How Do I Tone X?

How do I tone my arms? How do I tone my legs? How do I tone my stomach? How do I tone my ass? All questions I have been asked a million times.  Questions I don’t mind at all though I am not a fan of the word tone.  However, I want to have a place I can send someone the next time they ask me the question. So here it is.

Disclaimer: I am very much an advocate for strength so my answer may seem biased towards it. However, that First off, let’s start with what you mean when you say “tone”.  How do I tone the back of my arms often means how do I firm that area?  And this is usually what is meant every time the question is asked regardless of the body part. It either means how do I firm an area or make an area more defined. Interestingly enough, the words firm, define and tone all can be replaced with the word strengthen. How do I strengthen the back of my arms? How do I strengthen my legs? So we’ll hop back to strength in a second.

When you want to tone an area, there is a very important first step that must be done. You need fat loss in that specific area you wish to tone. Everyone has biceps, triceps, abs but often times you can’t see them because a pesky layer of insulation (aka fat) is obstructing your view in the area. Unfortunately, you cannot choose where your body wants to lose fat from so you just have to be patient and enjoy the process of training. I know you may be bombarded by products and exercises that allegedly are able to “burn belly fat,” but I am here to tell you- all bullshit. Save your money. Those waist trainers do not burn belly fat. Green tea extract-nope.  Crunches, nah.  Planks-eh eh. You cannot choose where you lose fat from. I repeat, you cannot choose where you lose fat from. Remember jabronis, there aren’t any shortcuts, and if there are they probably bang you up pretty good in the long run.

So to tone an area you need to lose fat there especially when we are talking about toning the stomach. Also, you need to build strength in the area, aka pick some shit up and put it down. Resistance training is often the missing piece to many people’s active lives.  They get a lot of cardio in, they spend hours on the treadmill and participate in spin classes but resistance training is the missing piece. “I do 45 minutes of cardio every day but still can’t see my triceps”. This is specifically due to the lack of resistance training in their training regimen. Resistance training is a major key to becoming “tone”. Resistance training is training performed using an external force that causes your muscles to contract. This can be done using bodyweight such as pushups and pullups, actual weights such as dumbbell and kettlebell exercises or even band resisted exercises.

Building muscle in areas that you wish to tone can be done, unlike spot reduction of fat. However, I do not advise just working the area you wish to tone but to train your whole body. Training your whole body will help promote fat loss as well as help to create a balanced body. As the process goes and you keep after it for a bit you will become toned and strong and powerful. This does not happen overnight but you should be glad because if we could lose 20 pounds overnight we surely could gain it overnight and that would suck.

Remember, my goal is to make you all find the Power of Strength so don’t be scared to pick some shit up, put it down, and move your bodies all around. If you have any questions feel free to contact me on there or Instagram @powerofstrength or facebook. Smell you later.