A Sobering Truth About Getting Toned

I would like to take a moment to let all of our readers here in on some information that many of you might not want to hear.

Going to the gym or working out to “get toned” doesn’t have anything to do with what you think it does.

Going to the gym to do some crunches, walking on a treadmill, and tanning won’t get you the body you want.

Getting a lean “toned” physique means a lot of hard training, dedication, eating right, and changing your lifestyle.

What Does Getting Toned Mean?

“If getting toned doesn’t have anything to do with what I think it does, what does it mean?” When you talk about “toning up” you literally mean lose body fat and build muscle. Just because you have to build muscle, it doesn’t make you “bulky.”

Quite frankly I think women who say this are afraid of hard work.

Doing endless cardio is only going to give you the opposite body type that you are looking for. Your body will revert to burning the little bit of muscle you have before it will burn body fat which will cause a body type we call “skinny-fat.” You may have some friends that are skinny-fat; thin but flabby.

This is due to no muscle tone.

Light Weights High Reps?

“So if I want to lean up I should lift light weights with a lot of reps, right?” Not necessarily.

If you are using a weight that you can do 12 or 15 reps and still able to keep going if you want to, you are not doing anything for yourself.

You must choose a weight for each exercise that challenges you to barely get that last rep of your set, otherwise you are wasting your time.

The stigma of high reps with light weight to “cut up” and heavy weights with low reps to “bulk up” is completely ludicrous and I want to help clear it up for you.

Low reps, heavy weight:

This is training you to get stronger. In order for you to build muscle you need to get stronger. Without getting too complicated, when you lift heavy weights you are training your nervous system and your ability to use your muscles.


This is a picture of a female powerlifter who has a YouTube Channel you should check out.

She is proof that lifting heavy won’t make you bulky. She has a great physique and knows a lot about lifting heavy and eating right.

High Reps, Light Weight:

Unless you choose a weight that you struggle to get the last rep of your 12 or 15 rep set, you’re just burning up energy and wasting your time.

The reason many of us spread the rumor that lifting light weights for a lot of reps is what makes you toned is because of the way bodybuilders train.

Some of us take “light weight” too literal and don’t work hard at all.

Train Hard

If you truly want to achieve the body of your dreams, you are going to have to train hard and work for it. There is no shortcut abs in 2 weeks or a beach body in 3 months.

It will take changing your daily habits, working hard, and pushing yourself beyond what you can do.

I’m not saying all of this to discourage you from reaching for your goals, I’m telling you so you don’t waste years trying and then give up because you haven’t received the results you think you should have.

Eat Right

You cannot out exercise a bad diet. I’m not saying you can’t eat a bacon cheeseburger or have some ice cream every once in a while, but you are going to have to start making conscious decisions on your food and drink intake if you want to succeed.

Building muscle is easy because any extra calories you eat can be used to help build muscle. Losing fat however, is much more difficult because we must eat less than we burn in a given day and make  healthier choices in your diet.


If you’ve made it this far through the article before you’ve gotten mad and left because you didn’t want to hear the truth, you are on your way to achieving the body you want and deserve.

Being aesthetically pleasing and “toned” takes a lot of hard work, lifting weights, improving your conditioning, and eating healthy.

I’ve never said it’s going to be easy, but it’s worth it. Get off your butt and work daily towards your goals. There will be setbacks and there will be rough days but if you grind through it, the reward is worth it.

Weight Loss Motivation

Be sure to check out the weight loss motivational picture article I made. Use it for your daily motivation and get to work.

–  Byrn

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