all the misinformation - especially the one geared toward women - in the fitness world."

Laurie
10-04-2004, 12:03 AM
That's just it. Whether or not you do know what the word means, it is the advertising spindoctors that have twisted it. Bad enough we have had to live under so many "Female Myths" about weighttraining for so long but having to make it sound so "fuzzbunny" is not serving it properly either.

hotgymchick
10-07-2004, 01:04 PM
To quote Moody: "To me the forbidden word is the epitomy of all the misinformation - especially the one geared toward women - in the fitness world."

LOL best quote ever;)

M Calavera
10-09-2004, 03:31 AM
Thank you to each and every one in here who has given me so much helpful advice! You guys are fantastic, I was honestly thinking that someone would leave one brief note and the thread would end, but I've learnt so much! I'm definitely gonna keep lifting now. So many people said just wait until you get thinner, and THEN lift, but I was never really happy with that idea... Now you guys have given me some inspiration! :)
Thank you to you all! :)

MDC
10-13-2004, 07:19 AM
The reason "toning" gets a harsh response is this.

There are far too many people that not only believe, but promote the false idea that you must lift light weights to tone because you'll turn into a male bodybuilder if you lift properly. The fact that if you follow this light weight program, you'll make very little or no progress towards getting "toned" is why people hate hearing it.