Toning Workout Routines

What are Toning Workout Routines?

Women say they're toning or firming.

Men call it cutting up, getting ripped, or working on muscle definition.

No matter how you refer to it, you'll look great and feel even better than that when your muscles are shaped up.

If you make a commitment to a regular program of toning workout routines, you'll enjoy the following benefits:

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  • Toning is a great way to improve your strength and flexibility. You'll strengthen your musculature as well as connective tissues like ligaments and tendons. By putting your body in great shape, you'll remain well equipped for any physical challenge that comes your way.

  • You'll also look better. Who doesn't want to put a light in someone else's eyes? Or just do it for yourself; you'll love the feeling of personal satisfaction you'll get from your achievement.

  • If you've been ill, consider that toning up is a great way to regain your stamina. It's noteworthy that gym memberships cost less than healthcare rehabilitation programs.

  • You'll preserve muscle mass as you get older. Working your muscles applies a healthful stress to your bones that strengthens them. You can keep up with your grandchildren playing outside in the yard.

  • Exercising encourages better eating habits. You'll think twice about what you put in your mouth if you're expending a lot of energy on fitness!

  • Toning workout routines help you convert some of your fat tissue to muscle tissue. Since a pound of muscle tissue expends about 60 calories per day compared to a pound of fat, which expends 5 calories per day, you'll burn more calories on a daily basis. Losing fat lets you show off those muscles you're working on.

How to Start and Get Going

Don't worry about getting muscle-bound from a toning regimen; it's very different from bodybuilding. Competitive bodybuilders work for hours per day, most days of the week, to achieve their extreme muscle definition. Many people, especially women, specifically do not want that level of musculature. Rest assured that you will never accidentally reach that level; it takes far more work than a toning exercise program.

For a proper toning workout, you need a full-body workout at least three times per week. And you can't focus on just one area. No matter how much you hate your butt, for example, you've got to exercise all your other muscle groups as well. Your body genetics ultimately determine whether your butt becomes proportionately smaller than your other body areas.

The most effective toning workout routines utilize a combination of both weights and machines. Weights require a different kind of biomechanics than plate-loaded equipment, and it's good to switch back and forth to avoid sprain or strain injuries. Either way, you want to aim for higher reps and sets for toning.It's vital to include cardio workouts to speed up results. You need to choose some form of cardio three times per week, working up to 45 minutes in your fat-burning zone.

How do you know whether you're in your fat-burning zone or your cardio zone?

Follow these steps:

First, you need to know your resting heart rate. Take your pulse for a full minute at a time when you've been at complete rest -possibly before you get out of bed in the morning. Measure it for three days and get your average resting heart rate (RHR).

Next, follow this formula:

220 minus (your age) = X

X minus (your RHR) = Y

Y times 65% plus your RHR equals your heart rate for a fat burning workout.

Y times 85% plus your RHR equals your heart rate for a cardio workout.

You can see a detailed explanation and chart on our heart rate and fate burning page.

Here's an example:

  • Suppose you're 40 and your RHR is 62: You take 220 minus 40 equals 180. 180 minus 62 equals 118.

  • Multiplying 118 times 0.65 equals 77 (rounded), and you add 62 for a total of 139. This is your heart rate for a fat-burning workout.

  • Multiplying 118 times 0.85 equals 100, and you add 62 for a total of 162, which is where you need your heart rate for a cardio workout.

Two precautions about your heart rate: First of all, see your doctor if your resting heart rate is over 100. And second, measure your heart rate sixty seconds after you stop exercising; it should drop about thirty beats. If it takes longer than that to drop, see your doctor.

Toning Workout Routines and the Right Food

What's the next piece of the puzzle? You need to have a list of fat burning foods. Your meals should be high in protein and full of fiber. Think of things like eggs and legumes-beans. We have a comprehensive list of high protein foods for your convenience.

We're not talking about that bean burrito at your favorite taco stand! Some beans are loaded with sugar (baked beans) and fat (refried beans), but kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, and garbanzo beans make healthy bases for your meals or add them as protein to your salads.

Think of olive oil, almonds, and oat cereals. Avoid white breads and choose healthy whole grain types.

Toning Workout Routines and Fat-Burners

Last but not least, choose a fat-burning supplement that's right for you. Fat burners do work, and many of them are FDA approved.

Sometimes they're just what you need to get rid of those pesky last twenty pounds. Ephedra is being replaced with bitter orange in many products. Phentermine compounds are gaining popularity. Chitosan and green tea extracts help many people.

Visit our supplement review page and read more about these products and choose a product that best fits your needs.

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