Updated: Apr 18, 2019
“I don’t want to lift heavy, I just want to tone” ... is this you? Toning exercises, spot reducing exercises and target flat belly exercises do not exist. The dictionary definition for “toning” is “to give greater strength or firmness to (the body or a part of it).” This literally means that you need to grow that muscle to get a firm look on your body.
If you’re one of those people that thinks lifting weight makes you look bulky, you’re referring to the layer of body fat that sits on top of the muscle. Body fat can be reduced through a smart strength and conditioning plan combined with a great nutrition plan. Cardio alone will NOT get you a ”toned look,” as you may lose body fat, but without developing the lean muscle mass sitting under the fat, the end result is a skinny fat look (skinny and soft looking instead of the desired firm and toned look).
Furthermore, you cannot choose where you lose fat from first - your body is genetically predisposed to gain fat first in specific places, and that’s usually the last place it comes off. So spot reducing your belly fat or doing extra crunches will not get you a flat stomach.
Lifting heavy ass weights may not be your jam, and that’s okay. My body has adapted to lifting heavy barbells, and I continue to push the weights and intensity to continue seeing results because I LOVE LIFTING! Increasing your muscle mass also means that your body burns more calories at rest (aka when you are doing absolutely nothing). Essentially this means you can eat more food without gaining body fat.. This is crucial for me as I LOVE eating. For another individual, incorporating body weight strength movements such as push-ups, air squats and lunges, may be enough to develop strength if their workout routine is more cardio based.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of training to find one that your passionate about AND see results with, and say RIP to toning exercises.