Fitness

Tone Up



Summer is here and that means swimsuits. Everybody wants to look their best during this time of the year, where we wear the least amount of clothes. This is also the time of the year where most of the people want to "tone up".

What does "tone up" even mean? Everybody seems to have their own definition on what it means to them. It is based on what their individual goals. Being toned is more about a look, than anything else. It means that you want the look of more muscle definition. To me, this means losing body fat. In order to look more muscular you need to decrease the amount of body fat that surrounds the muscle.

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Losing body fat is not the same as losing weight. You will most likely see the number on the scale go down but that is not the only way a body fat loss should be measured. To get an accurate count you will need to measure your body fat separately. Unfortunately, when we lose weight we can lose muscle mass as well. We want to avoid this as much as possible. This is due to the fact that the more muscle mass we have, the more calories we burn in a day. While somebody is losing body fat, the other big goal is to maintain as much muscle mass as possible. If you can maintain this muscle mass your body will be much more efficient. You will reach and maintain your weight loss goal much easier.

To maintain muscle mass, resistance training and nutrition is crucial. Resistance training is necessary to stimulate muscle to be sure it is not lost. It will also make sure that it will tighten and tone the areas of your body that you are trying to improve. Nutrition is important because we need to make sure a complete diet, with the correct amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates is consumed.

Women usually want to work on their hips, thighs, lower abs and arms. Some women also say that they don't care what the scale says they just want to be toned. I am sorry to say that if they want to be toned, then that scale needs to say something less than it does now. It is very hard to lose inches if the scale does not go down. This is what is necessary to achieve this goal. When starting a resistance program it is good to do a full body routine with multi muscle, combination movements. An example of this would be a squat to a bicep curl to a shoulder press. You would not want to isolate muscle by doing something like bicep curls alone. It is better to choose a combination exercise that can get three times as much done in the same amount of time that it take to do a single muscle movement. It is always important to get the most results in the shortest amount of time. An ultimate goal would be to do weight three times a week and cardio three times a week. These can be done on the same day.

Men usually want to get big and ripped at the same time. Unfortunately these are two completely different goals. You need to pick one or the other. If you do not separate these goals, you will get very frustrated and might even give up all together. Frustration could occur because you have been working really hard and still seeing no results. If you fit into this category I would recommend concentrating on increasing strength and size first. When you meet this goal then it is time to get ripped. This is the same thing as "toned". You will now need to drop body fat. That will help you see more of those muscles you have been working so hard on. The body parts men like to work on are chest, arms, and abs. This is fine, but you will also have to add back exercises as well. For every chest exercise you do, you should do two back exercises. This is to help balance you out and maintain good posture. Legs is also necessary. Especially when you are trying to drop body fat. They are our biggest muscles in our body and when activated can speed up these goals.

Both men and women can have similar goals. The method in which to get there just needs to be slightly modified at times. Get on top of your program now so you can look great in that swimsuit.