3 Reasons Why You’re Not Toned (And How To Fix It)

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What are the reasons you’re not toned? I see so many women wanting to achieve a strong lean & “toned look” but far too often they have their priorities backwards. If you’re following one of the numerous weight loss program in the fitness industry, I can guarantee you are missing the point. There is a HUGE difference between the “weight loss look” & the “toned look”.

And there’s also a huge difference between evidence-based training & nutritional techniques & bro-science guru techniques. Let me dive into 3 reasons you’re not getting a toned physique, while teaching you how to combat these mistakes.

Let’s get started!

You’re Only Focusing on Aerobic & Forgetting About Anaerobic..

Now don’t get me wrong, we all know the cardiovascular & endurance based health benefits from aerobic training. And not to mention if you’re an endurance-based athlete, off course you need to be focusing your training primarily on the aerobic energy system & the activation of type 1 (slow-twitch) muscle fibers.

But, if your goal is to have that toned look, and you’re focusing your efforts on long 60-90 minutes aerobic sessions, well be prepare for disappointment.

  • Aerobic Energy System Focus: Marathoner
  • Anaerobic Energy System Focus: Sprinter

As you can see, there is quite a difference between a marathoner & sprinter physique. Marathon runners train primarily utlizing the aerobic energy system activating type I muscle fibers. And a sprinter utilizes the anaerobic energy system, mainly resistance training & short explosive sprints, with the activation of type II muscle fibers.

The main key point here is to start implementing a resistance based training schedule immediately. Start lifting weights with mainly compound movements 3-4 times per week. This type of training is essential for building muscle, increasing your metabolic rate & developing that stronger / toned look.

You’re Cutting Calories Too Low & You’re Skimping on Protein..

Protein consumption and having sufficient calories plays an enormous role when it comes to building muscle, aiding muscle protein synthesis and dropping body fat, aka toning. The first thing you need to understand is you’re not doing yourself any favours by skipping meals & skimping on protein intake. When you skip meals & cut calories for too long, you’re telling your body to enter a fat storing – survival state.

Once your metabolism regulating hormone like leptin drops, you’re in for a world of hurt if you want to increase lean body mass & drop body fat. Having a higher calories base which is close to your total daily energy expenditure, will increase your body’s ability to repair & build muscle.

The first step is to increase your protein intake to sufficient amounts (aim for a daily intake of 1.5-2.2g/kg body weight). This will help aid muscle protein synthesis & burn more energy than the other two macro-nutrients, carbohydrates & fats.

Your Activity Levels Are Way Too High..

Relax! I know you’re wanting to achieve your physique goals as quick as humanly possible. But if you’re training 2-3 times per day without a thought on recovery / hormone optimization, then you’re probably doing more harm than good.

When you put your body under constant physical stress, you will elevate the stress hormone cortisol. Although cortisol is most commonly miss-understood, we still need to be aware of the physiological impact on an intense training schedule.

Cortisol is primarily catabolic with the ability to increase protein degradation and decrease protein synthesis in muscle fibers. When cortisol levels increase from resistance training, you can have a decrease in metabolism also.

Increasing your activity levels too high can also drive you into a steep negative energy balance. When this happens your body won’t have enough energy to provide sufficient training performance as well as optimizing recovery.

So take a break, remember your body grows outside the gym. You should be focusing just as much on recovery outside the gym as you do with training inside the gym.

If you are serious about getting a toned / well developed physique, & you’re wanting to join a globally recognized program which is based on science & evidence-backed nutritional / training techniques, be sure to check out the 90 day fitness model challenge & receive 80% Off (limited time).

References

  1. Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S. R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1), 43.
  2. Frestedt, J. L., Zenk, J. L., Kuskowski, M. A., Ward, L. S., & Bastian, E. D. (2008). whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutrition & Metabolism, 5(1), 8.
  3. Nosaka, K., Sacco, P., & Mawatari, K. (2006). Effects of amino acid supplementation on muscle soreness and damage. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 16(6), 620-635.