Have you ever heard or maybe even said the words “tone” and “definition?” If you are in any way interested in diet or exercise, then chances are you have.
The funny thing is, not only do most people not know how to get toned and defined, most people don’t even know what those two words actually mean. For this reason, most people are failing to get the results they want because their diet and workout are based around myths that don’t actually work.
So, in an effort to help you understand how to truly get your muscles more toned and defined, here’s a quick and simple guide to what works and what doesn’t.
What Does Tone & Definition Really Mean?
Being toned or being defined means only one thing. It is when you have muscle, and when you have a low enough body fat percentage so that this muscle can be seen.
So, the less fat you have covering your muscles, the more “tone” and “definition” you will appear to have. The fatter you are, the less tone/definition you’ll see. Which means, the key to how to get toned is to just build some muscle, and then most importantly of all… ensure there isn’t too much fat covering it.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, apparently it’s not so simple. Let me show you what I mean…
Myths About Getting Toned & Defined
Despite how clear and straight forward this all sounds (just lose some body fat so your muscles become more visible), people are constantly doing things during their workouts that literally have nothing at all to do with helping you get more toned and defined. In most cases, people are treating stupid myths like facts.
Lighter weights and higher reps are for tone, right? Wrong.
One of my favorite examples of such nonsense is the common silly thought that you need to work out with lighter weights and do higher reps. Why? Because that’s supposedly how to get toned. You know, because lifting heavier weights for lower reps instead makes you big and bulky and overly muscular, right?
Um, wrong. Completely and utterly wrong.
Newsflash people… working out with lighter weights and higher reps is doing nothing for you in terms of getting more “toned and defined.” It’s a myth. Similarly, the idea that heavier weights and lower reps makes you big and bulky and huge is an equally stupid myth.
In reality, no difference in how heavy or light the weight is or how high or low the reps are makes any difference whatever in making you toned or bulky. You either workout in a way that builds muscle, increases strength or improves performance… or you don’t. There’s nothing else you can be doing, so if you’re not doing one of those things, you’re wasting your time.
Meaning, if your workout consists of lifting a bunch of light weights for high reps because you think it makes you more toned and defined, you’re not actually accomplishing anything.
Why? Because becoming more toned and defined is mostly just a matter of losing the fat that’s covering your muscles. And, as I explain in my article about the spot reduction myth, exercises target muscles, not the fat covering those muscles. No type of exercise or method of working out can change this. So, while weight lifting is the key to the “muscle” part of seeing more tone and definition, it’s pretty useless for the “fat loss” part of it… which is the most important part of all.
Machines are for tone, right? Wrong.
Another related myth worth mentioning is the idea that free weights like dumbbells and barbells make you huge, while machines are for tone and definition. Pretty cute, right? People seem to think that machines use magical powers that free weights don’t have to make the impossible myth of spot reduction possible, while free weights use evil voodoo to turn your “tone” into “bulk.”
Hate to ruin the ending for you, but this is once again total bullshit. Be it free weights or machines, neither one of them is having any effect in terms of “tone and definition.”
Remember what we went over before? To get more toned and defined, you just need to get rid of more of the fat that is covering your muscles. Yes, you need a proper weight lifting routine for the muscle building part of this equation, but that is all the weight lifting is doing. Therefore, high reps or low reps, light weight or heavy weight, machines or free weights, none of these are a factor when it comes to the almighty “tone and definition.”
So Then How Do I Make My Muscles More Toned and Defined?
At this point some people might be scratching their heads wondering if this goal is even possible. I mean, we just covered all of the stuff that people think make them more toned and defined and proved why they don’t. So then, what the hell does? Simply put, it’s just 2 basic steps…
- Have some amount of muscle.
Do you already have a good amount of muscle on your body? If so, you’re all set with this step. If not, you’ll need to build some, and your little light weights for your super high reps isn’t getting this job done at all. I explain how you actually need to work out in order to build muscle in this free guide: How To Build Muscle
- Lose the fat covering your muscle.
The reason you’re not seeing any tone or definition is because that pretty muscle of yours is hidden under a layer (or many layers) of ugly fat. Now, the various exercise myths I mentioned earlier sure as hell won’t target that fat (nor will they build the muscle you’re trying to uncover), so don’t waste your time with them. Instead, there’s only one way the human body loses fat, and that’s by creating a caloric deficit (meaning consuming less calories than you burn). I explain exactly how to do this and create your entire fat loss diet in this free guide: How To Lose Fat
And that’s it. There’s honestly nothing more to it. Build some muscle, and lose enough of the fat covering it so that muscle can be seen. The better you can see that muscle, the more toned and defined you’ll appear.
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