If you read my blogs you’ll know that I’m on a war against the way my industry speaks to women. I’m so tired of seeing posts about “how to TONE your butt, your abs, your arms, etc”. Why? Because toning a part of your body isn’t a thing! Have you ever seen someone that has toned arms but the rest of their body isn’t? Or someone with really toned abs but the rest of their body looks drastically different?? I’m sure the answer is NO because it isn’t scientifically possible!
What does the word toned mean? Well firstly it’s a term that fitness pros came up with to get women to strength train, and the women would say “but I don’t want to get big bulky muscles” so instead we say “tone”. Side note: women don’t build muscles the same way men do, any woman you see with big muscles has trained very hard in a specific way on a serious nutrition program – it doesn’t happen by accident, I applaud any person who has let go of what society tells them they should look like and worked hard at reaching their goals – high fives to all the super-strong people out there! Ok back to “toned”. The way it’s used in the industry suggests a part of your body where you can see hard-developed muscles that aren’t too big. In other words – there is very little body fat on the said body part. Reducing body fat from one part of your body isn’t possible and you will not have less muscle definition no matter how strong it is under a thick layer of fat.
So, that fitness pro you follow on Instagram with the “toned” arms, abs, and entire body didn’t get that way doing those “3 exercises for toned…they got there eating well 90% of the time over a long term period, exercising properly with a combination of full-body strength training and cardio (HIIT will be the most efficient) and leading a very healthy active lifestyle.
Why does the word toned annoy me so much that I had to write a blog about it?? Because this is exactly the language that preys on women’s insecurities as a way of getting them to exercise! It’s this kind of language that suggests “you aren’t good enough or worthy in your current body and you must change it” “summer is coming – time to get bikini ready”. Ladies – we are so much more than our appearance, our value goes so much deeper than our skin!! Function over aesthetic baby!
Exercise and healthy eating is something we all deserve – we deserve to feel great, have energy, be healthy, and be strong enough to participate in activities we enjoy for a long time into our senior years. Exercise is a celebration of what our bodies can do, not a punishment for what we ate. I exercise because I love my body so I take great care of it, not because it’s not good enough how it is.