So you want to look “toned?”

Forget everything you’ve heard before. It’s probably wrong. In fact, the idea of “toning” is one of the most common misconceptions that our trainers see at Bayshore Fit.

The confusion started when the fitness industry started to use the word “toning” to sell products to women in a way that sounded less scary, intimidating, and masculine. However, you don’t “tone” a muscle: you can either increase muscle or decrease fat – preferably both for maximum results.

At Bayshore Fit, the term “toning” is so loaded with problems that we refuse to use it! Instead – we call it for what it is – building muscle. Here are some common myths that our fitness experts are about to debunk.

Myth #1: Light weights + high reps give the “toned” look

The simple truth is that the only way to achieve the defined look gym-goers aspire towards is to build muscle through weight training.

“We don’t even use the word “toning,” says Jeff Fink, co-owner of Bayshore Fit. “Just because it really is building muscle. And I think when people hear toning, they associate the same thing with really lightweight, really high reps. And that’s not what it is.”

According to Jeff, the biggest mistake people make is not lifting heavy enough at the gym. Instead of doing a bunch of reps with light weights, opt for fewer reps that really challenge your muscles. If you can easily do 30 or so reps with your current weight, it’s too light. If you’re doing 30 or more reps at any weight, you’re really training the muscle for endurance, rather than opting for the defined look that people call “toned.”

Myth #2: Lifting Heavy Makes you Bulky

Another harmful myth is that lifting heavy weights makes you bulky. Some people, more so women than men, avoid lifting heavier because they’re afraid to get large, body-builder type muscles.

“You can’t be afraid of getting bulky because it just doesn’t happen that easily,” says Jeff. One of Jeff’s favorite quotes about weight training is from Arnold Schwarzenegger. When people told the bodybuilder that they never want to look like him, Arnold replied, “Don’t worry, you never will.”

To achieve the bodybuilder look, it requires several hours in the gym every day, supplements, strict dieting, etc. A 45-minute weight training session twice a week, for example, will not turn you into a bodybuilder.

Myth #3: You Don’t Need Cardio to get “toned”

In order to increase the definition and appearance of your muscles, you will need to build muscle and decrease body fat through a combination of weight training and cardio workouts for the best results.

Besides increasing weight intensity, decreasing body fat will help people see the muscles you worked hard for! To increase definition, try incorporating more cardio into your workouts. If you’re wondering what type of cardio is best, Jeff says that the best cardio is the one you enjoy.

“The mentality of people is if they enjoy doing it, it’s a lot easier to push themselves while they’re doing it,” he explains.

At Bayshore Fit, we know that there’s a lot of confusion and misinformation spread in the health and fitness community. Our goal is to make fitness accessible to everyone through our premier indoor gym, unique outdoor SHED, friendly service, and knowledgeable trainers. For more fitness tips, or to schedule a one-on-one session with our trainers, contact the team at Bayshore Fit today!