The 'Tone' Triangle
A fitness marketing buzzword… an overly sold/subscribed attachment word to anything/everything training plan!?
Now, no issue with the word... As long as it’s applied properly.
What is tone?
Well a simple definition is to have a low enough level of bodyfat that shows of definition in your muscle.
So take it to the above, ‘well you’re going to have to lower your level of body fat, through these steps & patience & you’ll see those tone results you want..’
What are said steps?
Calorie management. Going to be one of the most important step in the process, as creating a calorie deficit is a key factor in lowering levels of bodyfat.
Now there are plenty of methods towards creating your calorie deficit, the important thing to have at the forefront of this decision is what is going to make it sustainable for the length of time required? Sure, you could go extreme & put yourself in a big deficit but realistically you’ll fall of track of that quicker than say a longer deficit period of a smaller, more manageable amount.
Resistance Training (& cardio) –
First (& a strong link to your calorie deficit creation above), cardio exercise. Now it has a great number of benefits (the main being to improve the cardiovascular system & health), but for the purposes of this post we’re putting up it’s bang for buck in terms of calories burned/minutes ratio. If you’re looking to get a couple hundred calories burned into your daily, then cardio exercise is a great addition for this boost.
Second, resistance training. RT is going to aid you in building muscle, retaining the muscle (whilst in an unfavourable catabolic state from the deficit) & create the re-composition you’ll actually be looking for when aiming to ‘tone’.
Ideally, you should be looking to have a combination of the two above training methods. You’re focus will be on mainly bigger, compound exercises in your RT & growing through progressively overloading. While adding in some cardio either in the form of gym machines, outdoor activities or sporting hobbies.
However, it is more important to prioritise the RT aspect over cardio.
One of the 3 macronutrients, protein takes an important role in ‘toning’ (fat loss). Protein is the macro that aids in the repair, build & retention of lean muscle (anti-catabolic). It also has a link to being effective at reducing overall hunger (which will be higher through periods of dieting). The general recommendation for protein intake in a deficit lies between 0.8g-1.2g per pound of bodyweight, spreading it out as evenly as possible throughout the day. (this will help reduce bouts of hunger)