What Does “Toning” Really Mean?

Why do you work out? What is your main fitness goal?

If you answered either of those questions with “To tone up” then you’ve got the same goal as 90% of the fitness conscious population. If we then asked all of you “What does toning up actually mean?” then things start to get a little sticky. Most of you will struggle to come up with an answer, and if you have an answer it’s probably different to the next guys. This might sound strange but that’s because the word tone is just a massive fitness-industry buzzword.

Saying you want to tone up says a lot but means very little. If you want to get toned you probably don’t want to build muscle. Are we right? Well a simple fact that seems to go against mainstream thinking, is that you have to have muscle to even looked toned. But you probably don’t want to build muscle, that’s only for bodybuilders isn’t it? Wrong. If you want to look like one of those guys and girls on the front of the fitness magazines, or the latest Calvin Klein model, you need to build muscle. If you didn’t build any muscle then the only aesthetic change that you would experience with exercise would be fat loss. This would ultimately lead to you being thin and unhealthy with no curves, bum (or biceps) and we know that’s not what you want.

So what should your goal be?

Instead of just saying you want to “tone up”, you should sit down and consider exactly what it is that you want to achieve. Do you want to be able to run further and faster, deadlift double your weight or look more athletic? Whatever your ultimate goal is, you need to work out what steps you will need to take to in order to hit it. For the vast majority of you wanting a toned look it will involve adding on muscle and then eating healthily to try and cut some fat. You will also need an exercise regime to help you get there. Consider checking out our beginner workout programme to set you on your way. Suitable for both males and females its the perfect start to your fitness journey.


Toning is not the only fitness buzzword that means nothing and causes confusion. Another example is the much discussed “functional fitness” but that’s for another article. Make sure you hit the follow button below so you don’t miss out!

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Mr Olympia: Bigger isn’t always better

If you ask anyone that has ever picked up a weight about who their inspirations are, one of their answers will undoubtedly be Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is the most successful bodybuilder on the face of the earth, from the stage to the Governor of California, he is the embodiment of hard work infused with charisma. Though you probably best remember him as the Terminator (absolute classic!).

Now that the 2014 Mr Olympia is over, we can look back at the history of bodybuilding as a sport and how it’s gone from a fantastic spectator sport that was all about art and symmetry to it’s modern interpretation and the age of the mass monster. The 60’s to the mid 80’s was the golden era of bodybuilding. From Frank Colombo to Arnold, everyone’s aim was to look like a Greek God: to have perfect symmetry and size. Since then there’s been an ever increasing trend for guys to get as huge as humanly possible. We had Dorian Yates, then Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler and now Phil Heath. Yes they are impressive; yes they are massive; yes they have fantastic work ethic. But they have instigated the seismic shift of bodybuilding as an art enjoyed by many to a competition enjoyed by few.

Below we take a look at what bodybuilding was, and what it has become.

Jay Cutler

Frank Columbo


Jay Cutler


Frank Columbo.




Golden Era




Dorian Yates, 6 times Mr O


The Best of the Golden Era.





Frank Zane MArk Rhuls


Frank Zane


Markus Rühl





Phil Heatharnold_best_scr1_0



Phil Heath – Mr Olympia 2014


Arnold – The King of Bodybuilding





When you compare the two generations side by side, it becomes obvious that size is now the most important factor compared to the symmetry and shape of the past. I think you will agree that bodybuilding needs to move back to the past if it’s going to garner the same reputation that it used to. Follow this blog and show your support for the classic bodies of the golden era.



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