When exercising, there are two primary goals you should try to achieve. The first is to burn calories (cardio), and the other is to work out to build muscle (lifting). If you’re looking to build and strengthen your muscles, then presumably you are looking to sculpt your body in the way you want it to look. However, to get that perfect body, there are two methods you can use: toning or strength training. So what’s the difference? Is one better than the other? Let’s break it down and see which one is right for you.
Let’s say you’ve hit your goal weight, and you don’t want to pack on any more pounds, fat or otherwise. In this case, you would want to start both maintaining your weight and toning your physique. Toning is when you develop the muscles you already have and burn the fat around them, resulting in a sharper definition.
How to Tone
If you are looking to show off your physique through toning, the best way to do this is with high sets of reps with low weights (such as 10 pounds). The high amount of reps will help burn the fat, and the little weight will ensure that you don’t build too much extra muscle and look bulky. For example, to tone your arms, you may do 25 or 30 bicep curls with 10 or 15-pound weights.
If you’re looking to bulk up and create solid muscle, then you want to do heavy strength training. This method is when you lift as much as you can for only a few reps. The heavier weight will tear your muscle fibers, causing them to grow thicker and stronger.
How to Build Muscle
If you just want to pack on solid muscle, then you will do the opposite of toning, which will be low reps with heavy weights. For example, if you want to build your biceps, you may do five or six reps at 30 or 35 pounds (to start). As you get stronger, you will need to increase the weight to continue building your muscle fibers and keep up your strength training.
If you’re looking to get ripped or bulk up, come down to A4 Fitness today. At our cross fit gym in West Los Angeles, you can strength train or tone to your heart’s content with our top-quality fitness gear and instructors.
Adam & Amanda
We have spent most of our adult lives training and guiding thousands of people toward better health & fitness. We have created this A4 Blog in order to better educate our friends & members. We will answer any of your health / fitness / nutrition questions as well as keeping you posted on what's new at A4.