Can I tone my body – or tone specific areas

Can I tone?

Can I tone my body without building bigger muscles? And can I specifically tone my arms but not have my shoulders get bigger?

There is no such thing as toning.

If you want to get leaner or more shapely then train your full body. This includes squats, deadlifts, bench presses, strict presses, and step ups or box jumps(if able). These are the exercises that help you lean out, which is real, whereas “toning” isn’t.

Toning is a term that primarily women’s magazines came up with to sell more magazines. This coupled with fake trainers that the celebrities hire, propagate the term “tone”. Toning doesn’t exist in your body and spot toning (“just my triceps”) is an even bigger myth. Doing ab exercises or tricep exercises are going to make those areas sore but the fact remains if your NUTRITION is lacking, then you won’t be seeing the change in appearance that you might desire.

Fix your nutrition first! Nutrition is the key to losing weight and getting leaner.

I hear this all of the time:

“I do tons of sit ups and crunches and side bends for my side obliques – I want shredded abs” Same person: “I don’t train my legs because they are already big, I want to tone, not build”. At this point I usually have to say something – TONING DOESN’T WORK.

Please, please, please quit telling each other you want to tone

What you want is to be LEAN and being strong aids that process. I get it, you don’t want to look like a bodybuilder (unless you do) and that is fine. The fact of the matter is you probably couldn’t – bodybuilding takes an extreme level of dedication.

Check out this documentary if you don’t believe me.

There are a lot of high school girls that train at OC in the OC sports performance programs and I answer this question constantly concerning toning. The best thing for these girls is to see their peers – women training and being strong, lean, and capable; not talking about toning, but actually taking care of themselves.

Have a question?

Send me an email: – subject line “Answer my Question”. I don’t include your name – so please don’t worry about asking anything you want answered related to fitness, nutrition, training, etc.

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