Lifting Weights for Toning vs. Bulking

If you’re someone who engages in strength training, it only makes sense to consider what you ultimately want to achieve as you push yourself at the gym. One thing I learned from my early weight lifting days was that lifting heavy weights for a lower number of repetitions will enlarge your muscles; whereas more reps with lighter weights adds muscle “tone” and definition. But is that always the case?

Heavy Weights Can Tone You

Like running, jogging or aerobics, doing more reps with lighter weights can boost your muscular endurance. But if you expect more toning to come from this practice, you may be in for a surprise. According to Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor, doing fewer reps with heavier weights can actually help tone your body. That’s because heavy weights increase your metabolism and burn more fat, which tones you better and faster. Lifting heavy weights creates micro-tears in the muscle fibers, which the body repairs by adding more muscle and decreasing fat. So you look leaner and more toned. 

You Won’t Look Like a Body Builder

If you’re worried that lifting heavy weights will make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, rest assured, you won’t. Body builders work out for 4 to 6 hours every day and follow a strict diet that’s specifically designed to boost muscle mass. By the way, swinging that heavy iron won’t make you any stronger than lighter weights. Muscles are built when they’re fatigued to the point of exhaustion—which one can achieve with either light or heavy iron. It just takes longer with lighter weights.

A Plan to Tone

If you really want to tone your body, you’ll need a strength-training regiment that works your major muscle groups 8 to 12 times. You should lift weights that totally exhaust your muscles in the last two reps. The goal is to challenge your muscles and do a little muscle fiber tearing. Few people realize that you can strengthen your muscles without actually increasing their size. And what I’ve learned from years of weight workouts is, give your body a day of rest to rebuild. Long ago, sailors developed great physiques because after wresting with heavy sails and sheets (ropes for controlling sails) during rough days at sea, they would then rest for days, giving their muscles time to build. What’s a good “resting” schedule? In his article Recuperation and Muscular Growth, Randy Herring advises resting between sets, right after your workout, and especially 48-to-72 hours after exercise. He also suggests cutting back on aerobic activities to reserve that energy for the recovery process.

The secret to toning is simple: push your muscles to the limit with light or heavy weights and give your muscles time to heal and rebuild.

 

 

69 comments

Vincent T
William T2 months ago

Thanks for posting

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Vincent T
William T2 months ago

Thanks for posting

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago

Noted thanks

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Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago

Interesting

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you

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Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago

People begin to lose their muscle mass at age 70, so this is a good habit to get accustomed to! Thank you for sharing.

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W3 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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ERIKA SOMLAI
ERIKA SOMLAI3 years ago

noted,thank you

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Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago

Thanks

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