Why Toning Exercises Will Never Work (And What You Can Do About It)


If you think dieting, running on a treadmill and lifting 3-pound dumbbells will help “tone your body” you've probably been doing it all wrong. Learn what “toning” really is and how you can get it.

The word "toning" is Googled twenty times per minute in the United States. You see the phrase flashed across fitness magazines, weigh loss commercials, and fitness blogs devoted entirely to losing weight and doing it super fast with virtually no effort.

I'm here to tell you that "toning" is a myth. It's a meaningless phrase designed by a weight loss industry that doesn't care about what actually works, but simply about how to take your money.

Read on to find out how you can actually get the toned look you want...

First off, where did “toning” come from?

At some point years ago, fitness writers, personal trainers and magazine editors realized that the word "muscle" is just as scary as "fat" to most women.

In an effort to sell more products and magazines without scaring the female readers, writers started using the word “toned” as a way to describe the athletic, lean, and sexy look that most women craved.

Move to the present time and we have a toning epidemic on our hands. Do a simple Google search on “toning” and you will see all sorts of crazy claims and products:

  • “Do a 10-minute see-result toning exercise routine for each muscle group”
  • “Yoga Poses for a Toned Stomach”
  • “Get Tone and Lose 10 pounds in 10 Days”
  • “How You Can Get Toned TODAY!”
  • “Learn how [insert celebrity name here] Toned Up in Just 3 Weeks!”
  • “Get Twice as Toned in Half the Time” –  what the hell does that mean?!

You can buy “muscle toning pads” and build “muscle without the work”. Check out www.toning.com and you can get your hands on toning belts to tone your stomach. You can get workouts to "tone" arm flab, tone back fat, tone your thighs and tone your legs.

Wow…I can tone my arm flab and back fat!? Sign me up.

You can even get toning shoes that promise to tone your legs, butt and calves while you walk.  People are so excited about these special “weight loss shoes” that they shelled out 147 million dollars last year in the U.S. alone.

The problem is that you can't “tone” a muscle without doing some type of high intensity exercise.

The fitness websites and magazine headlines that promise a toned look with a set of 3 to 5 pound dumbbells and a “squat hop and press” workout are misleading millions of women.

You simply cannot stress the body enough by bending over and lifting your leg above your head for 3 sets of 10, twice a week, for 10 minutes. In fact, go ahead and do these types of exercises all day...

Nothing is going to happen…ever.

Most people think you can get “toned” by dieting and doing endless cardio sessions and maybe some very light resistance training, but this is a waste of your time.

Don't get me wrong – you can burn some fat from doing cardio, but looking athletic and “toned” just isn't possible solely through fat loss.

By forming a false perception about what toning really means we have doomed many women into worthless workouts that will probably never get them anywhere close to their fitness or weight loss goals.

Women will continue to fear muscle, avoid weight training, go way too light on the resistance, and stay on the treadmill all day. When this doesn't work, they'll go out and try the newest "12 minutes to a toned butt" routine, only to be left frustrated again.

It's an endless cycle.

This is how you sell magazine and useless quick fix fitness products, but it's very unlikely you will actually look the way you want from these misguided promises.

So how do you get the "toned" look every woman actually wants?

It’s simple: to get a “toned body” you need to build muscle and drop fat.

Sorry ladies, but getting tone involves dropping fat AND building muscle. A toned body is really a body with developed lean muscle and a low body fat percentage. You need BOTH.

Typically the most effective way to do this is to weight train…this is usually the time when most women freak out, stand up and revolt…

“I don’t care about muscle”

“I don’t want to get muscular or bulky”

“Muscle doesn’t matter…I only want to lose fat”

It's time for a wake-up call

Weight training will not make you muscular or bulky.

Unlike men, who have up to 50 times the testosterone as women, it is not possible to get big or bulky. The truth is this: women with big manly muscles take steroids.

If you are scared of getting big, go tell that to the millions of skinny guys that struggle to build muscle, and fail year after year, even with their genetic advantage. It's really hard to build muscle, and it's impossible for women to get bulky by building too much.

Muscle is what gives your body its shape

Weightlifting WomanDieting and cardio can burn fat, but they won't change your body shape. If you look like a pear now, running and dieting will just make you look like a smaller pear.

That's why weight training is so useful: it can help you replace your fat with muscle. Fat takes up to five times as much space as muscle, so replacing fat can lead to a huge change in body shape.

You will look slimmer, curvier and athletic, something fat loss alone cannot provide.

Active muscle also burns a lot of calories after you exercise. Adding muscle to your body will make not only make you look curvier, but it will increase your daily metabolic rate. This means you will actually be able to eat more while you burn fat.

Attempts at “body toning” with yoga, Barbie dumbbells or with silly bodyweight exercises are overused fitness myths that just don't work. Sure, they can sometime be fun, but they barely burn fat, build zero muscle and will never get you the look you want.

I’ve received countless emails from women wanting a “firmer butt”, more than half actually want a bigger firmer butt.

Guess what makes your butt firm?

Less fat and more MUSCLE…you need both.

Guess how you can build butt muscle?…exercises like box squats, glute ham raises, straight leg dead lifts, and DB step-ups.

Losing just fat will just leave you with a flat bony ass…who really wants that?!

You simply can't develop a firmer looking butt, or a flat sexy stomach or “toned” arms and shoulders without moderate to heavy resistance training. Weight lifting exercises like 45 degree back raises, incline sit-ups, russian twists, overhead press, and bench press will dominate magazine and cross-training upper body workouts every time.

It's in your power

You really CAN reshape all of your trouble areas and more by combining proper weight training with light to moderate cardio and proper nutrition!

So throw away your weight loss magazines, stop following the latest fitness trends and start doing what works – go learn how to lift weights, and start building a body you can love for the rest of your life.

Click below for a fat burning muscle “toning” fitness plan that actually works!

Quickstart 2-week FREE ProgramJill's 4-Week Complete Program


3 thoughts on “Why Toning Exercises Will Never Work (And What You Can Do About It)

  1. Pingback: The Workout Scenario « Let's be Honest, It's kind of true.

  2. Awesome, thanks for the info! I will pass it along to my Georgetown folks. This is denfiitely the time of year to start laying the ground work for a healthy 2011. Think I am going to have to knock some dust off of my running shoes today.

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