Muscle Building Tips – How to Tone Muscles
Why Muscle Toning Is The Final Step
What does it mean to have toned muscles? Toned arms? What does it mean to be toned?
To be toned means to have visible definition in your muscles. Density.
Being able to tone and “cut” means your workout routine now consists of higher reps. It means you’re no longer trying to build muscle, but instead improve the muscle that’s already there. Aesthetically, this is the last step you want to take.
When should I tone?
Great question. It’s a question that does not get asked enough. The process of toning should only be done after you’ve lost the majority of your body fat and you have a sufficient amount of muscle mass remaining. Without toning or cutting, your muscles could still lack definition even with very little body fat covering it. Only after you’ve lost enough body fat should you consider toning.
But why? Why can’t I tone while still covered in fat? Well, you can. However, your toned muscles will not be visible because, well, they will be covered in fat. You can’t obtain visible muscular definition when it’s hidden.
That’s why you should NEVER rely on low weight/high reps to lose weight. If you see a fat individual workout out at the gym and he/she is doing sets of 50 with 3 pound weights, they are doing it wrong. Don’t do that. First of all, if you want to lose weight, you need to lift heavier weights and build muscle mass.
How do I tone?
You tone your muscles by lifting lighter weights with higher repetitions. Not too light though. Whatever your maximum rep is (the amount of weight you can curl/bench/etc. only one or two reps in a row), about 60% of that. So if you’re able to bench press 200 pounds max, you want to tone by doing more reps of 120.
How many reps? As many as you can. This is now a numbers game. You’re not trying to build muscle at this point. You’re trying to just harden the muscles you already have – and you do that through this kind of endurance training.
Toning and cutting is just that. Doing 60% of your maximum as many times as you can. Push for 3 sets of 15 and then 3 sets of 20. The more you can do in a row at that 60% weight, the better.
How do I know when I’m ready to start toning?
Flex your arm. With your other arm, feel up and grope your flexed arm. Do you feel a bunch of flab on your flexed arm? Perhaps underneath? Maybe all over? As if your arm muscles are encased in a thin tube of fat? If so, you’re not ready to tone yet. You still have some fat loss to go.
However, if you flexed your arm and you feel your arm strong and tight with no discernable fat around it, you’re ready. If you flex your fatless but untoned arm, you’ll think “hey look at that! I have muscles!” But maybe you’re not quite as define as those models you see on TV or movies. That means it’s time for you to tone.
You don’t need to be a body builder to tone. You just need to have minimal body fat.
Another important note – when trying to lose body fat, the fat will come off your body all over at the same rate. You cannot lose fat in specific areas by working those specific areas out. So if you notice that you have minimal body fat on your arm while doing the flex test, it’s a pretty good indication that your whole body is fine.
Can I spot tone?
Unlike the inability to lose body fat in specific places, you can tone specific muscles and muscle groups at a time. Just as you can grow your arms disproportionately larger than your leg muscles, you can tone specific areas by doing low weight / high reps.
Where can I get protein?
The best kind of protein has between 20 and 40 grams of protein per serving. From our experience, the best is Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Protein Powder and it can be purchased from Amazon. If you have Amazon prime, you can get it even quicker.
Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Protein Powder – Vanilla
22 grams of protein per scoop
Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Protein Powder – Chocolate
22 grams of protein per scoop