So You Want to be “Toned”?

flexed-arm personal trainer in Sandy

I’ve heard it a hundred times from my female clients, being a personal trainer in Sandy. One of their goals is to look “toned”. But what does that mean? It means they want to be able to see muscle definition. You know, they want nice shoulders, rockin’ biceps and sweet looking triceps in the back of their arms. They want to look fit, but definitely not like a bodybuilder. So, how do you go about achieving that look that is desired by so many?

There is a lot of  debate out there about this particular topic. Some experts recommend that to become “toned”, you stick to a four day a week weight program. Others say there’s no such thing as “toning” any specific muscle. Their argument is that you can not do anything to a muscle except make it bigger, shrink it or allow it to remain the same. Which of them are right?

In order to be able to see your muscles in the first place, you have to have a body fat percentage lower than what the average American can claim…by far. The average American male has a body fat percentage of about 25%. Females however, have much higher numbers. It is estimated that the typical American woman carries 35-40% of her total body weight as pure fat.

As if that’s not bad enough, what most people don’t know about body fat is that it isn’t just sitting there underneath your skin. It invades everything, including your organs and even your muscles. Chances are, that whether you’re slightly overweight or morbidly obese, you’ve got intramuscular fat that has to be dealt with before “toned” is ever going to be an option. And unfortunately, thinking happy thoughts alone isn’t going to get it out of there either. So what to do? You’ve come to the right personal trainer in Sandy, to find out the answer!

Endurance Exercise

Intramuscular triglycerides (IMTG) represent an energy store/source that the body can utilize during exercise, and may contribute from 20% to over 50% of total energy turnover depending on diet, gender, and exercise type. Women have been shown to use more IMTG during exercise than men which directly correlates to the higher IMTG levels found in women.

Hit the Weights

In a study done by Jeffrey F Horowitz and Samuel Klein and published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, IMTG’s were also shown as an efficient energy source for muscle contraction. Another source, Dr. Barry Sears of the  Zone Diet, states that IMTG are actually the preferred source of fuel for the body during weight-training (anaerobic) exercise. Did you know that the fat inside your muscle cells really can help you gain size and strength?   Pretty cool huh?


You can only build lean muscle mass if you are consuming more calories than you are burning. Of course quality is just as important as quantity in this arena. You need to make sure you are consuming lean proteins, fruits and veggies, whole grains and that you are drinking plenty of water. Sleep is essential too as well as including healthy fats in your diet. Eating frequently (i.e., every three hours) is also crucial to building muscle and burning fat.

This personal trainer in Sandy has no magic pill. It really does come down to old fashioned diet and exercise. The bottom line here is that exercise and proper nutrition are key to burning fat and building strength as well as the  size of your muscles. If you’re after a “toned” appearance, you’re going to have to quit wishing upon a star for it, put down the cheeseburger and put in  some effort at the gym.

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