Toning…Is It A Thing?


By : Andrea


At some point, everyone has said or heard this phrase, “I want to tone.”  I’m guilty of saying it to my trainer when I first began training many years ago.  After I heard myself say it, I couldn’t help but wonder, what did I mean when I said that?  At the time, I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.  I knew I wanted to exercise on a consistent basis and have someone there to push me along.  But where did the toning part come from?  What was I wanting to “tone” and what does that word even mean? 

I had to do some research because it didn’t sit well with me, saying this and not really knowing what “tone” means and what I really wanted to do with my body.  I figured because I already had a lean body and was satisfied with my look, all I needed was some tightening in a few areas—stomach, legs, maybe my arms.  I wanted some definition in those areas, but I did not want to be overly muscular.  In fact, that wasn’t even a factor.  Of course, all of this changed when I began competing.

After reading a few articles and seeing how my own fitness regimen was being conducted, I concluded there is no such thing as toning.  Toning is, what I like to call, a filler word for people who want definition and shape to specific areas of their bodies without gaining excessive muscle.  Eventually, I began training clients myself and I would have clients come to me and say “I just want to tone my muscles.  I don’t necessarily want to have muscle muscle but I want to get fit and be in shape.  You know tone!”  After cringing a couple of times from hearing tone so much and also hearing the word muscle said right after another (so unnecessary) I would politely say ok and ask them what are their problem areas.  Tummy, legs, glutes, and arms.  I told them I could help them with all of those areas but we would be tightening those areas, not toning.  I would get a look like “ok, that’s what I said.”

I just want to make it clear that toning is not really a thing.  Toning is a gray area, a word that should be taken out of the fitness vocabulary.  Tightening is the actual, true definition of what is needed in order to get your “snatched” body or “snap back” or “revenge body” or whatever we’re calling it these days.  You want your skin tightened so that the definition and your gains being produced from your workouts shows.  There are skin tightening solutions that women use when skin is sagging and needs to be “snapped” back into place, for lack of a better phrase.  They’re skin tightening solutions, not toning solutions.  They’re called skin tightening solutions for a reason.  But take a moment to let it sink it though.  It’s important to know what we’re saying and how we’re saying it when it comes to our health and our bodies in order to reach your fitness goals.

So, I just wanted to make that point very clear because I’ve heard it quite a few times and just wanted to make everyone aware.  I want everyone to live a fit and healthy life but want everyone to know the right terms and things that goes into working your body to its best fitness potential.  Feel free to drop me a line about some fitness goals you are trying to reach and I’m more than happy to share some tips.  Happy exercising!

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