In my experience, the most common answer to the question: "What are your fitness goals?" is to get TONED!
More people are starting to realize that low-carb dieting plus high-rep endurance style training isn't the answer to dream physiques. Toning isn't exactly easy, even with weights training thrown into the mix.
Thsi is because the most important hormone for buildling muscle, Testosterone, is much lower in women, which causes a slower rate of muscle growth. This is why it takes time to see results, and is also the reason why I've made my programs the way they are!
What does 'Toned' mean?
Did you know the term “toned” is actually a combination of low body fat levels AND moderate muscle development? You can’t have one without the other! If you’re already slim and petite, you simply need to build some muscle underneath.
If you’re carrying a little more than you’d like, we just need to cut a little off as we’re building the muscle beneath - since building muscle helps to burn fat, it’s a win-win!
We Want ‘Lean’ Gains!
Lean gaining is the act of putting on lean mass while minimizing as much fat gain as possible. Your calorie intake should be high enough to allow your body to build muscle, but not too high that excess calories will be stored as fat.
Remember, it is recommended that calorie intake should be high enough, but not too high. If you overshoot your calorie intake, you’re likely to store more body fat than is necessary.
This is not what we want, BUT don’t trust the scale - take pictures and compare them to when you started, that gives a REAL picture!
“Toning” Still Takes Time
We aim to build approximately 1-2 pounds of lean muscle per month. Being a newbie to weight training, your capacity for growth and recovery is quite high so you will progress very quickly in the beginning.
When this slows down, it’s important that you stick with me and push through - we call this a ‘plateau’, and we just have to break through it!
How to Tone with Minimal Body Fat Gain
If you’re gaining too much body fat, your calories are high. If you’re not getting stronger, putting on muscle, or gaining any body fat, then your calories are too low.
You need to eat slightly more than your ‘maintenance’ calories in order to build muscle, and the more you build the better your tone will be!
Don’t start eating junk because you’re training now! You can’t out train a bad diet! Prioritize nutrient-dense whole foods over processed foods, and don’t forget to get in some good quality sleep as well!