“I wanna get toned!” says practically every woman (and some men) as summertime approaches. So what exactly is muscle tone? Better yet, how do you get toned muscles? Too many guys and gals claim they want muscle tone, but don’t know how in the hell to get it. Most don’t even know exactly what it is. If you are one of those people who don’t know what or how to achieve toned muscles, get ready to be enlightened!
What is Muscle Tone?
When people talk about muscle tone, basically they mean a muscle group(s) that has visual definition. For instance, a man with defined arms will usually have veins coming from their biceps, forearms and triceps in which all are visibly showing. Also, someone who achieves a good level of muscle tone will show muscular definition even at rest. So that same man with the defined arms will show definition in that muscle group whether he is walking in the park or at home reading this article.
The last aspect of muscle tone is that the muscle is always firm to touch, even when you don’t flex it. For example, a woman with defined legs will feel somewhat tense even if she is not contracting her leg muscles at all.
How to Get Muscle Tone?
Now that you got the lowdown on what is muscle tone, let’s discuss the 2 ways to achieve muscle tone.
- Lower your body fat %
You probably already knew this step. Nonetheless, too many people think that they can just do some pushups, sit-ups or whatever exercise of their choosing to achieve defined muscles. While exercising is a part of the muscle toning equation (will be discussed in step 2), you got to lower your body fat % first. Of course, reducing your caloric intake on a daily basis will be the best way to achieve that goal. So stop getting the triple Quarter Pounder with cheese with large fries and Coke from McDonalds will be a good start.
- Get stronger
This is probably the most important step towards getting toned muscles. Most people think that getting a low body fat % will automatically grant muscle tone. While a few genetically-gifted individuals will have muscle tone due to just low body fat %, everyone else needs to get their muscles stronger through strength training. This next point is dedicated mainly to my lady readers; you cannot build muscle tone by doing high reps with light 3lb pink dumbbells! Now that I got that out of my system, here is 2 ways how you can achieve muscle tone through strength training:
- Lift a heavy to moderately heavy weight that you can do between 5 to 10 reps between 3 to 5 sets
- Make sure you control the weight as you concentrate on the tension in the muscle you’re working (Ex: Focus on feeling your chest muscles contract as you do bench press)
Those 3 steps will how you get muscle tone. Now the question is are you willing to actually do what is necessary to achieve muscle tone? Have fun!