Fitness Myth! “Toning Workouts”

Dont want to look like this when you work out? Leave the light weights OUT!

We talk a lot about FITNESS MYTHS on the blog, and what not to believe when it comes to your health. Here’s another one of my personal favorites….. TONING WORKOUTS!

FITNESS MYTH: “Toning” workouts are done by lifting lighter weights for many reps and are best for women who are looking to gain definition.

TRUTH: Put the three pound weights DOWN. You need to lift heavier to see results. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), lifting lighter weights (less than 70 percent of your maximum effort) for 12 reps or more is simply going to produce muscular endurance withouth much muscle growth. Meaning you’ll be able to lift for a higher amount of reps but you WONT see much of a physical difference. What looks “toned” is more developed muscles and a low level of body fat. This is better achieved by lifting heavier weights (70-80 percent of maximum effort) for eight to 12 repetitions per set to fatigue or near fatigue.

Dont be fooled by the workouts that wave wimpy weights around all hour long in the promise that you’ll be “lean and long”. Sorry to break it to you, but “toning workouts” are one of the worst fitness myths out there. Those defined triceps you’ve always wanted? Find them through strength training. Step out of your comfort zone and into the weight room – your toned arms are waiting for you 😉


For more fun tips and information on strength training, check out these posts!



2 Replies to “Fitness Myth! “Toning Workouts””

  1. So very true, yet so hard to get across to people. All they think when they hear strength training, or heavier weights is “mass building.” Thanks for the article Caroline, I will definitely pass it along to my students who are in the midst of creating a “one week fitness plan” for themselves. 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading Nate! Yes – I feel this is the one fitness myth that I just cant get people to understand. How is it that there are still workouts out there with 3 pounders and claims of producing lean, toned legs like a dancer? Too many quick fixes and myths in the industry – lets keep working hard to help people understand the difference between myths and reality!

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