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The first factor to consider is that wanting to 'tone-up' is not a goal. What people usually want when they say "tone-up" is to achieve that lean and defined body type that you regularly see on the cover of most magazines. This means that you really have two goals; to reduce body fat and build a little muscle mass.
Your main approach to this goal should be to make those fundamental lifestyle changes that will get you 90% of the way towards your target physique, and we'll talk you through those steps in a moment.
Once you're in this position you can look to make targeted tweaks to your lifestyle in order to build more muscle or lose more fat, but doing both at the same time can be tricky for a beginner. A common approach in the fitness industry is to pursue each goal separately through alternating phases of bulking (building muscle) and cutting (burning fat).
Once you've achieved your targets you can then go into maintenance mode and adapt your lifestyle to support your new found body!
How the body looks at different body fat compositions is unique to each individual, but as a guide, if getting lean is your goal, for women this will mean a range of 16-20% body fat and males should target 10-14%.
Your diet is the single most important factor in changing your body composition and should be your first priority when trying to tone-up the body.
If your current goal is to get that body fat percentage down then you need to be creating a calorie deficit. Alternatively, to build muscle you need to be training in the right way (see step 2) and eating a calorie surplus above your maintenance levels.
Checkout our article on calorie tracking and how to calculate your maintenance level of calories in our Guide to Fat Loss article.
As a general guide, stop eating processed food and drinking juices or soda, and focus on whole, natural foods and water. This should keep you more full and for less calories. Cutting out the liquid calories alone usually has a huge impact on intake.
If what you're looking to achieve is a defined, toned look, rather than big, bulky muscles you need to create a well balanced training regime designed for good health and overall fitness.
We would recommend combining both weight training and cardio exercises for maximum effect. Weight training will help shape your muscles and up your calorie expenditure (focus on big, multi-joint exercises), and cardio (particularly interval training, which involves repeated, short, intense bouts of exercise) will keep the body fat low.
When it comes to health and fitness there's no such thing as one perfect lifestyle suited to all people. What works for one person may not work for you. It's important to keep on learning, testing out approaches and seeing how your body responds.
Over time, you'll really start to understand your own body and can build a lifestyle that supports your goals.
Consistency is key and try not change too many things at any one time. This will help you identify what factors are affecting you, in what ways, and won't over stress your will power too much!
Progress tracking is one of the best ways to stay motivated and maintain focus on goals. Changes in body composition happen slowly and it can be difficult to see just how far you've come.
Luckily, we've built the ultimate fitness journal and body tracking service and it's completely free to use. The platform can be used to track progress pics, body measurements (such as biceps, body weight, body fat, chest size etc) and journal entries to build a timeline of your body and explore your health and fitness.
If toning-up is your goal, we'd recommend tracking body weight, body fat levels, and taking regular progress pics to start with.
Everyone post your fitness or weight loss goal here and then check-in whenever it's convenient for you (daily, weekly, annually 😂).
on july 30 i swam laps in the ocean, i don’t know how many
on july 29 i went for a 2 mile run on the treadmill in our hotel
In Rome on July 28, we walked around the city 9.7 miles. This included multiple flights of stairs all throughout the monuments.
me and Marlow went on a 40min bike ride from homestead to my house.
I had my last day of dance in the Rockies today. It was 8:30-11. We had warm up, lyrical, and technique.
went on a run for 45 mins today.
once again I had dance in the Rockies today at starstruck. Today we did warm up, contemporary, improv, step, and Latin ballroom. I had this 8:30-1
i had dance in the Rockies Saturday as well. We did warm up, turns and jumps, technique, stylized jazz, and sassy jazz. I had this 8:30-1
Friday I did dance in the Rockies at starstruck. It was 8:30-1. We had warm up, jazz, contemporary, ballet, and hip hop.
thursday I had a private for 2 hours. It was very tiring and a lot of work but I had a great time. We worked on my Ariel, tours, pirouettes, and jumps.
i did the stairs and ran on the treadmill and then stretched
went on a jog yesterday with my mom.
Yesterday my friend and I went for about a 3.25 mile bike ride and kept our heart rates above 125. It was a huge calf and quad workout.
today I went to my trainer and we did just about the hardest workout. We did lots of weightlifting. We had to push/run a 25pound weight across the floor multiple times. I also did jumping lunges and jumping squats across the floor, and many other things including core workouts. This workout was an h...
Forgot to log it but on Monday morning me and my mom hiked Mount quandary(a 14er) and saw a moose
yesterday i went on a 45 minute jog with my mom and we went about 3 miles.
i didn’t have my watch on but I had a two hour private with coach Alex today. We learned a lot of new skills and moves including control and activation of muscles in movement. We also worked on some turns, jumps, and emotion in dancing.
Today I went for a 30 min run on my treadmill and kept my heart rate above 120.
this morning i went to the gym for an hour 30 mins and did 30 mins of cardio, and then whatever my brother was doing
Last week I was at camp and we took a 4 mile hike to Chasm Lake in Estes Park
i had a 30 minute private with Lauren at starstruck today. We worked on pirouettes to a quad, tours including a double float and a outside box. We also did leg hold turns, tilts, and toe touches.
i did another elliptical ride today. Instead of working out my hamstrings and calves this time I did my glutes and quads. I also bumped the resistance by 5.
today i did an hour workout, doing 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of abs to help build my strength for turns and dance in general
went to the gym and did some cardio work.
i did a 45 minute elliptical ride.
This day we did an hour of jazz an hour of musical theater and an hour of contemporary